"Because sometimes that is the only way to remember what is in your bones. You must peel off your skin, and that of your mother, and her mother...until there is nothing. No scar, no skin, no flesh. Only love." -- Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club
Last April, in an intuitive leap, I attended the Belly and Womb Conference. I was in search of a way to release myself from a ghost story, a broken lineage of motherhood that has seemingly haunted me my entire life. I was looking for a way to claim my whole heart, to let what was lost on one side of my adoption story go, so I could finally claim what was in my present... all the love. Because I have an abiding faith in love. It's one of my deepest beliefs and maybe one of my greatest struggles, which I didn't fully see until I tattooed that word on my hand without much ceremony last summer.
While sitting in Bethany's gracious wisdom in her work around Healing the Mother Wound, invisible seeds were planted. I listened to the words of other women who were sharing about their current relationships with their mothers and I thought, this circle isn't for me...my relationship with my mother isn't broken, and I left feeling like I didn't find what I was looking for. It wasn't until many months later that it finally hit me, how I actually indeed carry two mother wounds.
Because as mothers, we are all profoundly imperfect.
Each of us passes on in some unspoken way the places where our own mothers fell short. The broken parts get handed down along side the beautiful ones. This is our legacy as mothers - both the infinite love and the aching imperfections - because we are the wholeness of who we are, whether we see and embrace ourselves fully or not.
A year further into untangling this work, I have allowed myself to become painfully familiar with where I've felt the gaps as a daughter of two mothers, and have thought a lot about my own shadowy blind spots as a mom of two boys who will carry wounds of their own. More and more, I think that healing the mother wound is not about fixing something in the past. It's about my ability to be present in my own acceptance as a flawed human being, which, if you keep moving forward, becomes a bridge to a place of wild understanding and greater forgiveness for all -- for myself as a mother, for my birth mother, for my mom, for my grandmothers, and for all the grandmothers before them.
I see us all.
All imperfect, but born of deep unfailing Love.
This is what I am trying to live into. ALL of what it means to be mothered. All of what it means to be human. And how each of us has the power to set ourselves, and one another, free.