“The mother-child relationship can be seen as the first relationship violated by patriarchy.”
I am the lucky heiress of several generations of female wounds and chronic mistrust of men.
It took me just about three decades to recognize the ultimate root of my malaise with my esteem, romantic love, and my feminine essence. I have been on a healing journey for almost 8 years now and I recognize that I have carried an unconscious, imprinted mistrust of men in general. A mistrust passed on by the 5 generations before me who didn’t know their father and had been abandoned by the father of their children.
To start the healing process of my wounded, under-mother inner child, I had to excavate that little girl and learn to re-mother her. I had to give her all the embrace she had never received. I still mother myself to this day at the absent mother wound is always ready to erupt when we do not give it enough motherly nurturing.
I had already been on the wellness path for almost four years when I moved to the South of France in the Summer of 2016 to complete my book and to explore the ancient myths of the Sacred Feminine that permeate the lands of Provence — a place where Saint Mary Magdalene is said to have lived post-crucifixion.
In August of 2016, I arrived in Provence with my daughters, my American boyfriend, and two suitcases. It was an unknown land for my mind but my heart felt right at home as soon as it gathered its breath in front of the Magdalene grotto that is set in the middle of the Sainte Baume mountain, some three thousand feet above the sacred forest. Provence is soaked with ancient Christian and Pagan stories, Virgin Mother oratories on road sides, and walls that resemble the warmest glow of the Sun. As I walked the Path of the Kings to her grotto, I was really doing a pilgrimage to my own inner feminine consort.
I intellectually knew what femininity looked like from the outside but what I didn’t know, what how to connect with it internally. I guess that was a part of me that I had always distanced myself from — even when I thought that I was healed from my past wounds. The part of me that was bathed in acceptance, kindness, nurturing intentions, smooth gladness, and self-wellness. That foreign part of me, my womb or my feminine psyche that I had forsaken long ago when I swore to the stars that I would never be weak and dependent on men.
I grew up with a malformed and misinformed image of what the feminine acts like, thinks like, and loves like: my mother. Unbeknownst to herself, my kind mother defiled her womb and her dignity as a feminine figure more times than I can bear to recount. She thought she was giving her body in exchange for love…a love she never got in return. She was used times and times again, each time thinking that the next man would finally love her for her bodily gift to him. She finally found a man who married her. She was 46.
As women, our mother is the first and principal archetypal image of what femininity is and to me, being feminine and in love was the direct link to abandonment, matrimonial violence, and drunk individuals that stunk all day long.
My beloved mother was an alcoholic for 37 years and she birthed 4 children from 4 different fathers. My 7-year-old glistening eyes saw her forgoing herself and her dignity to just about any man that would lend her a feign sign of attention. Grasping love from men who dishonored her became her true north.
Love (as she presented it) failed her and pierced both her womb and heart every time, mercilessly.
And so when I was 16 years old, I took a sacred wow. I would become impenetrable to love and I would never allow a man to enter and claim my heart.
After my mother had failed again to reveal my father’s identity, I made that promise to myself and I would dedicate every atom of strength I possessed the rest of my youth and early adulthood honoring it.
I fought myself for years battling my innate dependence on men. When nature with the winds of my wounds would come back stronger to the edge of my heart, I would sabotage myself so that no one would stay near my heart for too long. I kept the illusion of control in my emotional life for a good 32 years. Until my second divorce erupted and the same old fears were still haunting me day and night.
It was not until I re-birthed my relationship with my inner feminine half that I finally gave myself the permission slip to accept my painful past. Without any defense mechanisms or any need to slay myself away from being soft and vulnerable.
My womb began to call me home but I didn’t know how to be home with it. It was the birthplace of my original sin after all and that subconscious and bitter taste poisoned all of my relationship. It was the soured part of me that pulled down my self-esteem and informed my entire living.
I believe that our womb calls to us all the time. Every time we lower the worth of our soul to bargain for love, attention, approval. Our womb remembers every event that defiled the presence of the Great Mother within our very own essence. We are daughters of the Earth and we inherited her most potent power: we create and host life.
The center-point of our creative and manifesting power sits in the sacred chalice between our hips and it is also the center of our presence as women.
I spent so many years being afraid of losing my heart that I put up walls around it and lost all contact with the other half of my power: my feminine essence.
I went to Sainte-Baume every week to walk, write, heal my past, be with myself, and to walk back to all the times when I shed pieces of my womb simultaneously leaving a hole in my soul.
I began working on my inner relationship with my mother. I made a list of all the situations in which she threw away her soul, her womb, and her dignity. And in my own trek back to my womb, I would heal her blows to the generational womb of our lineage. For my ancestors and for the generations of women to come. I then made a list of all the romantic and sexual experiences in my past that had slashed the sovereignty of my feminine space and I bathed myself in total understanding towards myself. Understanding with compassion is the first step towards true healing.
I extracted every single relationship that hadn’t honored my womb, my heart, and I forgave them, and I released them. The primordial remedy I applied onto my wounds was radical acceptance. I began to do an inventory of all the situations that had defiled my womb and I took responsibility for the experiences I would place in my heart from then on.
After months of allowing layers of emotions to resurface, to refine my identity as a strong and tender woman, I softened towards my own self. As I repaired my respect and appreciation of my feminine essence, I began to practice womb awareness on a regular practice — placing my attention to my creative center in the midst of my pelvis was often enough to pull me back in the intersection of strength and gentleness. Inspiration and action. Receiving and giving back.
I cleared the rage from within me towards the men of my past and the women whose wounds had led me onto their own ways of self-negation.
There comes a point in every woman’s life when the Goddess enters and knocks at the thin door of her pelvic heart. She knocks softly at first, testing if you are listening and if you are ready for her to enter and purify your life from within. She might even take several back doors as she did for me through Jesus of Nazareth for the first 34 years of my life.
The Goddess aka mysterious feminine enigma had been waiting for me to walk through petal layers of healing until I became a potent receiver for the other face of God: Mama God herself. It was at a painting workshop on the Summer equinox of 2015 that her invitation became a living decree of intimate self-healing and soft, tender surrender to my soul, to the Earth, and all of life.
Returning to my feminine essence has taught me to become conscious of what I place within my womb. My beliefs. My sensorial experiences. The food I eat. The men I embrace. The water I drink. As women, what we place in our womb informs the world around us.
That day opened a window to my soul and the soft-hearted love that I had been looking for all-along in the arms of other men, in the frame of intellectual self-love finally ran through every vein of my body.
The merge between my masculine and feminine harmonies transformed my inner chemistry and a soft spot towards myself replaced the self-hatred unconscious system that had laid dormant yet burning in my oven for mere decades. It is still too early in my journey with the Feminine to write up an entire epic on the Goddess but what I know for sure, is that when a woman heal that part of her feminine heritage, she heals her history so that her future may tell the true story of her soul and what she came here to do.
The re-mothering process is a lifelong ritual. It is a voice I have to find within myself again and again because it was not the main voice in my external world. The main female external voice was a demeaning, cruel, down-putting, mocking voice. But when that voice wants the mike again, I switch it off with love and I turn on the inner voice of the Great Mother, letting utter compassion speak first. And then the good mothering voice takes over. It is an ongoing relationship. The best one I ever found.