Many of us feel fearful that if we become the powerful women we’re meant to be, then we will be seen as a threat to those around us. We may hide our light so as not to offend others or trigger their insecurities. The child in us fears that claiming our full individuality will cause us to be left alone. Understandably, this aloneness was very threatening to us as children. But there is a different kind of aloneness that we may find in adulthood, an aloneness that is a kind of nourishment.
The lotus that is born from the healing of trauma is a lotus that never dies. As Eckhart Tolle might say, it is the “good that has no opposite.” I believe this lotus is born from the aloneness we must face in healing from childhood trauma. The willingness to feel this aloneness fully can give way to realizing the inseparability between your own presence and the presence of God/Goddess.
All birth involves an uncomfortable process down a dark passage toward a single point of light. In this moment, can you feel that part of you craving the light? You are the one craving the light and you are also the light that is being craved.
The price of living as your authentic self is the discomfort of releasing all the false patterns one has accumulated through growing up in one’s family and culture. This can be very challenging because your will to evolve must override the “reptilian brain” that equates safety with the status quo, however dysfunctional it may be.
One could say that we’re always operating to some degree in the tension between evolution and safety or individuality and belonging. Attachment theorist, John Bowlby introduced the concept of how children use their mothers as a secure base for exploration. If the mother conveys sufficient safety to the child through her attunement to the child, the child feels safe enough to venture out and explore the environment.
We must transfer our source of safety from the outside to the inside.
All creativity, wisdom and power come from the luminous core of truth within. Living from this place and allowing everything in your life to come into alignment with it requires a profound commitment to life as a moment-to-moment process. As the call from within grows stronger, our desire for safety becomes overshadowed by our desire to be free–the desire to live from a place of realness, of truth and spaciousness.
The willingness to feel our essential aloneness carves out a great depth within us that can hold a vast field of love.
The paradox is that embracing our deep aloneness increases the quality of our relationships because there is a backdrop of immense integrity bourn out of facing the truth of our own pain.
However, in the process, it can be challenging as people around you may question what you’re doing, criticize you or reject you. This is actually a great gift they are giving you because it allows you to deepen and refine your commitment to self-honesty. Here we must be willing to be misunderstood and misperceived for the sake of our own integrity. This begins to open up a whole new dimension to inner safety–that no matter what happens on the outside, you become increasingly convinced that you are always safe within.
Inner Safety gives us permission to be Real
This permission is something that happens in the intimate space between you and yourself. As you heal the mother wound, you increasingly become the secure base for exploration for yourself. As the inner mother to your inner child, you become the profound space for everything to be OK. There is a powerful circle of love that flows and through this inner bond, allowing you to increasingly let go of limiting patterns from your family of origin. Exploration, experimentation and mistakes are all welcome. Here, there is no such thing as failure, only learning. What freedom! As we become more safe within, we become free to take risks, to chart new territory, to really explore the inner landscape without the usual fears of “what will they think of me?” These fears may still come up but do not have the power to stop you anymore. You’ve tasted the sweetness and soul-nourishment of your own integrity.
When we feel truly loved from within, there is no such thing as failure
Patriarchy has demanded that we be small and give away our power in exchange for external approval. As we become awakened women, we become small, not in yielding to any outer authority, but small, as in yielding to the Truth at the center of your Being, to the Self, the Source within. This becomes what guides our lives. Our lives then become lived in devotion to that. This process of becoming small in this context is the ultimate exaltation because we become an expression of a higher power. From here, everything we do can be lived as an expression of this One, everything we do can be in devotion to truth. This is so healing because patriarchy tells us that we must split and betray ourselves in order to be accepted. Here our authority becomes squarely placed in the center of ourselves. Here we become whole again.
Inner Safety Leads to Innovation
In her book “Radical Acceptance,” Tara Brach encourages us to let our suffering be the gateway to the awakened heart. Seen in this way, our suffering is not something to get rid of, but a doorway to deeper truths. She talks about seeing our pain as something that is entrusted to us. To cultivate inner safety, we mother our own inner child in the ways our outer mother could not. We replace those original deficits by first feeling them fully. We have to feel the feelings that were off-limits when we were young. This is the first step in becoming really authentic.
Tenderly holding our fears and letting go of needing to “get there”
As we increasingly live as our original self, we are periodically asked to depart from the known and to find rest in the unknown. It asks us to befriend our ultimate aloneness and to find safety in our own presence. In that stark simplicity, there is a profound fullness that is not of this world.
The Inner pull of ‘the Real’ has a fragrance of holiness; a rawness and purity.
The questions of “When will my healing be done? When will the pain go away?” drop away. We see that the waves of learning are infinite. New layers coming up to be healed are not a statement of failure or “not there yet” but rather a celebration that you’re ready for your next level. Letting go of attachment to some kind of final destination is a major step and actually accelerates and deepens your progress. The journey itself also becomes a form of nourishment because it is what delivers gifts to you with every step. The ego that wants completion quiets down and becomes in service to the organic mystery of your own evolution.
There is a connection between the longing for mother and the longing for the inner beloved. One could say that this longing flows through the same channel, the child’s longing for mother and the adult’s longing for God/Goddess/All that is. That is why when we heal the mother wound the way becomes clear for us to embody the spiritual power that wants to be expressed through us.
When we go deep enough into our own pain and existential aloneness, we have the possibility to discover that we’ve actually never been alone. There in our own pain and messy feelings is the Beloved, is the Divine truth, alongside everything we’ve ever experienced.
As we increasingly feel safe within, our loyalty shifts from the beliefs we inherited from our families to our own inner truth and integrity.
Over time, our ability to be honest with ourselves becomes our true source of safety. This safety is so richly satisfying. It completely outshines the illusions of safety we had through old childhood defenses. Our ability to be honest with ourselves and what we’re feeling is trustworthy ground. Facts are always empowering because we can then act and get the tools or support we need for the next steps. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship in your life. Everything else flows from it.
Nest within. Decorate your inner sanctuary with your beautiful aloneness.
Allow yourself to sit in the rich silence of your Being and soak up the beauty that is you. Drink from that overflowing source within and taste true freedom.
As a friend mentioned to me recently, we women who are healing the mother wound are birthing a new kind of “mother line” from within ourselves as we support and love one another while doing this important inner work.
Thank you for reading! I invite you to leave a comment below: How has your self-honesty supported you?
I coach women through the process of healing the mother wound. Does this article resonate with you? Click here to sign up for a free, 30-minute session with me to learn more about private coaching.
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(Art credits in order of appearance: Christian Schloe, Jia Lu, Mary Southard, Elena Ilyina, Kathryn June, Ellen van Der Molen, Qahira Lynn, Joyce Huntington)
© Bethany Webster 2015