About Bethany Webster

Writer, facilitator and what you could call a midwife of the heart.

Navigating “No-Contact”: When Estrangement from Your Mother is the Healthiest Choice

Suhair Sibai

The decision to go no-contact with a family member is a deeply personal one.

For some of us, healing the mother wound is possible while staying connected to your mother. In this scenario the healing actually creates a new, deeper connection between mother and daughter, which is a beautiful thing to witness. I’ve seen it happen and it’s truly inspiring.

But for some of us, it’s impossible to heal ourselves and remain in connection with our mothers. 

It’s still considered taboo to be estranged from one’s family; especially to be estranged from one’s mother. Sometimes the distance can be brief and short-term. For others, the estrangement can be permanent. It takes enormous strength and fortitude to follow through with this.

Clarity By Katie Hoffman

What can lead to estrangement?

There are so many reasons why people make this choice. But a core theme leading to estrangement is realizing that your mother’s dysfunctional behavior has demanded an enormous cost to your mental/emotional well-being and you’re simply no longer willing to pay that cost.

I believe that this isn’t something chosen in a flippant, cavalier way, but rather it is often a choice made after years of trying every other possible avenue to preserve the connection and see it evolve to a higher level. At a certain point, you may reach a crossroads where the cost is too much and you have to make a choice.

It may be the hardest thing you ever do in your entire life. And it may be the single most empowering thing as well.  

Duino by Katie Hoffman

Families are complicated systems. When one person stops playing their usual role in the family, the system will usually experience some degree of disequilibrium or chaos. Conflict can serve to transform the system to a higher level, if the family members are willing and open to grow and learn. Unfortunately, sometimes, in an attempt to resist change, the family attacks the person who is wanting to grow. That person has the choice to stay and suffer the toxicity or to heal and leave the unhealthy system. The choice to terminate contact is often made when it’s clear that it’s impossible to heal while remaining in that family system.

Daughters often play the roles of family mediator, scapegoat, keeper of secrets, or emotional caretaker, etc. If a daughter on a path of growth and wishes to evolve beyond her typical role in the family, (perhaps by being more empowered, having firmer boundaries, being less tolerant of poor treatment, etc.)  the degree of chaos that ensues is indicative of how dysfunctional the family system is as a whole.

If the family members are each relatively healthy, stable and open, the family may be able to find a new equilibrium without much chaos. However, if the family members are deeply wounded or traumatized themselves, a daughter’s evolution can be perceived as deeply threatening to the family system.  This chaos can be deeply unsettling and extremely hard to navigate. Support is essential. 

In my Cocoon Again by Pegi Smith

In an unconscious attempt to maintain equilibrium and resist change, family members may launch attacks against the daughter. A common and virulent form of backlash is “Pathologizing” the daughter: Seeing the conflict as a result of some form of pathology in the daughter. The message is “Your unwillingness to continue in the family system in your established role indicates that there is something deeply wrong with you.” This shame-based narrative abdicates the mother and other family members from honestly examining their own behavior and taking responsibility. The daughter’s level of mental stability, her sexual activity, her past mistakes, everything about her may be openly questioned, that is, except the role of the mother in the conflict. 

It’s amazing how vehemently people resist looking at their stuff and the lengths they will go to remain in denial of it, including ostracizing their own child. This is actually an unconscious attempt to resist change by projecting all the conflict or “badness” onto the person initiating transformation of the family system. Ultimately, this is not personal at all. This is what happens when people who have not been dealing with their inner life become confronted with their disowned pain through a catalyzing event, like a woman in the family growing beyond the predominant dynamics that have kept the family in a stable state for generations.

We can’t save our mothers. We can’t save our families. We can only save ourselves. 

Katie Hoffman

You don’t need your mother (or other family members) to understand you in order to fully heal.

A heartbreaking thing that happens is realizing that your mother/family are simply unable or unwilling to understand you. No matter how much you explain or how many attempts to convince them of where you’re coming from, it goes nowhere. It’s like you’re speaking two different languages. They may be unconsciously invested in NOT understanding you, because it poses too much of a threat to their deeply held beliefs and values. Understanding you may cause a seismic shift to the very foundation upon which they’ve built their identities and worldview. It’s a painful thing to realize and yet it helps to create a singularity of spirit within you. It becomes clear that your own understanding of yourself must be enough. Your validation of yourself becomes primary. You realize you can be OK even if others do not understand you.

After you go no contact, your life may begin to improve in many areas. I’ve seen chronic illnesses clear up, neurotic fears vanish and life-long patterns dissolve. In fact, sometimes the challenge then becomes enduring the pleasure of your own life. With each new level of increased prosperity, increased intimacy, joy, freedom, you are reminded that your family is not there to share it with you. It’s particularly at these horizons where we may experience the turbulence of grief. There’s nothing to do but feel the grief that comes with that and allow yourself to move forward.

Immortal Age by Akiane Kramarik

The grief doesn’t mean you’ve made the wrong choice. It’s actually a sign of health and healing. 

Keep yourself grounded in the new paradigm that gave you the strength to leave the toxic connection. If you don’t, you could get pulled back through guilt or shame. It’s so important to get lots of support and give yourself time and space to process all the emotions that come with this choice. Ground yourself in exactly why you’re doing this and use it as an opportunity to to birth you into a new paradigm in your life.

Estrangement as launch pad to Empowerment

You may discover something deeply profound that many people never do: You realize that you can survive your mother’s rejection of you. This can birth a level of freedom and determination within you that may initiate quantum leaps in your life. It can spur a fierce commitment to truth and carve out a radical integrity that extends to other areas of your life. It stokes a fire of truth within you that has always been there, but now it can blaze fully. You feel your own source within.

Forgotten Songs by Katie Hoffman

Grief, grief and more grief gives way to ….. FREEDOM

Grief may arise every time you go to a new, higher level that my mother/family have never been. It may feel like a bone-deep grief, almost tribal or ancestral, a grief of having to go forward without them. And it gets easier and easier with time. I find the more we lovingly allow ourselves to grieve, the more space is created for magic, beauty and joy in our lives. There is something deeply sacred about the grief that comes from making this choice. It can serve as an opportunity to deeply connect to your truth and to embodying it at the deepest level. We must make meaning from this loss and use it to enhance our lives in new ways. That’s the key to long-term healing.

Darlene Jones

Your integrity becomes the solid foundation for the rest of your life.

“You cannot get poor enough to help poor people thrive or get sick enough to help sick people get well. You can only uplift from a position of strength and clarity and alignment.”~Abraham 

It’s OK to walk away from toxic people in your life, including toxic people in your family.

Healing inter-generational wounds can be a lonely path. But with the space created, soulful connections will come into your life. Our attachment needs are the most powerful need we have as humans. To face this level of estrangement is to confront the depth of your pain, of your humanity, and to claim the full the value of your own life. Our greatest fear is that we will be alone. But the aloneness that we fear already happened in the trauma of our families. I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and you will find your soul family in time, people who are capable of seeing and valuing you for who you are.

Estranged daughters are spiritual warriors

In a world where women are predominantly expected to stay silent, to cater to the needs of others and where the darker side of mothers is not acknowledged, the experience of estrangement can be an initiation into a new level of awareness that many people never get the opportunity to experience. A space is cleared to allow your light to shine at full radiance. What will you do with this light blazing within you? 

Estranged daughters are finding each other, creating a new mother line; a connection of authenticity, realness and truth in each other that supports the arising consciousness in all. I’ve seen instant camaraderie between women who have walked this path. There’s more of us out there than many people  realize. You’re not alone!

Wish by Christian Schloe

You have to do what is right for you. Trust yourself.

Estrangement doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t love your family. It doesn’t mean you’re not grateful for the good things they gave you. It just means you need space to live your own life the way you want to live it. Women who feel no choice but to go no-contact with their dysfunctional mothers create the break because it’s the only way to send the powerful message that: “Mother, your life is your own responsibility as my life is mine. I refuse to be sacrificed on the altar of your pain. I refuse to be a casualty of your war. Even if you are incapable of understanding me, I must go my own way. I must choose to truly live.”

Healing the Mother Wound is the Process of Being Initiated into your own Sovereignty as a Woman

Our patriarchal culture fosters a dysfunctional enmeshment between mothers and daughters. Our culture does not offer women a ritual for the natural developmental step of separating from their mothers and being initiated into their own lives. (This doesn’t exist for men either.) Healing the Mother Wound is the process that provides that necessary initiation, whether you are still in contact with your mother or not. My dream is that someday in the future, the mother wound will be very rare as more women detox from the patriarchal messages of “less than” and both mothers and daughters feel permission to own their full power and potential, connected in the heart while being free, separate individuals. The daughter’s individuality won’t pose a threat to the mother, because she’ll have love and appreciation for her herself as much as for her daughter.

As you heal the mother wound, you create a new world for yourself, for the women of the future and for the earth itself. 

Between Two Worlds by Vian Sora

© Bethany Webster 2015

Art credits in order of appearance: “Under Syrian Skies” by Suhair Sibai, Clarity by Katie Hoffman, “Duino” by Katie Hoffman, “In my Cocoon Again” by Pegi Smith, Title Unknown by Katie Hoffman,Immortal Age by Akiane Kramarik “Forgotten Songs” by Katie Hoffman, Title Unknown by Darlene Jones, “Wish” by Christian Schloe, “Between Worlds” by Vian Sora


If you’d like to receive my personal support in moving beyond the mother wound and into your full potential and success, please click here to sign up for a free, 30-minute Clarity session where I can help you get clear on how the mother wound is impacting you and create a roadmap to get you to the other side. I look forward to connecting with you!  ~Bethany

Ways to Work with me: 

Click here to download my FREE e-book on “Transforming the Inner Mother” and sign up for my newsletter.

Raw, Open and Real: Moving From Traumatic Aloneness to Universal Oneness

In Another Dimension by Christine Von Lossberg

As humans, we have two primary needs; the need for attachment and the need for authenticity, according to physician and author, Gabor Maté. In dysfunctional families, a child will typically suppress his or her authenticity needs to preserve the attachment with the primary caregiver, typically the mother.

The primary human need is attachment. Left unaddressed, our attachment wounds will persist into our adult lives and may cause us to unconsciously arrange our lives around not triggering the emotional memory of traumatic aloneness. This is what can keep us stuck in relationships, jobs or situations that we need to move on from.

The need to suppress authenticity to preserve attachment creates an “either/or” mindset that can stay with us and get projected onto other parts of our lives. The healing comes from mending this split so that both authenticity needs AND attachment needs can be abundantly met within oneself, and subsequently in our relationships. This is precisely the work that I do with helping people to heal the mother wound, transforming the “either/or” into a “both/and” that births you into a new way of Being.

Reconnection by Michelle Oravitz

This reunion in the self opens us up to the possibility of perceiving an even larger “and;” the larger bond of love and belonging that pervades all life. 

Authenticity needs: The experience of having our real selves being seen, accepted and validated, including our…

  • flaws and limitations
  • failures and mistakes
  • quirks and idiosyncrasies
  • gifts and talents
  • greatness and uniqueness

Attachment needs: The needs for love, safety and belonging including…

  • being seen and responded to with kindness
  • being emotionally held
  • feeling of belonging to a dyad and larger groups
  • physical touch and affection
  • being supported and understood
  • feeling emotionally safe

Andrei Remnev

We don’t have many models for what it looks like to persevere on this healing journey and many stop prematurely. A crucial piece is the willingness to be present with our own pain. As humans it’s natural to want to avoid pain, but usually it’s the avoidance of pain that is more painful than the actual pain. That’s why support is so essential. The wound begins in relationship and the ultimate healing occurs in relationship as well.

Without accompanying resistance of mental storyline, emotional pain can be deeply cleansing, clarifying and liberating. 

When the pain of that original aloneness of childhood is contacted and felt, there’s arises a powerful sense of ground. When we can stand conscious and not turn away from our own emotional pain, we are standing on the firm ground of self. There is immense relief in realizing that you are feeling the deep pain of the core wound and you are alive! The emotional pain which you thought may destroy you has only birthed you into the realization of your vastness, in seeing that you are larger than any painful emotion.

Child with Orange by Vincent van Gogh

Do you remember your little child self? The one who conversed with bees, flowers and butterflies? By facing the pain within you, you re-claim the little child waiting for you within. Your presence in the pain opens a door, where her innocence, vitality, playfulness, creativity, laughter and wisdom can flow into your life again.

In that moment of staying conscious in the face of your own pain, it’s possible to glimpse a larger you, the you that is part of all things. And to sense it’s mind-shattering compassion that has always already loved you in every nook and cranny of your life.  You can see that nothing has ever been separate from it’s love.

Lyudmila Romanova

The attachment wound (or mother wound) can be a portal to realizing a deeper, indestructible “attachment” bond that interconnects all life.

By being willing to stay conscious in the pain of it, a veil is lifted.

Every bit of emotional pain that you courageously face births you into a more robust expression of The Real. 

Over time, we realize that the ultimate security does not come from what the mind tells us, but from living from that raw, open, real core of presence within us; that core “ground” that is revealed in the center of our own pain. Over time, perhaps a lifetime, we become increasingly accepting that safety does not come from struggle or mental activity, but from a raw, open, not-knowing that can only guide us moment to moment. In this way, we become more child-like, with the surrender of a child but with the depth and wisdom that is carved out by the radical integrity that comes with facing our own pain.

The Flame of my Heart's Passion by Carol Bridges

This radical integrity is the foundation from where we build our lives of authenticity and service to the whole. 

It’s a paradox that by entering our deepest aloneness; the traumatic aloneness of childhood, we have the chance to see that we’ve never been separated from the Divine. The whole world then becomes our secure base for exploration. This safety is so vast, this embrace is eternal. You realize that you are free.

Life becomes a series of infinite sheddings down to the Real. 

Metabolizing your own pain makes you capable of embodying a more potent level of truth. As you embody this, you are serving those around you in a profound way.

Tamara Tavenier

Your deep authenticity, your originality, your eccentricity, is the most potent and exhilarating expression of the Divine. Ironically, the very things that we had to suppress as children become the very vehicles that the Divine seeks to express itself through us.

The truth is that your own presence is one with the presence of the Divine. 

You don’t have to do or be anything in particular for this to be true. You already are and always have been infinitely accepted and thoroughly loved by the divine. This becomes self-evident in your direct experience over time. At first it’s in glimpses, but those glimpses begin to expand until it becomes your primary mode of being.

Feeling safe in your originality and owning your sovereignty

The painful emotions of the mother wound serve to help you shed the layers of dysfunctional adaptations from your childhood and to reach the living core of fire within you…and to increasingly walk in the world as the light that frees.

Just Dare by Shiloh Sophia McCloud

In this way, the mother wound is a teacher. As we heal it, it transforms from a source of pain into a source of wisdom. Facing the pain doesn’t annihilate us as the ego would purport, but instead births us into a new relationship with life, from separation to oneness. That presence within us, the “Inner Beloved,” is inviting us in each moment into deeper communion with it, to hand over our masks, our false-ness, our reliance on the mind, our defenses and live life from an un-defended intimacy. 

When a new level of pain presents itself to be processed, we can increasingly see it as the “Inner Beloved” beckoning to us to merge with it in the fire of truth, to shed down yet another layer into oneness with the all, to realize the vast embrace where absolutely nothing is left out.

On a deeper level, the mother wound is a wound with life itself. And as we heal it on the personal level, we step into something universal. As we detox from the cultural and familial messages, a space is created within us to radiate powerful energies that benefit all life.

Night Nest by Robin Urton

How do we live this every day? 

The truth is shattering to the ego. It is counter to everything that our culture has taught us. In fact, our culture is designed to distract us from the very investigations that are necessary to realize this in our direct experience. It takes courage and radical integrity to really LIVE this. But there is nothing more nourishing or exhilarating.

From the Real, our most powerful place is one of the un-glamorous facing of our feelings in each moment. 

  • Facing our pain, taking the time to process, investigate and gain insight
  • Seeing our adaptive defenses and choosing to remain open
  • Embracing our places of shame and actively practicing self-love
  • In terms of productivity, act only when inspired, otherwise rest
  • Scrutinizing our moments of falseness and choosing to be real
  • Working each moment to not flee into concepts of “final, done, destination”

The flute Print by Yuliya Glavnaya

Reliance on the Real

  • Overflowing feelings of love and compassion for oneself and others
  • Becoming increasingly comfortable with not-knowing and finding your home in each moment
  • Exhilaration of being alive and in the mystery of life
  • Magical occurrences and synchronicities
  • An astounding level of clarity and aliveness
  • A profound sense of wonder and awe
  • Periodic arising of “traumatic residues” that come up to be felt and dissolve into presence.

When inner safety is firmly established, within the self and the Self, that’s when a wall comes down between the inner and the outer. (Just noticed a synchronicity that I’m writing this while in Berlin, a city in which a wall that separated the city into two parts came down.)

The mother wound is a potent access point to discover the deeper truth of who we are. And our willingness to be present with the pain of the mother wound is our biggest ally on the healing journey. The pain can be a portal into the bliss of self-realization.

Moon Woman Three by DagmarB

© Bethany Webster 2015

Art credits in order of appearance: “In Another Dimension” by Christine von Lossberg, “Reconnection” by Michelle Oravitz, title unknown by Anfrei Remnev, “Child with Orange” by Vincent van Gogh, title unknown by Lyudmila Romaneva, “The Flame of my Heart’s Passion” by Carol Bridges, unknown title by Tamara Tavenier, “Just Dare” by Shiloh Sophia McCloud, “Night Nest” by Robin Urton, “The Flute” by Yuliya Glavnaya, “Moon Woman 3” by Dagmarb

Related articles: 


If you’d like to receive my personal support in moving beyond the mother wound and into your full potential and success, please click here to sign up for a free, 30-minute Clarity session where I can help you get clear on how the mother wound is impacting you and create a roadmap to get you to the other side. I look forward to connecting with you!  ~Bethany

Ways to Work with me: 

Click here to download my FREE e-book on “Transforming the Inner Mother” and sign up for my newsletter.

Women and Emotional Labor: Putting Down the Weight

The Sacred Art of Self Love by Katherine Skaggs

I’m increasingly convinced that the world will be healed by women’s ability to feel the full scope of OUR OWN feelings. 

The paradox is that feeling the truth of our own feelings involves refusing to feel the feelings of others for them. In other words, it involves refraining from over-functioning and taking responsibility for those who are unwilling to do their own inner work.

It’s up to us to see the ways that we emotionally over-function and refrain from doing so.

Traditionally, women’s work has not only been the cooking, cleaning and caring for children. Traditional women’s work has also involved bearing the emotional labor of relationships; cleaning up emotional messes, starting the uncomfortable conversations, feeling the burden of silences, living with things unsaid, burying unspoken needs, being the projection screen of disowned pain, wading through passive-aggressive slights silently, etc. The problem is that men have been traditionally taught to devalue and see emotional labor as purely women’s work, when in reality emotional intelligence and communication skills are things that both partners must shoulder equal responsibility for.

Women have historically been the “cleaning ladies” of the culture, the proverbial of trash bin of unwanted emotions: expected to feel them for others and then blamed for expressing the very emotions that others refuse to feel. It’s time to put down this role. We are clogging ourselves with material that blocks us from our own power and clarity. And we are protecting people from their own painful truths; the very truths that will free them.

Eyes of Blues by Pegi Smith

I recently came across this powerful article that defines the concept of Emotional Labor and the ways it impacts women’s lives. I’ve also re-visited Audre Lorde’s powerful essay “The Erotic as Power” which explores how women are “psychically milked” in this culture, because our capacity for feeling is used in ways that benefit those in power (usually men) but denigrated when we own it for ourselves. (I highly recommend checking these out.)

It’s time to dismantle the false ethics of patriarchy that keeps women stuck in the role of emotional laborers.

For women, patriarchy conflates emotional labor with a false sense of ethics. It’s this false ethics that causes us to perpetuate our own internalized oppression. We are taught in various ways that emotional labor is an innate skill of women and if we don’t do it, the implication is that we’re not a “good person” or a “proper woman.” This leads us to feeling suspicious of ourselves if we feel fed up with it. There is a tendency to feel shame when we approach our thresholds for carrying the emotional weight for others.

Painting the Tao- Paradoxical Unity by Kay Kemp

You’re not being a “bad person” when you refuse to carry the emotional weight for others.

We’ve been taught to pride ourselves on the levels of our endurance to bear the responsibility for the emotional aspects of our relationships.  The willingness to put up with it is rooted in a sense of scarcity; the notion that the crumbs we’re receiving are the best we can get. In many ways healing the mother wound is about the fundamental movement from scarcity to abundance.

Often our most potent resistance is to dropping the emotional labor we do for our mothers. 

One of the most heartbreaking conversations I frequently have is when women tell me that they’re completely exhausted by feeling responsible for their mothers’ happiness. And when they consider ceasing to play that role, they question their value as a person, they feel “bad” for even acknowledging their exhaustion from it. Playing this role grinds you down to the core. (Nothing you do for your mother will be enough because what she is seeking is impossible to get from anywhere except from within herself. It’s a dead end.) Refuse to absorb the guilt. Your impulse to throw off this weight is a trustworthy impulse. The weight was never yours to carry in the first place.

We are usually trained for emotional labor by our mothers. Usually either through cleaning up our mother’s emotional messes or through observing her carry out emotional labor for others.

A starry night sky. (Ali Jardine/Caters News)

A starry night sky. (Ali Jardine/Caters News)

Recently I was speaking to a client and she summed up her relationship with her mother this way: “I protect her from herself and I end up paying the biggest price.” I hear variations from this theme all the time. For those of us who had mothers who were emotionally absent, many of us have swung the other way, becoming emotional caretakers, giving to others what we desperately needed from our own mothers.

Examples of ways we may protect our mothers from themselves:

  • Showing her a mask; displaying only the emotions she would prefer
  • Not confronting her when her behavior is insulting, demeaning or manipulative
  • Allowing her to use you as a dumping ground for toxic negativity
  • Absorbing her projections without speaking out (walking on eggshells)
  • Molding yourself to cater to her insecurities and appear non-threatening
  • Not setting boundaries with “mother tantrums” that arise when you express your individuality

Ways this harms us:

  • Reinforces the idea that our rightful place is one of emotional dumping ground
  • Fosters feelings of shame for our own separate, legitimate opinions, thoughts, observations
  • Keeps our inner child stuck in unconscious patterns that reflect childhood fears and beliefs
  • How we attenuate ourselves around our mothers will also show up in other contexts and relationships

Healing the mother wound is essential to detoxing from the role of emotional laborer. It dissolves the dysfunctional enmeshment with our mothers and creates the necessary emotional separation for us to feel our power as individuals. This emotional separation comes in the form of setting healthy boundaries that honor our personal sovereignty.

Blue Throat by Alessia Ianetti

The women of the future will not do the “feeling” function for others.

When we hand back our mothers their responsibility to process their own pain, it creates the space for us to take responsibility for our own. The two go together. Carrying your mother’s pain and taking responsibility for her happiness may appear kind and altruistic on the surface, but we must see it for what it really is: Avoidance of our own power.

Know that whatever you deprive yourself of in the name of your mother is a “check” that you will present to someone else to pay back to you in the future, whether it be your partner, your child or female friends. That imbalance will seek to right itself eventually. Don’t perpetuate the debt in your mother line to the next generation. Claim your own life now! Free yourself and the generations to come.

No relationship is worth losing yourself for, including the relationship with our mothers. If your mother (or anyone else) refuses to interact with you unless you play the role of “emotional caretaker” or “emotional dumping ground”, you are not being loved; you are being used. Facing this can be really hard, but face it we must if we want to truly claim our lives as our own.

Solace by Veronique Oodian

It’s possible to love and be loved from a place of fullness, not deprivation.

As we learn to mother ourselves, over time, we become our own primary source of love. As we do this, our outer relationships begin to reflect the inner safety we’ve already created in ourselves. It has to happen on this inside first, then it happens on the outside.

There is nothing like being loved by someone who is already “full from within,” who has no agenda and nothing to extract from you to “feed” themselves.

This is the kind of love that, ideally, children would receive from their mothers so that they can develop a strong sense of self and belonging in their bodies and in the world. But our world hasn’t yet permitted women to develop that kind of self-love. This permission will never be granted. It’s something we must claim as our own now.

My World by Artisalma

There comes a point on that healing journey when the love of our “adult self” exceeds the needs of our “child self.” Our romantic relationships then take on a new tone of maturity and freedom. We become capable of loving and being loved without need. Of course, we will experience grief if the relationship dissolves but the dissolution of any relationship no longer mirrors that original loss of mother. You’ve created an unshakeable core of love that no relationship can disturb. You feel all your feelings fully without fear of loss.

I think the following quote sums it up perfectly…

“As long as we are looking to our partners to fulfill those functions that were not offered to us as young children, it will be difficult to come into a fulfilling, loving relationship that is not riddled by the pain of projection. Your partner is there to help you, to support you, but not to take care of or parent you. They were not put on this planet to do your work for you, but to skillfully support you as you turn toward, meet, and metabolize what has been knocking at the door of your heart for so long.” ~ Matt Licata

True Beauty comes from Inside by Artisalma

In addition to speaking out in ways that we’ve been silent, we also have to remain silent now in ways where we’ve spoken that gave our power away. We have to be able to endure that silence and hold our tongues where we used to fill the empty space for others who refuse to do their own work, speak their own voices and process their own pain.

This is some of the greatest service we can offer to others in our lives, even if their personalities rail against it.

When we refuse to toil emotionally for others and when we cease to ask others to emotionally labor for us, we are correcting an ancient imbalance.  This imbalance is responsible for so much human suffering.

I invite you to courageously see yourself as a pioneer in righting an imbalance that women have been living with for centuries. Take the long-term view and honor yourself as a powerful piece in the collective puzzle of a new era of women’s empowerment.  You are helping to build a new “mother line” not just for your lineage, but for all women. Don’t underestimate how small actions you take every day to honor yourself contribute to opening up new ways of being for all.

The Passage I by Sandra Bierman

Bethany Webster  © 2015

Art credits in order of appearance: The Sacred Art of Self-Love by Katherine Skaggs, “Eyes of Blue” by Pegi Smith, “Painting the Tao Paradoxical Unity” by Kay Kemp, “Starry Night” by Ali Jardine, “Blue Throat” by Alessia Ianetti, “Solace” by Veronique Oodian, “My World” by Artisalma, “True Beauty Comes From Inside” by Artisalma, “The Passage” by Sandra Bierman


If you’d like to receive my personal support in moving beyond the mother wound and into your full potential and success, please click here to sign up for a free, 30-minute Clarity session where I can help you get clear on how the mother wound is impacting you and create a roadmap to get you to the other side. I look forward to connecting with you!  ~Bethany

Ways to Work with me: 

Click here to download my FREE e-book on “Transforming the Inner Mother” and sign up for my newsletter.

Leisure time, Motherhood and the Mother Wound

Just one Kiss by Alessia Iannetti

The choice of whether or not to have children can be strongly connected with the mother wound. 

There’s a lot of talk these days about women who choose not to have children and whether they are selfish or not. The fact that this question is so ubiquitous says so much about our culture.

I recently saw a clip of a male news anchor calling child-less women selfish, decadent and gratuitous. He sarcastically asked what child-less women do all day; go to spin classes, sip smoothies or daydream? I thought to myself, so what if a woman wants to spend her days taking spin classes, sipping smoothies or daydreaming?

Weeds by Khoa Le

It seems that those who express this view feel an undercurrent of anger. They are typically either those that benefit from women’s exploitation or those that have bought into the lie that female survival comes from our willingness to be exploited.

For those espousing the viewpoints of patriarchy, nothing is more enraging than a woman who doesn’t feel indebted or self-deprecating…

Jenna Lyons by Ellie Skrzat

Nothing is more offensive than the woman whose presence unapologetically states:

  • I don’t owe you a child.
  • I don’t owe you a fuck.
  • I don’t owe you my approval.
  • I don’t owe you ego-stroking.
  • I don’t owe you explanations.
  • I don’t owe you my attention.
  • I don’t owe you anything.

I am enough as I am. 

Why does that make them angry?

Because the age-old lie of patriarchy to men is that they are entitled to the control of women. The lie to women is that we are “less-than” and deserve to be controlled.

When it comes down to it, the anger comes from a perceived loss of power when women can no longer be used as a buffer between their ego and the places where they’ve felt abandoned, abused and humiliated.

We must refuse to be instruments of self-avoidance in others, whether our partners, our mothers or others. This is the depth of integrity we are being called to bring to our daily lives.

Celestial Soul Ka by Katherine Skaggs

One of the most powerful things we can embody is:

“I don’t owe you a version of me that distracts you from your responsibility to face your own pain.”

The many women I speak to around the world about the mother wound tell me of mothers who display disturbing behavior that reflects the patriarchal mindset; intolerance for differing views, contempt for autonomy, demands “her way or the high way,” mocking and cruelty for expressing feelings, etc. These mothers are typically women who have been brutally wounded by patriarchy and who are threatened by women who don’t buy into it.

India Bliss by Matt Jones

The truth is that a woman shouldn’t have to justify her existence with what she does for others. In fact, I would say that as women, it’s critical for us to create time and space for ourselves to simply BE without the pressure of giving, providing, fixing, etc.

Let’s stop defining ourselves by who we take care of, by how hard we work, and by how extreme we’re willing to deprive ourselves.

As a collective, we women are longing to rest.

Our lives are so full but we have to find ways to have some unstructured time in our lives to simply BE.

For many there is such a short distance from feeling our feelings to feeling guilty. We have to de-couple the two. The fact that we equate feeling sadness about our childhoods to blaming our mothers shows just how unworthy we feel.

Ali Mabuha (Ali Rahamad)

Feeling our worth regardless of how others respond is equivalent to being independently wealthy. When the knowledge of our worth is de-coupled from the behavior of others, we are untouchable. That is the threat that women’s leisure time has presented to a patriarchal society and partly the reason child-less women are still viewed with suspicion.

We have to face the uncomfortable truth that women have been systematically distracted from ourselves, from our truth, from our power in so many ways and motherhood can be one of those distractions. I recently saw a post on Facebook where a mother duck is in the bathroom with her baby duck. She says, “I used to be a smart person that did interesting things, but now I teach kids how to wipe.” Motherhood that is chosen and desired, inherently brings a degree of loss; loss of free time, a shift in identity, etc. The loss is even more devastating  for women who perhaps didn’t really want to be mothers, or used motherhood to fill a void, or who did it because that was what society/family wanted of them. And since there’s no place in our culture for women to safely express rage, it usually gets taken out on the next generation.

The notion of obligatory motherhood perpetuates the mother wound. 

Motherhood must be consciously chosen if we are to be truly powerful. And mothers need support, WAY more than our society has been willing to give. This intersects with so many other issues. Consciously chosen motherhood is good for moms and dads and it’s good for children. By chosen, I mean not pressured by family and society, not “backed into a corner financially” motherhood. And also not allowing ourselves to be pulled into it unconsciously.

Someone recently said to me, being wealthy is being able to choose what you want to eat and choosing when and for how long you get to rest. That rang true for me. Those of us in low socio-economic conditions do not get to choose the quality of food we eat or when we get to rest. It also struck me that this is true for choosing when and how you want to have children. These things should not be considered a luxury for the wealthy but a human right for all.

Lotus Nature Print by Sue Halstenberg

Leisure time is important for creativity and reflection.

Freedom is unstructured time. Child-less women with time on their hands represent a threat to patriarchy. I think the world needs more child-less women. 

In my situation, I always thought I would have children. In my most un-healed moments, I longed for a child. But for me, the desire to have a child dropped away the more I had some time to get to know myself and what it is I really wanted. Having free time to do what I wanted started to sound way more fun than having children. I realized the gravity of the situation. Being a mother would require me to pour enormous amounts of my inner resources into a child. But there dawned upon me other possibilities for my inner resources besides being a mother. It felt like a new world opening to me, one I didn’t even know was possible. 

Women who choose not to have children play a vital role in society and can be immense support to women who do. Women with children can be supported by child-less women so that they can have the leisure time to create, write, nap, paint, meditate, etc.. It takes a village and we can build that village now.

Bubbling Up of New Desire by Debbie Arnold

The world needs the collective NO from women.

We’re seeing the push-back now. Sandra Bland was pulled over by a cop for making an improper lane change. Not long after, she was found dead in her cell. It reminds me of something Marion Woodman said: our modern day equivalent of the crucifixion is a raped woman. My belief is that one woman saying No is not enough. We have to say NO together. 

I believe that women of the past did not have the fortitude, tools or resources to say NO to the force of patriarchy. To do so meant death. And today it can mean death too. Those of us in the position of being able to speak out and make new choices must do so. We’re doing it not only for ourselves but for others who are more severely trapped by patriarchal confines related to race or class.  More of us are seeing through the lie of female compliance and feeling pregnant with a new earth that is possible, a new earth that can only be born through us.

At Rest by Helena Wierzbicki

© 2015 Bethany Webster

See Related article: “Self care is not Selfish”

Huffington post article: “270 Reasons Women Choose Not to Have Children”

Art credits in order of appearance: “Just One Kiss” by Alessia Ianetti, “Weeds” by Khoa Le, “Jenny Lyons” by Ellie Skrzat, “Celestial Soul Ka” by Katherine Skaggs, “India Bliss” by Matt Jones, title unknown by Ali Mabuha (Ali Rahamad), “Lotus Nature” by Sue Halstenberg, “Bubbling Up of New Desire” by Debbie Arnold, “At Rest” by Helena Wierzbicki


If you’d like to receive my personal support in moving beyond the mother wound and into your full potential and success, please click here to sign up for a free, 30-minute Clarity session where I can help you get clear on how the mother wound is impacting you and create a roadmap to get you to the other side. I look forward to connecting with you!  ~Bethany

Ways to Work with me: 

Click here to download my FREE e-book on “Transforming the Inner Mother” and sign up for my newsletter.

Intimacy, the Inner Mother and the Awakened Masculine

Octavio Campo

All relationships begin and end in separation, except for the relationship with our mothers, which began in a unity; in a fused identity. Whatever deficits we felt in that primary relationship naturally get projected outwards onto other people or situations. The imprint of attachment in that primary dyad becomes the lens through which we see all subsequent relationships.

One of the primary tasks in the process of healing the mother wound is to identify our “mother gap.” And to consciously fill that gap of nurturing from within ourselves, rather than unconsciously asking others to do it for us.

Our romantic partnerships can serve as potent laboratories for transforming the limiting narratives of our childhoods. The beginning phase of romance can re-awaken the childhood dream of the “inexhaustible mother” with its sense of blending, belonging, wonder and a sense of homecoming. And with time, our partners’ flaws and limitations can re-awaken the grief about the loss of this dream. This sense of loss can trigger the experience of the “Black Hole” of the mother wound, the powerlessness of feeling alone as a child, with it’s unbearable pain, terror and restlessness.

Surrender by Anupama Jain

When we were children, we needed to protect ourselves from the pain by filling the gap with coping mechanisms in order to survive. But now as adults, feeling it fully is exactly what needs to happen to transform it. In other words, as children feeling the void of the mother wound felt like death, but as adults, being present through that pain, without avoiding it is necessary to truly LIVE.

The key here is to remain present with your inner child in the void of the mother gap without avoiding or filling it with over-functioning activities. 

Some of the ways we typically avoid the pain of the mother gap can include excessive worrying, eating, shopping, internet use, approval-seeking, emotional care-taking, etc.

When our attachment bond with our mothers was forged in some degree of trauma, we may unconsciously seek attachments that mirror that original trauma. Transforming the inner mother is what interrupts that pattern and makes possible a new, healthy attachment bond.

Our mother gap can get triggered by negative triggers or positive triggers. Negative triggers are when situations remind you of the emotional pain you experienced as a child. And positive triggers are when someone gives you more love, affection or respect than you’ve ever experienced. Either trigger can call up grief about that original deficit of nurturing.  It can also trigger attachment feelings towards the new, external person. The challenge is to stay with yourself, consciously in the gap, rather than avoid the grief and fixate on the outer person as the “new mother.”

The key is to consciously experience that unbearable aloneness you felt as a child and affirm your worth in the face of that deep void. To stay lovingly present in that void and not jump into patterns of compensation such as over-functioning or avoidance.

Spark by Carye VanDerPol Mahoney

Not filling the void with anything external can feel unbearable, like the need for a drug. This is because it mirrors that original restlessness we may have felt as children, when contact with mother was literally life or death.

Along the way we will be tested in our inner mothering.

With each test, we become more skilled as inner mothers at BEING a space within, where our child-self can fall apart in a state of messy disorganization (including grief, sadness, confusion) and come together in a new formation as a new Being, re-emerging with more fully activated and embodied energies than before.

The inner mother becomes a space where we can constantly die and be re-born.

Awake Female by Manami Lingerfelt

With each turn on the spiral of growth, we can become more skilled at transforming deeper levels of pain into consciousness, activating our full potentials and spiritual gifts. If we go deep enough into the black hole of the mother wound, it can feel like going into a vertical drop that can catapult you to rise to ever-higher levels as you integrate it.

How far you rise depends on how deeply you allow yourself to consciously process that original pain. Support is essential. 

There’s a misconception that the more skilled you become in mothering yourself, the less pain you will need to process. Often the opposite is the case, at least for a while. The more skilled you become at inner mothering, the more pain you will be able to transmute in yourself. This is a sign of progress, but it’s easy to mistake it for a setback. The progress is that you’re strong enough to heal ever-deeper levels of trauma and the higher, more subtle energies you become capable of embodying as you emerge from each descent.

The more your inner child trusts your inner mother, the less time and effort is required to process the pain and transform it. 

José Espurz González

The inner mother shifts from a duplicate of our outer mother with her flaws and limitations to a mother that can accurately meet our inner needs. The inner mother is a structure within us that can hold us safely no matter what is happening on the outside. All feelings are allowed, no experience is rejected. This is freedom.

This inner mother is constructed incrementally, one little, tiny step at a time as the old, limiting, patriarchal structures fall away. As we cultivate our inner mother, we begin to sense a deep safety to soar into our greatness. We begin to know ourselves as cells in a vast body of love, constantly dying and being re-born, in our deepest grief and joy, yet always held in a vast, eternal embrace of the beyond.

“Love said to me, There is nothing that is not me. Be silent.” —Rumi

As we feel ourselves as our own overflowing, abundant, source, we become the primary source of our own pleasure. We stop seeing our romantic partners as the primary source. Our partners become mirrors for the mystical partner within, the inner beloved, which is the higher power within us.

If the inner mother is strong enough, at a certain point an awakened masculine energy may emerge.

Both men and women each have masculine and feminine energies within them. As both men and women heal their mother wounds, we become more integrated and sophisticated in how we can meet each other in relationships. We have a larger capacity for depth; for deep seeing and holding.

Dorina Costras

An awakened masculine energy may arise within us (man or woman) as we become very skilled at inner mothering. This can happen once the level of inner nurturing and permission to be real is strong enough and we viscerally know that we have an unconditionally safe inner space to fall apart when needed.

This awakened masculine energy arises as we become skilled in integrating our descents in the black hole. This energy is alert, calm, spacious and lovingly fierce. This masculine energy is like a laser beam; precise, committed to unapologetic action that comes from a place of highest service, with utmost integrity and unwavering commitment. I experience this masculine energy like the energy of an eagle—it has deep clarity and a higher outlook that allows it to take swift, precise action at the right time. It has an energy of “It is done” and success being assured, not from an arrogant place but from a place of immense love and clear direction. Energy is not wasted or leaked.

This masculine energy is spacious enough to support the need to periodically drop into the unknown, untamable, creative energy of the feminine and to then focus that energy into action and concrete forms.

In Harmony by Sangeet Lodhha

One of the ways we may experience this integration is that the need for deep rest and the need for massive action are no longer in opposition; instead they begin to mutually support one another in a trustworthy flow. It can feel like order and chaos begin to co-exist within you in perfect harmony.

The safe depths of the inner mother and the alert heights of the awakened masculine form a vertical axis that supports you in your ability to manifest the innocent wisdom of your real, authentic, self in the physical world.

We become more spacious in our romantic relationships with a greater capacity for both deep vulnerability and firm boundaries. The tendency to reactively collapse into contraction, judgment, or withholding decreases. Over time, we become vast enough to embody a love that can contain multiple perspectives without abandoning ourselves or the other person out of defense from the wound.

We become brave, even bold, with a steadfast and profound integrity, allowing us to connect in more innovative and creative ways. We can get naked with each other from a place of deep honesty and inner security, rather than from our trauma-based attachment pattern.

Initiation by Toni Carmine Salerno

From this level, the shortcomings of our partners no longer cause us to question our worth. We may feel the wound enough to activate the old narrative, but only enough to further transform it, not to re-entrench it. When romantic hopes are dashed, we are confident in our ability to soothe ourselves through any disappointments and reap an exciting abundance of self-insight that accentuates our inner union with our deepest self.

Our relationships start to come from a place of fullness and subsequently we can go deeper with each other into the REAL, to hold space for the tension of the opposites and embody that eternal embrace. Accepting our full worth, potential and power no longer need to equate to an isolated aloneness, but to an enlarged at-one-ness.

The most powerful intimacy is when no emotion or experience can separate you from yourself. That is true safety and true freedom. This is the gift awaiting us in the mother wound. What we offer the world (and our partners) from that place of inner intimacy is the greatest gift.

Inner Re-Union by Sjoukje Dekker

“You thought that union was a way you could decide to go. But the soul follows things rejected and almost forgotten. Your true guide drinks from an undammed stream.” ~ Rumi

© Bethany Webster 2015


I’m excited to announce that I have a couple new openings in my coaching practice!

If you’d like to receive my personal support in moving beyond the mother wound and into your full potential and success, please click here to sign up for a free, 30-minute Clarity session where I can help you get clear on how the mother wound is impacting you and create a roadmap to get you to the other side. I look forward to connecting with you!  ~Bethany

Ways to Work with me: 

Click here to download my FREE e-book on “Transforming the Inner Mother” and sign up for my newsletter.



Art credits in order of appearance: Title Unknown by Octavio Campo, “Surrender” by Anupama Jain, “Spark” by Carye VanDerPol Mahoney, “Awake Female” by Manami LingerfeltTitle Unknown by José Espurz González, “The Celestial Consonance” by Dorina Costras, “In Harmony” by Sangeet Lodhha, “Initiation by Toni Carmine Salerno, “Inner Re-union by Sjoukje Dekker


The Importance of Enduring Discomfort for the Sake of Transformation

Warrior Goddess ~ Tracie Hanson

Our “No” moments can define who we are, what we value and what we envision. One of the most profound things a woman can do is to learn to say NO in an empowered way.

Your “No” is a sword that cuts away the non-essential so that you can live the fullest life. 

A powerful point on our journey is when we feel fed up and that we’ve had enough. This place of feeling into a non-negotiable is a potent place for change. It can happen for a number of reasons, usually in response to something we’ve been tolerating that we simply can’t tolerate any longer. It could be an emotional NO or a simple mandate from the body that something cannot continue.

We live at a time where we are straddling two paradigms: an old paradigm of struggle and competition and a new paradigm of abundance and cooperation. All our small, daily actions have powerful ripple effects in the culture.

I’ve recently been introduced to the incredible work of Dr. Mario Martinez, a clinical neuropsychologist and the author of The MindBody Code. He states that there are two parts to setting boundaries: the first part is to set the limit and the second part is to give people permission to not like it.

%22Morning Light%22 by Keith Mallett

Are you willing to give people permission to not like your boundaries?

This can be a hard one for us as women. We’re largely conditioned to please and acquiesce. To be OK with being disliked is one of the most under-utilized of our powers. 

The deeper we go into our own journey, the more we access our unique power to articulate something original and necessary in the world.

We can expect to be uncomfortable as we venture into new territory–places our friends or family may never have gone before.

Much of our ability to succeed and to create the world we want directly hinges upon our ability to endure the discomfort of being misunderstood and disliked as we evolve and grow on our path.

Ellen van der Molen • 2 years ago Goddess Light

Dr. Martinez states that to go beyond our “ceilings of abundance” we must be able to endure the “turbulence at the horizons,” those points where no one in our family or tribe has gone before, the places where are pioneers. He says we must allow our worthiness to expand to accommodate a new narrative beyond what we previously thought was possible. If we do not expand the narrative, we risk going back to the old ways, the old patterns, the toxic relationships, just to break that tension.

I see this all the time with women who struggle with the mother wound. The shame that they experience keeps them locked in a perpetual cycle of guilt and self-blame for wanting to go beyond the patterns set forth by their mothers.

The truth is that to innovate, to lead, to be visible and own your voice, you WILL disappoint some people. Some people will feel betrayed or abandoned by you as you increasingly embrace your path and purpose. 

One of THE most common patterns women tell me about is the following: their mothers are loving to them when they are struggling but very distant and critical during the times that they are doing very well. The mother’s rejection when they are thriving keeps women back from their greatness because it can symbolize loss of love, safety or belonging which are our most basic human needs. (This is what Martinez calls “tribal shame” for going beyond the pale.)

To keep going even in the face of being misperceived, misunderstood or even ridiculed, (particularly by our own mothers) we must assume a NEW narrative from which we find a deeper source of integrity than what was modeled by our family of origin and culture. By sourcing our self-regard from that deeper source of integrity, we can endure the tension that comes with pioneering beyond the horizon of our lineage. This is very deep work and I think absolutely critical for women who have a mother wound and seek to step fully into their potential and power.

You can cultivate a deeper source of integrity that validates your right to be loyal to yourself and connect with other women who do the same. 

Frans Cronje

To affirm ourselves in the face of tribal shame from our mothers is a major challenge and yet it can be overcome. It’s a rite of passage for women at this time of planetary transformation. Support is essential. 

So how do we allow our “worthiness to expand” in ways that liberates us to innovate, to offer our gifts, to lead and inspire? That liberates us to say an unapologetic NO when needed?

I believe it comes from a willingness to consciously own our value and fill the “mother gap” by mothering ourselves in a way that celebrates our exceptionalness, rather than shames us for it.  

This can feel very dangerous--to admit to ourselves the ways that we truly are extraordinary and be willing to own that in the way we talk, live, move, carry ourselves, go about our daily life. We don’t have many models for this. We create it as we go and in doing so we gradually create a new normal. But until it truly becomes a new normal we must endure that tension. This is what cultural transformation looks like at the level of the individual. It’s SUCH important work.

The truth is that owning your value is not frivolous or flattery. It’s fact. 

Spiral Goddess - c. 4000, Romania.

It feels dangerous because traditionally women have been valued in direct proportion to the ways they’ve DE-VALUED themselves. That’s where we’ve received the most validation—by how we’ve been willing to invalidate ourselves. Whether it was through giving away our power, saying Yes when we mean No, or simply accepting less than what we truly wanted and deserved.

To mothers who have espoused this view by willingly de-valuing themselves throughout their lives, a daughter in the new paradigm represents a direct affront to the very foundation of their identities. The new narrative that you embody may feel simply too threatening for her worldview to accommodate and she may unconsciously attack you or withdraw. Ultimately, it’s not personal at all, but it can feel so very personal and challenging. This is usually not intentional at all and often completely unconscious on the part of the mother.

Having support is essential. I see that the women who get support (coaching, therapy, community of conscious women, etc.) are the ones who most successfully make it to the other side of the mother wound. Otherwise, It’s too easy to get trapped in guilt or shame without it. The tension of making the fundamental change is strong because these inter-generational patterns have incredible momentum. Getting support gives you momentum to counter it and make it to the other side.

Trust- by Anahata Katki

Dr. Martinez says that what is needed to go beyond what the culture has permitted to us is to create a “subculture of wellbeing” that validates and celebrates the new paradigm. This is in full alignment with what I’ve written about in terms of the “Rupture of the Mother Line” and how we as women are forming a “new mother line.” We can more explicitly support one another in owning our value, celebrating one another, and embodying our greatness, which is really just being more of who we REALLY are, more of the time. We need each other and we need to work together in this if we are to transition to a new culture that values the feminine and life itself in every way: in ourselves, in men, children, animals, and the planet itself.

I think it is actually an exciting time to be a woman and to help build this new culture of realizing the value in ourselves and in others. Not the value for necessarily what we do for others…. but the immeasurable value we bring to the world by BEING who we really are.

Kiki Smith, untitled 1992

Owning our value does not take away from others, as the old, scarcity-based paradigm would have us believe.  

Owning our value ENHANCES the lives of others: 

  • Gives others permission to own their value, gifts and strength
  • Allows you to share your gifts more freely in your relationships, career and family without shame
  • Frees you to find better solutions, form deeper connections and create a more soulful world.  

And even deeper than that, the truth is that you have every right to live for you. As women, this is a big one to take in. You don’t have to solely define yourself for who you care for, who you love and who needs you. Give yourself permission to live for you. Whatever that means, whatever that looks like for you.

Find ways to live the way you feel in your soul that you want to live in this world. This is primary. This is the deeper gift, the most extraordinary thing. You living as your soul; you, bringing forward that irreplaceable, extraordinary essence that will never be repeated again.

Even though we do care for many and have people who need us, we need to have a piece of us that is solely for ourselves. Taking a stand for that requires saying NO.

What Am I by Rebex

Being loyal to your essence, to your soul, to your authentic self ALWAYS serves the whole better than any compliant, attenuated, small version of you could.

It’s going to feel uncomfortable in moments.That’s for sure. And it’s totally, totally worth it. We can support each other in those uncomfortable moments.

Embodying the new narrative comes from highlighting the evidence of your worth.

To endure the tension that comes with being a leader and a pioneer, find evidence of the value that you hold within you, the wisdom, the experience, the commitment, the love that makes up who you are. Find the facts and remind yourself day after day.

The truth is that owning your value feels like betrayal in many ways because that’s what it is. We are betraying the old paradigm by creating the new one. It’s a necessary betrayal as the tectonic plates of our lives and the world shift to create something new.

One could even say that inter-generational betrayal is necessary for evolution.

As Dr. Martinez says, how would we evolve if no one was willing to risk being shamed for going into new territory? To endure that tension of betraying the OLD paradigm, we must validate and find evidence of our integrity in the NEW paradigm.

YOU are worth every bit of discomfort it takes to embody and express more of who you truly are in this world. It’s worth it for you in terms of how it creates a powerful inner environment of self-love and because what you offer the world as you radiate from that place of realness is pure gold.

It’s the epitome of a win-win and it’s the foundation of the coming world.

“When you know you are fire, nothing can burn you.” ~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

%22The Visions of Vespertina%22 by Greg Spalenka Vespertina

© Bethany Webster 2015


Questions to contemplate: 

1. What have you been tolerating in your life that you would like to set a boundary with?

2. Are there any other areas you need to say “No” in? Do you have any fears about saying No? What can you do for yourself to support yourself to say that No?

3. What would open up in your life as a result of saying No? What would become available to you that wasn’t before?


Sit down with a blank sheet of paper and write an exhaustive list of all the talents, experience, wisdom, and qualities you have. List every skill you have, every degree or certification, every thing you can think of; big and small. When you think you are done, challenge yourself to think of 5 more things. Pull out this list often. Add more things to it as you gain more skills and develop more qualities in yourself. Pull it out when you feel down and need reminding of the extraordinary person you are. Ideally, look at it every day, especially if you are trying to make a big shift in your life.

Please check out Dr. Mario Martinez book “The MindBody Code” and check out this interview on You Tube. 


I’m excited to announce that I have a couple new openings in my coaching practice!

If you’d like to receive my personal support in moving beyond the mother wound and into your full potential and success, please click here to sign up for a free, 30-minute Clarity session where I can help you get clear on how the mother wound is impacting you and create a roadmap to get you to the other side. I look forward to connecting with you!  ~Bethany

Ways to Work with me: 

Click here to download my FREE e-book on “Transforming the Inner Mother” and sign up for my newsletter.

(Art Credits: Warrior Goddess by Tracie Hanson, Morning Light by Keith Mallett, Ellen van der Molen, Frans Cronje, Spiral Goddess from Romania 4000 B.C., Trust by Anahata Katkin, Untitled by Kiki Smith, What am I by Rebex Nie, Visions of Vespertina by Greg Spalenka)

The “MONEY wound” in the Mother Wound


Many woman feel ambivalent about money and financial success because it brings up issues related to emotional safety, survival, self-worth and the act of receiving. Issues that go back to the original patterns of safety and trust from our early relationship with our mothers.

A woman’s place in a patriarchal society as “less than” men implies scarcity in its very description.

Our mothers were the most powerful person in our lives and often the most powerless as well. Powerful because we needed her for survival and powerless because she was devalued to some degree in society.

Many women feel guilty for their success because their mothers were somehow deprived of it. Some unconsciously sabotage the measure of success they have achieved while others barely allow themselves to desire it. Others speak of feeling their mother’s jealousy in the face of their achievements, leading them to unconsciously hide or stall their success.

A conflation of success and guilt starts at an early age, when we could feel our mothers emotionally deflate in proportion to how we expanded as we grew.


The truth is we never had the power to make our mothers feel small or “less than.”

We had the power to trigger the pain that was already in her that started long before we came into her life. But in our innocence as children, we believed ourselves to be the source of her pain.  And we believed our mother if, in her wounded moments, she may have told us that we were the cause of her suffering.

Our commitment to keep ourselves “small” out of loyalty to our depleted mothers is based on a major misconception. 

Our mother’s jealousy and sense of deprivation can only be healed and addressed on the level it was originally created, which was within herself and related to her own early wounds. These things have always been outside our control as daughters. The fact is that it is something only SHE can do. Our smallness does not serve. This isn’t being un-compassionate, but respectful of our mother’s inner journey as something that is completely hers and hers alone.

Inspired by Anahata Katkin

There was never a transgression. Only a projection. 

By feeling guilty for our mother’s jealousy we actually become the unknowing purveyors of the very thing that has oppressed her. Because in our willingness to feel guilty, we deprive ourselves of our own potential and will undoubtedly blame it on the next generation when they expand.

Sympathetic oppression with our mothers is not altruism, it’s ignorance. It’s the misunderstanding of a child left unaddressed. It’s a form of unconscious self-harm.


The way to liberate ourselves from this is very simple and very challenging at the same time: The answer is that we grieve.

We grieve for …

  • the fact that we were powerless as children and no matter how hard we may have tried, we could not save our mother from her pain
  • the fact that our good intentions and huge love for our mothers may have been invisible to her due to her own wounding
  • the fact that she may have mistakenly seen us as the cause of her pain and abused us as a result
  • the heartbreaking tragedy of watching the suffering of our family members
  • the fact of your mother’s lost opportunities, loneliness, isolation or any other things that caused her to suffer when you were growing up
  • the fact that you may have spent years blaming yourself for the pain of your family
  • the fact that you cannot convince your mother that your success is not intended to be a personal attack on her

bird catcher2 by Anahata Katkin

As we give ourselves permission to grieve, to accept the loss, and move forward we demonstrate a profound act of self-love. This is the first and most important step in learning to mother ourselves.

Grieving the mother wound makes way for freedom, including financial freedom

The truth is that we must be willing to surpass our mothers if that is where our path leads us. Not just in outer ways, such as how much money we make or what we are able to do in the world, but more importantly, we must be willing to surpass her level of consciousness and continue to evolve into greater awareness and understanding. This is maturation. All else is stagnation and a childlike romance for the wound.

Our mothers may not be able to fully join us in our emerging insights and realizations and we must grieve that as well. We can find other conscious women who DO understand and cultivate authentic, nurturing relationships with them.


As we grieve, we cross the border from struggle into ease

In many families, struggle was conflated with love. If you did not struggle, financial or otherwise, it was somehow seen as a betrayal of the family ethos. As we continue to grieve, we see that we can be financially abundant and it does not have to be equated with an emotional loss of connection. In fact, we can emerge into even stronger and more authentic connections as we allow more abundance into our lives.

Contact with our inner wealth leads to outer wealth

Our true wealth is inner. It is the overflowing connection to our deepest, truest core self. We connect with this divine self as we heal from trauma and access the inner gifts that comprise our higher purpose in this world. By connecting with this overflowing source within, we have a direct experience of our very essence as abundance. We can embrace money as a neutral form of energy that we can use as a tool to carry out our higher purpose. With greater connection to our inner richness, we increasingly welcome outer riches.

I see many coaches of female entrepreneurs addressing lack of financial freedom on the level of symptoms, much how the western medical model addresses human health. Or to use another metaphor, what is needed is to go to the very “root” of the problem and thus, the “branches” automatically become more healthy. The “root” is the mother wound and as we heal it, the “branches” of our lives (such as relationships, career, parenting, etc.) transform automatically as a result. Sustainable, long-term growth happens as we heal this foundation.

Fearless, mixed media illustration by Anahata Katkin

As you heal the mother wound you cultivate an inner safety that frees you to flourish as a feminine leader

We break the conflation of success and loss when we grieve what we could not give our mothers. We can then allow ourselves to experience financial abundance easily because it doesn’t trigger cognitive dissonance any longer. It no longer stands in direct opposition to our primary attachment figure. Our primary attachment bond increasingly becomes the mother within and through that inner bond, we have a strong foundation of safety to venture into exciting new territory, to feel ourselves as “unstoppable” and to fully live our dreams.

© Bethany Webster 2015


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All artwork featured in this blog post is by the fabulous artist Anahata Katkin. Click here to visit her website and explore her work.