A core component to healing our relationships and breaking free from the cycle of unhealthy and unfulfilling relationships is to take the time to do deeper work on those childhood wounds that are keeping us stuck.
When I speak about the mother wound, I am referring to the caregiver archetype. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your mother, it can be anyone in your life growing up who was supposed to provide you with nurturing qualities.
One of the core ways we experience a mother wound is through something called lack of attunement. Attunement is when you feel the sense in your body that you are being truly felt, seen and heard. Even though your caregiver(s) may have been tending to your basic needs, such as providing you with nutritious meals, a consistent schedule and enrolling you in all sorts of activities, just to name a few, they may not have been fulfilling your emotional needs.
When there is no emotional attunement, children don’t feel seen, felt, or heard. To an outsider, it might look like you had a great childhood, but your caregiver(s) may have just been going through the motions of life and checking off boxes and not really paying attention to your deeper, emotional needs.
We can start healing these core wounds by:
- Attuning to ourselves, by building that mind-body connection,
- Doing mindfulness practices
- Taking part in embodiment work
- Checking in with ourselves
- Attending to our own needs first
- Engaging in comforting self-talk
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We can hold space for ourselves by acknowledging that we have been hurt, that our feelings and pain are valid…
This is the opposite of a child who fell down and cries, and is told by their caregiver, “Just stop crying.”
As we heal, we can give ourselves grace and tell ourselves that it is okay to cry.
We can start holding space for our emotions and just be there for ourselves without judgment and letting whatever comes up be felt.
Lastly, we can nurture ourselves by holding space for ALL of our feelings, letting them emerge slowly and safely throughout the healing process.
It can be difficult to learn how to nurture yourself, especially if you have never experienced attunement, but remember, this is progress, not perfection.
Even if you just do one of these things in one small way over the next week, that is still growth.
Cassandra Solano, LCSW
Yay for New Friends!
Hi there! I'd love to gift you a free handout on a huge key to having healthy relationships: Attachment Styles. Your attachment style is just as important as your enneagram or horoscope in helping you understand yourself!