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Understanding and Healing the Mother Wound Part 2

Understanding and Healing the Mother Wound Part 1 gave us an understanding of a Mother Wound. Now, let’s keep the conversation going. There is more to you and the relationship with your mom than the wounding. You are not stuck. This second part of the conversation pushes past the initial step of facing a mother wound to the work that comes next.

And, the work is hard. There may be anger. There may be tears. And that is okay. 

Acknowledging your mother wound means moving past shame and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. No, it’s not easy but your story doesn’t end there. You are meant for more. God’s plan for you is full of honor and hope and freedom. It takes courage to face wounds and trust God with them. 

Our work’s focus at Regeneration Ministries is coaching you through the process. We pray you can listen to today’s episode and allow it to be another step towards “Becoming Whole.”

Highlights:

A lot of people are vulnerable to believing other people had perfect mothers and this can be an opportunity for healing

Wounds are real things and they need to be walked through

You need to be able to uniquely process this with God and see what forgiveness looks like for you in this situation

Homework:

  1. Look at how you see your story. What messages did you receive?
  2. Think about your story. What role did others play in your story? Do you want your story to continue?
  3. Have you fallen in the trap of believing that other people have had “perfect” moms?
  4. Think about the expectations you had for your Mom. Name and identify the feelings that come up: anger, sadness, fear, frustration, betrayal. Can you allow your space the time and emotion to grieve now what you didn’t receive? It’s okay to get angry, as Josh said, “we want to keep the horizon in view and that’s forgiveness.”

Resources/Extras:

Genesis 1:27 “God created man and woman in his image.”
Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
More on Forgiveness

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

Josh 0:02
So last time on podcast, we talked about the mother wound and the reality that that as well meaning as our moms are, every one of them, makes mistakes just like our dads do. And that has a specific impact on us. And you and I were talking offline just about how that exactly happens. And the reality is that there’s some things we can point to that if a mom doesn’t bring this and that is a significant deficit to the kid and other things like well, is that really a mother wound? Or is that just a relational wound? Right? I mean, it’s. And so like, when I think about a mother wound, I think about a couple things just theological, I think, and I said this last time that you know, Genesis 127, we learned that God created male And female in his image. And so knowing that the guy decided that a mother and a father would be those who bring children into the world, it would just follow then there are aspects of what it means to be a mom or a dad, that that a person is meant to bring to their children. And so one example I can think of for moms is, you know, a little boy or little girl is looking up to mom, and she’s that first representative of what it means to be a woman, and what it is to relate with a woman. And so if if mom is cold and aloof, then the child’s going to get a sense that it seems like women are kind of cold and aloof. If mom is, is overly grasping or controlling, then the child might have an initial sense of like, gosh, I, you know, seems kind of like I’m going to be overpowered by women if I relate with women, for little girls who might be a sense of looking up to mom as this is who I’m going to grow to be like this is I’m a I’m a girl. She’s a woman, this girl’s grew up to be women. And so this is a sense of who I’m going to be and and all that comes with that. So those are the things, some specific ways that we can say, Ah, yeah, it does make sense that, that a mom has a specific opportunity and ability to bless her children and to give to her children, and also subsequently an ability to to hurt her kids in a unique way, just like dad does in a unique way.

Kit 2:19
Yeah. Yeah. And so I think, you know, you’re you explained it well, that even though there are some things that, you know, it’s hard to parse it out. There are other ways that we really can reflect on our experiences with our mothers, with our fathers as specific role models in our life as men and women that can that can be important for us to process.

Josh 2:45
Right, right. And so last week, we went through these six different areas that in your experiences you’ve walked with so many women, you’ve seen when there’s a that, that problem with relation with mom can produce that Like boundary issues not trusting your own feelings. Not being able to trust others and things like that. And, and we weren’t saying in that, that that those same kinds of fruits can’t necessarily come from difficulty with dad but but for our sake today want to talk about the mother wound and how to heal from the other one. So last time we talked about the wounds that a child can experience and some of the difficulties that could come out of that. And this week we want to talk about, okay, we’re not stuck there. God is a good, good parent to us and he wants to bring healing and make us whole. So, kit, let’s dive into talking about how do you heal from some of these these ones that lead to experience when we were kids in foster mom? Where do you begin?

Kit 3:42
Well, you know, as in any of our struggles, we first need to be real about it, which sounds more straightforward and obvious than it really is. I think a lot of us really struggle with being able to not feel embarrassed or guilty about some of these feelings. And so the first step is just like, hey, it’s okay. All of us have these kinds of things. And, you know, we’ve all had good experiences, and bad experiences. And if you’re feeling unsettled in your life right now, you’re feeling like there’s some reasons you don’t understand why things aren’t going well. You know, just be honest about that and tug on the thread. Where does it lead you?

Josh 4:32
And so are you talking about embarrassment about the current struggle, like some of the symptoms we talked about last week? Are you talking about being honest about hey, I, you know, I’ve got some issues with my mom.

Kit 4:42
Yeah. I mean, I think some people are like, and unfortunately, sometimes in Christian circles, you know, and this is just true in Christian circles. It can be true anytime, but you know, we’re sort of like, you know, we want to we want to have a relationship with Mom, you know, it’s hard to say, you know, I don’t know this, what does that say about us? Really? You know, I don’t have a good lunch with her mom really Why? You know, like so, you know, it can be it can be very vulnerable to be so straightforward about our struggles about what’s really going on, you know, in this Facebook culture.

Josh 5:22
Yeah, I mean, that’s right. I could speak for myself here too. I think that that one of the difficulties I had and kind of facing some of the, the theories where I struggle is my mom growing up. And I love my mom dearly. So this is not in any way to try to slay her. She’s a dear woman in it and I’m deeply grateful for for her both then and now. But I knew there were times in my mom’s life growing up where she was hurting. And as a little kid, I didn’t know how to deal with that. And she and I’ve talked about this but and so the idea then, as an adult to face you know, actually some of my mom’s pain And what she was walking through was really hard for me. It almost seemed like I don’t want to hurt her further. And so I think that was an obstacle for me initially and trying to come around to like what, you know, where their wounds their where their difficulties there. Yeah. But like we said, when you’re talking with the father when I think that facing these things, honestly, and working through them can actually end up strengthening the relationship and helping an adult son or daughter to better honor their mother and their father.

Kit 6:27
Yeah, you know, when I got in touch with my codependency issues, my emotional dependency issues, it really helped me a lot to look back and be like, oh, wow, it’s it’s this isn’t just something I like, created out of nowhere,

Josh 6:43
right?

Kit 6:44
My I modeled what my mother how she lived, and I learned this very significantly in my life. And it helped me be like, wow, that’s where that comes from. And and of course, I think it gave me compassion for my mom too, because I know what it’s like to be codependent and not want to be, you know, it’s no small thing. And so it’s it’s important to kind of put those things together. And it just, it just gives us insight and a sense of relief to have a more understanding. Right.

Josh 7:19
That’s good. I love that. So what’s next we acknowledge that there’s wound we acknowledge their struggle. We acknowledge and you’ll begin to face where we know about it again, we’re not looking to blame or dig it up. But hey, you know what, I think this this experience, my mom was not helpful. What next? Where do we go from there kit.

Kit 7:38
So we actually need to begin to look at, you know, ways, ways that we think about our story ways that we, you know, assumptions we make and beliefs we hold from our from our childhood experiences. So being willing to really look at that, like What kinds of things do you think you learned? I know, I learned You need to earn your love, you need to, you know, please me, you need to do the right thing. And then I will love you. I mean, I learned that whether my parents definitely, always would, they didn’t directly tell me that and then ways I don’t think they even, you know, intended to but that’s what I perceived in some ways they did do things that made me think that in other ways, it was my own my own way of perceiving it. But so we need to really look at those things and some of that faulty thinking. And so, because otherwise, if we’re not aware of what we’re thinking, you know, what we think creates our feelings and our feelings, our behavior. So we have to start with what are we thinking, what are some of the faulty ways that I’ve been looking that I’ve been thinking and that can begin a healing process.

Josh 8:55
I love that use the word story in there because I think that’s a helpful way to frame up but even better, to unpack some of what we’ve walked through. So if you think about a really good story, a good story includes good character development includes getting to know the characters in a way that make them real. And so some of the questions like, you know, even beginning to ask, you know, what did I learn about my place in the world as a woman from my mom? or What did I learn about my place in the world as a man from my mom? And it’s just us talking about how did this the story I’ve been living? What was it? If I were to write out, you know, what is the story about? What role do I play in it? What, you know, where am I in the story? What role did my mom play? What role did I play? What did I learn about the world and about relationships, etc, etc. Yeah, that that begins to kind of just just give some shape and some form to what we’ve lived through, and also gives us room to then ask the question, now how do I feel about like this story? And is it Do I want this story to continue? Do I want to continue to play this role in a story? Or do I believe that there’s a made for something more? Does God leading me into something different than what I’ve lived?

Kit 10:10
And take that all to God, you know, uncovering as you uncover some of these false assumptions talk and pray through what’s actually true. And, you know, ask God, you know, to help us, you know, his he gave us power to choose how to think about things. So there can be a spiritual healing in some of this, and then there can be some practical steps that we can ask God, how to think about it, and really, you know, replace faulty ways of thinking with new ways.

Josh 10:39
So are there other ways and I mentioned a couple of other ways of thinking that that set us up as it relates to other ones.

Kit 10:47
You know, one of the things that I have experienced with a lot of people is and this is true in a lot of areas of life, you know, this idea of comparison, but I think a lot of people We’re vulnerable to believing that other people have had perfect mothers. And this can be an opportunity for healing as a part of healing, we may need to be like, Okay, I think I had this expectation of my mom that really might not be realistic for anyone. And or the mother I had did do the best she could, and how do I but how do I grieve what I kind of wanted or hoped for and didn’t get so that I can embrace what I do have, you know, cuz some of those expectations that it needs to look a certain way can trip us up in any situation. It certainly can in this situation, too. So can be healing to be like, Okay, let me be honest about what I feel like I didn’t get and let me grieve that and then let me embrace what I do have.

Josh 11:57
Like, that kid is the word that comes to mind as you’re saying That is honor. It’s because you’re honoring both your mother in the sense that you know, she she did not bring this or did this and that was hurtful but but it’s I think it also accepts perhaps some of the good that mom did bring. It’s also an honoring of yourself and your own self as a child and as an adult and acknowledging, you know, like, this is what I experienced. This is what I wished for longed for felt like I needed. I think that’s a can be a tenuous line to walk, but an important one. I like that a lot.

Kit 12:35
Yeah, yeah. So do like that word honor. I think it’s a beautiful word, honoring ourselves and honoring others as we process these things. Is is a is a good, you know, kind of a good principle.

Josh 12:52
Yeah. And I should, I should just say it, just, you know, I also know that this is a process and so there gonna be times where As a person who is getting in touch with some of the wounds from their past, they’re gonna feel like anything but honoring their, their mom or dad and they might feel really, really angry and like, you know, and and in some cases the anger will be justifiable. Yes, you know, like wounds are real things and they really do need to be walked through. And so I think that’s one of those places I know for me, as I was getting in touch with some of my childhood wounds, there are times where I remember just weeping and then having kind of turned to the Lord and saying, are we are we okay, Lord, am I am I, where we need to be in this process? And just as assurance, you know, like, he, he wanted me to walk through some of the value of facing my past so that I could grow more whole in the present. And then I’m grateful. Yeah.

Kit 13:44
And both those things can be true. It is a part of processing these things in healing to let anger come up. It is it’s a part of it and it is also a part of it to look Get your own expectations, what you bring to the party and be willing to look at that too. And both those things are true and can work together to bring us you know where we want to be.

Josh 14:13
I think that leads to next I remember are the founder of our ministry years ago years and years ago when I was first participant here I remember him I remember coming to him and he was asking me how I was doing and I say no, I’m actually getting in touch with a lot of anger about my childhood. And and he was he was gracious about that but he added you know, the real healing comes when you forgive and kind of holding that out in front of me as this is where we’re headed. You know, this you don’t just get stuck, you do get angry, it’s reasonable to get angry. But we want to keep keep the horizon in view and that’s that’s to move to forgiveness. So, so Kitt, what about forgiveness?

Kit 14:50
You know, forgiveness is so important and it is so unique to each situation. It does take time, depending on the severity of the wounding People need to really, you know, take the time they need to processes to bring God into it. And you know, with clients that where there’s been some really serious abuse. This can be complex and take a very long time. Because what you’re not doing is you are not saying that what happened was okay, you’re saying that you’re letting it go, so that God can hold it for you and do what God needs to do in it. And so, you know, it easy to say you need to forgive sounds very like a pat answer. And ultimately, we God does want us to, he wants to free us as we forgive but it doesn’t look the same in every situation. Someone may forgive, and there may never be reconciliation. That’s okay. Other times there’s going to be forgiveness and there’s going to be a beautiful, you know, type of redemption and reconciliation that can happen. So you know, that’s why it’s so important to have someone to talk this through with so you feel not put in the pigeon holed into it, you need to forgive it needs to look like this because you need to be able to uniquely process this with God and see what forgiveness looks like for you in this situation.

Josh 16:30
Yeah, I appreciate that kid. I think I think as a Christian and a lot of Christian circles forgiveness is such a big thing. And and Brian rightly so. But I think what happens a lot of times is that is that Christians jump over the hard work of forgiveness and just kind of give a surface level forgiveness. And so if you imagine, you know, a wound that goes 100 feet deep, and a person comes and say, Oh, of course I forgive that. Well, that’s a that’s an inch deep forgiveness. And so really, you haven’t forgiven the wound. You forget Given an inch of the wound and it doesn’t this doesn’t mean we you know, you have to plumb the depths of 100 feet wound. But there is a, there’s a sobriety to forgiveness. I mean, here I think Jesus is our model. As he hung on the cross, they offered him the wine to numb his pain and he refused it. And in that sober play, said, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. And I think what we forgive and assessing the you know, the reality of what we are choosing to forgive and doing that out of a place of free will, really helps to make the forgiveness real and we’ve talked in other podcasts about forgiveness, and maybe we can have a link to something about Yeah,

Kit 17:39
but it’s a good idea. I think that might be a good idea because we did cover a lot of what forgiveness is and what forgiveness isn’t, which is really important because I think many of us are confused about what it really is and what it really means.

Josh 17:55
But I would say if for our purposes today is we’re talking about healing wounds from mom. I think that one of the things we need to say about it is that when we hold on to when we realize that we’re holding on to unforgiveness, because it’s something that that deeply hurt us when we were kids. In essence, what we’re doing is we’re holding on to something that’s that’s poisonous and asking that to somehow heal us. And that won’t work. We really need to get out the poison to release it into the cross of Christ, so that we can drink deeply of what’s good for us. And yeah, yeah, so we’ll have a link to something else around forgiveness in our show notes. But yeah, so Kitt. What where do we go from there? What forgiveness is that? Is that the end? Is that is that all we need for healing or where would you take that with your clients from there?

Kit 18:45
Well, I think, you know, forgiveness isn’t often isn’t that isn’t the end of the road. It’s a really significant thing. But then there’s, you know, like, I’m thinking of a particular client who had a really challenging situation. To forgive, and, you know, with God’s help, and only with God’s help, she was able to do that. And now, there’s a rebuilding, you know, kind of a rebuilding of that, of how do I now think about myself my life, relationships in light of this new kind of situation and it doesn’t even mean that there is, again, reconciliation in that relationship. But the forgiveness frees us now to be like, okay, now, how does that lens now free me to think differently about all kinds of things in my life? And so that can be the next part of healing is since since I now have forgiven these things, and I’ve gone through some healing processes. Now. How do I like, apply that into my life going forward?

Josh 19:53
Yeah, I think there’s kind of almost two things you’re talking about there, after forgiveness or with forgiveness. One of them is, is the ongoing healing. And so if forgiveness is kind of pulling out the, you know, the thorn, then what needs to be? What’s the healing agent that comes then? And I think forgiveness sometimes can really release people in some substantial ways. But if if, for instance, I’m forgiving, you know, my, my mother’s lack of affirmation, and that was not a wound experience. So quite quite the opposite. I was always one of the biggest fans. But in any case, if I’m forgiving a lack of affirmation, and I pull off that that wound that hurts so much, then then where does the affirmation then come from? Or if my mom was, you know, critical or so, and that’s where we really need the community of faith. We need other people to be around us to speak to us to begin allowing and taking risks to trust others and to trust their words over and into us. And then also, certainly We need to allow the the voice of God to speak over and into us both through Scripture and through His Holy Spirit.

Kit 21:07
And what you’re saying is so true because it is really that release it is that forgiveness that giving it over to God, that then opens up the opportunity for us to allow God in.

Josh 21:18
Right? And then that other that that next phase is really what some people would say, okay, it’s not, it’s not healing now. It’s some steps of growth. And so if we go back to the story idea, now, you know, I’m not the character I once was, I’m not living the story that I once did. And so I now have to familiarize myself and maybe get some, some work on some new muscles and to work on some new, like finding my way in this new story, that God and I are writing together. Yeah, and that’s, that’s exciting. But it’s also that has challenging its own. So

Kit 21:52
yeah, yeah. Yep. So the story continues, right. God is continuing to write our story and he invites us into it you know, it’s so challenging and it’s exciting. And it’s never ending, you know, this whole process of, of becoming whole of, of discovering things about God and ourselves is it’s ongoing for our whole life. And I think it’s important to remember that because otherwise we chastise ourselves if we think we haven’t arrived, so it is an ongoing process our whole life.

Josh 22:28
Yeah. And one that we can share with others because there’s so many others around us who have experienced wounds, both past and present, and who need the grace of Christ and who, who we can invite into kind of growing their own story so well, Kate, as we close, why don’t you I’d love it if you would just pray for those listening to men and women listening. And also if you might just offer maybe a simple blessing as a as a mom. Just a simple mother’s blessing over over those who are listening to and then we’ll wrap up

Kit 23:00
I just had a lot of faces of precious clients come into my mind who have been hurt and who have had courage to, to face their wounds to trust you with them. And those that have had difficulty and have persevered. I just I thank you, Lord, for your Holy Spirit, your the strength and the comfort of your spirit as we engage in this healing process. So thank you for every man and every woman listening in the day would be encouraged that you have this for them. Your hand is stretched out for them take I bless you. I bless you with a heart that loves God that receives his love so that you can pour that out into the people who are in trusted to your heart. So be blessed. trust that God is with you in Jesus name.

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Original music by Shannon Smith. Audio engineering by Gabriel @ DelMar Sound Recording.

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