The Mother Wound

One of my dear friends recently went into the hospital to fulfill her doctor’s recommendation that she have a hysterectomy to remove her uterus. This recommendation was due to a pap smear cancer alarm that could affect the health or longevity of her uterus. She was devastated.

She came to me grieving deeply about this loss. She told me that her only daughter was in residence at one time in her womb and that her daughter is quite precious to her. I pondered this situation, noticing that my usual compassion was not up to par as I listened. Even though I contacted and blessed my friend internally, I was having a hard time raising my healing love focus to the point where I felt I was doing some good.

Segue to my early life….

I have never been pregnant nor ever delivered a child. My uterus (womb) was removed during my mid-twenties, along with both ovaries and my cervix. I didn’t know how to miss them as I had never met them in the first place.

I adopted my daughter nearly fifty years ago. I suppose you could say it hasn’t turned out well, as she chooses only a very distant relationship with me; whereas I continue to feel into a commitment to love her unconditionally and eternally. I so desire a close relationship with the only daughter I will ever know! And I realize that probably sounds a bit dramatic, as realistically I have thousands of daughters that I have bonded with through my work as an educator and practitioner of conscious loving and sexual healing. Nonetheless… I have a need to be very personal in this blog.

These are the confessions of a woman who didn’t know how to be a mother! And my Mother could barely figure it out, which no doubt led to my uncertainty into the world of mothering. Yet the longing to experience and be a mother never leaves the place inside that aches for the best-friendship possibility with this stranger I’ve called my darling daughter now for nearly fifty years!

Mothering comes naturally to me in my work. I am all female with some masculine characteristics thrown in. I love to nurture, care-take, and protect. I do that with the men in my life and I do it with girlfriends when they need that kind of attention. I do it with my clients, nurturing and attending to their needs while they are in my care. I do it pretty well for me also, mothering myself well when I feel the ache for a mother’s love. I have raised two cats and three puppies in my day… successfully I must say! And “Mama Queenie” is the nickname I was given during my travels in Bali years ago by all of the Balinese mammas who nourished me so deeply.

The Mother Wound is so pervasive in our culture. Is there a woman who doesn’t know the work that it takes to come into alignment and acceptance with their mother? The very fact that we form within our mother’s emptiness, also known as her source, is an invisible umbilical cord that haunts us for life. I seek answers to all of this. Please… what do you know? Share your story with me in the comments.

We are going to dive deeper into this discussion during our next free global video conference, Sacred Feminine Conversations on Feb 11th. Hope you can join us.

Big Love, Caroline

About Caroline Muir

Caroline is a published author of two books… Tantra, The Art of Conscious Loving published by Mercury House and Tantra Goddess, A Memoir of Sexual Awakening … Monkfish Publishing. Caroline loves to write! Her success as a seminar leader and educator has been featured in Elle, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, Yoga Journal and many other publications.

19 Responses to “The Mother Wound”

  1. Dr Joyce Block

    My first response is to pay loving homage to your confession. I understand these knots; these human longings; your sense of loss even though your have given your own womb for the birth of so many. A silence comes over me. I take in the feeling the depth of my own connection with the umbilical emptiness that ever touches my own life. Your piece demonstrated a reverence for these quest-ions of the human experience for which these are few clear answers
    I have had 4 miscarriages, two abortions including a later-life saline abortion in the midst of an impossible situation. I can’t forgive myself for that choice and have stopped trying as it remains part of the fragile dialogue between what is good for me and what is good for others. The choice I made was so influenced by the radical feminists of the seventies for I didn’t know where I ended and the culture of feminism began. Actually, I don’t even want to forgive myself anymore. Now that I’m older, I realize how important that struggle has been in shaping the values I hold regarding the precious gift of life, and how the answers are not to be found in someone else’s idea of what it is to be a woman.
    Since then I have had two children starting in my forties: one biologically mine and one with my husband and a surrogate. Now I am in my seventies with a 23 year old, and people often criticize me to being over generous of my time and resources when it comes to the girls. Yet, Caroline, there is always this sense of loss for all that has passed. It is so natural to feel this in a world that tells us to “move on” after a loss of any kind like the one with your daughter and your mother womb. Yours have been so profound. Yet, I experience the voice of “Jiminy Cricket” who lives in me; who reminds me of what is right and wrong; who tells me lovingly to listen to my conscience and not let Catholic guilt argument shut Jiminy down.
    I see that he lives in Your being as well; that you are using all that has been as a guide to healing both yourself and others. Although it doesn’t always make your pain go away, it gives your life depth and a meaning as you stay in dialogue with your own immortality.
    Thank you for allowing me to speak by your own transparency, With life and love, The WasWife

    • Divine Feminine

      Thank you for this beautiful sharing, Joyce. Though we’ve never met, I feel you through Caroline and your connection to her. xo Amrita, Caroline’s right-hand gal.

    • Caroline muir

      Juicy!!! My heart is jumping with glee as you share your deep soul with me/us. You are one of the TOP Women whom I respect and love, for you have weathered the pain of everything and yet your Mother Womb is alive and well. My tears fall upon your/our journey dear one. We share the love of a great man and two inspiring ‘girls’… if that isn’t bonding, I don’t know what is… Yours in the Love of Lines, Linie

      • diane greenberg

        Such vulnerability dear women. Dear Caroline, Joyce and the many following with real life. I am in a state of awe, the friendship and power in our stories. Thank you dear women, mothers/ALL. We are one, our wombs beat with the deep red sorrow and joy. No, we should not “just move on” these sometimes huge chasm are the way through. Deeply grateful for this blog. Thank you women of the lineage and “Linie” and the future

  2. Maria

    How interesting that your thoughts come now………..as I prepare to acknowledge another birthday for my first-born who has disowned me when he turned 18, tried to make peace with me 10yrs ago and disowned me once more 5yrs ago. My “crime” …. being the passive woman I was raised to be, choosing 2 disrespectful husbands who did not like my son and then having another son with hubby #2 when my first was 10yrs old.
    Son #2 had to be shown the door when he was 17 and out of control (disrespect for self and others, drugs, alcohol). My “crime” there? Being a secure, assertive woman who had left her husband upon FINALLY waking up. I demanded respect from all. I would no longer tolerate anything less………..and I wasn’t “bitchy radical” about it. I was firm, clear, and strong in my conviction. I was no longer the “me” everyone expected and knew. Son #2 came back in his 20’s and we tried once more. I showed him the door with a firm edict to not come near me until he learned how to respect himself first and foremost, his mother next and the rest of the world after. I truly feared for my safety when I said this as he was out of control violent and I learned had gotten into the habit of physically assaulting girlfriends and guy friends too. He has not spoken to me since.
    My womb does ache for these precious gems I hosted onto this planet. I remind myself at times of birthdays that I was the chosen (by mutual agreement) hostess for these souls. That they (as do I) have their paths to follow, their lessons to experience. I did my part and I am proud of the good mom I was to them. What I didn’t know how to do while raising them was how to be a wonderful lover to myself. Now I do. And it was through my life experience as that wife, that mom, that employee, etc that I was brought to this woman who I now am.
    Yes, her womb still aches………for herself, her babies, for all women and all men in the midst of all their challenges, their aches, their confusions. And this too is part of my path, my lessons, my experiences which propel forward as a better version of me.
    I do not invest much time (it becomes less and less each year) wondering if they’ll ever come back into my life. I bless them daily. I open my heart to whatever possibilities the goddess has for me focusing on the only person’s path I am here to focus on………MINE.
    Caroline, thank you for sharing your thoughts, your experience, your path.
    Sincerely,
    Maria

    • Caroline muir

      My dear Maria… I must answer each of you individually, for what you reveal deserves stand-up applause and a deep bow of Namaste’, dear divine woman Mother of all~ xo Caroline

  3. Betty

    I resonate, feel you, deeply. I had 2 abortions and twomiscarriages. The first which I enduced by a fear that I would be judged for not being married and pregnant!!? I was too focused on wanting acceptance, approval from other women especially. My mom was intense and “too close for comfort” and I couldn’t meet her needs and mixed messages. I still feel the need of sisterhood. Feel I will for the rest of my life. The urge/desire to experience pregnancy and the mother-babe bond was very strong and I didn’t know how to manage and honor it or just go w the feelings. I didn’t want to pass forward however the “mother wounding” as it’s called. While I know on some level Mother-God is all our divine Mother, experience beckons. While pregnant I felt kinship, sisterhood with all worlds mothers which felt expansive and loving. I’m grateful to have had that experience. Now the calling for experience continues. The contrast seems to keep pace w the desire for wild free juicy loving divinely outpouring soul touching, watery, fertile, rich tribal, infinitely understanding knowing, feminine sexual-spiritual connection-celebration, heart breaking open, emotional releasing forgiving…. now I see it would have been so helpful in the 70s to have this sisterhood of understanding and mutual support that we all had/have some version of this mother healing going on! And that there is no “societal standard” which my mom bought into and projected. I’m thanking God right now that I didn’t have to do it all or very much of it in this lifetime! And thank you for sharing your heart Caroline, and your courageous constant mother love expressing where it can and to this sisterhood safe sharing place. It would be wonderful I’m feeling to take your awakening workshop! Dreaming…. appreciating presence, holding and hugs, Betty

    • Caroline muir

      Juicy, Wild and Free dances with you through the meadows of flowers where we drop our mother woundings and reclaim our MotherLove… In Oneness, Caroline

  4. Hualani Janice Mark

    I bow down to all of you having shared your intimate journeys with the Mother Womb. The realization of our genuine feminine power with respects to our ability to create life, birth life and then receive it all back again as life returns to Source… into the emptiness of the Mysterious Mothers Womb of the cosmos is a grand display of beauty, magnificence and mysterious depth that shapes our soul and our body and our life in unspeakable ways. It also flavours the experience we have together as women by the energetic field we generate together.

    The Mother Wound is impregnated into our cells and therefore our memory as it is formed in the womb of our birth mothers, all the way back through the ancestry of our mother lineage. It lies dormant until we begin to awaken our feminine sexual essence and is activated in our women’s circles through our limbic imprint until such time as we become aware and address the wounds of our womb.

    When we do the work of healing the imprints in the womb/yoni at both an energetic and cellular level, we can explore the many and numerous choices we have to address life challenges, where there is no right or wrong and that are beyond the patriarchal systems of domestication. In this way we bring a pristine ecosphere of emptiness and ecstasy into our relationships to birth something new into the world that is fully alive and vibrating with the sound of Creation.

    The time is now, no matter our age or experience, as daughters of the divine to unweave the old tattered threads we’ve spun through time and space and truly take back the holiness of our womb and our exquisite embodiment, to birth a luminous legacy… together!

    Sweet love to you all.

    • Caroline muir

      Hualani… your poetic and eloquent words draw new imprints upon the walls of my Womb Room., creating images of Life and Love that rival the great Masters in the Louvre’.

  5. Marta

    Precious women,
    Thank you for sharing yourselves so sincerely.
    I understand what it is like to struggle with the letting go of my womb and all it had contained, physically, spiritually, emotionally. I was very possessive of this body part that was being called no longer useful. I wanted to save it if I could. I had unfinished business lying within. A child I had aborted and grieved for 30 years, children I longed for yet did not have. And most of all, my precious daughter was held as close as I could physically have her within this space I felt contained my very feminitity. If it was taken, where would all that I attune to as being a woman be now? It felt like an impossible choice. My Dr. Was telling me that the pre cancerous cells that were present were very aggressive if they should take off. Having lived and breathed alternative medicine my whole life, you think you know what you would do if you were given a cancer diagnosis. But I will tell you that I was once again humbled by what I think I know. We just don’t until we are there. Ultimately, I chose to have the surgery. My first real step into allopathic medicine. I was doubtful that I would truly be “cured”. Everything I had studied thus far said, you can’t just cut it out. You have to heal the source.
    My experience since the hysterectomy has been quite the magical mystery tour. I have had a surge of feminine , sexual, creative energy that seems boundless. It truly feels as if the “burden” of all i had placed onto my physical womb was quite literally lifted out of me . They found within my womb large fibroids I didn’t know I had, and more of the pre cancerous cells inside my womb. Part of my ability to come to a place of acceptance of my choice to have the surgery came from my connection to the part of me that was not well, in seeing it as it was. My womb was heavily laden with grief and wounds that I had been carrying around a very very long time. She was no longer being supported and was trying to make her way out. My point to all of this is to say, I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way. True healing requires a conscious awareness of what is asking to be healed. How that healing takes place is not important. Just that it does.
    Soul Sisters sharing a common wound. Supporting and lovingly holding a space for our most fragile and yet powerful selves. Together we can be in truth with out judgement of where we find ourselves today. I am truly grateful for a community of women that are willing to go where most will not.

    • Caroline muir

      Marta dearest… your input here is so timely and very valuable. How I wish all of you women had been in my life to ‘talk to’ when I was in my twenties and “all of me” labeled Female was removed… there was NO ONE to speak with…only Dr. Carey and our packs of Marlboro’s that we shared as replacement for this feminine dialogue. Ha! Times are changing Yes In Deed…. Marta, your definition of why an organ such as your uterus needed to be removed in a surgical medical way gives praise to the doctors and dedicated nurses who play such important roles beyond our knowing. Yes, we “believe” in the more natural cure, yet Medicine as a body of knowledge always has and always will save many lives. It is enlightening to know that something as vast as our femininity could ever be contained within a flesh and blood-vessel’d organ of the body that is, at some point, no longer needed… I love this insight….. I love you, friend… ReBorn and Sacred Feminine Divine

  6. Lesley Rosaasen

    Your email popped up in my box this morning and I was having this dialogue yesterday with myself but my experience is so different to yours and I asked yesterday for the opportunity to share!
    Last night I stood at Heathrow airport watching my son go through passport control on his way to uni in Canberra Australia. I watched this baby(21I may add) go through head held high become a man was I watched. I had this unbelievable connection to my womb and yoni and all I felt was awe inspiring joy that I had chosen to be this man’s mother and he chose to be my son. He will always be my baby but he is now his own man. All day today I’ve felt such peace towards all the difficulties he and I have had over the last few years. I have spent so much time clearing myself and supporting him on his journey to reach this point. There was a time when I didn’t feel he was going to make it in life full stop.
    I felt all the connections and clearing work I have done allowed me to sever the umbilical cord enough for him to lead his own life but to still be loved and supported by me. I felt an immense healing take place.
    So much gratitude.
    My daughter never made it. She was my termination. I knew she was never going to be born and I had this belief all through the time I carried her,her “job” was not on this plane. I was right. My mother had a difficult life health wise and was never able to be a functioning mother to me but just before she died (she had vascular dementia at this stage on top of everything else) she came back to me for an amazing morning. She was that loving nurturing mum that told me all those beautiful words I had so longed to hear as a child.She was an amazing grandmother though. And that was when I knew my daughter would be there for her to heal.
    The cycle of healing and growth comes in so many beautiful ways.
    I like other people who have commented feel incredibly blessed to be able to share, to heal and give healing by our beautiful loving connection. There are no right or wrong journey just a journey of love and acceptance and joy.
    Thank you.

  7. smgarciaestrada

    Dear all, I wanted to share the work of Bert Hellinger on Family Constellations, especially his work on adoption. Who knows, it might be healing. It has been for me. With love for us all!

  8. Miriam Serman

    This is such a holy space… I am in such tremendous gratitude to you, my women sisters, for reaching out and speaking up; to you my dear friend Queenie, for creating this opportunity for us to connect. As women we have this amazing ability to hold another’s body within our own, whether or not we get/choose to keep it, whether or not we are able to stay ‘in contact’ with the child over time. I had an abortion at 19 as I was in grad school and wanted to finish. Even though the young man offered to marry me, I was not in love with him. A few years later I carried a child to term yet lost her in childbirth and had no one to talk to about it. The grief and pain lasted for many years. For those of us who have lost their womb and perhaps other organs, remember that organ still exists on the astral. It’s energy remains, though the physical does not… just as for those of us who have lost children, their souls are still about and we can be in contact with them just through the intention of doing so. Sending love to the parts of us that are disconnected from us is the healing for us, for them, for all of us. Love is the answer. Always love.

  9. Esther

    Dear Caroline, it is not my style to enter a comment in a blog to something so profoundly personal-but I will write these few lines as an unsought impulse came to me to do so. (I have not read the comments of those before me.)
    There is an old story in the Bible about a shepard- I would say a shepardess, who has under her care a herd of 100 sheep–that means a herd that is complete in itself. The shepardess then realizes that one sheep is not in the fold–as she was lead to hope and believe . No , this one sheep is “lost”–gone astray– does not know where it belongs–did not find it´s place in the community that the shepardess was creating.
    She decides to leave the 99 and perhaps risk that they too may “stray” ; to go and seek the “lost”,not intergrated sheep. She is prepared to find a way in the wilderness of the communication estrangement with this sheep, to reach this sheep–who up to now has not been able to recognize the shepardess voice as being a voice, she could identify with. and find and be herself in the “space” the shepardess embodies.

    I just heard you speak tonight about your”vison “for yourself in 2017.- “to be love”-

    I am confident that this evolving process,of becoming LOVE will lead you and your daughter to each other find a common ground in love.
    thanks for sharing and working for healing .
    blessings,
    Judith

  10. Artemis Tiffany Bratrude

    I adore your transparency and deep felt sharing…it is easy to share what is our stories…and not so easy with what is truly vulnerable and current in our hearts.

    When I invited you at a recent conference at WOW to ‘be a mother to my sons and teach them’, i had no idea of your own story. I instantly felt the mother in you. In your strength to offer your healing, from your courage to speak your story about your daughter. I could sense the pain beneath and yet you were not afraid to share it which is beyond courage really.

    I read your story and could only think of the sacred wound. That the beauty we offer the world…the mothering you have done for countless women and men (and animal friends) was bestowed from the wound you received as a child. You have stepped in and shifted this in your ancestry..you have offered a different story, raised your daughter, mothered the world in need of healing and also, yourself. I am a mother of four and every child is different to me. To some it is natural to be close, touch, laugh…to others (especially my first and ‘practice child’) there is more tension and learning and growing and stretching we have done to each other…not as comfortable. That first child is where all the learning is…The end result of your relationship with your daughter is in no way yours to carry, though I hear it is more the longing of the expectation that it would/should be different that is hurting. Oh how i understand this.

    My own mother was available physically but emotionally not. She was an alcoholic. And it took me a long time to really learn vulnerability and intimacy with my own children. I left a marriage of 20+years because I felt there was something missing-intimacy. A perfect partnership by all other means, a papa who changed diapers, supported us so i could stay home and homeschool, together we grew our own food and chickens, built our own house and he was kind, loving and fun. But still…i had to search. And in my searching i found that so much was me searching for my own healing. I had four children when i never even thought i would have children. (i never babysat or had interest in marriage or children) I know now that I was pulled into motherhood to heal things from my own mother. I’ve stopped the addiction cycle and I am dedicated to full presence with my children, openness and feel a need to heal this in the world as i move forward. To teach intimacy to parents and children and couples. I have always had a pull toward intimacy, true vulnerability and it comes from my own sacred wound of my mother never really being there. So like the lotus flower, from the mud comes something of utter beauty.

    In my own life, I’ve done ceremony around my mama. I spent so much time wanting it to be different..wanting a grandmother to my children, wanting my mama all those nights when I was crying and nursing babies and lost and at my edge. And one day, I decided to tie a chord to myself and her (in the form of a picture), bless her with gratitude and realize that I was not doing either of us good by holding on to my expectation of how she should be or our relationship should be any longer. I cut the chord. I mourned her death (she’s still alive but i’ve not reached out in 12 years) and I let go. And then, I turned toward my little brood of growing men and I said, ‘How do I intuit motherhood to be?”, “What do I want to give that i never had”. That accepting, releasing and moving forward is where the healing has been. I’ve never looked back and when guilt comes to my nights every once in a while i remind myself that I cannot control another’s decision..i can only keep an open heart if she were ever to want to reach back to me. And i can let go.

    Thank you Caroline, for your beautiful mothering in this world. Hear the cries of the daughters who are forever grateful, even for one meeting with you, one eye gaze, one hug…I know I’m changed forever with just one meeting of you.

    Grateful and Honoring you and your daughters story,

    Artemis (Tiffany)

    • Caroline muir

      Your expression of your own journey gives me chills of compassion and courage, Artemis. Thank you so much for adding your journey to the stories of the women on this page. I am now thinking that our journey at mothers and daughters is a pre-curser to the work I have done for so many years… awakening the birthright of full orgasmic power in women. The cart before the horse, so to speak? I loved meeting you and I pray our paths cross again in this beautiful passage called Life… xoxo Caroline

    • ultra-V

      I didnt have parenting at all. Abandoned by my father (though not his intention) and raised by a violent and irrational mother, alone and isolated. I cant connect to anyone and so no one can connect to me. I am alone and unloved in a hostile world. I keep myself safe by staying shut down. My attempts to open have resulted in hurt. So I don’t anymore. The end result is I’m unemployable except in precarious short term, low paid, crappy jobs. Despite having put myself through university and having a first class hons degree. So I grieve for a childhood i never had and i long for a husband I cant attract. I am very intelligent and a high creative. Im multi talented. I just cant connect to humanity. Im now 60 and have nearly given up hope of changing this. Im also angry to have had such a shit life dumped on me. If i had a choice I wouldnt have come through to incarnate in this world. I try to glean the good from it enjoying the spring, food and shelter and warmth. But nothing can fill the hole in my heart except love and I have never had that or even know how to create it.
      Sorry for this rant I just needed to tell someone.
      Ultra-V

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