I wrote this post ages ago and I couldn’t post it. In it I was coming to terms with the collective abandonment wound in my family. I hope it speaks to someone. I am not sure why I could not post it.
I had a thought today as I was reading a blog about someone’s grief for the mother they never had, that that person did indeed have a mother but she was a mother who could not mother because she, herself had never really been mothered.
I then thought of the earth as our mother, as the mother that gives to us out of her vast creative bounty of the things we need to nourish and live and of how we are now abusing that mother in so many ways.
I had a sense of the devastation of the First World War being the War which was a war against nature, against the mother, a war in which beautiful green fields were decimated and laid to waste by man made weapons that were an outcome of the industrial age whose roots lay in the iron age.
I had a sense of how the mothers suffered as their son’s were slaughtered and traumatised all due to one person’s quest for ownership of land which was only ever given to us as custodians. I had a sense of the pain and loss that occurred to mothers and to children everywhere as a result of that War that then begot another that led to even more destruction of land, nurture, comfort and beauty, which saw the rise of a monstrous anger that fuelled genocide of massive proportions and more decimation of human endeavour.
When we are grieving and mourning for the mothering we never had do we ever get beyond our individual sad concern with that to see the bigger picture that perhaps our mothers and our fathers too knew some profound devastation that made it so much harder for them to mother or father or turned their interest towards other concerns that left so precious little left for nurturing us? Do we think of the hunger and emptiness that might have then driven us in unconscious ways to possess more or to numb the pain that lay at the heart the ancestral gene pool of whose roots we are so unaware?
Yesterday I was having a conversation with a family friend about abandonment wounds and mothering. She told me how even though she has been there for her daughter to the best of her ability her daughter still felt abandoned at times. I spoke of my own feelings of abandonment around Mum and of how after working through all the anger I now know how unconsciously these were passed down. I am also more aware now after letting go of some anger of how my father’s wounded desire to overcome the poverty of his own childhood and find for us a material security led to decisions which made relationship and togetherness difficult and led me towards a painful isolation, whose consequences I am only lately beginning to understand.
And I am beginning to see that perhaps all of this has been for the purposes of learning that reality is often harsh, that we and others are subjected to so many forces outside of our control and yet we have some choice in what we make of these, of the lessons they taught and of the resilience they called out of us.
Wisdom through suffering, love gained through our willingness to face and feel the pain and offer to ourselves and others the nurture that no longer perpetuates more damage, abuse or suffering seems to me the only way out of a deep wound to the mothering impulse in all of us that we so urgently need to heal so that our unconscious anger does not destroy the mother earth we live on or turn us against ourselves. For the longed for lost, loving mother we yearn for, can in the deepest abandonment be found inside, if and when we choose to keep the focus on love, nurture, compassion and choose to embrace the wisdom of a longer range view that considers the impact of wider forces we may not fully have seen or understood.