Just because you have a brilliant, loving, angelic mother, doesn’t mean you don’t walk in the world with a gigantic, gaping, Mother Wound.
That didn’t make sense to me for the longest time. I was one of those blessed beings who came into the world with good parents. Not perfect parents, but they did mean well. They created safety for me. Tried to get me to believe I could do and be anyone I wanted to. They were amazing parents. They did their best for me.
I spent my teenage years and twenties in a perpetual state of darkness, however, and it was compounded by the fact that I didn’t have a story to validate the immense state of trauma I often felt.
What was this wound I carried? Did others have the same struggle? I didn’t have a clue.
SELF DESTRUCTION LIVES AT THE CORE OF THE WOUND
I thought about suicide so much I named it – I called him Consumption. I would spend hours some days fanaticizing about how and when I could finally leave my body. I manifested many physical ailments that supported my theory that I was not long for this world. I wanted out.
The energy I rejected the most was decidedly feminine. I loathed the girlie girls, and I did everything I could to not look the part of a fragile female. I chopped all my hair off, stopped wearing makeup, wore baggy clothes, and gained 70 pounds. All in an unconscious effort to hide, and to curse at the feminine force inside me.
I didn’t know then that what I was carrying was much bigger than the small story of me. In many ways, the mother wound in all of us is anything but personal. It represents a detachment from Mother Nature. A disconnection from the feminine force inside each of our souls.
Since some of us are more detached than others, this wound appears in all ways. It’s not a matter of if it exists, it’s a matter of why, and how we can heal it.
FINDING THE TRUTH IN A CUP OF TEA
I came to understand and begin healing this deep feminine wound by drinking the Mother of all Medicines: Ayahuasca.
My first of many cycles happened in her home; the jungles of Peru. Ceremony #1 oozed feminine power, but in such a gentle way. She’s good like that. A first Aya journey is often like a first date. It’s a getting-to-know-you session. Most of us don’t go all the way out of the gate, and Aya mirrors that.
For our first soiree, she showed me how toxic I was, but she showed it all to me in cartoons. Given that she displayed the truth to me with colorful playfulness, I received the challenging reflections with gratitude and openness. I knew she was showing me my reality - I had deep darkness; I was swimming in it daily. I was actually relieved that she could see it too; she made me feel like maybe someday I would understand and heal that suffering.
FEELING THE WOUND IS HEALING THE WOUND
Night two; well, that was an entirely different journey.
This was my first trip to hell with the medicine; my own personal nightmare full of intense physical and emotional pain. It was time to release some of that toxicity she had shown me the night before. It was time to come face to face with my self-hatred and destruction.
It was the first time I sat immersed in the reality of this sacred, ancient suffering. It was so big and so overwhelming I knew in many ways it wasn’t personal. Yes, there were moments along my journey that still held deep pain and sadness. But what I faced that night felt like the suffering of the multi-verse.
Somehow I was able to download a couple of important pieces of wisdom, which seeped through my drama with such strength and radiance, I couldn’t deny the teachings. Ayahuasca showed me two distinct truths that night:
1) That within our DNA we hold the emotion and energy of the lineage we have been born into. Part of the spiritual journey involves feeling and healing that energy, as best we can. We are not made up of just the events we have been through, but the events everyone in our lineage has been through. Inside our cells lives the truth of every moment the world has ever known. We are made of energy, and nothing more (or less.)
2) The sacred feminine has been so abused, so pissed on and controlled and dishonored, it’s a rift any conscious being must do their best to mend. Not just for us as individuals, but for the evolution of mass consciousness.
Oy. That was heavy shit for a 30 year-old often-suicidal girl-child. I didn’t know quite what to do with all the wisdom, but I knew enough to let it land. I accepted both insights as truth, and promised Aya I would do my best to heal both my lineage, and my aching feminine wound.
How, I had no idea.
HELL IS A STATE OF MIND AND THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH
Somewhere deep inside me that night, as she played out my worst nightmares through visions and forced me to feel the depth of my emotions, I knew that this hell was part of the healing.
There was a moment I was in breakdown, purging and sobbing in the circle, and internally screaming that I couldn’t take any more pain. I begged her to show me mercy.
She answered back inside of me one simple question: Are you willing to go through a night of emotional and physical hell for a year of peace and connectedness?
One night of horror in return for 364 blissful days and nights? I wasn’t much of a math whiz, but that sounded reasonable to me. I accepted.
And as I did, the experience got so much worse.
The boyfriend I was sitting next to was, in Ayahuasca’s words, a “Creature that owns things.” I had to let him go or the wound would deepen.
I tried to fight that truth, and I sincerely thought I would die from the pain I was feeling. When I agreed to move on from him (I knew in my heart he was destructive to me from day one), I felt a millisecond of relief, and then she moved on to the next toxic element of my life.
We raced through career choices, friends, drug abuse, alcohol reliance, relationship with my father, siblings, and lastly the city I lived in – each time she showed me what needed to be done for me to step out of self-destruction. When I resisted, I would purge so hard and deep the energy felt like it was coming from the core of the earth.
Maybe it was. It sure felt possible.
When I surrendered, I felt empowered by accepting the truth. The truth is feedback, she told me, just information. When you work with the truth, magic happens. When you stay in denial, suffering happens.
OK then, I was in on the game. But I was still horrifically miserable.
THERE IS PEACE IN TRUE SURRENDER
By the next day, I had completely let go of my fight. I was open, willing to hear and feel the truth, and feeling so bloody grateful I didn’t have the words to express my blown-open heart. The suicidal obsession started moving inside of me, dissipating like a sugar cube dissolving in coffee. I knew this was real. I would never be the same.
It was the start of my path to self-love. And as I began to feel that reality – this little pulse of light within that I recognized – something else very tangible illuminated in my awareness: I freaking love the planet. Like, LOVE her. With all of my being. And my Mom! I could see and feel the energy she poured into me; how hard she worked to give me the world.
I rolled around in the jungle grass that day like a newborn spider monkey. So playful and childlike. So full of love for creation.
I didn’t have these words for the experience almost twelve years ago, but this was the moment the mother wound inside me started to heal.
By owning the truth of my grief – both personal and universal – I gave myself the opportunity to feel the love of Mother Nature and all of consciousness too.
It was a big, giant leap into love. True love. Love from self, for self and all of source.
THEN THERE WAS LOVE AND PLUS LOVE AND MORE LOVE….
All the hundreds and hundreds of plant medicine ceremonies that sat in my future would help me unravel more and more the intricacies and mysteries of energy and emotions. I sit here now a forty-one year old woman who can look in the mirror every morning and beam love back at herself. I adore the wrinkles, the extra weight when it comes in; imperfections have transformed into blessings.
I even have love for hell. I’ve been back there many, many times; they know my name in those spaces as if it were my neighborhood bar. But you know what? I love that too.
I’m not perfect at this feminine space of love; the wound is still healing. Maybe it always is in a state of healing, and perfectness – such is the nature of duality. Since I have learned to love the wound, too, it doesn’t matter if there is an end game.
I so love the realness of the grief; the integrity of the pain that comes up when I’m processing things like aging and death and loss and suffering. It’s honest emotion. We can’t shift our relationship as mothers and fathers of both our tribe and our planet without first being honest about how much it hurts to act from darkness.
The wound is perfect. The suffering is perfect. The healing is perfect.
It’s all born from contrast, which is born from love.
If we learn to be mothers to ourselves and feel and heal the suffering inside us all, we can become mothers to each other, and our environment; spreading nurturing support rather than unconscious abuse.
It’s a simple formula that is unspeakably difficult to traverse. But it’s the only game in town, this coming more in to love. We can either fight it, which brings suffering, or surrender into it.
Either way, it doesn't matter. Love will win. So no pressure. Love the suffering, love the lack thereof. Just love.
About the Author
Tina “Kat” Courtney, The Afterlife Coach, studied the Mother of All Medicines as an apprentice for a decade, clocking in around 1k ceremonies. She left the safety of the circle to be a vocal advocate for the medicine, and for the proper integration of all peak experiences. She's a bona fide Ayahuasca Coach. Additionally, Kat works with people confronting issues around death and shadow. She’s a transformational junkie with a major love of polarities, and she adores helping others love their darkness too.