At first I thought of calling this article, ‘Where the Heck is my Inner Goddess?’ but realised in a way, that question answers itself. My (Inner) Goddess is within. So why have I had such difficulty finding her?
I realised that a big part of the Inner Goddess is a Mother, and I’ve had some pretty distorted ideas about what that means.
Without a healthier view of the concept of motherhood, I can’t embrace the fullness of my Divine Feminine, my Inner Goddess.
We’re all born in the perfection of who we are, and as time goes on, we adapt and adopt belief systems and perspectives that lead us to different understandings of what it means to be us. These are our greatest teachers, and the willingness to face them and uncover the truth beneath them is key to embracing the Goddess Within.
My physical reality is that I was born to a mother who had disowned her own feminine aspect, believing it to be a weakness she had to overcome. She was taught to believe that girls had no value, and she embraced that belief whole-heartedly. I was born in the wrong body, according to those beliefs: I came out wrong right from Day One. A child without value.
I was taught that women defer to (male) authority; that our value lies in the ability to ‘catch’ a good man (like a doctor, or a lawyer); that we don’t ask for things, instead just accepting what we’re given (and whatever you do, don’t be ungrateful!); that our bodies are disgusting and shameful; and that our value is always, always less than others, particularly men.
As I was walking through the New Forest, I pondered this idea of Motherhood, and wondered why I’ve always felt an aversion to the concept. I find babies strange and alien, with funny smells and constant demands, and have never once felt my ‘biological clock’ ticking. It feels discordant with something in me, yet it is the way it’s been for a long time.
As I walked, a number of things became clear. I realised that for my mother, (and possibly her mother), to be a mother was not a conscious choice but a duty and a last resort. She had not been successful in obtaining the career she had wanted, and so ‘settled’ for the idea of a family.
I don’t think she liked it much, and always felt resentful that we had in some way destroyed her chance to pursue her dreams. Even today, she feels her life has not been worth anything.
With this concept of motherhood as a guiding factor in my own perceptions, it’s no wonder that I feel such resentment when I begin to take on the role of mother within the dynamic of relationships. Yet I do it naturally; I’m a natural mother.
I’ve done it with my mother, my friends, my siblings, my clients, in the workplace, and with my partners, all at different times throughout my life. As I begin to lean into that role, each time I feel my passion and joy for life slowly sapping away, to be replaced by a feeling of heaviness, duty and resentment.
There it is: I don’t want to give up my Self to be someone’s mother. I don’t want to be someone’s caregiver if it means losing sight of my own life.
It all begins to make sense that the relationships I’ve chosen in my life have been to reflect to me this tendency, so that I could address and heal it in myself, and embrace my Inner Goddess. Because as I mentioned, part of the Goddess is a mother; the Divine Mother, in fact.
As I stood under a tree contemplating the role of Mother, I realised I had been looking to the wrong mother to teach me. Instead of believing the distortions I’d been shown in my Family of Origin, I can look instead to Mother Earth, who is the epitome of Unconditional Love.
She welcomes all her children and loves them equally: the twisted, gnarled trees; the roses; the poisonous fruits; the crops and the weeds; the forces of destruction and the forces of creation. They are all a part of the beauty of life, and she loves them all with the same ferocity.
I looked around, and as I saw ponies grazing on the dewy grass, a dog playing in the distant field, birds enjoying the early autumn berries, I knew the teacher I’ve been looking for has always been there, waiting to teach me. She is within me and around me, and reflects for me the truth of motherhood, and the Divine Goddess.
Some of the aspects of the Divine Feminine are: inclusivity, intuition, compassion, empowerment, connection, cooperation, gentleness, nurturing, receptivity, healing, acceptance, forgiveness and introspection.
Mother Earth has all of these IN SPADES. She offers us her version of unconditional love by allowing us to use her resources to support ourselves, forgives us for strip-mining and nuclear disasters, provides ground beneath our feet, offers us comfort in dark times, and shows us the incredible capacity for creativity that we all have.
From her, I learn that motherhood is a divine rite of passage, an opening of the heart to accept others in their totality. I don’t have to feel resentment that people are drawn to my gentle nurturing, I just have to show them love and provide a safe and sacred space for them to find their truth.
It IS possible to be a mother and a goddess; you don’t have to choose one or the other. I can provide a secure and welcoming environment for my clients, lovers and friends without giving up the essence of myself to do it.
It is my Divine privilege and birthright to be a Goddess, and to embrace that in its fullness, without sacrificing my life and dreams in the process!
This is a profound shift for me; it means I can be a sensual, playful, powerful woman while providing a nurturing space for others to enjoy. It is not either/or. It is both. I am both a Goddess and a Mother, and that is a beautiful thing.