What About Love?
Receiving your mother's love is not guaranteed. It is possible, when a mother has experienced her own traumas that she is unable to love or give her child what is required ‘in the moment.’
As a child there may have been times when you felt rejected or unloved and as an adult now may experience the same lack of love or care and limiting beliefs about yourself or your mother as a result of your early conditioning. Although love means different things to different people, it’s recognising how a mother can generally only give as much love as she has experienced herself. Her lack of love is not about you, but about her and who she believes herself to be.
Although some mothers are physically present during and after childbirth, she may go missing emotionally by way of psychiatric issues, addiction, depression, grief and not having the ability to cope with a newborn child. Lack of bonding, attention, love and nurturing may be impacted because of childbirth itself, accident, illness and poverty or family circumstance.
A mother’s ill health, absence of family support, mental illness, stress levels, financial insecurity, as well as her confidence in mothering, all impacts a child’s experience. Some mothers are loving, nurturing and caring homemakers and provide us with food, clothing and keep us clean. If a mother has not been shown how to do these things, it may not come naturally to her.
For many daughters, there is a deep sense of yearning for mother love if this experience was missing in childhood. Left unaddressed, this yearning can last a lifetime. On the other hand, many daughters I have spoken with, who felt they were not loved or mothered adequately, have found love from other mother figures. They have used their experiences to avoid these patterns of behaviours fearing they may turn into their mothers.
Working with women from large families where food and love was scarce, for those daughters a sense of deprivation remains. Even when food and love is plentiful later on, the old belief remains and the fear of supplies running out becomes the focus. There is so much to consider when we talk about love and we will each perhaps have our own take on what love means, depending on our life experience. The aching hole of emptiness when we miss a mother’s love is sometimes filled up with over-eating, jumping from one relationship to another, over spending, drug abuse, alcoholism or over achieving.
Rather than following destructive paths, it would be far healthier to address the root cause of the problem instead of reaching out for something to fill the void. If you would like one-to-one support with any of these issues, please contact me for support.
The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread - Mother Teresa
The above excerpt is taken from my second book Mothers and Daughters: The guide to understanding and transforming the relationship with your mother available on amazon or contact me direct for a signed copy