If it’s Not One Thing, it’s Your Mother


Last night I participated in a supervised therapy group to learn about Process Therapy. This is a type of therapy where we follow what comes up in a conversation as a key operating principle and see where it leads. After a brief description of Process Therapy, it was practice time: one person was the therapist and another was the client, and the rest of the group observed, coached and gave feedback.

I was chosen to be the client, which was powerful, given that lots of grief has risen to the surface since my mother died several weeks ago. What’s been surprising to me is the intensity of this grief, because I thought that after decades of working on my relationship with my mother, I was at peace about this. Until she died!

As I sat in the midst of the group last night and talked about my grief, I realized that I was feeling deep sadness and shame. We explored the shame and its aspects ~ shame about not being healed in this relationship; shame about how I love and don’t love well; shame about my emotional volatility, and shame about being a woman and sexual being.

What?!? Shame about being a woman? Shame about being a sexual being? Wait, I teach this stuff, how could this be? I was dumbfounded, confused and so sad about this. As we worked, I could hear my mother’s voice saying things like,

  • “Good girls don’t touch themselves down there”
  • “Shame on you for showing you panties”
  • “You are driven by sex”
  • “No man will ever want you because of the things you’ve done”
  • “You don’t need to go to college because you’re only going to get married and have babies”
  • and so on…

This felt like the foundation of my experience of being a woman, and it was all based on shaming messages that I had long since internalized. These ideas form the root stock of long ago knowing I was damaged goods. I thought I had worked through and healed these wounds.

Apparently not… as we continued to work, we created a positive and loving mother. I heard the messages she said, including

  • “You are beautiful inside and out”
  • “Your sexuality is your life force energy and is a beautiful gift”
  • “Giving yourself pleasure is a sacred gift and helps you to teach your lovers how to love you better”
  • “Talking about sex is healing and fun”
  • and so on…

We were literally re-wiring my neurons and beliefs. AS we did this work, I realized that one of the greatest gifts my mother gave me is the opportunity to do the work of healing these wounds and helping other women to find their way to deeper self-love and acceptance.

Here’s a practice for you to do some deeper healing ~

Take some private quiet time for yourself. Make a cup of tea if you like, sit in a comfy chair and have your journal nearby. Get comfortable and quiet and take some deep breaths as you gently close your eyes. Use your breath to help you relax further and draw your awareness inward.

Ask for the messages you received early on about yourself as a woman and a sexual being, to arise in your consciousness. Listen to them and ask for them all to be revealed to you. When you have received them, take a few moments to open your eyes and write them in your journal. More may come to you as you write.

Close your eyes again and ask your Inner Aphrodite or another loving voice to tell you the truth of who you are as a woman and as a sexual being. Listen to this truth as it is revealed to you. When the words stop, take a few moments to open your eyes and write them in your journal. More may come to you as you write.

Now review what you have written. This is a time for you to consciously choose what you know to be the truth about who you are, and to choose to believe the truth. Here’s a hint ~ if it’s the negative voice that you think is the truth, you are listening to the wrong voice! It may take some practice and repetition for this to begin to shift for you. However, if you stick with it and repeat the truth daily for a few weeks,  you will notice that your beliefs begin to change, and that you begin to know that you are a beautiful woman and sexual being.

Please share the truth of who you are so that we can all learn from you!

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisers or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

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