When I was growing up, I always admired my grandmother’s way of asserting her authority and having things go her way. She seemed like a powerful person because of this and I felt safe and happy with her. I could trust that her authority was beneficial to me, she had my best interest at heart.
At some point, however, I began to become aware of how her controlling ways were detrimental to her and her loved ones. I started to feel the sting of her passive aggressive comments more keenly and notice how they influenced me. I learned how to anticipate what would please her and cater my behavior in that direction. For brief family visits and gatherings, this was perfectly acceptable, but for ongoing day to day relationships, this dynamic did not allow others to develop fully into their own authority.
Along the course of my personal healing journey I have become more and more aware of the role of early childhood trauma in how these relationship dynamics develop. Only recently have I begun to consider my grandmother’s ways as contributing to the trauma patterns I have been devoted to healing. This was mostly because my times with her growing up were the safest and most well nourished and cared for times in my upbringing. I had other sources of trauma that were much louder and more obvious to attend to first.
Now, as I watch my grandmother’s life culminate in her struggle with Alzheimer’s, in which all of the ways she controlled her environment and the people around her are stripped away, I can clearly see how her unresolved early trauma was at the root of these relational patterns and are in fact at the root of the bigger louder traumas I experienced. Her domineering approach to mothering influenced my mother in such a way that she made choices from an underdeveloped sense of self worth and sovereignty. Despite my grandmothers best efforts to control things in her life to never be traumatized again, she managed to pass her unresolved trauma on to her daughter who proceeded to repeat the patterns in her life.
I find myself with a collection of skills and abilities now to bring the subtle, gentle movement of nourishing energy to these long held secret early traumas my grandmother endured that have been passed down through the generations to me. I am discovering pathways of pleasure and vitality in my body that have been shut off as I connect with the patterns of unwellness in her body. As she is forced to relinquish control because she no longer has the physical strength to assert it, her hidden wounds are coming to the surface. She does not have the skills, abilities and understanding to meet this, but I do.
What I have discovered with the Bio-Mystical Womb healing practices I now teach is that when we activate our womb’s healing capacities on our own behalf, the beneficial effects ripple out through the generations of our family lineage, much in the same way the hurtful patterns get passed along. As I feel ever more sensitively the messages my body is giving me about the healing attention it needs, I often feel these connections with the unwellness in my family line. I had a dream I had pain in my right hip last night and my grandmother recently broke her right hip. I get mild heart palpitations and my grandmother is suffering from high blood pressure and clogged arteries. I can feel how these early hints at the long term effects of these energetics on my physical health, if left unaddressed, would eventually culminate in the same kinds of ailments my grandmother is suffering from now. However, I suspect that if I attend to them now when they are small and open up the flow of healing, it can alter this pattern of inheritance.
As I fill my cup of healing and self nourishment to overflowing, it becomes a joy to feel that overflow extending to members of my family. I am not neglecting myself to care for them, but instead caring for myself which radiates out as care for them. This by itself brings healing balm to the longstanding depletion based approach to mothering in which mothers are expected to give everything to those they are caring for without caring for themselves.
Now I give back to the mothers and grandmothers in my lineage. Particularly my grandmother. For all of the times that she held me when I was small, when I felt weak and out of control, in circumstances that felt like my life was in danger, I now hold her, not physically, but in spirit. I hold her when she was a little girl and had nobody else to hold her. I hold her until she feels safe and cared for once more, that she might finally relax and trust that her needs will be met. As I hold her young spirit, may she rest into her tired body of today and trust this process of letting go. May she trust she will be cared for, that all the care she has given to others will be returned to her, is returning to her now. I sing a low tender lullaby into her tired eyes and watch them close softly, her breath slowing down into sleep. Rest Nonni, rest.
Sama Morningstar is the founder of the Womb Centered Healing Temple and shares here about Bio-Mystical Womb Healing processes she is blessed to be delivering into the world through the Bio-Mystical Womb apprenticeship program. Sign up for the Temple Newsletter below to learn more about the program and related online events as well as receive announcements when new blog posts and podcast episodes are published.