Into the Jungle (Part 5) – Healing the Mother Wound
There we were, Jesseca and I, in the heart of the Peruvian jungle in the Amazon Basin hours away from civilization, preparing for the third and final night of journeying with the plant medicine, Ayahuasca. I’d described in previous articles how the first two journeys were disappointing, as the brew had not been properly prepared. Yet we were assured that this night it would be different, that the Ayahuascero, Tito and his entourage had spent the entire day conscientiously attending to the correct mixture of plants marinating in the kettle over the fire that would become the brew we would ingest that evening.
We’d been advised to set a clear intention before ingesting the brew. Mine was simply “healing.” Open-ended, bring-it-on-no-matter-what kind of healing. It didn’t matter how the Spirit of Pachamama (Earth Mother would perform her healing work through the spirit of Ayahuasca), but I knew that there was some very deep woundedness that was ready to be completely healed.
I was aware going into the journey that although my intention for healing was open-ended, I was praying for a cure for the core wound that drove me to be out of integrity in my relationship with Jesseca the first year we started our relationship. It was a pattern about which I was alternately in denial about or unwilling to face, yet through the force of her love for me and her intuitive skills, as painful as it was, I vowed to see it and own it.
That first year was tumultuous-we broke up a couple times, got back together again, I was going through a litigated settlement from my divorce-yet as rough as it was sometimes, there was tremendous insight and healing for each of us, and a strong sense that Spirit had brought us together. This journey into the jungle was to be yet another step in our personal and relational healing-a huge step to go this far to meet a plant spirit for this purpose! Turned out to be extremely effective, like four years of intensive soul psychotherapy in a few short hours.
There was a part of me, a well-disguised shadow that still lived in the shame based belief system about who I was and in turn how I related to women. Never get too close and always keep a part of me hidden away, covered by deceit and dishonesty. Intellectually I knew it was deeply rooted in childhood and adolescent experiences and felt like this was one of the fastest and most effective ways to get to them and allow the spirit to heal them.
So as I was lying there, first thing I was shown was an image of me at about six months old, in the crib, crying, with no one coming to comfort me. I concluded I was “bad” and therefore had to stuff my feelings and put that part of me that felt lonely and needed comfort into the “not I” category, where it has basically remained a good deal of my life. The spirit kept saying in response to this scenario, “You’re not bad. You’re not bad.” Then went on to say, “nor are you ‘good.’ You are simply BEING.”
I quietly wept, caressed by the surprisingly gentle voice of this spirit while under her benevolent guidance.
Then my mother’s spirit came to me and made amends for what she had lacked in her mothering. She explained that when she married my father, she had three children already and got pregnant with me in order to please my father, but carried a veiled resentment that she had to have yet another child to take care of. She went on to say that she was so busy raising my two half brothers, Wally and Ron, and my half sister Nancy, that she had little time or inclination to provide consistent nurturing for her fourth child, and apologized for the resentment that got directed toward me. I wept. It was a sweet moment of forgiveness and understanding that naturally and fully blossomed from my heart and soul to hers across time and space.
I could see and feel my mother’s presence. At one point she reached from behind me and to put her hand on the small of my back. At the exact same instant when her hand would be etherically placed on my back, I felt Jesseca’s physical hand in that exact spot that my mother’s would have been! Jesseca had sensed my need for the comfort of her touch. I wept even more at the poignancy of this moment. What a sweet miracle and validation of the truth of this visitation, and of a deep forgiveness for my mother that transposed to my relationship with Jesseca!
From there it became like a very vivid, three-dimensional movie of various pieces of my life that were woven together, all adding up to a healing of this very fundamental mother wound. It’s something I believe we all carry to one degree or another and by working at healing this wound it will make life and our relationships easier and more loving. This took on various dimensions in my life and in my relationships with women, particularly those upon whom I projected various aspects of my mother, both the dark and the light.
Throughout this, the spirit’s gentle voice would on occasion tell me, “Shh. Just listen,” whenever my usual mind tried to take over the conversation.
The next piece I was shown was ages three to five, observing how my mother loved my older brother Wally, seven years my senior. He was constantly getting in trouble, yet me and my other brother and sister all knew that she secretly liked the way he’d get in and out of trouble and have agreed that he was her favorite child. Who knows what their souls were working out, but it was clear that she loved him the most.
The spirit went on to show me how I decided to be like him in certain ways, but keep that part hidden so as not to be a problem. So I pushed away any part of me that I thought my mother wouldn’t love or approve of in some way. I tried to act like the good kid and conceal the bad, basically hide out. By denying those aspects, I was never able to be whole especially while hiding the destructive and self-defeating shadows that haunted me.
Then ages 6-10, hiding out more and more of myself in order to master my family assignment to “not be a problem” and show only the good boy side of me, keeping anything judged as “bad” in shadow. Pouting and withdrawing became a means of occasionally getting my mother’s attention, and also punishing her with this kind of behavior when I was angry. Hmm. Prototype for what I would do as an adult, hoping that someone would find me in this massive wall I had built over the years (turns out Jesseca was the one who succeeded in doing so).
I reflected on most of my relationships, how aloof I was in order to keep the “bad” parts hidden, unaware of how my behavior was affecting the woman I was with, playing cat and mouse with her. How there was a certain coldness and distance in my significant relationships over the years, sustained by my unwillingness to be completely truthful about who I was, in spite of my being quite sensitive and caring in many other ways. How I was passive aggressive in so many ways, projecting that same resentment my mother felt toward me onto my woman, unable to cry out for her love, yet longing for it at the same time. How I learned to hide and disguise that need, acting it out in ways of which I’m not proud that had the potential to hurt my partner.
Yet I was reminded throughout that I was not bad. Nor was I good. That it was about simply “being.”
There were further revelations and experiences, far too many to enumerate here. I was visited during the experience by many of my ancestors. My grandparents on both sides, my father (and of course my mother), and my deceased brother Wally telling me, “don’t try to be like me.”
This powerful experience continued to work me for many weeks, and I can now say that it changed my life. Jesseca and I are doing well, and as most of you know, are happily married and continuing to be reminded of what’s most important: Love, Truth, and Integrity. We are dedicated to living a spiritually directed life and marriage. We don’t expect to be perfect at it, as we have to make room for the fact that we’re human. Or as we’ve noted, we’re “perfectly imperfect!”