Being a Good Mother to Our Self
I came across the Good Mother Messages below while assisting Myrna Martin's Pre and Perinatal Trauma Training in Vancouver.
Since then, I have seen them quoted in several other places as well. What I love about these messages is that they are a beautiful tool for finally giving to ourselves what we did not receive when we were young: Unconditional acceptance, love, and appreciation. Safety. Care.
When we are young we need a trustworthy attachment figure in order to experience safety. The Good Mother Messages are the hallmarks of the quality of attachment figure we need in our early life. As we grow older we may need other qualities and messages, but these very simple sentences go straight to the heart of our young self (from conception to about two years old).
Remember, this is not about blaming our mothers for not being able to give us what we needed. Our mothers were probably in a situation of being under-supported themselves (as mothers tend to be in our Western culture). They may very well have not received these messages from their mothers either.
The problem however is that if these messages (whether expressed verbally or non-verbally) were missing from our early life, our nervous system never settled, never experienced complete safety. Have you seen two cats napping together in a sunny spot? That is what a being with a settled nervous system looks like: Connected with another safe being, feeling secure enough to completely drop and enjoy the pleasure of sleeping in the sun, every muscle relaxed.
If these messages are missing, we often grow up with:
- Feeling under-supported.
- A sense of hopelessness or being lost.
- Low self-esteem and self-worth.
- Not knowing how to be in relationship with others.
- Feeling like there is never enough.
- Depression, anxiety.
- Feeling like you don't deserve having what you truly desire.
- Not knowing what you really want or how to get it.
- Not being able to receive support and love.
In the end it we cannot change what happened in the past – the important thing is what we do now. These messages, if used over a few months, have the power to enter our subconscious mind and completely transform our relationship with our self and others by creating new neural pathways. With their help we can tap into feeling supported and loved by our self at any moment. In other words, we can develop secure attachment with our self.
If you would like to use these messages, here is how it works:
- Find a photo of yourself when you were very young. Choose one that you feel drawn to.
- Buy a pretty frame for this photo: This is an external expression of the care you have for your inner young self.
- Then find a few minutes every day during which you use the Good Mother Messages: Choose a message that you feel drawn to and say it to the photo of your young self for several minutes. You can also choose several messages for each day. Follow your impulse.
- Feel your emotions and sense your body as you are speaking. Imagine giving to this young self all the love that it never received but always longed for.
This is like a meditation practice and I recommend using the messages daily for three months.
Good Mother Messages:
- I love you, I see you.
- You are so beautiful.
- You are special to me.
- I respect you.
- I want you.
- Your needs are important to me; you can turn to me for help.
- I will be here forever; I'll be here even when you die.
- I'll keep you safe.
- You can rest in me, you can trust me.
- I enjoy you, you brighten my heart.
- I am glad that you are here.
- It's not what you do it's what you are that I love.
This practice is here to serve your needs, so feel free to adjust it so it works for you.
And remember: Neurons that wire together fire together. With these messages you are essentially rewiring your brain.
Wishing you a deep and loving relationship with your self!