Held and Healed With LoveBy Dr. Margaret Paul
April 12, 2021
Were you adequately mothered? If not, then you might want to find a way to receive the healing that loving mothering provides.
I was working with Karina at one of my 5-Day Intensives. Tears streaming down her face, she was feeling overwhelmed with painful feelings.
"I wonder if receiving mothering would help. Really just someone to hold me and let me cry out this overwhelm and know that I'm safe."
"Would you like me to come over and hold you?" I asked.
I moved next to her and folded her into my arms, rocking her. She curled up like a baby and continued to silently cry.
"It's okay to make noise when you cry," I gently told her. She had not only never been given permission to cry, she had never been allowed to sob out loud.
Katrina sobbed and sobbed and sobbed, and I gently rocked her and rocked her, stroking her face and hair, and allowing the love-that-is-God to move through me into her. She cried deeply for a long time. Some of the people in the room were crying with her and I could feel everyone in the room sending her their love, supporting her in letting out the pain that she had never felt safe enough to let out.
Slowly, she stopped crying and then a beautiful smile lit up her face. She looked so relieved and peaceful. I smiled back, happy to have been a channel of love for her.
It was evident to everyone that holding her and rocking her with love was very healing for Karina. She finally got some of the mothering that she had never received from her mother.
The Power of Mothering
It's very fortunate that loving touch is so powerful. Research indicates that loving touch can be instrumental in healing the deepest of traumas. What is unfortunate is that touch is not allowed in the therapeutic community, due to some therapists sexualizing touch.
It is deeply traumatic for babies to not receive loving holding, touching and gazes. The research presented in 'Why Love Matters," by Sue Gerhardt, indicates that it is through loving touch and loving eye contact by a calm, regulated mother that the brain of the baby develops the ability to regulate itself.
I have seen over and over is that it's never too late to receive the loving, healing touch that we may have missed out on. The problem is finding it.
Erika and I were very lucky to find that loving mothering with each other. When we met and became friends, neither of us knew anything about mothering, but both of us desperately needed it. I'm not quite sure how we stumbled on it, but once we experienced it with each other, we knew that we had discovered something profoundly healing, which we wrote about in "Healing Your Aloneness." I remember feeling, many years ago when we met and began to mother each other, that the deep need for this loving holding would never go away. But gradually, over a period of about six months, the place in me that so craved the mothering got filled up. My nervous system became much more regulated, and I felt a kind of inner peace that I had never felt before.
Now, living as we do as Golden Girls, sometimes we still mother each other. When she sees me down or overly tired, she pats her lap. I climb on and she holds me until I feel better. When I see her having a hard time, I wrap my arms around her and rock her, just as I did with Karina at the Intensive.
All of us can benefit from loving, non-sexual safe touch and holding.
Our nervous systems are designed to calm down when a calm adult touches us or holds us with unconditional love.
It is my joy to give this healing mothering touch to the men and women who attend my in-person Intensives and to witness the relief and healing that I see them experience deep within. While there are many wonderful advantages of virtual Intensives – such as being able to record the sessions, being in their home environment and being able to immediately put into practice what they are learning, and not having to spend time and money on travel, room and board, which makes it more available to people all over the world – the inability to engage in physical motherly holding is one of the drawbacks.
I encourage everyone who lacked adequate mothering in their childhood to reach out to a loving motherly or grandmotherly woman, or a very kind, gentle, and caring man with no sexual energy, who can hold you and help you heal this infant wound.
Learn Inner Bonding through Dr. Margaret’s workbook, "The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance."
Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.
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|The Touch That Heals Trauma|
|The Need for Touch|
|Healing the Mother Wound|
|Healing the Lack of Loving Holding and Touch|
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Today, think about what you do that makes you feel invisible to others. Do you give in to others rather than stand in your truth? Do you avoid asking for what you want to avoid rejection? Do you act like everything is okay when it isn't? Do you agree with others to avoid conflict? Do you ignore your own feelings but attend to others' feelings? If you sometimes feel invisible, notice what you may be doing to create this.
By Dr. Margaret Paul