One way we outsource our power is by projecting our unhappiness onto the world around us.
This is fed by our cultural climate that feeds us the idea that if we concretize our beliefs enough, we will be happy when our life looks the way we want to feel inside.
We think that if we have the right kind of life, the right partner, the perfect community, if we follow our true purpose and do all the things right, this will give us happiness. Yet, there are people who have many of these things and still struggle and feel they need to hide it.
There are still many who do not feel at peace within themselves or like they’re standing on solid ground when it comes to feeling happy with themselves. We do not receive a strong education about how to do this in this modern world where many things seem to be falling apart.
Our first mirror of self is through maternal eyes. We learn how to feel, be, and do through the eyes, emotions, and energy that serve as a feedback loop to our nervous system. This is what we internalize over time, what becomes a deeply embedded relational blueprint for our lives in our nervous system. A blueprint not only for how we relate with life, but with ourselves.
If we do not feel happy, have anxiety or grief, feel shame or other unwelcome emotions, that mirror and energy loop we internalized as the Inner Mother function turns on, and we go into that very same relational cycle within ourselves.
Whatever we learned about those exact feeling states, we treat them exactly like that—our unconscious attitude toward the body wisdom and life force energy that is the feminine communicating to us through our embodied experience gets thwarted, shoved down, repressed, ignored, turned in on itself.
We can unconsciously seek mother through alcohol, self-help, coaches, mentors, relationships, food, and so on, because the mother function of our culture teaches us to do this. This is all outsourcing our power and our self-love to things outside of us that will ultimately fail us while punishing ourselves for how we feel internally.
This society we live in propels this forward with the outward-focused addiction mentality of social media and the endless ways we can numb out or consume to fill that hungry ghost within.
We learn to be Athena to the Medusa within us.
We fear to look at her because we are taught we will turn to stone. This is the problem with this myth. Athena cursed Medusa for being raped by Poseidon in her temple. Rather than punishing a god, she, Athena, the daughter of the patriarch without a mother, curses the embodied feminine and puts her in a cave. Athena herself lacks a mother function and moves through the patriarchal world as she does.
Medusa is cursed. Anyone who looks on this traumatized feminine energy will be turned to stone. Perseus, on a hero’s journey, with the help of Athena, cuts off Medusa’s head, which is then used as a protective weapon. And only when her head is cut off do the two characters of Pegasus and Chrysasor appear.
The symbols of the wisdom of the body, transcendence, wisdom, and clarity that come from healing trauma.
However, we do not heal trauma by trying to cut off its head. This is a notion from Western psychology that most notably pathologizes the trauma of the embodied feminine. I mean, the hair of Medusa is snakes—the very symbol of life force energy herself.
It is not something to use as a weapon against our souls.
It is not something we must fear within ourselves.
This is the myth of the death mother who seeks to cut the head off the embodied feminine that keeps us chasing our own tails with smiles painted on our faces.
If we approach both the archetypes of Athena and Medusa, we have a deeper understanding of how this mythology plays out in our culture and, most personally, in our individual psyches where we simply do not know how to be with the Medusas of our wounds, pain, or unhappiness that we relegate to a cave in our psyche.
The archetype of the Great Mother is split within us, and, rather than accessing her divine qualities to heal this rift within us, we try to manipulate these energies for desires, to make money or manifest things in our lives.
Not that this isn’t also a useful way to co-create with the divine, but ultimately the greatest manifestation of this great divine energy is through inner peace, freedom, and happiness.
Healing this internal mother function helps us to be good with ourselves, regardless of what is going on around us. To feel empowered to look at the part of us that has been deeply unhappy, wield the power of a loving parent to ourselves, and do what it takes to create an internal ecosystem of happiness.
To heal, we must feel what we have been taught to be afraid of. All it takes is some skill and some remembrance that love is what we are made of.