“You look just like your mother.”
It’s a sentence that used to make me cringe.
As a teenager going through a decade-long rebellion, the very last thing I wanted to be told was that I looked like my mother.
My mother was beautiful, feminine, gracious, polite and charming. She was the epitome of a lady.
I was trying desperately to be anything but.
In my doc martin boots, ripped jeans, flanked by male friends swinging guitars from their hips, and often with a flannelette shirt with a packet of cigarettes in my top pocket (and the requisite thick black eyeliner), I was doing everything I could possibly do to not be my mother’s daughter.
The first stage of the heroine’s journey is where we separate from the feminine aspect of ourselves, represented by our mothers in many cases, and align with the masculine, often represented by aligning with our father.
It’s when we become the daughters of the patriarchy where the masculine holds the power, the excitement, the sense of belonging we feel we are seeking.
For many of us, it’s where we encounter the first betrayal of our feminine self, where we first lose ourselves, selves that it may take us a lifetime to reclaim.
Moving away from our mothers may seem subtle, it may even be imperceptible.
For those without a mother in their life it may show up as disowning the feminine self.
I didn’t understand for a long time, decades in fact, why I would often look upon my father with longing for the power he seemed to wield in the world, and at my mother with a sense of dismissal for the womanly and mothering duties that she performed with such grace.
Even though she worked my entire childhood, there is no power there, I thought.
Little did I know, how much I had to learn and am still learning, about the real power women wield in the world, and all that we hold inside of us.