Excerpt from I AM Her Daughter – The Healing Path to a Woman’s Power, (c) Licia Berry 2014-2018
The cherished daughter.
How often do we hear of a cherished daughter? Yes, there are those who know that a daughter is to be cherished; we hear about the occasional girl or woman raised to believe in herself, to know she was loved, to feel her place and value in the world.
I believe that we know, at some level – in our bodies, in our hearts and souls – that each of us are precious and should be cherished. It is an affront to our inner awareness when we slowly learn as a child of this culture that we are not so precious after all.
But there is another truth, below our feet, inside of the core of this world, the wisdom of this Earth. We are made of this planet, a collection of elements arranged around our architectural blueprint. While we were gestating inside of our biological mother’s body, she ate and drank and breathed of the land, and those elements of that place are what you are made of.
The etymology of the word “Indigenous” is “Sprung from the land”, and “Begat from the land.”
From this understanding, we are truly made of the land, and we then see that we are indeed children of the Earth.
So many of us carry the wound, the fear, the message…“What is wrong with me?” We are taught that we are broken, sinful, never able to redeem ourselves or be satisfied with ourselves. If you are a woman, your being female is a whole other level of wrong. This is a result of the culture’s Mother Wound.
When our species began to write language down, we created a new dependence on our left brain, the logical, rational, sequential and divisive hemisphere that speaks in words. We solidified this dependence into left brain dominance when we cast the feminine values of connection, discernment, love, ancient wisdom and healing, among others, into the fires of “progress”. Unpartnered masculine qualities of predation, attainment without discernment, and exploration of creation without boundaries have resulted in colonialism, preying on the weak, suppression of women, and denial that there is even a problematic way of living currently in power.
We have the potential to carry a deep, unquenchable need to “fix” ourselves because surely there must be something very, very bad about us. As a modern homo sapien, we feel motherless because we have been trained not to seek the Earth, our physical body’s maker. Motherless children carry the un-quantifiable pain, the pain of separation from our maker, our earthly origination point.
The illness that derives from this pain creates more of it.
In an age of patriarchy (5000+ years), women have been given a message that the feminine is unimportant, dismiss-able, dirty, evil, expendable. Violence and oppression of women is a core wound that underscores all of the other problems in the world, from poverty to war to destruction of the environment, hostility, toward those who are different, etc. Women and girls don’t know their value, don’t know the preciousness and sacredness of our bodies and our psyches, don’t know their resilience, don’t know that being a woman is a special gift. How on earth would a woman know how to be a good mother unless she was herself mothered by a woman who valued herself as a woman?
As poet Adrienne Rich said, “The woman I needed to call my mother was silenced before I was born.” Motherless women are an epidemic, and it is a sociological issue as well as a personal psychological and spiritual issue. The world needs mothers that value themselves as women to turn this grand ship around before humanity destroys itself. But, as with all change, we must begin with ourselves.
I have studied photos of mothers and daughters over the years with interest. I have studied their faces, scanning them for a bond of unbroken knowing, the knowing that I craved to see in my mothers’ faces.
In these pictures I notice a nakedness, an honesty and an attentiveness in the faces of the mothers. The mother seems caring, warm, available, connected to her daughter. And the daughter looks safe, calm, secure in that love, as if she is held by an invisible force field that surrounds her, and she knows it. Is this what a cherished daughter looks like?
What does feel like to be a Cherished Daughter?
I wanted to feel that kind of mothering in my life. I have combed the world for examples of ideal mothering. There are many out there, plenty of genuinely caring examples of healthy relationships between mothers and daughters.
My longing for a mother drove me to look far and wide, first to find a woman in a physical form that would suitably fill that role. Running into disappointment and failure as I relied on women to mother me that were themselves unmothered, I began to search on a different playing field.
Because I’d found no mother on earth that could mother me the way I wanted and needed to be mothered, my yearning for a mother took me on a spiritual journey that sent me straight into the arms of the best possible mother I could wish for. And my quest has been answered.
And I created the #DaughtersOfEarth Project. This project is about coming into relationship with what I call Great Mother, the aspect of the Divine Feminine that specifically feels like my ideal mother, something I experience as within myself as well as a primary component of the larger universe. She brings unconditional acceptance, deep compassion, profound understanding.
The Daughters Of Earth Project is a community, a web of wise women and women who are seeking their wholeness. Not a place for divisiveness or “man-hating”, but of mending, healing, and partnership. I truly believe and experience that by coming back into integration of all of our discarded aspects of the collective we may be able to heal our species, and the impact we’ve had on this world.
Please consider joining us in this effort! We are 500 women strong as of this writing, and are seeking to bring 1000 times that into the arms of Great Mother by the end of 2019! Please share and join us!