True Forgiveness: What My Gallbladder Taught Me About Healing the Mother-Wound

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Just a few weeks ago the curtain was pulled back on a pain I didn't know I still carried.

It started at a conference in Philadelphia. I thought I was there to study the authors + speakers. I wanted to know how it worked — the industry. What does it really take to be a speaker? What were their talks like? How'd they open them? Would I have to tell jokes when it was my turn to take the stage? 

I should know by now, that what I think I need is always a thread that leads me to something deeper. Source had other plans for me — healing plans

At one point in Kyle Gray's workshop, he said, "When a client wants to manifest something but isn't seeing the results, I ask them, 'who do you need to forgive?' His words struck me like an arrow to my belly. I still had to forgive her.

I sat in the audience and peacefully thought about my mom — about the pain, followed by the healing, followed by the pain, and about the line in the sand that I had drawn last year to protect myself from getting hurt again. That line, I thought, was a healthy boundary that I required to flourish.

That line, I thought, was my liberation. Because before I drew that line, a part of me was on the fence — waiting to witness her healing miracle.  

I started to live for me, wholeheartedly, after I drew that line. 

I let her know where I stood. Don't call. Don't text. Don't arrive uninvited. I'll be over here, and you'll be over there — separation. 

I didn't want to be one of those women who waited until their mother died to start living. So, I did what any wounded daughter might do and decided the relationship could die now, instead. 

Am I intense? Sure as water over rock with ten million year's time. Am I dramatic? You should see me stub my toe, or drop a cupcake face down on the kitchen floor. 

I'm not new to healing. I've sat in the red tent with Bethany Webster, a thought-leader on healing the mother-wound, and I've heard her say that for some daughters estrangement from an abusive parent is the only way to know true freedom. I've called on every archangel, rested my body on white tables, been beneath healing hands — for Reiki, acupuncture, and maya abdominal massage.

I've journeyed to the center of my personal earth. I've sat with the existential pain, and dawned into it's power. I've traveled to the jungle, and to the health food store. I've googled it. Eaten it. Integrated it. Danced with it, chanted it. I've looked myself in the mirror and witnessed utter beauty and total acceptance. I've married myself, on multiple occasions. I've wept, and screamed, and seen from the Eagle's point of view. 

I've cleared my womb with obsidian. I've sent grace and healing to all the women who have come before me and all those who'll come after. I've taken it all off, prayed with the herbs, and walked into the fire of Kali's eyes. 

I've self-examined like my life depended on it, because it did. 

I thought I had forgiven her for that time at Christmas dinner, when she told the table that I was an ungrateful b*tch, and moaned like the victim of her terrible life — her usual crawl for the love she couldn't feel from within.

Or that time she told me that my newborn son was 'not the messiah,' in response to me being the nurturer she never was.  

I thought I had forgiven her for the shaming, the abuse, the betrayal, and the fault-assigning.

I thought I had forgiven her for manipulating me with her money, for dangling  promises before me, and then for snatching them away as I was upon them. I thought I had forgiven her, untangled from her, cut myself free of her sticky black fingers. 

I thought I had forgiven her and her trespasses — they were trespasses, weren't they? I thought I had done the work on my meditation cushion. I thought that the time I spent surrounding her in healing Light was enough.

I thought I was done. I thought I was free. I thought I saw her as me. 

I decided, if she was a friend of mine, not tied to me by blood, I would have stopped giving her my energy long ago. I would have cut her off, declared her toxic. And so I did — I quickly and quietly disrobed myself of door mat status.

I thought I had forgiven her. But I was mistaken. I thought I had made those boundaries from a place of self-respect, but they were derived of ego and bitterness. They were drawn from the ashes of unspoken anger.

I see now that forgiveness works like this: there is no past. It never happened. None of it.

Love is like that, you know. It sees nothing but now.  

When I arrived home from the conference,  I found myself contorting on the bedroom floor, overtaken by pain like a knife to my stomach and spine. It consumed me as I rolled and twisted to the sound of my son crying nearby.

I called upon my higher self, and demanded to know the reason for this pain, for it wasn't the first time that it had crippled me, though it was by far the worst.

I first pleaded: Why, Why, Why? Recognizing that this plea was not strong enough, I quickly decided to demand answers. What is this pain, I demand to know! Show me how to heal!

After the pain subsided, I stood up — lighter than air, and I knew immediately with crystal clarity that I had just experienced a gall-bladder attack, that it was the result of residual bitterness + pride, and of not fully forgiving my mom. Time to release it all with love. I put on a white dress, and took my son for a walk. It was a holy twenty minute ordeal that revealed to me the next steps on my path. 

Your pain is potent medicine.

Let go. Soften into it. 

For my healing-wisdom seekers:

"If you repress anger, hold it in, and never express it, it will eventually hurt the liver/gallbladder and cause imbalance which will lead to disease." — Emma Suttie D.Ac, AP

In this moment I can remember something sage that Bethany Webster said in her mother-wound workshop. She said,

"Forgiveness is a by-product of your own transformation." 

And So It Is.

In Love + Vulnerability,

 

Jillian Xx

For more information on the gallbladder's emotional/energetic correlations I recommend the following articles:

Chinese Medicine Living: Healing the Gallbladder with Chinese Medicine

Gallbladder Emotions + Personal Development


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