As I was preparing for a new week with the ladies in The Sanctuary, I was reflecting on the whole month we spend on seeing through the illusions that keep us out of our femininity and in an existential exhaustion.
One of the illusions that comes up often with my clients and that keeps women isolated from love, connection, exciting relationships and a life of adventure and fulfillment shows up as the self-abandoning servant mother.
If a woman comes to me and everything from doing the inner work to dating and her career feels exhausting and she sees her life as one big obligation full of chores, her inner woman has fell captive to the servant mother.
Her femininity falling captive to servanthood has far-reaching consequences and most of them impact her physical and emotional well-being.
In dating she will fall for a man really fast (after one conversation or after a couple of dates) and she will be already thinking of
– when she is going to see him next
– what she should say to impress him or to show him how smart and special she is
– how she needs to change her schedule to fit a date with him in
– if he is not asking her out again, she will come up with a plan to either reach out to him or to make him notice her
She will spend most of her days fantasizing about how it would feel to be in a relationship with him and what kinds of activities they can do together. She is already moving the non-existent relationships and connection forward.
She spends most of her time in waiting. She doesn´t feel excited about planning adventures for herself – be it an evening walk in her favorite neighborhood, exciting trip to a destination she´s always wanted to see or learning a new skill or discovering a new hobby.
Dreading to plan things that bring her genuine pleasure or not knowing what brings her pleasure at all is a sign of how far she has wondered away from her heart and how severely she has learned to abandon herself.
In this state, she unintentionally opens herself up to men who will pray on her lack of sense of Self and those who don´t mind being with a woman who does all the work and who is also on top of that willing to carry his responsibilities and give his life direction and give him care.
That is, after all, what the servant mother does. She puts everyone else´s needs above her own and attaches her worth to how much she can DO for them.
For other clients, the self-abandoning servant mother shows up months or years into the relationship or marriage. She is going to persuade them that their purpose is to take care of everyone else in their life and to put their needs and desires last.
A woman will feel like she is giving her all to a man, but she is receiving only breadcrumbs in return.
And she is giving him much more than she usually realizes – she has given up her sense of Self and her womanhood and exchanged them for a life of servitude.
When the servant mother runs her life a woman will allow the practicalities of everyday life to take a front seat to her feminine needs and all the desires she has had for her life.
The part of her I call a servant mother (usually inherited from the lineage of women in her family) will tell her that the breadcrumbs she is receiving are as good as it gets and she will have to settle for the feeling of having barely enough or not enough – of love, pleasure, joy, time, finances, and attention.
The sneaky thing about the part of us that hides behind the servant mother is that it will try to persuade us and others of her selfless intentions. I know he is still figuring a few things out, but I love him, I don´t mind paying his bills. I see that he doesn´t want to set clear boundaries with his ex, but he is such a good guy. Yeah, he might have control issues from time to time, but he is such a good dad.
She won´t tell you the truth that is lurking in the shadows and that is felt as a sinking feeling in her stomach:
– I feel like if I stop taking care of him, he is going to leave me
– My needs are too much, I am too much
– If I ask for what I need, I will become a burden
– I have to work hard for his love and attention or else, he won´t choose me
– If I stop working hard for it, how will love ever find me?
– I am afraid that if I stop fighting for love, I will forever stay forgotten and abandoned and in emotional pain, loneliness and isolation
Everything the servant mother does in relationships is coming from a belief that love is scarce and she has to hold onto the last bits and pieces before it disappears altogether.
But the moment a woman starts abandoning her needs and her heart in a relationship is the moment an empowered emotionally healthy man will start losing attraction towards her.
And with his attraction, she will also lose his respect. He will start seeing her as she sees herself – as an invisible servant, not as a woman with her own feminine needs and desires.
The point about empowered men that clients who have been in unhealthy relationships (often with immature men) are missing, in the beginning, is that the empowered men are very well capable of carrying their own burdens and responsibilities.
They won´t stay with a woman because of what she can do for them.
They are more than capable of providing for themselves everything they need and can accomplish whatever they set their minds to.
A mature man is not looking for a caretaker and the self-abandoning smothering mother makes him feel like a little boy not like a man. He won´t usually know why, but he is going to start dreading being in her presence.
And this is why:
The self-abandoning servant mother shows up in our life when we were living on breadcrumbs of love and attention and our environment (family of origin, community) gave us love and affection only when it was convenient for them.
They indirectly taught us that we had to be convenient – sweet, pleasant, not a burden – to receive love and attention.
And now if we are sweet and pleasant (yet carrying a lot of pent-up frustration in our hearts and bodies and often being completely disconnected from it) and the man is still not coming towards us and meeting our needs, the part of us lurking in the shadows will come up:
“I gave you my life and love. I was working so hard for your love and I expect you to work hard for mine as well. Why aren´t you willing to abandon yourself for me, when I abandoned myself for you? If you don´t abandon yourself for me, you must not love me. I will now punish you by withholding my love as well.”
What we have been taught and believed is love, is in fact deep-rooted codependency.
And when you put your happiness on a man (or someone else for that matter), it is going to feel suffocating and like a loss of freedom for him.
A mature man will always choose a woman who chooses herself.
And so one of the first things I teach women is to identify their feminine needs and learn to take care of them and protect them in the same way the best husband would.
They learn to put the part of them that was sacrificing her own needs to save others to rest.
When we start working together, I teach women through a combination of gentle somatic work and coaching to go directly to the source of love – their feminine heart and Spirit.
When they learn to come home to their Self, there is no shortage of love there.
They come to understand that the feminine is the embodiment of love. And if we were living like orphans outside of our feminine inheritance it takes willingness, gentle restorative work, and practice to embrace this truth.
With time and practice, they learn to put the persona of self-abandoning mother to rest. They embody the truth that they are always worthy of love and they no longer need to use the servant mother to hide their anger, sadness, or needs.
They learn that capable men crave their feminine heart, uniqueness, and presence. They feel capable and needed when they can meet our needs and our genuine appreciation means the world to them.
As soon as a woman learns to listen to her heart and prioritizes her needs, she won´t accept offers from men that don´t reaffirm her self-worth to her.
She no longer uses men and what she can DO for them (or even what they can do for her) to measure her sense of worthiness and value in the world.
Doing the emotional, inner, and spiritual work that I teach in my programs connects her to how precious her femininity is and she no longer feels like an invisible orphan, but like a cherished and protected daughter.
She stops seeing a man as her only source of love and she no longer tries to squeeze the last drops of his attention and approval because she has been living on breadcrumbs and in starvation.
She sees him as a companion and respects and protects his freedom and sense of Self as much as she respects and protects hers.
She has learned to offer herself the full meal. She actively practices connecting with her own heart as the source of love which over time helps her heal all the desperation, frustration, and loneliness.
She is actively and happily planning satisfying activities and adventures that bring her excitement, joy, and pleasure.
Clients regularly tell me that their empowered men share how rare they are and that they have been looking for them their whole life.
Once they set their inner woman free, people in their life start complimenting them on their inner glow and many of my clients start receiving comments that they look “different” and even more beautiful.
The “inner glow” is an inheritance of a woman who has found a home within her heart and womanhood and who has put the belief of being an invisible servant to rest. Forever.
The inner work we do with my clients never requires them to work harder on themselves.
It, however, requires a willingness to leave the old ways behind and a new partnership with their heart, body, and feminine wisdom. I teach this exact process in my 10-week one-on-one program for new clients. You can learn all the details and apply HERE.
If a lower-investment self-study program is a better fit for you, check out my membership portal The Sanctuary of a Feminine Woman.