Through a Jungian Lens

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Honouring the Mother and the Mother Complex

with 6 comments

Translucent and fragile

Another photo taken from a walk in the hills yesterday.  Today is my birthday and I am now 62 years old.  As I key this onto the computer I am sitting in an airport preparing to make the journey to visit my mother.  I have become a more frequent visitor to her place as I now make the journey once a year.  It is about duty, not about being a good, loving son.  She is my mother and that is a good enough reason for now.  The bond between mother and son is fragile in terms of our relationship.  There is history obviously, but that is not a story for this post.

Each of us has a Mother Complex whether or not we realise it or will admit it.  It doesn’t matter what kind of person one has had or has as a mother or what the relationship is or was like.  All mothers are charged with power that is archetypal and all mothers somehow wound their offspring whether they so so consciously or unconsciously.  The wounds are sometimes hard to define, hard to trace to their roots, especially for those loving, kind and nurturing mothers who are careful with their words and with their emotions.  All mothers have a shadow that enters into the relationship with their children.  And it is this shadow that wounds the psyche of their child.

It is often in the heroic journey of midlife that one dares to confront the mother complex, one of the monsters that one encounters on the journey.  But like all the monsters and demons found on the journey, the complex only wants to be honoured  for its presence, not denied.  With acceptance of the mother complex, life becomes a bit easier.


6 Responses

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  1. Dealing with the Mother Complex is the theme of the Perseus myth. The Mother Complex is represented by Medusa, and like our Mother Complex it cannot be confronted head-on, but only indirectly with copious assistance from various feminine aspects.

    John Ferric

    July 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm

  2. Happy Birthday, Robert, and all my best wishes for a healthy and happy life!


    July 23, 2011 at 1:38 am

  3. Happy Birthday.

    That last paragraph was what I needed to read. Sometimes just acknowledging something is enough, it doesn’t need to be fixed, just seen.

    My own mother is never going to change, never have insight into why she is as she is. I’ve accepted that now. And when she is awful to me, I tell her to mind her own business now. And then inside my head I say “God love her.” It helps.


    July 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

    • Thanks Deb. I am glad that the last paragraph gave you something. Though I do write for my self, I do so with the hope that there is resonance for others that gives my words a larger worth. 🙂


      July 26, 2011 at 1:15 pm

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