Like many things in my childhood I have a hard time pin pointing when I learned certain things were “wrong” and certain ones “right”, but I have a strong feeling that if I had mentioned a “healing circle” it would have been met with raised eyebrows.
I remember quite clearly the look on my mother’s face when I told her I wanted to have a blessing way with my last pregnancy, she shut me down so fast I chickened out and didn’t do it, something I regret to this day.
So when the opportunity to participate in a Birth Healing Circle I jumped on it.
As I drove up the long road to where we were meeting my nerves kicked in. I had no idea what this would look like and the thought of being in a room with 9 women I had never met and one I had only met once, caused my introverted self to completely freak out.
It turned out to be so beautiful.
Women coming together to lift one of our own up for healing. Women, whom I imagine cover a vast array of religious backgrounds and spiritual beliefs. We created a sacred place and space.
Candles, music, blessings. A tearful, heartfelt story, and women fiercly casting out the lies, replacing them with words of truth. Truths of the courage and the bravery it takes to be a mother. Messages written for the mother for another time, when those lies creep back in, she can again wield the words we have spoken over her.
It made me think of this verse:
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
That night I believe they gave life.
An added dimension for me, was this woman’s beautiful, difficult story happened right where I work. For all I know I could have even been on the next shift. It was sobering for me to hear just how much pain things, said and done, had caused. Some to me was blatantly wrong. Things I know I’m not the type of person to say or do. Some though, I wonder. Are there things that are part of my daily practice that do damage? When I think I am protecting women, am I withholding the information they desperately need to hear?
I came away from the circle saying I am AWARE.
It was a reminder to me that birth is not merely a physical experience. It is emotional and spiritual and relational.
I met some wonderful women and had some wonderful discussions over the most amazing olive tapenade I’ve ever eaten! (not that I have much to compare since I always though I hated olives….) I even got to have a wonderful passionate discussion with a student midwife about how we can possibly bridge the gap between medical care and midwifery care.
I’ve struggled lately a lot feeling like I went to Labour and Delivery to help empower women and I don’t feel like I know how in the moment. Most shifts I feel like I participate in events that probably did the exact opposite. I never would have considered the empowerment that can happen after, by healing and speaking out. It brought up some things about my own births both good and interesting. Something to think about even for myself. I feel like there might be more posts about this topic in the future.
Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone spiritually? Was it what you expected?