|People often ask me how I got interested in healing birth trauma and I tell them my interest in birth grew out of my experiences with death.
Birthing and Dying are similar processes: they both teach us how to live and how to love. Healing in this liminal space is the work of the Birthshops that I offer.
As some of you know, my father died of a Brain Tumor more than 9 years ago. Along with friends and other members of my family, I helped care for him the last 18 months of his life. Near the end, as his symptoms progressed, he became completely dependent on us for his physical care and comfort. I changed his diapers, brushed his teeth, cooked for him and fed him, drove him to doctors appointments and often slept on a cot in his bedroom at night. He was perfectly lucid, just unable to physically care for himself.
Caring so closely for him I began to feel that the first time around being that vulnerable as an infant had not been a safe or pleasurable experience for him. His body was rigid and alert in defense and over time slowly softened as he surrendered to the vulnerability of his situation and let in the love and tenderness that was being offered.
I remind my students and clients all the time that we are incredibly dependent as human beings. Thats Ok. Its an unavoidable part of the gig. There is nothing on the planet as vulnerable as a human infant. That vulnerability doesn’t change, we just get better at pretending its otherwise as adults.
We are wired for love and whatever we experience early on in life, however painful, becomes imprinted as a valid expression of love. For example, a child that is raised by a distant Mother will equate distance with love, and as an adult can be challenged when it comes to creating joyful and intimate relationships, preferring instead to remain “independent” in relationships because that is the comfort zone.
It is impossible to cultivate real independence without a positive experience of our dependency on others for our love, care and safety. Without that essential experience of healthy dependency we remain separate from our own bodies and from a felt sense of connection with the planet and our human communities and families.
Though we can’t do it alone, healing is possible. To the extent that we were able to be with and feel the pain, my family blossomed through those painful times into deeper connection and love.
We don’t need to wait for a life-threatening crisis to engage our healing journey. Our planet is already in a healing crisis – we have all the urgency we could ever need to get out of our heads and into our bodies and engage with a deeper prayer for life.
In service to our healing, both planetary and personal, you and your loved ones are invited to the upcoming Birthshop June 18th & 19th. We will be re-patterning some of the earliest layers of our nervous system and cultivating a deep feeling of belonging and presence in our physical and relational bodies.