I am going to apologize in advance, cuz this is gonna get political.
Since the election, I have been doing some deep soul searching. How did we, as a culture, as a society, as a country, as people, as humanity get here? How is it ok that millions of refugees around the world are homeless, hungry, thirsty and afraid? How is it ok that a whole religious group has been maligned? How is it ok that millions of immigrants in a country full of immigrants are now suddenly bad and dangerous? How is it ok that we treat those who look, think and believe differently as "the other"? How is it ok that neo-nazis are back?
As a midwife who has dedicated her life to serving mothers and babies, holding the space for that primal bond to take place, I am enraged that mothers are being separated from their children on our borders. That kind of abandonment these children are currently experiencing causes scaring so deep, it is difficult to heal in a person's lifetime. Keeping a woman from her child, especially a nursing baby, is worse than rape. It is worse than a threat on her life. Nothing is worse than taking a baby. Nothing.
I am enraged. And I am profoundly sad.
I look at the callousness of the people who are enforcing this policy. I look at the meanness of the people who created this policy. I look at the rabidness of the people who support this policy and I think to myself, how did we get here?
We are now so divided politically, it is hard to imagine there being any communication or relationship building between the two tribes. We are biologically programmed to move towards groups, to take on the ideology and identity of the group. We are programmed to be tribal because this is what kept us safe. Long ago, where there were few people on this earth who lived far apart, tribalism protected us.
Times are different now. Now, the human tribe is One Tribe. All of humanity is bonded together simply by the mere fact that we all have belly buttons! Individual tribes are not self sufficient anymore. We are all interconnected. My computer is from China, my clothes are from Bangladesh, my food is from California, my gas is from Saudi Arabia, my car is from Japan...you get the picture. None of us are part of a tribe that doesn't depend on some other group of people (nation, state, continent, etc) for the things they use daily.
Because of this connection, we all have a responsibility to each other. And we can FEEL it when others are being harmed. To not feel it is to shut down a part of your heart to the love and connection of those around you.
We also have a responsibility for the chaos we create. We have a responsibility for our complicity.
I look at this presidency and the administration as a very difficult labor. It is going to take focus, time, hard work, patience and love to get through it. After all, the "arc of a moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." (MLK) We must keep the sight of that sweet baby justice, cradled in our arms after the hard work of labor is over.
Pregnancy and birth is a time of death and renewal. Our old self dies away to give birth to this new self simultaneously as we give birth to our baby. It is hard work. It can be scary. And it is highly rewarding. Walking this hero's journey creates a resilience and fierceness that is unequivocal and incontrovertable.
This administration too is a time of death and renewal. Is it possible for us to have a large enough perspective to trust that this death and renewal cycle must take place in order for humanity to move forward? Will the threat of the death of our democracy wake us up? Will we remember that baby justice will be our reward?
I realize I am mixing metaphor and reality here, using birth and politics as both metaphor and reality. I find the overlap interesting. But it is important to remember that babies are always a sign of hope. The baby you are carrying in your belly or cradling in your arms remind us of the worth of that one special person. Bonded babies, meaning those who are not separated from their mothers, meaning those babies who KNOW they are loved, these babies who are bonded are given the best opportunity to be the true problem solvers for humanity. When we see someone who has no empathy for another's pain or is quite happy to create pain for an ideology believe in the myth of their own separation. They don't see their own worth.
An unbonded child or person never fully feels their worth. And they end up making all kinds of decisions that have the potential to hurt other people. If one fails to see their own worth, they surely struggle to see the worth of others. Those who don't see the value in others start to vilify "the other" and it inhibits our collective unity. The Unity of our Humanity is the recognition that all people have basic rights.
Bonded children and a bonded humanity will be able to overcome the mythology of separation. This is the healing balm to a turbulent world.
So what can we do? I can easily feel hopeless when I read the news. I see so little goodness "out there."
I do know that I can create loving relationships with the people I see every day. I can love my kids a little more, love my clients a little more, love my friends a little more, love my partner a little more. Eating together creates oxytocin, the hormone of love and bonding. Singing together creates oxytocin. Laughing together creates oxytocin. Holding hands creates oxytocin. Smiling at someone creates oxytocin. These oxytocin moments are absolutely essential and may be what saves us from ourselves.
Use these oxytocic moments to renew yourself. Be can be thankful for your day. Increase your capacity to love, just a little bit more. Then make amends for the things that disappoint...and
let. it. go.
This is what brings us together as one human family.
Peaceful birthing to you all...