I have been really thinking intentionally about the TruBirth Facebook group lately. You see there are like a million mom groups to be a part of ranging from *super holistic* to *screw those crunchy moms* and everything in between.
I often hear of moms doing purges of the groups they are in or talking about the drama behind being in a group, so when I started my TruBirth Facebook group I wanted to be intentional. I wanted to create a place outside of the drama of what we feed our children, how we choose to birth and what type of diaper system we use. I wanted to prove that there is a much deeper common thread that we all hold which is that we are all emotional beings.
The result is a group of women who share my sentiment that while the things we choose to do as mothers is totally important, it’s not more important than connecting with other moms and learning to be a loving and compassionate person. What we have created is a group based in compassionate motherhood.
After all I may choose to feed my kids all the best food in the world and practice “the best” parenting techniques but if my sweet little bundles see me treating those in the world with judgement and non-tolerance what are we really left with at the end of the day?
So why is this so hard? Well first of all its really complicated.
It’s complicated because so much discussion around topics happens on social media, stripping people of their physical and emotional essence. I’m sure most of the people reading this have at sometime or another been a jerk online or shared some judgmental meme because they got caught up in the moment and didn’t think about the millions of ways it would interact with those around them. I know I have and that is because social media is hard. Its hard because it is with us 24/7, right in our pocket, with almost instantaneous access and we are not our most thoughtful selves all of the time.
It’s also complicated because of passion. People get passionate about topics and I’m not even remotely suggesting that this is wrong. Passion is beautiful. It’s also hard to facilitate these passions in relationships where people do not share that same passions. So how do we juggle this?
The biggest reason its complicated though, is because most of us lack the ability to be truly self compassionate.
So what is self compassion? Self worth, self care, self acceptance, self forgives, self growth, etc. It’s seeing the processes we need as worthwhile and pursuing them.
Just to clarify I’m not talking about the ability to rationalize, which can be mistaken for self compassion. Like “I am self assured because I have rationalized everything I do!” No. Rationalization actually shows a truly low level of self compassion because it says “I’m not worth really working on myself in the ways I am challenged so I am just going to lie about myself and brush this under the rug”.
A common example of this is seen in birth trauma. A woman who experienced birth trauma may rationalize that this is just how birth is, or that it was wrong of her to have desires for the outcome of her birth, or that she should just be happy for a healthy baby, healthy mom, etc…. Each of these are essentially a tool to invalidate the feelings and necessary emotional processing of the events.
So this is where the cycle begins; denying self compassion and invalidating our feelings. Then when we see someone else with birth trauma, especially if they are starting to process through their experience emotionally, we tend to push our rationalizations on them as fast as we can. Almost like we can not allow another person to process what we did not allow ourselves to process. So we pass along the lies we told ourselves to further justify the experience we gave ourselves.
This cycle can go on from woman to woman creating a hostile environment where very few feel validated and where it is hard for forward motion in the birth world to happen. Instead of processing and saying these things were wrong we see women brushing them under the rug and nothing changes.
This goes so much beyond birth trauma, and its why emotional health is so key to making this world a better place. If we can all truly learn to validate our emotional needs then we will see that we lose the need to validate through our reactions in other peoples experiences. When we are secure in ourselves then we are free to be truly and deeply compassionate with those around us. Every piece of ourselves that we learn to love deepens our ability to love the world around us and make it a better place.