Often when we get to a certain point of understanding in relationship to something – usually the point where understanding is minimal and confusion runs high – we start asking questions. Perhaps the most common question, particularly when we don’t agree is “why”?
Asking why is not an absence of F.A.I.T.H. (Full Assurance In The Highest), in fact, often it is the best possible way to activate your faith.
By asking why, and staying open to the real answer (not the one you’d prefer) you will likely find yourself in a position to soak up all the knowledge, joy, and productivity from an experience. Understanding not only what you are doing, but why you are doing it is empowering; you feel focused, driven, and in control. You become confident that you can handle just about anything because the smallest of details seem to fit, to make sense. When things arise out of place, you feel like you know precisely where they belong and how to guide them back to their appropriate space.
The key to experiencing such empowerment is to remain open-minded. More often than not, we have some preconceived notions about why: why people do what they do, why we are where we are in life or have what we have, or why we do what do and make the choices we make.
Allow me to use myself as an example: In the last several weeks, as I prepare for the birth of my son, I’ve been exploring my innermost emotions.
Choosing to have the baby at home, I understand that the importance of the mind-body-spirit connection intensifies. Being around those closest to me can be the most fruitful, uplifting, empowering and enriching experience of my life…or it can be one of the most traumatic and debilitating.
Now, you may be thinking, “How on earth can being surrounded by those closest to you be traumatic and debilitating?” Well, if you have a best friend, sibling, or even a favorite cousin, surely there’s been a time when you disagreed, argued, and perhaps stopped talking to one another. Surely there have been moments when they have stood beside you through a rough patch, let you cry on their shoulder (or get drunk enough to numb the pain for a moment).
Now, imagine that during one of the most sensationally liberating moments of your life, when you are not in full and total control of yourself (mind, body or Spirit)…all of that comes rushing back. From where, you don’t know – but there it is in your face.
Well, that is why I’ve been exploring my inner-most emotions. And for those of you who follow this blog consistently, you know that these last few months have been a whirlwind, roller coaster of the little suckers. So you can imagine, why I might want to explore a bit BEFORE giving birth. Well, in the exploration process I came across some things, particularly Spiritually, that I wasn’t prepared for.
Not many people in my family were thrilled about the idea of my having a home birth (though you can count on friends to be kindred spirits). And many of my friends weren’t keen on my (soon-to-be-ex) husband being present at the birth, though my family not only liked the idea, but some seriously counseled me about reconciliation (which is interesting mainly because of their take on our marriage when we were together).
It seemed like nowhere in my life was there consistency or harmony. In all the areas that mattered most, there were friends on one side and family on the other. And in both cases, I had people giving their unsolicited advice about how to make my process what they thought I wanted it to be…but why?
I felt a twinge to do some of it, but other things were just downright deplorable as far as I was concerned. But why?
Finally, I went within and asked myself the tough questions:
1. Why does there seem to be so much discord around me?
2. Where are all these conflicting messages coming from?
3. Why do I suddenly seemed blocked in meditation, asking questions and not receiving an any answers?
4. What the hell is going on?! *Hey, sometimes you just have to go there!*
Well, the first answer was easy enough: whatever you put in is what you’ll get out. Somewhere within, I was deeply unsettled (so deeply, I wasn’t even aware of it). I had conflicting feelings about my baby’s father being at the birth, about birthing at home, about who all I’d chosen to be present, about my own ability to buckle down and do this “woman’s work.” (Physically, I’m a powerhouse – but that emotional resurgence thing had me by the hair).
The lack of commitment to my own choices led others to chime in. Given what they thought I would want they tried to abide and appease. But they were getting it all wrong, what I wanted was the freedom to say, “I actually don’t know what I want right now, and I’d appreciate some time to figure it out – or not.”
And so, that’s just what I did. I called every one of my “birth-day supporters” together for a meeting. I let them know what I needed from each of them logistically to help me prepare (music, lifting, driving, accompanying me to appointments, etc). I also let them know that on the day of, I wouldn’t have a clue what I’d be needing, so they wouldn’t know until I did.
It was liberating. As I accepted my lack of knowing around this one area, I gained understanding in others.
I began to express my need for more emotional support leading up to the birth, reassurance in my abilities and what I’d done to date. Also, I came to understand that much of my desire to “get this right” lies in my belief that how my son enters the world will have a large influence on how he engages the world as he grows up. But most importantly, I learned just how much better things can be when you know WHY.
Granted, you don’t always have to know why. Sometimes, you can gain clarity in the moment…but for me, knowing why I felt the way I did, why I was getting the responses I was getting, and why I seemed to have no real reign over the situation helped me to get clear and get what I wanted.
Now, my family is supportive of my home birth. They may not understand all my choices, but they certainly respect them. I’ve been able to educate and inform many off them, whom are interested in learning more. The same goes for my friends and their support of my choice to have my baby’s father present at the birth (who took it a step further and not only wants to be present, but plans to catch our son).
Knowing WHY not only helped me clarify what I was doing, where I was going, and what I wanted to get out of this experience but it also helped me assess IF I was getting the most out of it. Understanding what to do, when to do it, and why it mattered reaffirmed my F.A.I.T.H. (Full Assurance In The Highest), it didn’t diminish it.
So, I’ll leave you with this:
Going with the flow is a beautiful thing, but when you find yourself stuck or thrown off-course, don’t be afraid to ask “why?” Questioning isn’t demonstrating your lack of faith, but rather your desire to strengthen and enhance it.
Good luck and Namaste.