caregiving · Purpose · RN · Self-care

A Beginning….

The story of my birth goes something like this…

My very young, excited, but terrified mom and dad, 20 and 22, respectively had been awaiting me and my twin for 10 months. Yes, I was overdue by a month. In July. My mom skips the day long labor details and jumps immediately to my arrival which she describes as “lifeless”. There was no crying, no eyes opening to look around and assess the fresh hell that my mom and I just been through and no response to stimulus. Anyone who has seen a baby being born understands, this isn’t a gentle, pretty process. There’s pushing, pulling, grabbing, flipping, stroking, rubbing, suctioning and lots of other ing verbs with a purpose of getting the baby out and then assessing the response of the baby. The good news was that I was pink, breathing, vital signs somewhat normal, so I was not completely without life, but the dramatic entry was very much absent. There was also just me, no twin. Instead of joyful noise, there was a perplexing silence, followed by fear, uncertainty and numerous other paralyzing emotions that I can only imagine my shellshocked parents were feeling. 

I eventually did awake, a couple of days later. My eyes opened, I cried and continued to do so for the next 6 months with reflux and a raging case of colic. I was amazed that my very young parents had more children after that. I think of how terrified they both must have been and the Gollum places their minds were occupying. I also wonder about the place I was occupying in those first out of the womb moments…physically, mentally, emotionally. Was there a physiological reason for my response? Most likely, but my curiosity edges more towards something more intuitive and intrinsic in my nature. Why was I so subdued? 

I do my good share of analyzing myself and tend to reflect on the behavioral patterns that were established early on. In thinking about my birth story, I do tend to wonder if my stillness was a bit of protective reactivity. Maybe my true nature reflected more of those initial moments than the behaviors I tend to exhibit currently. It would appear that after those first days, I did some overcorrection. Being still is extremely uncomfortable for me, to the point of crying, heartache and physical joint pain. Movement has been very good medicine for my mind and body and something that I must accomplish daily for a sense of stability and sanity. I have yet to find a sense of belonging. I find myself confused when attention comes my way. I cannot bear to see people suffering, so much so that I will make sacrifices to take that on myself. It would seem that the stillness that I know is more inherently me than not, is something that physically, even though I know it is not life threatening, is infuriatingly difficult and a state that I just cannot get comfortable with. 

I do not write this to point out the rarity, I understand as humans we move or die. The simplicity to not be still is lodged within us all. And while I am amplifying more physical stillness versus mental or emotional stillness, even that is unattainable for the long term too. My only way of making sense of all the noise in this life, is to get still. Still in the heart, mind, spirit. Still not as in without movement, but still as glass top waters would appear, even though there is so much life happening below the surface. Without my birth story, I wouldn’t understand my true nature and the knowledge, that despite the outward appearance, stillness is my highest state of being. And without accepting my true nature, I wouldn’t be ok with being Just still, just me.

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