The first thing I say to a mama traveling this difficult path is a seemingly simple message. Be gentle, I say. Be gentle.
And I think, somewhere, that resonates and perhaps she hears me. But more often than not, I think, we hear that, make a few minor adjustments to allow for some space in our lives, but mostly carry on as before. Maybe with a lump in our throat, a tightness in our heart, a feeling of being punched in the gut. Carrying on, nonetheless.
That’s not really being gentle. When I say be gentle I mean in body. In mind. In spirit. Taking the time to tend to all these places, and noticing what does and what does not work for you.
I’m currently reading Deb Shapiro’s Your Body Speaks Your Mind, which deals with many kinds of body/mind health connections. In her chapter on affirmations and how they help us to heal she says this:
Repeating an affirmation may feel very superficial at first, as if you are just repeating platitudes in order to keep reality at bay (especially if you are not well and the pain continues, no matter what you do). Remember, your body does hear you, so trust that it will work. It just may take time.
The second sentence popped out at me. Remember, your body does hear you.
It struck me that often, after losing a baby, after our body has “failed,” we get mad. We send it disgust and anger. Love and compassion might be the last thing we send our hurting bodies.
That thought reminded me of another concept, one that shows the physics of this more esoteric idea on affirmations. Dr. Masaru Emoto has done numerous studies on water, and more specifically, the formation of the frozen crystals of water – and what happens when these crystals are subject to different sounds. In one study, he took water samples and had people say kind and loving words to and around the water. The other sample was yelled at, harsh words like hate. And guess what? The water crystals surrounded by love created gorgeous, symmetrical formations. The ones spoken to with hate were broken. fragmented.
Why does this matter to us? Why do water crystals matter to you, an aching mama? For this. We, our bodies, are made of 70% water. What happens to the beautiful arrangements of water in our own bodies when we speak harshly? Or kindly? What message are we sending our bodies if we send hate and anger?
We need gentleness. We need beauty. We need to send love. Send love to the parts you are angry with. Send love. Send love. Send love.
That’s what I mean by be gentle.
Before you do anything, ask yourself – Does this nourish me? Does this send love?
If it doesn’t, say no. Don’t do it. That’s being gentle.
Now is the time to learn your boundaries. To discover what you really need. To offer love to the body that houses that beautiful spirit of yours. And if you can’t conjure up enough love, know I’m sending some too.
Be gentle. So very gentle.