Fear not, I haven’t (yet) succumbed to the Frozen hysteria. Neither has my four year-old son by the way, who appears to have Anna and Elsa overload and, when in the midst of a cape filled, plait swinging birthday party pushed to the front to ask the DJ for “Something by the Beastie Boys” (god bless him).
The title is actually about exhaling and unburdening yourself of all that self-criticism and doubt that has bound you for so long. I know, I’ve been there. I’m not quite in the Zen place yet but, slowly slowly, I’m learning to loosen that grip a bit, not plague myself with endless negative thought loops and just let things be.
In the spirit of Christmas, this is a time for self-care, for compassion, empathy and kindness. I’m not religious (not that I would judge others for being so), but I believe in forgiveness. Only when you can overcome those negative experiences, long-held resentment or knots of pain that seem to manifest themselves both physically and mentally, can you really start to feel lighter.
I went to the labour ward a few months ago to review my delivery notes from four years ago…not without trepidation I might add. I leafed through the files and looked at the handwriting that told a story of a time that brought me trauma. I recalled the separation I felt from myself when intervention meant a brutal ventouse-aided entry into the world for my son. A time when I felt no sense of control and only numbness when I had anticipated euphoria.
I asked the labour ward supervisor how long it was until I saw my son again after delivery and she whispered: “Two and a half hours… that’s a long time not to see your new baby isn’t it?” What followed was a cascade of tears that soon turned into a torrent as I shook quietly with catharsis. And then I put the memory away.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite poems by Derek Walcott, Love After Love. Poetry interpretations are very personal. When I first read it the tears fell silently. I cried for loss, for turning away from myself at a time when I felt most vulnerable. And then tears of joy for coming home.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment