Lots of babies are born through assisted techniques like forceps, cesareans, vacuum (if you don’t know what this is, it’s just as it sounds) and with various chemicals in their blood from pain control for their mothers. In some cases these interventions can be life-saving. A lot of times they are unwanted by families. And I haven’t yet met a baby (or a grown adult) who wished for the effects their birth intervention left them with.
The range of leftovers are various insecurities, allergies of all kinds, pain of different and untraceable sorts, and at worst, eating challenges, rejection of love, violence, ands suicide.
If you’ve hovered around the data for the past number of years, you’ll know that medicine and science are not new to these facts. Inadvertently or not, if we scare, hurt, or betray babies while they’re in the womb or being born, we are breeding a generation who will not trust life, at least naturally. We and they will have to work very hard to model and restore love where it’s been lost. The trouble is, too few people know that repair is necessary after things like ultrasounds, amniocentesis, inductions, epidurals, and the already mentioned common birth interventions. This doesn’t even include the effects of first or second-hand smoke, alcohol, and drugs ingested by parents.
One of the most tragic consequences of chemical or mechanical injury during these vulnerable learning and growing times is the strange sense of not being here. It’s amazing how many people feel this, and yet may not have words for it. It may be something they’ve never even been able to tell anyone. The even deeper tragedy is that they feel like something’s strange or different or even bad about them.
Insults or imprints as they’re called (lasting memories of original challenges, parading as other symptoms) are intelligent responses to overwhelming circumstances: You can’t digest the full brunt of being adopted after a tough birth? Good! Why would you be able to? It’s way too much for a baby to handle. Instead, turn it into an expectation that just when you’re about to launch, you lose everything and get disoriented and profoundly sad. This is just one of billions of possibilities of what a baby would do to survive that extreme situation, and doesn’t need to be a permanent habit. The hurt, loss, and betrayal can be gently and gradually worked through.
All through life the body is absorbent. We are no more absorbent than in the womb and at a birth. One of the most absorbent places are the soft and fluid membranes surrounding the brain. Anatomists call them fixed words like Pia Mater, Dura Mater, Arachnoid Tissue, Ventricles, Sinuses— physical structures that do their job of protecting, cleaning, and supporting the brain and spinal cord. Or so it goes. But what they actually do goes far beyond the scope of structure and function. They are temples of the soul.
These soft and resilient structures hold traumatic memory for us. And until we’re ready to meet our most rarefied self in their crystalline fluids and interconnecting chambers, they keep us away from harm. The experience “not here” can often have something to do with trauma: It can be from the cloud of anesthetics imprinting the fluids and tissues of these structures, or the alcohol lingering in our family field, or the inattentiveness of nervous, anxious relatives, or overwhelmingly stressful circumstances. Underneath all that though, these structures are the home of our brilliant, radiant clarity. It is where we reside if permitted. When we can clear the debris of former circumstances and states, it’s from there that we experience the fullness of our “hereness”.
There is nothing like being in a room when a baby is born without chemicals or other unwanted features. That clear consciousness fills the room and all who are in it. Heaven comes to earth and all who are there are raised up in its beauty. The same is true when someone, maybe after years of struggling, finds the tunnel up from under the murkiness of their imprints, and there, in the very hermitage of their own tissues, enters the crystalline temple of their soul—maybe for the very first time.
Our full sense of “hereness” is our birthright, but strangely, one we seem to need to work for. Soul is large and needs to be made way for. It’s a weird set-up. in that we’re here to clear the path, not only cluttered by our own imprints, but by the ones whose sorrows were not cleared before us. The rarefied self that can shine through these delicate and resilient structures has the ability to heal and reconcile injuries; past and ancient. If you haven’t already, may you experience your own inhabiting to your soul’s quenched fulness. We can have it, so let’s be gentle, attuned, and humble, as the life that gently hunts us and offers us chance after chance. It means protecting babies from harm, and recovering ourselves enough to know what to look for in them.