How love can change the holistic health community.
Sometimes I used to look at people’s shopping carts at the grocery store with an air of judgement. I would see a woman with a basket full of sodas, frozen french fries and cheetos and look at her children thinking, “How can she feed them this?!”
Well. I was wrong.
I wasn’t wrong in a sense that it isn’t the best choice to feed her children these foods, but I was wrong for judging.
You see, in this field there is a lot more judgement going on than what is led to believe.
After all… what got us into this subject in the first place? Maybe, like myself, you had a health scare and wanted to learn how to heal yourself and your family. Maybe you wanted to lose weight. Maybe you just wanted to help others to live healthier lives.
I want to challenge this community to look at what it has become.
Before I gave birth to my daughter, I looked at hospitals a certain way. An impersonal place, a place for sick people, a place where interventions were forced on you – a place where they took your baby behind your back and gave them vitamin K and antibiotic eye cream without your permission. Well guess what- the “natural minded midwives,” caused me a postpartum hemorrhage, abandoned me at the hospital while the nurses tried to figure out what had happened – oh – and while I was fighting for my life there, they gave my baby the vitamin K shot and the eye cream I had clearly stated I didn’t want… multiple times. That’s another story… read more about that here.
All is not always what it seems.
After giving birth to my daughter something changed in me. I stopped judging significantly less.
After the trauma of birthing my baby I went to the pediatrician/lactation consultant I had traveled an hour and a half to see. She was natural minded, like myself. I was planning on driving that length to see her because I didn’t want someone who would try to force the idea of vaccines on me. But something happened. After I explained this chain of events to her and what I had gone through- she looked at me the same way the midwives did.
The I don’t care face.
She just told me to whip out my breast and breastfeed the baby. She said it mechanically with no emotions, or care. She looked at me in disgust when I said the baby had gotten formula. So I took my shirt off… in the bright, fluorescent lights with her mechanically staring at me. Can I also note that… I have never breastfeed in front of anyone else but my husband (My baby is now 6 weeks old) I get the whole movement and all about breastfeeding in public. But the thing is I have anxiety… it is very personal, intimate and private to me. I don’t like doing it in front of anyone, it give me intense anxiety.
Just like the midwives, the pediatrician/lactation consultant… didn’t care about me.
I can’t exactly put my finger on it really. I mean… had they lost their reason they got into the profession in the first place? Had judgement of others clouded her love of breastfeeding so much so that she looked at me like an incompetent monster even after what I had gone through? Did the midwife who never went to check on me in the hospital… gave my baby vitamin K and eye cream without my consent… did she just look at this as her job now? At 3 AM when she was rushing the placenta was she trying to get back into the other room to keep watching her TV show? To go home and sleep?
Where had these people lost their way? They couldn’t have always been like this.
Then it hit me.
They stopped loving people.
Sometimes when I browse Pinterest in the holistic health community- I read titles like “Why a home birth is better,” or “Why breast is best,” “Natural birth vs. medicated,” “Why ___insert food or product___ is poison.”
Now when I see a mother in the store with unhealthy foods in her cart, I think about how I could help her. What could I say to her if she was my friend and asked. What I would have her read on my blog to learn how to feed her family. I wonder if she’s not doing well financially and can only afford these foods.
The thing is… have you ever tried to give someone information about their health- only to have them ignore you completely? This happens to me a lot, people are stubborn. But what I have found, is that it is all in the way it is presented. When I offer advice out of love instead of like a dictator or a judge- people listen more.
I want my baby- all of our children to live freely. Not to struggle because of fear of judgement. If my daughter had given birth and under certain circumstances had to feed her baby formula… I wouldn’t love her any less. We need to show unjudgemental love to each other how we do to our own family. Can you imagine how much better the world would be? Can you imagine how many more people would stop using plastic, stop buying GMO foods, and start buying more organic if we showed them we loved them and we cared for their health?
We have to remember why we care about health in the first place.
It’s not to judge a woman for formula feeding, getting an epidural, birthing in a tub or in a hospital.
It’s not to judge an overweight person for eating unhealthy.
It’s not to judge a family for eating a different way than what is right.
The reason we care about health is because we love.
We love our body.
We love our husband.
We love our mother, our sick grandmother, our father.
We love our babies.
And we want to help.
We cannot help through judgement. We can only help through love.