I am calling you into connection. To acknowledge your pain or tendency to isolate and for believing if others can do it alone so should you.
I am calling us all to action, to reach out and hold each other close. Being a mother means we need to call on the community and teach cooperation, collaboration and show what sharing looks like, are you willing to share space, pain, joy as much as the next meal and responsibility.
I was so aware that the only thing the mother who lost her senses, the one who hurt herself and her children could have done one thing differently and spared the world -and her family - the trauma, we could all have done just one thing. Reach out and call in support. Recognize that you do not stand separate. Recognize that we are not supposed to do it alone. We need to see one another and allow ourselves to be seen. Know the signs of postpartum psychosis and depression, prepare for the pitfalls, and set up structures to help hold our children. Drop the armour and the walls.
We make a thousand choices every day. Habitual thinking is governing these choices. We shift our focus and fear governs many choices, isolating and estranging us from one another. Making anyone different or unknown a bad guy, perpetuating the idea and thinking this will protect our children; “stranger danger”. I remember feeling sick when I heard this the first time. How sad I felt when a mom in a grocery store would not accept my help when I offered to help with her toddler, while her baby needed her attention. I am not sure what she thought I would do, but my intent was only to lighten the load for her in a brief moment so that she could console her baby. Instead of leaning into the connection and reach for assistance, she grabbed her toddler's hand in fear of me and hurried away.
Another time I helped a mother on the airplane, when returning from a business trip, my hands free, used to traveling with children and understanding how we never really have enough hands to keep everything together I offered to help and she accepted, with reluctance, yet forced because her hands were just not enough. I was again saddened by how overwhelmed she was by my gesture and how outlandish it seemed.
I am saddened by our separateness and how we perpetuate it with our kids, focusing so hard on keeping them safe we don’t realize the danger of isolation and disconnectedness.
Step out and look up and find each other's eyes, most people have no ill intent, this is true.
I want us to experiment as a collective and challenge you to look strangers in the eye, watch our kids' responses and trust their feelings for a person. If they are shy or reluctant to engage, honor that and allow them to engage with who they trust. This is going to be hard; our fear and habits have created programming that will want to override our trust in the stranger and allow support and community to catch us before we fall. To gather and turn on the light before we lose our minds in the dark.