This week I spoke to a client. She is a first-time birther and giving birth at the Atlanta Birth Center. She had told one of her co-workers about her birth ideals. This co-worker decided to share it over lunch with a large group of others whom she works with. They began to berate her, tell her what they thought of her wanting to go to the birth center and not get an epidural. They were rude and quite discouraging. She felt discouraged and needed to get encouraged by me. They also nicknamed me her Dalai Lama! She liked that one thing enough to change my phone number in her phone to just that.
But I told her you would not seek courage from someone who had no courage. How did she expect those who did not understand her ideals, who were clueless on her path of preparation, who only sought to be medicated in the journey to offer any courage? They had no courage, no understanding, no desire to even understand- they only chose to sit in uneducated judgment. You don’t ask a blind man for directions. He may know how to get there using counting steps or sounds, but he does not understand the directions you need.
I had lunch with an upcoming client a few hours after this phone call. This first time birther- also giving birth at the same birth center, made an astute comment, “You do not need courage if you never do anything that scares you.” Wow, I thought, exactly!
Often times folks offer opinions out of their lack of understanding or knowledge, but with good intentions. They do not know what they do not know. But when they do, you can choose to recognize their heart and thank them without any intention of following their advice. But when folks try to push their agenda on you- disparage your ideas- and are basically rude imbeciles, I think it is appropriate to call them out on it! “You may not have intended to be discouraging or rude, but I find your comments just that. Could you please keep those ideas to yourself?”
Be careful who are you listening to. Seek encouragement from those who had shown courage. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do something every day that scares you.” I can guarantee that doing so will be a way to grow your courage! We need to fill women with great courage when it comes to birth and parenting. We need to share our courageous stories to help their courage grow.