Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Journey: Opened...

I could not believe what I had experienced!

Imprinted on my mind previously had been my experiences during my L&D rotation of nursing school.  I had either seen moms "attempting" births without pain medication.  The ones I saw were screaming in pain, out of control, and/or exhausted by the time their baby came.  I also saw moms who were calm, in control, pain free because of an epidural or some form of narcotic.  It was no surprise with such exposure coupled with the other beliefs of pregnancy and birth I had at that time, my first birth was an elective induction with an epidural and all of the "trimmings" that go along with it.  Although I had a medical induction with my second, I still chose an epidural.  I thought that was the only way to deal with the pain at thought had to be part of childbirth.

As I rummaged through my belief boxes (see link to previous post at the bottom of this post), I found the belief "if I haven't experienced it or been exposed to it, it is impossible or not true."  This belief was discovered initially in my pregnancy and birth belief boxes, but a belief I also found in many other areas of my life too as I took inventory of my beliefs.

I am grateful for the leap of faith that I took in opening myself to the possibility that a comfortable and empowering birthing time may be possible.  Again, this experience was not only for the pregnancy and birth aspects of my life, but the other doubting areas as well.

And our birthing time had been everything we had hoped it would be!

It was easy and quick and completely comfortable.

I literally felt dumped on my head!  Everything I thought to be true actually wasn't.  After pondering on the experiences for several months and trying to piece it all together, I realized the irony.  Previously I had assumed woman making similar choices were ignorant or uninformed.  I actually was the one uninformed.  I had only studied one side in the past.  I had studied it thoroughly, mind you; however, it was only one side.  I had no idea what I was missing out on in my fear and ignorance.  "Ignorance is bliss," right?  My exposure to the other side was uncomfortable at first because it did not resonate with the beliefs that were comfortable to me.  Because it wasn't in my comfort zone I had previously dismissed it.

How could it possibly be true?

...BUT IT WAS...

and after a shift in my beliefs, I could understand that.  It doesn't always take personal experience to shift our beliefs, but for me in my stubborn ignorance, I could not have seen it as truth any other way. 

As I realized that my unwillingness to be open had closed doors of opportunity, I began to see the world around me with fresh eyes.

For the first time, my mind was opened.

I had learned the importance of being selective through Hypnobabies---it wasn't wide open and everything welcome.

It was open to allow information or experiences to pass through without automatically snatching it up.

I learned to wait without making a hasty decision.

I learned how to be selective and to read and research and study both sides of a matter without becoming biased or leaning to one side through the process. I learned to wait to make a final decision until I had gathered all of the information.

This principle was essential to my journey.  As it always is, it was very timely for what lie ahead for me and my family.

Again, an inventory is much more productive in the right timing (step 4 of 12-step program; firm foundation first).  What about taking some time to consider on how open your mind is.  Maybe consider checking these statements with yourself or come up with your own and see how it feels:

I listen to others whose opinions or experiences are different than mine without getting upset.

I am willing to try something new.

I adapt easily to changes.

I am comfortable around people who are different than me.

It's okay that I do things differently than my family or my friends.

NOW, the good news is that even if you don't think you are open-minded, God can help you with that.  Guess what the first step probably is?  Ask Him where you are at, how to be more open-minded if that is your answer, then DO what He says.  (or whatever feels best to do, go with that).

Although I first learned it in a secular way, can you see how this is a spiritual principle as well?  If we are closed to new ideas, how can we expect the Spirit to be able to whisper and for us to be able to receive those promptings? If we are closed-minded and comfortable with our thinking and lives in their current place, how can we be motivated or receptive to change and refinement?  How can we discern if we are only open to our most favorite, comfortable, or well worn paths of thought (or actions)?

Because of this experience, I was prepared when the gaps in my life became more glaringly obvious to have an open-mind to receive and consider on what really was true, what was coming from a source of light vs. darkness, and what I was to do about any of it.

My challenge to you is: do something new.  Whatever it is is right for you.  Better yet, pray about it.  Maybe the principle of having an open mind isn't important right now and that is just fine.  But what if focusing on this really could bring forward movement in your journey forward?

Consider studying the parable of the sower.  Although deep roots are vital, can you see how we must be receptive first?  verse 20: "And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred."

Is there a connection between having a closed-mind and unbelief?  Mormon 1:14: "And there were no gifts from the Lord, and the Holy Ghost did not come upon any, because of their wickedness and unbelief."  Consider studying about unbelief in the scriptures.  What does that mean?  What does unbelief do? How can I have a more open mind or increase my willingness to believe God in both what He speaks collective to His children, but also what He speaks to me personally?

My journey.  Previous post HERE.

My journey.  Next post HERE.

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