Wednesday, October 12, 2011

soul to soul.

To ensure general understanding of the experiences I'm hoping to relate, I should probably explain a couple of things I believe- principles and values that guide my thinking...

1. I believe that we each have a spirit, divinely created and completely unique. I believe that our spirits existed before we came to live on earth. That we lived together with Heavenly Father. That we were cognitive. That we learned and progressed. That we could make decisions. I believe that we were extended an opportunity to come into this world, to receive bodies, to be tried and tested and to further our educations through life-experience. And I believe that every spirit born into this world took that opportunity.

2. I believe that each of us, as part of our educational experience, has a veil drawn over our memory of this preexistence. I don't know when we forget it. Maybe before birth. Maybe at birth. Maybe just a little bit later. At some point, after our spirits leave this world, I think we will remember it all.

So, in psychology terms, I believe in both nature and nurture. I believe we come with a spirit- a developed personality, likes and dislikes, goals and dreams. But we must start from the ground up- rediscovering who we are while changing, learning, and growing through the challenges and joys this life has to offer.

Sometimes I look at my babies and I wonder if the memory of that spirit life lingers. I wonder if they miss being in the presence of God. I wonder if their body feels like a space-suit that they can hardly control. Maybe they are starting to grasp the gravity of the situation- they might be thinking that this is not what they signed up for. Bodies are weird. Bodies do weird things. It's all a lot to get used to, I bet, whether there's a developed soul with a memory inside that body or not.

Experience #1. My second child was just born. (you know, Iggy?) I had been up with him all night as he cried and cried. I was so sleep deprived and frustrated and at a complete loss as to what would help. I held him in my arms and prayed that I might understand him and his need. Immediately I doubled over in pain with a stomach ache and I had to lay him in his crib so that I could lay down myself. I turned to my left side and the pain subsided. Understanding washed over me as I walked back to the crib. I picked him up and held him so that he lay on his left and he his crying ceased completely. I was thankful then for prayer and the help that comes. I can't even count the number of prayers I've had answered in similar ways.

I looked at him, in his eyes and felt our spirits connect. I feel that I was blessed with more understanding of him and his needs. I just knew, as if he'd told me without words, that he had been waiting a very long time to come here. He had wanted a body for all the remarkable things he knew bodies could do. He had big plans for himself. He had not expected to have so much trouble seeing and moving. The disappointments of this life were real to him and he was going to need a lot of help and encouragement.

I understood then a pre-mortally developed character trait that has been apparent since. He screamed and whined and grunted in frustration as he learned to crawl. To this day he becomes extremely discouraged when he isn't immediately able to preform a task. He still has those big plans of his, although he doesn't remember what they are. I'm sure he'll discover them again. And I'll do my best to help him through the journey.

Experience #2. She is almost a week old. I have been so excited to have a sweet, baby girl. I've seen so many lovely photographs of baby girls and today I planned to try and re-create with my bundle, photos I'd seen of other bundles. I put us both through a heck-of-a-time trying to get the lighting right, and the headband positioned, and her face expression serene. Mostly she just wanted to nurse. Her face is always just right when she nurses, but who really wants to see a picture of a baby with a boob in its mouth? We tried and tried to get those winning shots I so coveted, but it was not working out. So I decided to give it up, sit and nurse, and just goof around with the camera a bit. She was ready to sleep after a little while, and I was anxious to load and edit photos before dad came back from mini-golf with her brothers. I dressed her and bundled her up. She sighed her happy sigh.

And for the first time, she looked at me. Really looked at me. With our eyes locked, again, I felt that connection of spirits. We were on the same page for just a moment and I felt her spirit as if it was asking me, "Can you love me like I am? Can I just be myself and not try to be like the other girls you've seen? I'm not happy like that. I want to be me. Am I special enough to you the way I am?" I was surprised at what I felt. I don't want to be that mom. Seriously, I've only had a daughter for six days and already we're doing the toddlers and tiaras thing? "Yes!" I answered her out loud.

I have not really had time to process the experience. And perhaps it was nothing but a guilty conscience, but it was what I needed to know and feel. Maybe it was a glimpse into our life together. Maybe, like my experience with her older brother, time will tell this story as a true desire of her heart. Whatever the case, the inspiration is good and I'm glad for the moment we shared.

As I went through the photographs, my favorites were the sincere, happy, content pictures of her in my lap, or nursing, or just being a sweet baby. Not all fashioned up or posed. And that's that.


Natalie said...

Well said! I get it. But it took a few kids to realize. Thanks for the refresher on listening to the newborns. I learned that with my last one, and need to remember for this one.

Rachelle said...

congrats! she's beautiful!

Angela Brown said...

Thank you for the reminder! What a beautiful post. Your little girl is gorgeous!

Kathy said...

What a beautiful posting. Thank you for sharing, helping us all remember what is truly most important. Your wisdom is inspiring to me. Thank you.

Teresa said...

Beautiful, beautiful post.

teamBoo said...

She is incredible! (makes me want another little one). After my second i was euphoric wanting another right away too, but it must've been the hormones talking cause it took me four years to take the plunge ;)

I always feel too spastic to discern what i should be listening to. I live more by the seat of my pants and i always forget to take the time to notice important things. I love your blog more than any other for reminding me of this every time without fail.