This Wednesday one of the free take- aways from my webinar on Self-care Practices will be a resource that I’ve curated during the past few weeks to help all of us navigate through these turbulent times. Please consider sending me your stories and examples of how you’ve found the bright spots and the good that you’ve witnessed during these weeks of sheltering at home. I’m compiling these stories to include in a future blog. We’ve all seen how the images of the Italians singing from their balconies to keep up their morale has inspired hope around the world.By focusing on the good we are counteracting the negativity bias. Every single time we practice pivoting and reframing a stressful situation we are retraining the brain to scan for the good, this counteracts the habitual biological tendency to focus on the negative. We can create new neural pathways in our brains, but it takes practice and an intention to consciously be on the lookout for the glimmer of good in any situation.
Here’s an example and a chance for me to share amazing news.
For the past 9 months I’ve looked forward to being present during my daughter Chelsea’s labor and delivery. Witnessing the birth of my first granddaughter would be as close as I can imagine to seeing a miracle. A week ago, Lucy May LaRose was born. Due to Covid 19 rules and regulations, I was not be there to support nor could I visit afterward, and holding that newborn isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Yesterday my family gathered to welcome Lucy into the world. We wore masks outdoors at my daughter and son-in-law’s backgarden. As I gazed at my daughter, and granddaughter from afar, I found the urge to wrap my own daughter in my arms and to hold Lucy brought me to tears several times. Multiple times I wandered away from the group, pretending to look at flowers. Not touching those we love goes against every natural inclination. Somehow hugs have become weapons, and not showing affection has become an act of love. Our bodies are feeling the negative effects of not being touched and keeping a distance from those that you love feels foreign. As I sat 6 feet away from a new baby I couldn’t hold I asked myself, where is the good in this situation?
Almost immediately I began to notice how my son-in-law Mike instinctively handed Chelsea her water, and retrieved the pillow she needed to support her arms as she held Lucy. He was in sync with her, and they were working together as a team to care for their new daughter. The rituals women have had for years of caring for new mothers is replicated in almost every culture. The role of men has traditionally been to keep a safe distance and make sure the home is intact. Yesterday I saw my son-in-law care for his wife and daughter intuitively. He rose to the occasion, something he might not have had the opportunity to do if others were doing it for them. Possibly the good intentions of women have actually taken away this opportunity for men to support their wives and for new parents to learn to rely on one another, be vulnerable, and become a resilient family.
As I looked around the circle at my family I realized Lucy feels our love, even if it’s from a distance. Welcome to the world Lucy May LaRose. Your name (Lucy) means light, and you are a beautiful bright light, here to remind us that love knows no boundaries. There truly is so much good in the world. Send me your stories!