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April Check In


I realize today is April 1st, April Fool’s Day. In case you’re wondering, nothing about this letter is false or an attempt to fool you. There are many outlandish things I could say, with a “April Fool’s!” at the end… but I’ll spare you the stress of that experience.


What’s actually on my mind this week is related to fear and some of our cultural practices about it. We’ve been discussing fear in our Sunday morning teachings, with the theme of becoming friends with our fears, responding to our fear with compassion. I had the opportunity to do this when I visited my midwife’s office for my 34 week check up a couple days ago.


One of the patterns I’ve witnessed in our society is the attitude that if we don’t talk about the bad things that are possible, they’ll be less likely to happen. When it comes to birth, the opposite is advised - know the possible outcomes in order to be prepared if those “bad things” happen. In my appointments with my midwife and doula we talk all the way through all the possible complications that can arise during labor and birth, getting really clear about my preferences in any given situation. We can’t plan the birth, but we can prepare.


I now apply this approach to all aspects of my life. When a worst case scenario comes to mind, I follow the thought to the end and consider what action I would take in that scenario. Instead of feeling fear, then avoiding all that the fear is bringing up, to make it less likely to happen… I turn toward the discomfort, considering the different options and making a theoretical choice. This doesn’t make the thing I’m afraid of more likely to happen - it increases my preparedness in case it happens.


Do you avoid thinking about “bad” outcomes in order to prevent them from happening? How could your experience change if you turned toward those possibilities, in order to choose the most caring/compassionate option if the situation arises? I invite you to play around with these themes this week and see what happens.