These words are from a wise independent midwife.
She's talking about those moments in midwifery where you've been hurt and are under the weight of your grief. I don't think I can add anything better.
'Sometimes midwifery will deal you such a hard blow that it feels like your life is forever changed and you are plunged into a dark place..... please be ready for that.
In a profession such as midwifery which requires passion, emotional involvement and dedication for you to be good at it, that very same passion, emotional involvement and dedication can bite you in the butt, hard.
Find your tribe.
Explain your passion and emotional involvement to those around you so that they can somehow understand when it happens.
Build a support network so you can fall back on people who care about you.
Be aware of what you need in terms of self-care in times of distress.
And be kind to yourself. Always.
Also, vulnerability is not a weak point and does not need to be hidden from view at all times.’
It takes a lot of hardness to be unkind. As humans, we’re wired to care for each other. If we harden ourselves over we’re then capable of getting through terrible situations without feeling much but the flip side of that is we don’t feel the good things when they happen. And we’re more capable of bullying.
For more on the evidence behind this, see anything by the social scientist Brené Brown.
For a fascinating book about a midwife in this position, see Open My Eyes, That I May See Marvellous Things.
How do you make sure you stay soft and open while still doing an amazing job clinically? Hit reply to this email if you have anything you’d like to share.
To kindness in midwifery,
P.S. The Kindness Conference is filling up! Details are here
P.P.S. Anyone else loving the conkers right now? The UK in October is a gorgeous place. This is the flip side of having a brave life, you experience terrible events, but the beauty of golden brown conkers on the pavement gets through the barriers too.