Monday, December 10, 2007

the Power of Belief


Many years ago, a bamboo curtain on my kitchen window, had become a source of argument with my husband (now ex) and myself. I believed that since I could not see out the bamboo curtain to my backyard that no one could see inside. We argued for some time over this. I had my belief and I was sticking to it. Finally, in a moment of frustration, my husband grabbed my arm and took me outside. It was dark outside and to my surprise the bamboo curtain did not exist. I saw every detail of my kitchen. My curtain that blocked a view of the inside during the day, was at night no curtain at all. I had to see it before I could believe it. How often are our beliefs about our reality faulty?
What do we believe about our world? And why do we believe it? Do we test our beliefs? Or do we make assumptions? Is our set of beliefs based on reality? Whose reality? How do people understand reality? If our society projects normality as bottlefeeding and detached parenting, then how do we change that reality? So often when I worked as an LC the problem was not a physical problem in breastfeeding but a problem of what the mother believed. Her belief was standing in the way of her ability to nurture her infant. She believed that nursing her baby had to be fixed on a time schedule and that schedule was based on the clock on the wall. Baby can't be hungry again, cause its been 5 minutes (10 minutes, 1 hour, pick the time) since she last nursed. Her reality of babies and her intereaction with her infant was that it is some fixed time. Breastfeeding is mealtime and nothing more. Our culture's view is that babies sleep alot and eat at times that are convenient to the adult world. Heaven forbid you have the baby that seems to have not been programmed correctly. And of course that means that there is something wrong physically with breastfeeding or the baby. Her reality, her beliefs about babies is like my bamboo curtain. She believes without truly knowing. What we believe to be true effects our abilities to function as mothers. What we think we know effects whether "we" decide to breastfeed and it often impacts our ability to breastfeed.

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