Monday, February 15, 2010

If you are happy with your choices, why does mine bother you so much?

I'm not usually one to go on a rant. Not that people who rant are doing this, but when I do I always feel like I am jumping to conclusions. Perhaps I over analyze things for fear of making assumptions. Having said that, I feel a rant brewing. I believe it's been cooking up from weeks of reading articles and then foolishly going through the dreaded comments section. Seriously, if you for some reason want to change positive energy to negative energy, read the comments section of any controversial story and that outta do trick!

My rant is about peoples choices. Yes, I write about choice a lot, because I, like the great Morpheus of the Matrix, believe everything begins with choice. Let's examine the word for a minute. Choice in it's most stripped down form, implies ownership, yet I don't think people always own their choices. They may think they do, but their actions, emotions, and words say otherwise. I believe when people don't own, or take responsibility for their choices, it's usually because they are not happy with them. When you are happy with your choices, you don't feel the need to defend them or explain them. Or my favorite, get defensive and hostile when a person makes a choice opposite yours.

Example #1. I chose a natural birth. I blog about my experience and my satisfaction with my choices. You, having chose a medicated birth, read my blog and immediately become defensive. You launch into explaining why you had the birth you did. You also accuse me of trying to make people who don't birth "naturally" feel bad.

So, not only are you seemingly unhappy with your choices, you are also not owning your feelings, by blaming me for how you feel about your choices.

Example #2. A story is written about the high induction rate, and how many of the inductions done are not medically indicated. The article talks about the risks of inductions, one being the cascade of interventions that can sometimes lead to unnecessary cesarean sections. Again a woman who chose an induction reads the article and feels attacked. She explains her baby was suspected to be too big at 39 weeks. She needed an induction. Later as the induction failed she found out her baby was in danger and she needed an emergency c-section (that took 2 hours to happen from the moment the doctor say c-section time, to the moment she was on the table). The baby is delivered and low and behold her baby was 8lbs and she is only 5'4! She is pissed that anyone would assume her induction and subsequent cesarean was unnecessary!

In that scenario, one might argue that the women really didn't have a choice, because she was not given true informed consent and while I can agree with that, I don't agree that she sees it that way. She is angry that her decision to have an induction is questioned, and so again I have to wonder how secure she is in her decision. Perhaps maybe she feels she didn't have all the facts. Perhaps she secretly wonders how necessary her cesarean section was, but if she allows herself to question the events, she questions her judgment and role in the events that took place. That is an admittedly hard thing to do.

There are other examples I could give, but I'll stop with those two. The bottom line is that when a person is happy and secure in the choices they've made, another person words or actions can not make them feel otherwise. If you've felt defensive, angry, or guilty about choices you've made, you have to explore why, instead of blaming others. Own your feelings and take ownership of your choices.