I had finally given in and booked an appointment with another Doula-friend to process a particularly difficult labor and birth, where I was the Doula. Mother and baby were okay, it had just been long and parts of it were intensely challenging for me. After realizing that it may be beneficial to talk it over with someone who understood, I drove to Genevieve’s house to tell her my story.
Genevieve in her exquisite and gentle-spirited way, swung wide her front door, and led me upstairs to her studio, where she paints, writes, and has her quiet time. We sat down, me in the vintage green chair, and her in the overstuffed red one.
She smiled and I began to talk. I didn’t get the first sentence out, before she stopped me and said, “Before you go any further, I have something I need you to do….”
I adjusted my position in the green chair, and she continued with her instructions.
“Sheila, I want you to close your eyes for ten minutes. I want you to picture in your mind a pistachio nut shell. Now, I want you to think about your story. When you have that in your mind, I want you to take your experience and condense it all the way down so it will fit into only half of the pistachio nut shell. That is the part of the story, I want you to tell me.”
My eyes popped open and I stared at her, as crazy thoughts tumbled around in my head.
First of all, I’m deathly allergic to pistachios…but she didn’t ask me to EAT a pistachio, just think about one!
Secondly, this labor story was over the course of two entire days, and was packed with details and factors that mattered to the rest of the story. The story was huge and half of a pistachio shell is tiny and I’m a wordy girl!
What transpired over the course of an hour was both hilarious and humbling. I went along with her; closing my eyes, thinking about my story and a pistachio. With her guidance I trimmed out facts, cut out needless details, and crammed my experience into that tiny shell.
When I presented my half-shell version to Genevieve, she asked me to explain why I chose to share that particular portion?
I explained that it was the part of that experience that bothered me most. I felt vulnerable and out of control. I do not like to feel either of those emotions and will go to great lengths to avoid them.
We discussed a few reasons why. I admitted my control-issues, and my time was up.
I hugged Genevieve and drove away–laughing a bit, and feeling frustrated a bit. Over a couple of days, as I thought more about that birth, I decided to let it be. It had happened, and we were all okay. I would just let it go.
I rarely think about it now, unless I see a pistachio, or tell someone the pistachio story, and we laugh.
Lately, I’ve been talking with God about a particular situation that I’m in. I give Him the dump truck version, complete with all the details, because He’s big and he can handle it. He’s been addressing my control issues, and in all honesty, I haven’t been enjoying it. At all. Have you ever avoided a specific topic with God? It’s not easy.
This morning, as I sipped coffee, I was thumbing through an old Real Simple magazine. I turned the page to a full article on using pistachios in cooking and baking. Being allergic to them, I quickly passed by the article. From the very back recesses of my mind came the memory of that day in Genevieve’s house.
I ignored the feelings that immediately surfaced, and continued to flip magazine pages.
Then…within a couple of hours, I received a notification on my phone that someone had suggested that I like a page on Facebook for baby clothing called, “My Little Pistachio”. I nearly dropped my phone!
So, I find myself here, tapping out all these words, and wanting to say to God, “Don’t you know I’m allergic to pistachios? Remember, I’m also allergic to feeling vulnerable! It freaks me out!”
But He already knows that, and He’s ready to deal with me and my “allergies”.