Keeping the flame alive for a lifetime

Midwifery student notes on Guarding the flame of emotional love:

Maybe it’s coming to this as an older person, because I’ve had to do this with other areas of life for long years, I don’t know. But I think often about how I can guard and rekindle my love of midwifery.

Somewhere in all these hard and wonderful years of life, I learned that it’s very important to be specific and intentional about cultivating my emotions. Not to ignore, suppress, lessen or deny them, but to see them as integral to my life, my callings, the grinding jobs I’m just landed with, as well as those jobs I chose and love….

I’ve had to find specific ways to keep my emotions warm and loving towards midwifery and this process and goal I have before me during this season.

Life is, hopefully, a process of distilling out one’s ego and self-interests while at the same time refining and remaining in love with the core of something like midwifery.

Years ago, when I was a teen and 20s, I loved midwifery itself as an identity, as what it gave to me in my search for meaning and identity, while also deeply loving its values. That is a normal stage of life, as one is building a life and building one’s self. But at that time. I loved midwifery more than women–so the priorities and values of midwifery had to be refined in me, which is also a part of education and of life. Over a process of years, of repetitive teaching, and of reevaluating myself over and over. To love midwifery, but to use midwifery in the service of women, not the other way round.

These emotional processes can be essential for healthy longevity. I spend valuable time on this; it’s a need, a pleasure of having a soul.

Some things I do to nurture my flame currently: I remember my own births and how much they affected me; I keep up with homebirth and hospital midwives in Ukraine; I read articles written by midwives who also love and promote the values of midwifery; I find contact with others who feed what I love about this calling.

It helps me so much during this long middle (as Donald Miller puts it)– the long middle of having lost sight of exciting beginning of the process, yet neither is the end in sight yet. It’s easy to get lost in that long middle, to lose my bearings, my flame, my Whys, to lose what I love about Who I’m Becoming in this process. But it’s also necessary in the long middle of life as a midwife.

So here’s to constantly rekindling the flame, the need for constant renewal that God filled the earth with as well as the human soul 🌱

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

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