Today I want to share a subtlety about love and happiness.
I was once in a stake conference and I heard my stake president say that as a spouses, your number one priority is to make your spouse happy. I had heard him say that before. But this time, he explained it a bit more, and said something to this effect: "Making your spouse happy means more than just doing things to make him/her happy. It means creating an environment in which they can thrive and be happy." I didn't hear anything after that because that's when I went inside and started processing. I was in a loving relationship at the time and though my boyfriend had almost all of the qualities I wanted in a partner and he did many things to make me happy, I knew that the environment he created was not one in which I could thrive and fulfill my life mission, and thus have true joy. This was huge epiphany.
I was thinking of this again today as I contemplated what I look for in friends, colleagues, employees, collaborators, etc. For me it comes down to a subtle energy exchange. Do I feel drained, or do I feel energized? If I were to try to explain further I might use adjectives like openness, acceptance, and belief. If a friend, or even a stranger, were to tell me they are going to swim the channel, write a book, or have their baby with dolphins, I hope that I would say hooray!--and if I could, I'd try to help them achieve it. I believe that whatever the mind can dream up, it can achieve. I try to surround myself with friends would do the same for me. Although the occasional naysayer serves their purpose to inspire me, I don't want to spend too much time around them.
I hope that as you contemplate the environment you plan to give birth in that you consider this. What kind of people and surroundings will allow you to thrive and have a positive experience? How supportive is everyone on your team? Is there anyone you feel uncomfortable with? You don't have to be able to explain why. It's never to late to change care providers, hire a doula, or decide to un-invite a friend. (you can always not call them when you go into labor--say it went too fast.) Just follow your intuition--which is just another word for Spirit. You can never go wrong in doing this.
I would love to hear comments from readers about how you followed your intuition.