This charming book is written in a conversational style that makes it easy to read and to digest and is beautifully illustrated by Paige Sullivan. The author takes the voice of a wise woman who tells stories (lessons from the womb) by the fire for twelve nights. She suggests the reader read each of the twelve chapters one at a time in order to follow the material in real time.
The chapters follow a pattern of prenatal development, the first corresponding to pre-conception, called "the time before zero," and carrying the message that we have a responsibility to those who are not yet here ... to recreate love. The next night (chapter) relates to conception. The messages here are that we do not create babies but are GIVEN babies, and they must be conceived with intention.
Night three can be associated with implantation and the "roots" of who we are. The storyteller reminds us that babies should bond before birth, and that it is that connection which forever binds us in loving interdependence-and disconnection that causes pain, violence and destruction.
For night four, the discussion centers on the baby being bathed in the emotional waters of the mother's consciousness and how serious emotional problems can begin in the womb. Following are nights (chapters) about fullness and emptiness, the Earthbaby's first year of life, and how important it is to have "a well" that is filled with love and respect. Consequences of "an empty well" and "a well with a hole in the bottom" are that much searching and buying of material things are an attempt to fill the emotional void.
The author makes the case that loving a human being starts at the time of conception. This in turn will create a connected child, one with self esteem who will have a "full well" and be able to feel love, spread love, and create love.
I have seen evidence of this in my job as an obstetrician, because I see the patients that are "in love" with the babies they are carrying in their wombs. As I then follow the newborn throughout infancy, it is easy to distinguish the connected ones from the unfortunate ones-those who are conceived in conflict and stressed while in the womb. The "empty wells" can been seen in the child's eyes.
Children who feel no love will grow up with an "empty well." Not everyone's illness is due to an empty soul, but an empty soul does in fact, bring suffering, which in turn can cause illness and death through medical and psychiatric symptoms. For example, I had a patient who had an "empty well" brought about by conflicts during her infancy. She developed postpartum depression after delivering her own child. Her child now suffers chronic medical and psychiatric ailments, thus repeating the cycle.
On the other hand, I am not so sure that I agree with the author's idea that the well closes down at three years of age. I am afraid that this will give those who read this book a dismal view of the future. Perhaps the well never completely closes and can continue to be filled throughout life.
One thing is certain: by taking responsibility for our lives, we can work at filling our own wells. The author does comment on this, but I feel this point could have be better emphasized. Let us each become aware of our "well," take responsibility for it, and fill it, then fill it even more. Once the well is full, let us start spreading love around us. Most importantly, let us make sure to fill the wells of the children, especially those we are bringing into the world.
Reading this book has led me to feel responsible as an obstetrician, to play a crucial role every day in helping new mothers to fill their own well and then work on filling the wells of the new lives they are about to bring into the world!!!
This book affords the reader a wonderful journey.
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