The Point is……

FREEDOM is a human need. 

Okay, how did this whole line of thinking evolve? It started with some posting on the local AP group about Consensual Living. So few people “get” what CL is all about. Discussions start with “well, that do you do in ABC situation?” It’s not about the how to. It’s not about how you stop kids form arguing, it’s not about get them to cooperate. It’s all about the relationship. But, it’s more than that. First I posted this: 

one of the things i mentioned lately on the CL tribe on MDC is that CL is less
about “how does that work” for specific situations, and more about the quality
of the relationship with the child. the more you work on the relationship and
trust part, the less focus issues like this seem to have in families. kids work
this stuff out, they cooperate, they look for their own answers, or they don’t
and mom or dad intervenes, but this stuff just doesn’t have the juice it has in
families where there isn’t CL.

somehow CL just takes away the intensity of these issues over time, make them
less of a problem… not that they don’t come up, they do, everyone is human,
but something about CL makes them less problemsome.

i don’t know why this is… maybe because in CL you really really get into a
place where what you feel and do is about you and no one else. and then,
interestingly enough, you stop taking your kids and H’s behavior so personal.
and then the kids and the H learn to do this too and so things just come to a
different place in your home.

So there were a few different responses… one about being happy to not have to control her child and one from a Mama who couldn’t imagine what CL might look like in her house. My response was, in part, this: 

i think that since so many adults don’t feel free, (free to make their own
choices), it’s so nearly impossible to understand what it might be like to have
a relationship with a free child. it’s just mind-boggling. we talk about the
needs of children, but we almost never talk about “freedom” as a need.

L was the only one who responded to this. She agreed that her own freedom came from realizing that she was free to choose whatever she wanted in her relationship with her son. 

So that thread stuck in my head, since the freedom piece seems to important… Mama’s perception of freedom directly affects her ability to interact with a free child. 

Then we moved on to unassisted childbirth. Well, this created lots of negative comments. Lots of judgmental language. Over and over I talked about the need for a woman to “birth on her own terms.” This seemed to fall on deaf ears. 

To put it in perspective is this quote from a friend who had two unassisted births after a section. 

I think too to put things in perspective that my history puts me in a position to need complete control over my birth. I was raped as a teen and then Jacobs birth was so horrendously violating that it was like being raped again. I wouldn’t go through a hospital birth again unless I was 100% positive it was the only way at least one of us would come out alive. 

Then all the pieces seemed to fall into place when I read this piece on NPR this morning. 

My friend and neighbor Catherine Royce died recently. It was her well-considered choice.

Choice was important to Catherine.

“I believe I always have a choice,” she said two-and-a-half years ago in her NPR essay. “No matter what I’m doing, no matter what is happening to me, I always have a choice.”

Freedom comes from choosing. Notice I didn’t say freedom is about having a choice. We always have a choice, no matter what. It’s exercising that choice that makes us free. And it’s all about that. All of it. Consensual Living, Unassisted Childbirth, death on your own terms. That’s what it means to be human. Humans *need* freedom, it’s as basic as breathing and loving. 




~ by nawor on April 13, 2009.

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