A midwife of souls

releasing butterfly 2I was visiting a dear friend of mine, a truly beautiful soul, this morning. About half way into the visit, my friend called me from another room to witness something rather special. One of the three little cocoons that hung on the windowsill there was hatching into a butterfly!It touched me profoundly to see this little miracle of Nature, but what moved me even more was what the scene was saying to me at a deeper level about my friend (you'll know if you've been reading my blog for any length of time that I have quite a metaphorical approach to life).Somehow, in choosing to spin their cocoons on my friend’s windowsill, the caterpillars were at some level deciding that this was a ‘safe space’ for them while at their most vulnerable, while going through the process of transforming into a butterfly –  in fact, before they had any real sense of what they were to become!And it struck me that, in his day-to-day life as a mental health professional, working with children and young people who are experiencing ‘mental health problems’, he was providing the very same thing - a safe space for the young people he worked with to transform - he was effectively a midwife (or should I say mid-husband) of souls.My friend will, for example, often be the person who's called in the middle of the night to assess whether a distressed young person needs to be taken into hospital  – to preserve their own safety – or someone else’s. It’s precious work - and I’ve been touched on more than one occasion by the depth of his compassion.Of course there are so many beautiful souls growing up in the world today – many of them sorely misunderstood. Some, because of being somehow 'different' have been put on ritalin or sertraline or any number of other medicinal drugs to subdue this differentness. I'm not for one moment suggesting that drugs are not necessary in some cases, but somehow it's important for us to open to - and hear - what these souls are trying to express in the world – and somehow help them to uncover their unique gifts and the ‘higher purpose’ of each of their lives. Like my friend does. Not fill them full of drugs which can potentially suppress their natural passion and creativity.I like to bring in author, Doreen Virtue, at this point in the conversation (you may remember her from pioneering work she has done to bring the subject of angels into popular consciousness). But that’s a bit of an aside here. Anyway, Doreen defines ADHD not as Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder but Attention Dialled into a Higher Dimension – which I must say sits right with me! Many of the ‘labels’ we give people, if we look deeper, become redundant.And that’s really where I’m going with all of this. Rather than shutting each other down –  by administering unnecessary drugs simply to make a person easier to control, or simply not listening to or 'receiving' the soul of a person, perhaps wanting them to be ‘normal’, whatever that elusive state really means – the challenge here is to step into a place of really 'receiving' the other person - and helping facilitate their expansion. And this is what being a midwife of souls is all about (it's also what, with much of its work, little white feather is seeking to do).And sometimes, when one of the souls we care for is going through a particularly radical transformation, we may need to use a bit of 'tough love' for a time - like, for instance, when my friend decides that it might be best to ‘section’ a particular young person for a night or two. But then, when they have moved through this phase and we have helped them to a place where their newly hatched wings have developed some of the muscle they need to fly, we need to set them free.And this was exactly what my friend did when, a few moments later, the newly born butterfly started battering itself against the window and getting caught up in the curtain. With infinite patience and tenderness, he scooped it up in his hands and, opening the window wide, watched it fly free.