I have em, they lurk beneath the surface of all that drives me forward in life, that’s right, strong opinions.
I think it’s true to say they flow from a sense of values but get crystallised around ‘issues’ or ‘practices’ that I tend to think of as being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.
Our ‘birth world’ is full of them, just watch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as people’s strongly held ‘positions’ get slugged out for the world to see.
I often wonder what a newly pregnant woman makes of it all as she seeks to inform herself about what’s best for her baby?
What choice is she going to make regarding where to have her baby? How is she going to feed him/her? Does she get screened for group B strep? Will she do Hypno birthing? Etc etc etc.
How can we birth professionals engage with others who have different ‘strong opinions’ to us, without creating this ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ tension that currently seems to be rampant in the birth world?
A place to start is realising that no so called ‘evidence’ ever arrives at ‘Truth’, it’s not to be believed, it’s always to be ‘tested’ in our personal/collective experience.
There are certainly areas of my strong opinions where I am wrong, maybe partly wrong but just as likely completely wrong.
Holding this possibility allows me to be more humble when confronted with a co professional who disagrees with me.
This experience of holding my ‘opinions’ as, to be ‘tested’ hypothesis, creates a listening space so that hearing another’s point of view becomes possible.
When I begin to really hear what some one is saying to me, not listening just hear the points I can disagree with, magic happens.
The magic as it unfolds surprises me, I get to notice that the one I thought was ‘wrong’, or deeply misguided has thought through reasons for holding her strongly held opinions which seem to flow from a set of deeply held ‘values’.
On the many occasions I have had this experience, when my ears are attuned to hear her ‘values’ being expressed, I notice that we agree with each other and a foundation for understanding is established.