Circle of Life

When one looks at the film and words of the Disney movie ‘Lion King’ and its ‘Circle of Life’ song, composed by award-winning lyricist Tim Rice we are reminded of how precious a new born is in our lives.

From the day we arrive on the planet
And, blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round
It’s the circle of life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle
The circle of life

The circle of life is the life and birth cycle we all go through. According to Dr Thomas Armstrong in his book, The Human Odyssey: Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life (2008) he states that each stage has its own unique gift.  These include:

  • Pre-birth – Potential
  • Birth – Hope
  • Infancy (ages 0-3) – Vitality
  • Early childhood (ages 3-6) – Playfulness
  • Middle childhood (ages 6-8) – Imagination
  • Late childhood (ages 9-11) – Ingenuity
  • Adolescence (ages 12-20)- Passion
  • Early adulthood (ages 20-35) – Enterprise
  • Midlife (ages 35-50) Contemplation
  • Mature adulthood (ages 50-80) – Benevolence
  • Late adulthood (ages 80+) Wisdom
  • Death & Dying – Life

We are going to focus within this article on your relationship with the birth of a child.

As new parents we are generally excited about bringing a newborn into our world. We look forward to the connection and giving our undying, unconditional love to our unique creation. We want to introduce them to our family and friends, we want to share our world and interests with them and to teach them how to enjoy, live, survive in our great big world. The words of this song exemplifies this when it says, ‘there’s more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done, there’s far too much to take in here and more to find than can ever be found”. Our world is a huge place and we are but a drop in its oceans.

For many parents the birth of a child is a joy, something they have planned and now anticipate. ‘Through despair and hope, through faith and love’, illustrates that we undergo all sorts of emotions, firstly when pregnant then when giving birth and finally as our child grows up. We put our faith in them to grow up as loving, contributing and social human beings who we love no matter what. Sometimes due to circumstances this does not work out the way we planned.

We consciously or unconsciously for example we have a hope for the future of human kind, for some parents they hope for the continuation of their name line, for others its a hope for a better life for their child than that which they had themselves or we hope that when the child grows up they will contribute in some meaningful way back to their society.  Sometimes parents suffer from despair such as for example when a child is still-born or has a life threatening or serious condition, despair if the child doesn’t fit into society if they are different,  picked on or bullied and despair if once grown our child conducts themselves in a way society does not approve. Does this mean we love our child any less, no, but it can cause rifts and challenges.

The first time you have a child it is overwhelming. Some people cry, some fathers pass out however, Richard Reed, Ph.d who wrote an article in Midwifery Today, Issue 58, Summer 2001, states that he interviewed men on child birthing rituals for several years and found ‘that almost all fathers talk about the power of the experience of participating in birth and how it affected their identities and relationships with their babies’.

With hospital cut backs and the shortened stay of many mothers after child birth (from 4 hours to 24 hours) post natal depression (PND) is rearing its head in much greater numbers. Having had two premature babies I suffered from this myself and know how debilitating it can be. I spent a lot of time crying and was not understood by my husband or family at the time. PND can vary from person to person with mood swings and you can suffer anything from anxiety, social withdrawal, irritability and loss of enjoyment in usual activities  Though it only lasted two weeks for me, I consider myself lucky that it didn’t turn into a longer type of depression as it does with some women.

Early social relations by parents is important and studies have shown that babies form an attachment (around approximately two months) as they are responding to their parent’s presence with smiles and sounds. The parents become not just a ‘source of physical satisfaction’ but a ‘place of security’. Reed (2001) emphasises that ‘these affective ties are necessary to the physical, intellectual and social development of the infant’. Studies find little difference between the children’s attachment to fathers and mothers and no preference for either parent. Children reacted similarly to separation from fathers and mothers however the bond with one parent more than another can depend on how prevalent that parent is in the life of the child.

Each stage of the circle of life is unique and important and though we have focused on only one, Armstrong (2008) states that by supporting each stage of the human life cycle, we will help to ensure that all of its members are given care and helped to blossom to their fullest degree and that is our hope also.

Enjoy the clip, happy parenting and if you are suffering PND or need someone to talk to about your parenting skills we at Kae Haere Counselling and Life Coaching can assist you.

Email us at kiahaere@gmail.com we are available face to face or online.

© Kia Haere Counselling and Life Coaching

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