Nesting instinct – inner wisdom turns into delusion

It’s not always easy to differ between personal needs and desire. My inner wisdom knows exactly what I need and how much. That inner wisdom, however, sometimes takes a step back. Fear and envy mix with my inner voice – in different situations in life.

They say, pregnant women have this nesting instinct that kicks in at different times. I remember arguing with my biology teacher in fifth grade, whether human beings had instincts. He wanted to teach us that instincts are purely found in animals. People don’t have them. Even then I disagreed. It seemed unlogical to me that we humans as living beings shouldn’t have vital instincts. How else were many things functioning us such and thus enabling the (peaceful) continuance of our species?

Natural instincts are being suppressed more and more. Scientific knowledge is placed above our inner wisdom, intelectual arguments above sensed truth. I believe, however, that we humans know exactly what we need in order to be healthy or what we have to change. For a number of reasons – mostly motivated by fear – we forget how to trust our inner voice. Clear inner instructions mix with doubt, jealousy and greed.

The nesting instinct that has becoming louder and louder in my life over the past weeks, lets me experience this phenomenon:

Early on this year and during my pregnancy I could well imagine travelling to Peru once more for my film project. Since I didn’t get the necessary financial funding for that, I am staying here. I am relieved. I want to make it as comfortable as possible for my belly and me. A trip during which I would need to focus on things and people outside of myself and of my immediate family. It would direct my attention away from the most important thing there is at the moment in my life: nurturing the growing life inside of me. When I got the letter of refusal two months ago, I actually felt relieved since the decision, whether I should be travelling in this phase, was taken for me. I have always seen myself as a person that moves around a lot. And the vision of travelling one day with my children is still there. Nature, however, determines the rhythm. When I surrender and wait for the right timing, it’s a lot easier.

So now we are cleaning and arranging things at home. I feel like spending a lot of time outdoors. It’s springtime, so a walk in the woods gives me a lot of strength. It’s different than strolling through one of the doutblessly beautiful parks of Vienna. The forest, birds, no cars, taking off my shoes and walking on wet grass… Ah, wouldn’t it be beautiful to have our own garden right in front of the doorstep? The vision of our own house just outside of town, if possible made out of wood, is becoming stronger. A condominium with a little garden would do too. But please in the district of Mödling. I know that area well, my family is there, it’s close to the city and nature is basically just a step away. Yes, it’s expensive, but maybe we can somehow work it out. Soon. I might as well start looking…

The spiral keeps turning. “I also want! I also want!”, it starts screaming inside of me louder and louder every day. “I want what others have. Property. And not too small!” Eventually I only look at the facade and not at what lies behind. My nesting instinct that drives me to make the home homier with the means I have at hand, is turning into greed. Form is becoming more important than content. Terrified I watch how the seed of a beautiful little plant is threatening to turn into a grueling parasite. I start questioning myself in every aspect. All the decisions I have taken so far, my path, my choice in work, what I studied… has everything been a big mistake? I cannot even afford the things other people seem to have. I am so far away from everything that seems to be “normal” in our society. I get impatient and more and more disconteted with myself.

Just in time I am able to cut back the growing parasite of thoughts. An uncomfortable conversation, which in the end reminds me of the power of my inner wisdom, helps me. In this conversation with a relative the naturalness of pregnancy is being questioned. My responsibility as a mother-to-be equals doing all medical examinations that exist (more in my next article).

After this conversation I can all of the sudden see clearly again. I am deeply grateful for being able to listen to my inner voice. Especially now during my pregnancy I notice that surprisingly few women (and men) are able to do that. Doing what is best for the child equates numerous doctor’s appointments, dietary supplements or the size of the child’s room. The fear of something possibly going wrong is present for many women, and every phase of those exciting 40 weeks squeamishly controlled. Because it’s only the doctors who can tell you if everything all right. But can they really?
Owning property and being able to pass something on to the child that hasn’t even been born yet suddenly becomes very important. I have to be careful and differentiate between what I really believe to be of importance and what is being suggested around me. I do not need to compare myself in material things with others – not even, or especially not as a mother. Because what this child will get from mine / our nest will be unique. A garden just outside, yes that would be nice, but during this phase it’s about other things. I must not forget that. Now I have to especially take care of myself – emotionally as well as physically – because until the child is born, I am the house that gives shelter. I am responsible for the climate in that house. Further steps can only be prepared gently. Peacefully, one thing after the other.

(At the time of publishing this article I am at the end of my 24th week of pregnany)