In the last month, not one, but two of my absolutely amazing sisters gave birth to beautiful new babies. I got to be there for both of the births, but in different ways for each one. I would love to write a whole article just in tribute to the miracle that is my sisters, but that's for another post.
As I sat there in witness to this incredible event, and watched the contraction monitor moving up and down, it hit me that life is like labor. JUST LIKE LABOR.
Not just portions of life, not just the creative aspect of life… ALL OF LIFE.
I know this has probably been said before in a thousand different ways, but this just hit all the way home.
As I watched the contraction monitor draw lines that moved up into mountains, and then recede back down into valleys, it was all suddenly so clear. We spend so much time trying to avoid the pain and struggle of life's contractions, but they are utterly inevitable.
Just like labor, the painful or challenging times come in waves, and just like labor there is a lot of screaming: "no, no, not again!" , "I can't do this anymore", "when will this be over?!", "please make it stop!", and "what is the deal with this?!"
And just like labor, the pain recedes, and there is such relief that there is laughter and tears, and incredible joy for the release that has just occurred.
Life is like this. It is beautiful and absolutely precious, not in spite of the pain, but BECAUSE of the pain, every single "contraction" that life brings is birthing the miraculous: the precious life that you are.
Just like labor, life is messy and chaotic and totally out of anyone's control. And just like labor, you alone must move through it. You may be surrounded by people supporting and helping and wanting to ease your suffering, but they can't do it. In those moments it's just you and the pain.
The heat of the pain comes so close that you ARE the pain, there is nothing BUT it.
And still… joy comes out the other side. Against every thought that says otherwise, it rolls right past, as waves always do.
And just like labor, at the end of this life, you will look back upon it all with nothing but utter gratitude, for the gift that you've been given.
It is the sweetest ride, even when it's uglier than hell.
There's no predicting it, or understanding it, or getting a handle on it. There's no controlling it, or intuiting it, or slapping a happy face over it. It goes how it goes, and all you can do is move with it, there's not even a choice -- it's taking you with it, like it or not.
But there is such grace in it's constant motion. Every "contraction", is life born, NEW.
What is there to run from? this is what we wanted. the whole staggering realm of experience — uncut and unrated. ;)
You can either welcome it all, knowing the preciousness that is constantly being born, or you can hold your breath and kick and scream till' it's over, there's no getting it wrong.
Did you hear me? I'm serious...
there's NO getting it wrong.