Life is like birth. For a woman who has become a mother through this process, she experiences every hardship of human existence in a microscopic amount of time, comparatively. Hormonal upheaval, emotional turbulence, deep self-realizations, profound transition, health discipline with perceptible consequences, hard physical work, an internal labyrinth, the compilation of everything all at once and then, suddenly, the result of everything coming together either as immense joy or immense grief. Life.
For me, this spiritual journey and all the projects and practices I’ve tried to create along the way have been a lot like pregnancy and labor. Some things can be shared with the people walking alongside you, but most of the really hard stuff is all you. There’s a great quote from the birth documentary “These Are My Hours”. She says, “You’re standing in front of the coals and it’s your turn to walk across…Only your feet are going to get burned.” The reality of radical self-responsibility is isolating, yes. The next step will hurt, yes. The world, the fate of this next part, is all on your shoulders. The only way out is through. Yes.
The other way “out” is to give up and die. That’s something I really feel sometimes - and I really mean that. Also like labor, I think we all come to a point, sometimes again and again, where we want out. Jump ship! But… you are the ship.
What do I want out of life? What really matters to me? It’s not about guilting myself into persevering because someone else, even my inner self, will be disappointed in me or call me a flake, a failure. What do I want?
I want my baby.
I’m taking my baby. Clawing tooth and nail, if I have to. Rip the obstacles to shreds, if I have to. Body slam and bulldoze the stone walls to get to the center of that labyrinth, if I have to. This is MY baby. Mine.
Remember this when you find yourself at the veil, at the threshold of something truly incredible. What do you want?