Sunday, September 25, 2011

Giving Birth to Our Dreams: Contractions

I will never forget lying in the hospital bed, preparing to give birth to our first child. I was hooked up to an IV of Petocin, a drug used to induce labor, listening to a woman in the next room in active labor. The sound coming from her terrified me! I listened in horror, thinking to myself, "Is that going to be me in a few hours?"

I never saw the woman, but I pictured her. Her loud, guttural screams made me suspect her to be a large, robust woman with a set of huge lungs. Every time she had a contraction, it sounded like she gripped the side of her bed and fought them with all her might, as if by doing so she could get them to stop. I listened, vowing to myself that I wasn't going to do the same. 

In that moment, I realized that I could either work with the contractions or against them. I could allow them to do their work or fight the work they were trying to do by resisting them. I won't tell you that I followed my advice with agility and flawless execution. I did, however, succeed in not screaming:)

As I give birth to my dream of starting a contemplative retreat center (SFI), I don't know if I am feeling the onset of labor. I might be. We listed our house last week and have our eye on a property. Things could be ratcheting up. Labor could be imminent. In preparation, I am reminded that I can either work with or against the contractions.

Here's what I mean:
  • I can allow God's timing to naturally progress or resist it, hoping to speed things up or slow things down.
  • I can grip life and try to control it, or trust God to be in control of things like the sale of our house and the purchase of an ideal setting for Sustainable Faith Indy.
  • I can scream at life--or at God--when I feel the pain of leaving a home we love and have lived in for 14 years to embrace the new and unknown.
  • I can resent the labor it takes to overcome the inertia of 14 years of rootedness and forget why I am giving birth and what I have to look forward to.  
So, as you, my reader, think about something you are in the process of giving birth to, how would you describe your relationship with the contractions? Are you working with them or against them? Are you embracing the pain and allowing it to do its work in you? The one thing I remember that helped me during active labor was keeping my eye on a focal point. What are you focusing on?

I will keep you posted at the onset of labor, when the true contractions begin!

No comments: