One of the songs that spoke to me prior to and during my latest birth was Rise Up by Andra Day. It is hard to communicate the visceral feeling I experienced while opening up to the frequencies of this song. Listening to a song like this during childbirth was powerful and exactly what I needed. I chose to have a natural, un-medicated home birth and clung to affirmations, my husbands’ presence and encouragement as well as a few chosen songs. I feel that childbirth is a metaphor for our life. Birth has the ability to rip us open and expose us to new possibilities…an opportunity to let the old fall away and welcome the new. Does everyone have to give birth to experience these shifts? Absolutely not. Every challenging situation in our life has the same opportunity. A beautiful gift wrapped in a seemingly ugly box. What if we navigated our life seeing these seemingly ugly boxes for what they really are? An opportunity to face our problems. A chance to step into our greater selves.
It wasn’t until 5 years ago that I made this perspective shift in my life. Before, I sat through my life, everything happening to me without consciously understanding how to change it. I distinctly remember this subtle ominous feeling that I was missing something. This also left me feeling like a victim in my own life. I had went through a handful of health issues including a chronic bowel disorder and depression all the while feeling sorry for myself and wondering “why me.” I felt that who I was and my lens of life was fixed, permanent. I was truly living in my own nightmare.
Looking back I can see it for what it was. Life was nudging me forward towards what I longed for. The diseases and self-imposed limitations were gifts for me and it was up to me to bravely unwrap them and embrace who I really was. A funny thing happens when this shift occurs. It’s like you realize in an instant that you had unknowingly been wearing a ridiculously large coat. You suddenly feel the unnecessary and awkward weight you had been carrying and how easy it is to remove, becoming awake to it all.
Fast-forward to now, I use my life as my classroom. Learning more about myself through my experiences, the people in my life and my emotional guidance system. Self-awareness is key. Cuing in to my feelings and being curious as to why I react or feel a certain way in any given situation. I would love to say that at some point it ends and we have arrived to a utopian paradise but that’s not true. We always have more to unravel, continuous layers of the onion to peel. This is not a negative, as human beings we are innately wired to evolve. We thrive when we are rising above where we just were and bringing others with us.
A huge reason why I chose home births is because it’s a unique experience that allows me to move THROUGH my self imposed limitations. It is easy to dance around the things in our life that make us uncomfortable or evoke a palpable unpleasant feeling…brushing them under the rug, waiting for a more convenient time to deal with them. In my birthing experience I saw myself for who I was, heavy coat and all, while also seeing what I was made of. It taught me that I have everything I need, that I am whole and complete and it opened a door for me to walk through. To walk into me.
A lot of times we let our circumstances define us. We allow stories to rule our lives. There is always an invitation for us to step out of the majority and into the life and person we have always dreamed of. I believe that life is always happening for us, not to us. That in every perceived hardship there is a takeaway, a lesson, a gift. The choice is completely up to us. We get to choose if we want to rise. Rise above who we were told we were. Rise into us.
Rise into you.