I am feeling like lately my posts might come off as very "woe-is-me"ish and I feel the need to make a clarification.
I am struggling. Struggling with internal doubts, pain and wounds that go all the way back to childhood, insecurities, questions, fears.
And this struggle? It is hard. It takes just about every bit of emotional energy I have.
And since my partner is finding himself in a similar tornado of emotion and fear - well, it has been hard.
BUT - I want to say that the more I read, the more I meet with my therapist, the more I learn about the emotional journey of pregnancy - the more I think this is all normal, and necessary.
And for me.....well - this is kind of par for the course for me for this kind of transition. When I think back to other major life transitions, my marriage, heck, even just going back to college at age 30 - I realize that my general response to major life changing circumstances is to go through a massive identity crisis, to do a thorough (albeit painful) inventory of my life experiences up to that point, my wounds, my scars, and the places in me still waiting to be healed. I bring it all to the surface, I sift through it, and invariably I grow a little, I heal a little, I find new parts of myself.
So, even though earlier this week I felt hopelessly discouraged to be facing so many seemingly "old issues" again, even though I felt like I was just facing all the same junk all over again - I was quickly reminded that revisiting these things, revisiting this place meant I was growing, meant I was again in a process of change.
This week I happened upon the writing of a spiritual teacher who used the metaphor of the spiral staircase to describe the lifelong journey towards growth, healing, and wholeness. I have visited this metaphor before but had forgotten the wisdom in it. The idea that in the process of healing and growth we move around in circles, but ever moving upward means that we come across the same wounds and the same messages as we move through these circles but we are not still in those same places. Every time we revisit them it comes from a different angle, with different resources, with greater awareness.
When I stumbled upon this, it was a small and quiet moment of "Aha!" - I realized, with some small hope, that this turmoil I am feeling, this fear, this messiness - it means my heart is being opened and I am moving again towards growth and change and healing. And for this reason I am trying to be gentle with myself and not run from this discomfort. I am trying to be patient with myself and with this process and I am trusting somewhere deep inside me that this is a movement happening within me to bring me to a place where I can better love my partner, my friends, my world, and most of all, my child.
So - even though I seem dark and troubled lately (and I am) - I feel hopeful about this. It is hard, it is exhausting - but if it brings me one stair step closer to being the mother and woman that I long to be, it will have all been worth it.