Crossing the threshold of transformation
Today I am 39 weeks and 5 days into my pregnancy. A stones throw away from my ‘due date’… which let’s face it is a total wild card because so few babies actually arrive on that exact day… but being this close to meeting our little one has been bringing up some interesting emotions and thoughts in this past few weeks and I felt compelled to share them.
I don’t feel that these emotions are solely saved for pregnancy and motherhood - I feel like they are actually something that any big transition in life can bring up.
We all tend to have a different tolerance to change - some find it easy to embrace, while others feel much more resistant to it. I am generally pretty open to constant evolution - however this next phase for me right now, stepping into motherhood, feels like a whole other ball game!!!
Change occurs all the time of course, but huge life shifts - such as stepping into parenthood, making a drastic house move, relationship changes, moving into menarche or menopause, leaping in your work life, or anything else that feels significant to you, seem to occur in several phases…
The phases of change
Phase 1… Sewing the seed. Going through the initial thoughts around the change - the fears that come up, the excitement, the questioning and rationalising. What if it doesn’t go the way I expect? Am I making the right decision? This stage tends to cause a lot of overthinking and over-analysing - and is often where many people get stuck and end up frozen.
Phase 2… Moving ahead. Then there is this gap between making the decision, and waiting for it to arrive. Sometimes this might be days - or months - or years even. Certainly in pregnancy it feels like years!!!
During that time there can be a sense of detachment from it in some ways - it feels far away and you can distract yourself from it for the most part - maybe occasionally getting that little stomach flip flop when you suddenly remember that it is happening - but it can feel quite surreal. As though it isn’t even really happening at all.
Phase 3… Being in limbo. And then there is the phase that I feel like I am in now. The crossing of the threshold. The bit of space and time where it is absolutely happening - yet it hasn’t quite come to fruition yet. This period of time feels like you are in between worlds - a deep knowing that things are changing radically, that you can’t (and don’t really want to) stop it, but that you have absolutely no idea what it is going to feel like when it actually does happen.
In this phase I feel like I am standing in front of a vast ocean.
I have no idea what it is going to take to cross it - but I sense it will be intense and powerful and I will need a whole heap of trust and willingness to surrender. I can almost see the other side - or at least make out some vaguely recognisable shapes - but everything is misty and murky and uncertain.
Can you relate?
For me, this time brings up all the feelings…
The list goes on…
At this point distraction is no longer an option - and there are parts of me that have already surrendered and let go ready for the next step, but yet I can’t quite take that step yet. So there is uncertainty and maybe a hint of anxiety around it. As a natural born overthinker it takes quite a lot of focus not to create stories in miy head while I practice the art of patience. Not something that I am necessarily that good at!
And all you can do in this phase is wait.
I realise in this transition that while I have an element of controlling certain situations, I am truly at the mercy of the universe and whatever plans it has for me. In some ways this has been comforting - for the first time in my life I have no choice but to let go of planning or fixating on certain outcomes. In other ways it is the hardest thing for me to do - to completely put my faith in something far bigger than me.
Expressing it all
A few days ago I sat down on the sofa, the dog curled up on my lap, my husband pottering around in the background, and I looked down at the bump where my baby currently resides and I suddenly realised that we only had a little more time just the three of us. (Me, husband and dog!)
Of course there is excitement and gratitude, but I also felt a sadness come over me.
A wash of grief for these last few hours/days/weeks of this little unit that we have been for so long.
I have mentioned it before on many occasions, but I will say it again. It is so, so important that we allow ourselves to grieve for our past selves. For the people we once were and the life we once lead. This isn’t something to feel guilt or shame over, it is a natural part of growth. Letting parts of us die away, in order for new parts to come to life.
I am ready for the change, but I also feel that it is so important to honour the transitionary process of change - no matter what emotions that brings up. Feeling sad or having fear about a big exciting transformation can often make us feel like we are doing something wrong because emotions like this are usually seen as ‘negative’, it can bring up a lot of self doubt. BUT… what if they could be seen as just energy?
Just a sensation that needs to be liberated through truthful expression?
That might be through tears, talking out loud, journaling, shaking, or simply allowing them to be there in your mind with a sense of compassion and acceptance for them.
The only way I can describe this transitionary process is feeling like I am crossing a threshold.
Stepping into an unknown territory when nothing will ever be the same again. But without really knowing what is to come.
There is a sense of teetering on the edge - a dance between where I have been and where I am going next.
It would be easy to look externally for distractions and ways to escape this feeling - however I feel like it is actually an opportunity to spiral inward. To sit and be with myself and let emotions arise and fall away - like the waves. When we don’t allow these emotions to express themselves they fester, they get stuck, they cause a disconnection between our true selves and the self we are living.
I wanted to share these feelings because I am pretty sure that I am not alone in experiencing them. And I want to honour and acknowledge that you may be scared. That it is natural and not a marker that you don’t want what’s coming next, or that it’s not going to be utterly magical. It’s a human instinct to cling to what we know and feel a little daunted at the prospect of uncertainty.
At any moment you have the opportunity to be reborn. Just as my baby is preparing to enter this world, I am also preparing to be born. Born as a mother. Born as a protector of my child. And I don’t take this transition lightly - I see the power in this rebirth, and I honour the shifts, the emotions, the fear that arises in these moments.
I am ready to step from the archetype of the maiden - the young girl - into the archetype of the mother. The fierce, yet loving nurturer. Without truly letting myself grieve the maiden, I wouldn’t be able to step fully into this next phase and so I let layers be shed.
Can you allow yourself to feel it all, and still step forward with a deep knowing that you are on the perfect path?
As we dance on this threshold of uncertainty together, I see your courage and it inspires me. It helps me connect with my own courage.
We may be going through these experiences as individuals - and they feel different to us all - but we are not alone as we move through the fire of transformation. If we hold each other with love and compassion - then we really won’t get burned.
If you relate in any way then do drop a comment below or email me. Now, more than ever, we need to connect with one another in the most real and human of ways so I always welcome contact in any form.