The Only Way Out Is Through

There is a moment in every Great Undertaking when I realize I can not go on.

I think to myself, “This Great Undertaking is a fool’s plan, unachievable, and just not going to happen no way-no how, stop the ferris wheel NOW I need to get OFF!”

When I was about eight months pregnant it occurred to me that this large wonderful Creature-Lump inside me was actually going to have to come OUT at some point. Up until then we had been having a lovely contemplative time together. I mostly read books and drank nourishing herbal teas. The Creature-Lump mostly hung out, grew, and mildly squirmed in an increasingly constrained space. We had a rhythm. It was just fine.

Then the comprehension happened. I was doing my normal evening routine, on a day like any other, and suddenly realized that this large Creature-Lump was going to come out into the world. It would come out. Out of me. That was just weird, freaky, and scary. And I couldn’t run away from this reality. I couldn’t wish it to be magically over or find an older sister to do it for me. I realized was just up to me and the lump-creature to make the change.

The only way out is through.

Turns out is wasn’t just up to me and the C-L, though. When we came to the moment of no return, a sizable network of people helped me, cared for me, encouraged me, and literally held me up when I couldn’t go on.

Life is often just plain hard. And hard is not always bad. The challenge sometimes leads to really great amazing stuff. That lump-creature became the most wonderful girl (now young woman) who made my whole life better.

But, facing the reality of knowing there is absolutely no turning back or hiding from the process…is a defining moment. Whether that stampeding process is childbirth, or another equally terrifying unavoidable truth ….the only way out is through. Equal measures of awareness and acceptance will save the day.

I wish I could say it has gotten easier to accept this truth. Somehow, it sneaks up on me every. damn. time.

Writing term papers. Getting a project completed. Telling the truth that needs to be told. Not telling the truth that doesn’t need to be told. Stepping away from what is known toward something new. The only way out is through.

SO I remember what always always makes the impossible possible. Surround myself with people who love me. Talk to people who have traversed this path. Feel the feelings. Read books about inspiring heroes. Dance to great music. Take naps.

And when the transition comes, because of course it will…Stay present. Breathe. Be curious and rely on the process to happen.