Birth Pains – 8/11/09

Hello again,

I’m so glad you decided to join us!  (Some of you are probably thinking the same about me).  Well, I couldn’t let TWO weeks pass without saying something…those who know me are saying, “Two weeks? Try two seconds!”

But seriously, I apologize for being away so long and I promise to do better in the future.  It’s ironic really. The very thing that kept me from you is what brings me here today: change.


Over the course of the last month, my life has changed.  It has changed in unimaginable ways.  I have endured unspeakable pain and limitless joy – one sometimes resulting in the other.  Initially, I ran from it.  I tried so hard to keep things “situated.” I fought mercilessly to keep my life as it was, but when you hold on too tightly to what you have, what you truly want has no room to get in.

For three days I was “just” there, indecisive and confused.  Even as I received blessing after blessing, I still felt burnt out, beat up and beat down. Frantically, I would try to recall all the positives. If I allowed myself to grab hold of all my issues, I would have to hide under my bed forget the covers. But something wouldn’t let me wallow in doubt and self-pity.  Even with all the changes, something made me hold fast to the positives.

It seems I had forgotten that the changes were the positives! Well, a warm thank you to the anonymous man on the train who helped me remember. He stood up to give a woman his seat (and you thought chivalry was dead), all the while staring at his iPhone. It made me remember something (seemingly) unrelated, but before long I was redirected and back on track.

Not long ago, I went to party and was practically booted out of a seat by a brother. I called him everything  that I could think of before walking off (respectfully…kind of).  One of my associates came to see what I was huffing about and when I told her, she preceded to tell him all about himself. It went something like this:

“You know what, brothers like you are trifling. Trifling! That is disrespectful! Sir, do you know that your mother’s cervix had to dilate 10 decimeters for your big head to come out and see this world? And this is how you repay her? We are queens,” she said pointing back and forth between us. “We’re the future mothers. I am a mother! Ooh, sometimes I wish I had one of those 3G phones so I could show y’all [trifling brothers] a woman giving birth! Y’all need to see that. That [childbirth] is painful. And that,” she pointed at him in his seat, “is painful.”

I imagined the man on the train watching a video of childbirth on his iPhone and becoming so awestruck by the strength of a woman that he felt compelled to give up his seat. I thought of my friend, and I couldn’t help but laugh.

Here I was, yelling at the universe about needing a new space, new opportunities, new experiences, new people. I was inviting it all in and when it showed up, I closed the door (common sense ain’t so common sometimes)! All the stress, all the turmoil, all the heartache in my life was because of my resistance to the change, not the change itself.

Based on what I’ve been told, embracing change in our lives is a lot like child birth. (Men you can be pregnant with innovation, agency, and actualization – so it’s like birth OK?  Go with it. And ladies, since I haven’t (physically) given birth yet, you’ll have to forgive my less than basic depiction below).

Labor for the first time mother, I’ve been told, can be unexpected and disorienting.  Shocked, scared, and confused a woman might “hold on” so she can get to the hospital. When a woman “holds on”, she may hold her breath and tense up. Essentially, her goal is to suspend the process.  She refrains from pushing to slow the baby’s travel down the canal.

But “holding on” can put a mother and her baby in grave danger.  In her pain and disarray she can inadvertently cut off the air supply to her unborn child or send herself into cardiac arrest. If she holds on too long, she may strangle the very life from her child and perhaps herself.  And though the doctors may be able to save them both, sometimes it is not without noticeable damage to the mind, body, and soul.

It’s the same with a vision,  a desire or a dream – a change.  If it is held onto for too long it will die. Perhaps it can be salvaged, but at what cost? What have you lost in the process?

On the other hand, childbirth can be (and typically is) a wondrous, fulfilling (and challenging) experience that heightens a woman’s wisdom, sensuality, and soulfulness in ways that I will never understand until I have a child. And so too it is with our life paths.  When we trust in ourselves and the process before us, we grow in ways that leave those around us in awe and wonderment, secretly pining for what we have.

And therein lied my dilemma. I knew all of this, and yet I was still “holding on.”  I felt like there were too many things happening; one thing after another. It was…too soon. But this is the thing: if change occurred when people were ready, hardly anything would change.  It is because of the turmoil, the need, the urgency and the uncertainty in our lives that change can take place.

How you survive change all depends on whether you brace yourself on a raft to ride the wave, or get sucked into the tide and crushed under its weight.

And here I was, a damn good swimmer (literally and metaphorically), thrashing and flailing about, trying to stop the inevitable – getting pummeled. Here I was, the self-proclaimed change agent, desiring to incite action, promote peace and understanding, and sow the seeds of change, and I couldn’t even see that everything I asked for was trying to get in.

Well…I get it now and I accept it. The time has come for me to be the very change I wish to see. Yup, my water just broke. The very thought of it is radical, it’s revolutionary, and it’s time.

Welcome to the revolution.

Wishing you well,
Kiki B.


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