November generally gives me a break from the fall harvesting, freezing, and dehydrating of fruits and veggies, and lets me slow down. Not this year! Everything was focused on November 6, my daughter’s due date for the birth of the couple’s first child. The mommas had a plan. They had selected a midwife, doula, lactation expert, pediatrician, and chiropractor as their birth medical team at Hennepin County Medical Center. The nursery was ready; the gender-neutral first name had been carefully chosen. All of the baby clothes were washed, folded and placed in drawers. Everything was ready for baby’s debut. Source was in the thick of things.
As the magic date came and went, more home improvement projects were finished; “Meal Train,” an on-line sign-up for meal delivery, was organized; and a tsunami of support and love manifested. Yet, as the days passed, I grew less positive, picking up my “pain body” from earlier birth experiences, knowing that no amount of wishing on my daughter’s behalf would affect the unfolding of the upcoming event. Yet, always in the back of my mind was the question, Where is Source?
I am reminded of Eckhart Tolle’s comments about pain body. “Emotional Pain Body is the main cause of drama, pain and suffering in humanity. “ Cumulated Emotional Pain (Pain Body)”, https://vimeo.com/14125850. A pain body triggers strong emotional reactions (fear, anger, distrust, destructiveness, grief, even illness) based on painful, earlier experiences and starts an internal dialogue that overtakes all human senses and powers. If a person is not aware that the pain body is becoming active and telling a story, then the individual cannot get the upper hand, and the pain body soon controls all of the thinking and feeling. Only by becoming an observer of the pain body can it be exposed for what it is—a charlatan that thinks it knows the answers. Besides, emotional reactions from earlier pain body experiences generally do not apply to current situations. It is more effective to observe the pain body, than to get caught up in it.
I knew the strategies for overriding a pain body, yet my humanness caused me to waffle. My pain body was a set of four childbirth experiences; I was recalling my own labors and projecting circumstances on my daughter’s experience. Memories came flooding back to me: a l—e—n—g—t—h—y delivery, the feeling of being totally out-of-control, ineffective Lamaze breathing techniques, and a near-miss C-section. All conjured up fear. In those days, I did not see Source in the birthing process, only in the resulting precious life. I did not know that I was more than my pain body and emotional reactions.
A dear friend helped me to loosen the grip of this pain body during my daughter’s days of labor and delivery. We referred to it as a practice. I had a choice to surrender my suffering or pain body to Source or to keep the drama going. To know this choice existed was Source in the thick of things. Surrendering meant that I put down my pain body, and Source carried it. Clinging to the pain body meant I wanted it and believed that I knew what was best. Even though I felt some relief and lightness when I gave Source my pain body, it continued to reappear. Pain bodies persist as long as they are nourished by any negative emotions or drama—even traces. This was not a time for a token gesture. I was challenged to wholeheartedly eliminate or override my negative emotions. That process takes a willingness to change habits and doesn’t happen quickly (twenty-one days, research confirms) Intention, observation, practice and non-judgment are needed to stop the progress of the pain body. Once it is released to Source, we gain more room for love, joy, compassion, and peace of mind.
Often, I put down my fear surrounding this birth, and Source carried it for me. Just as often, I picked up the pain body of fear, feeling the return of emotional reactions from earlier life events. Cultivating a different habit takes commitment. It takes practice. It takes work. I wish I could report that, in addition to expanding our family circle, I am now able to put down all of my pain bodies and release them to Source. Not so, yet I am more aware of my choices. I continue to practice and am grateful. All is well.
Six “grands” over the last eight years have taught me a little about how I imagine Source to view birthing. There is a plan, and all things work together in beauty, light and perfect timing. Babies choose mothers who are perfectly suited to meet their fledglings’ needs, and Source works through medical team members who often perform at a level beyond their highest training and expectations. At a birth, Source smiles and resounds, Yes, another pearl! The rest of us are awed by unlimited potential.
In the quiet moments: Think about a time when you had a choice to surrender your suffering to Source or to maintain the drama. What happened? What if you had made a different choice?
© 2015 in the thick of things