Someone in a meeting recently asked me a question that was confusing him. ‘Why are you making such a big deal about being pregnant? Isn’t it just an appearance in Awareness?’ This is just such a sweet question that I felt inspired to write a few paragraphs in response to it.
It is true to say that, just like every other experience is happening in what I am, being pregnant is just an appearance, or phenomenon, happening in the Awareness that I am. Every human experience, no matter how intense, pleasurable, painful, or anything in between, can only ever be happening in the Awareness that is always aware of it all. But the paradox of life, is that even though your true identity is Awareness, you are also this human. To use Awareness to deny our humanity is one of the common pitfalls of the spiritual path. The thinking wants to fall on either one side or the other side of the paradox: to identify with Awareness, or to identify with this human. However, the reality is both.
Being pregnant is such a very human experience, or in fact journey of experiences. There are so many new and strange physical sensations, and changes happening for this body, as well as lots of emotions and deep insights. It is a growing journey happening in time over 9 months, with such a sweet deepening that happens so beautifully, gently and graciously as nature unfolds in this time. There is no ‘big deal’ being added, or needed to be added, to this already so perfect unfolding. But to stand back and appreciate it for what it is, there is just such a ‘Wow!’ at it all. It is a bit like the ‘Wow!’ of looking into a microscope to watch the detail of a cell dividing, or appreciating how nature works its’ astonishing magic in the blossoming of a beautiful flower. It really is mind-blowing.
And with this ‘Wow!’ at nature, being pregnant is also such a personal journey into whatever might still be held onto, or feared. It is all such a surrender to nature, that any trying to control or manipulate shows up as a great and painful contrast. Letting go, and letting go, and letting go…. Letting go of ideas about how this body should feel or look. Letting go of fears about the birth. Letting go of old ideas and beliefs about being a perfect parent. Letting go of ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ about what a child might need. Letting go of old wounds from my own childhood. Not knowing how to do any of it. And falling into such an unlimited trust… Trust that this body knows exactly what to do in pregnancy and birth. Trust that the mother will be born when the child is born. Trust that this life is unfolding just as it needs to. This is not an attitude of trust, but a falling into nothing, with nothing to hold onto. It is such a big trust that even the word ‘Trust’ can not be held onto.
And this Trust is where the two sides of the paradox can meet. The Awareness that you are, is also that unlimited Trust that can be acknowledged in this play of humanity. In knowing yourself to be that, that is aware of the whole play of humanity, there is more and more possibility for that to be lived in the human expression. There is less emphasis on the worries, manipulations, and fears of thought. And without believing in everything that thought says, there is just a free-fall into whatever is happening. No extra meaning is added, but a possibility to appreciate the simplicity of the very existence of experiences just as they are. This does not mean that the human experience is always free of discomfort, but that life is more and more lived in freedom and gratitude for its own sake. The journey of being pregnant is nothing more than an appearance in Awareness, but at the same time, what an amazingly mind-blowing, ‘Wow!’ journey into the unknown.