The language of transition


Childbirth is, believe it or not, actually quite hard. I know this. I’ve done it three times, each with varying levels of success. Well, quite a lot of success in that I now have three delightful children that I love dearly, but in terms of textbook births where the baby comes out in the right direction and at the right time without the intervention of countless medical professionals then I tend to think only of my last time. That one, comparatively speaking, was easy.

That one, in real terms, was also extremely painful.

Now the last time I gave birth was some four and a bit years ago, and the memories of how difficult it really was tend to fade in that kind of time, and no I’m NOT about to announce another pregnancy or anything crazy like that (ACK!!), but a friend brought it up recently, just how hard those things are.

My friend was talking about her own journey, and I think this was something that someone had pointed out to her, and then she pointed out to me, so it’s not new information. I didn’t realise at the time how pertinent it was though. She was talking about the language of change, and the difficulty we experience in facing big upheavals in our lives. She reminded me of childbirth, and how that transition phase – when the baby shifts down in your pelvis and you get ready to start actively pushing – is the time when your words tend to change. I remember it myself, “I can’t do this”, “it’s too hard”, “I want this to stop”, “I can’t do this”, and the classic line from a memorable TV show, “GET ME AN EPI !@#$% DURAL!”

Been there? Maybe not in childbirth, but in other areas. The renovation you decide to give up on because it’s too hard living in a house with no walls. The friend that’s…the child that’s…the experience that’s…

That’s where I was. I didn’t know it at the time. I didn’t recognise it in my language, or in all those thoughts of “I don’t want to be here” and prayers of “God this is too hard”. It never occurred to me that I’m generally a positive person, that this was a different language, words that were not mine. It didn’t occur to me at all until suddenly POP! A revelation, a click, and I’m out the other side again. I’d been in transition.

I can’t say I was brave and fearless and stood my ground and bashed my way through to the other side. But I can say I closed my (metaphorical) eyes and held my (metaphorical) blankie and I didn’t run away. It was worth it.

Change IS hard. Hang in there. It’s worth it.



2 thoughts on “The language of transition

    • Thanks Lori. I’m hoping that next time it comes round (because I think things like major change DO crop up every couple of years) I’ll remember the lessons I’ve written here.

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