by Robyn Jones – B.Sc. (Psych), Goonellabah, Australia
Pregnancy is a time of new beginnings and not just because there is a new person growing and developing inside. The true beauty of pregnancy is that it offers the opportunity for a deep change to take place in the way we live as women. A change that is initiated from deep within and supported by all that is offered during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a time for us, as women, to experience ourselves more deeply as the delicate, sensitive and nurturing women we naturally are.
I have had the opportunity to be pregnant twice and from these pregnancies I now have two amazing daughters. Each time I learnt a profound amount about how I was living as a woman leading up to each pregnancy and the changes that were needed as each one progressed.
In each trimester, of both my pregnancies, I was presented with a particular theme and within each theme there was much to be seen and felt. The themes were all connected to the same purpose – to support me to unfold back to the beautiful Woman I Am. Each theme built on the one before and prepared me for the next. Working hand in hand, they guided me to uncover and shake off the ways I had been living that did not support me to be the Woman I Am naturally.
With my most recent pregnancy I was aware that by becoming pregnant I was signing up to (at least) a nine month, in house, healing program. Little did I know how much healing would unfold!!
Letting Go of Perfection in Pregnancy
In the first trimester I could feel my body was supporting me to slow down and take stock of how I was living as a woman, directing me to look at ways in which I was living in too much motion. Which makes sense, as one of the deeply inspiring qualities of a woman is Stillness – the ability to be internally still while the world whirls all around outside, allowing us to not be affected by any of it and so giving us an enormous amount of space to support others.
Stillness was a quality that I needed to accept more of into my body and my life. This became evident by the onset of morning sickness at 5-6 weeks. While experiencing morning sickness I was unable to just keep carrying on. My body was sending me a message. STOP!
At this time what was revealed was the drive I had to make everything ‘perfect’ in order to be seen to be doing OK, rather than just truly being OK. As I allowed myself to feel this exhausting pattern of trying to get it right, I discovered my obsession with perfection was there to keep me ‘safe’ from being criticised and judged by others, because when I felt criticised or judged, it deeply hurt, so the theory was that if I was ‘perfect’ there would be nothing to be criticised or judged negatively for. Right?… Nooooo!
Exploring what ‘perfection’ was really about I realised that it was a completely unattainable thing, as everyone has their own individual ‘imperfections’. These differences are what bring us together because what each of us has is needed to complete the whole. No one person has it all. So my quest for ‘perfection’ was absolutely pointless.
Having now seen all this I was left with feeling exposed and ‘unprotected’ without this behavior. I could feel a tension in my body, a bracing of my body, a holding, and an anxiety especially in my pelvic/hip area. The energy I was noticing and connecting to felt very controlled. I was holding my body tight and in a certain way. Even the way I walked my body felt rigid, deliberate, not fluid but controlled.
Letting Go of Control in Pregnancy
With the onset of my 2nd trimester I realised that my need to control gave me a false sense of ‘protecting’ myself (again!). If I controlled myself and those around me, and my environment, I would reduce the risk of being hurt, I had some sense of predictability which gave me the possibility of feeling ‘safe’. It was my way to avoid feeling vulnerable.
As I gradually let go of the need to control and got used to feeling more vulnerable and open, I could feel that less control meant:
- More connection with myself.
- A more natural flow with life.
- Feeling my vulnerability and natural tenderness.
Because without the hardness and rigidity to be in control, there was room for me to just be ME and I was discovering that underneath all these behaviours I was naturally tender and delicate inside.
The True Beauty of Pregnancy
Pregnancy has offered me a way to embrace my natural tenderness and delicateness through feeling vulnerable. It has also supported me to live this in my everyday life, by uncovering the ways in which I had been overshadowing these qualities with the quest for perfection and the need to control.
There is so much on offer to us as women throughout pregnancy. We are given the opportunity to feel the innate qualities we have as women. This is the true beauty of pregnancy. To return to the delicate, sensitive and nurturing women we naturally are.
Original article published on the Women in Livingness website on November 9, 2015.
Read: My Third Trimester of Pregnancy & Giving Birth – Surrendering to Being Vulnerable as a Woman coming soon…