by Robyn Jones – B.Sc. (Psych), Goonellabah, Australia
There is a beauty that naturally comes with pregnancy, along with the joy of having a child, which is rarely spoken about in our society.
Not only are we growing a new person (or persons) inside, we are also given an opportunity to grow as women while pregnant. Because what most of us are largely unaware of is that pregnancy is a time for us, as women, to experience ourselves more deeply as the delicate, sensitive and nurturing women we naturally are.
So pregnancy can in fact be a time where we can allow a deep change to take place in the way we live as women – a change that is initiated and supported from deep within us.
I have had the opportunity to be pregnant twice and from these pregnancies I now have two amazing daughters. Each time I have 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 deep within. 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 naturally am.
With my most recent pregnancy I was aware that by becoming pregnant I was not just signing up for a new baby, I was also signing up for (at least) a nine month, in house, healing program. Little did I know how much healing would unfold!
The first trimester – releasing the quest for perfection…
In my 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, therefore giving us an enormous amount of space to truly 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 as usual.
My body was sending me a message. STOP! and look at the way you are going about your day.
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 everything 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 naturally has their own individual ‘imperfections’, and these imperfections are what bring us together. Because what each of us is strong in 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 behaviour. I could feel a tension in my body, a bracing, a holding, and an anxiety, especially in my pelvic/hip area. The energy I was noticing, and connecting to, felt very controlled.
The second trimester – letting go of control…
With the start of my 2nd trimester I realised that I was now being presented with my need to control and how this ‘control’ gave me a false sense of ‘protecting’ myself (again!). I thought that if I controlled myself and those around me, along with my environment, I would reduce the risk of being hurt. I would have some sense of predictability, which would give me the possibility of feeling ‘safe’. Ultimately it was my way to avoid feeling vulnerable.
As I began to explore what control looked like for me and how this felt, I was able to gradually let go of this need and get used to feeling more vulnerable and open. I was able to come to understand that less control meant:
- More connection with myself.
- A more natural flow with life.
- Feeling more vulnerable and naturally tender.
- 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 untold 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 – to embrace ourselves as the true women we are deep within – women who are naturally delicate, sensitive and nurturing… and each one of us will have a different path to walk in this. This is the beauty of pregnancy that is rarely spoken about…
What were some of your insights or observations during pregnancy that you feel are related to you becoming more delicate, sensitive and nurturing? Share in the comments below.
Original article published on the Mouths of Mums website on January 16, 2016.