Birthing Pains, and Honoring the Beginnings and the Endings

By Leahanne Woods Smith

I work in healthcare. I am a home health CNA, a caregiver. My job is to stay all day with one patient taking care of them and concerns. I stay with them until death. I know some death and the birthing pains that often come before death. It starts out with a little confusion and discontentment. Then, there is re-realization and acceptance. The other stages come, the ones where we have to accept different levels of death’s coming. This can take days, months, or years of going through these layers of discovery, resistance, and acceptance.

It is often very hard for people to let go and surrender to natural process when it comes to their one and only life. Even when people know that their soul will live forever, it is still often meets resistance. It is the last and biggest challenge they have to face as they go through the often long birthing pains, allowing their physical body to die.

Death is such a necessary and blessed occurrence. It is to be honored the same as beginnings of life. One cannot happen without the other. And, to try and stop the process is to go out of alignment with nature, against our truth. This is the only real way that death hurts.

When I journeyed in Teotihuacan this past summer, I went through the dying of my old self to be born as my new self. It is a lot like getting rid of all the things in our closet that does not fit anymore. It is about pure love; pure acceptance of who we really are in basis. It is truly becoming who we are by way of uncovering it.

Who we are is always changing just as the tides of the oceans, the moon phases and all cycles through all of life. This is eternal. This is something we can trust that will never go away. Our one and only Self is constantly dying and renewing.

Death is life. Just as giving is receiving. When we hold ourselves back from receiving, we are stopping the gifts of another from flowing, in turn, stopping our flow. Our act of closing and non-acceptance is resistance and is what causes suffering; suffocation. We can always choose to open. With awareness and work of the Warrior inside, we can do it. It is within our will.

Nearing the end of the act of giving birth, and death there is quickening of labor pains. We can see this in the earth when she is about to expel or ignite. We can see this with earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis. The contractions come quickly, as a rhythm in ceremony, until nature takes course and there is a breakthrough.

The fear of the unknown as we are close to passing through the veil between this dream and the next causes our contractions. It is our natural sensing of the coming, and body’s reaction. In this way fear, along with self awareness, is necessary. A woman’s body produces big amounts of adrenaline during fear. As she is aware of herself; both of her fear and the inevitability of the passing that is about to happen, her self awareness increases, causing her body to produce oxytocin, a chemical produced by love and nurturing. She is, at this point, loving her life for all it is worth, seeing that her death is nearing. Flesh splits as earth does during an earthquake, blood gushes, and the death of the body is accepted as new life is birthing.

This surrender, and acceptance happens for the birthing is of anything in life. When a person works really hard at bringing a project they’ve been working on, such as a book to a completion, death of the old self has been accepted in order to reign in the new creation.

I see the birthing pains happening more these days. It is quickening where I am. As I write this at the home of my elderly client whose health has taken a turn closer toward death, I witness the contractions felt of life beginning to bow down to the great master, life itself in purest form after all else has been taken away, one by one.

There is the birthing pains of the disappointment we faced with the recent US presidential election. This is good. This is training to come in closer to what we’re made of, and gives us time to train a little longer. This tells us that our blessing is still ahead of us.

These are the labor pain days for me as I am trying to juggle a busy life with kids, twelve hour work days, and working on my creations everyday. I’ve come tighter in on my pains of schedules and decision making to make each of my days productive toward my goals. I’ve had to accept a lot of defeats, and have seen the glory found in deeper levels of surrendering. I’ve felt the call to leave a legacy upon the earth, so I am writing, singing, connecting, and whatever else I find to do that will leave a mark, the way early humans must have felt when they engraved signs and symbols on cave walls, and on the pyramids.

It is an amazing honor to witness the process of this crazy, busy, messy, life! One thing my soul knows for sure is that it will keep continuing.  And, I am glad in it!