“The Labyrinth is an ancient, universal symbol representing our journey through life ordeals and initiations… The journey into the labyrinth’s center is symbolic of death (psychic and physical), and the journey out of the labyrinth represents birth or rebirth.”
– Pam England in Labyrinth of Birth
Labouring and giving birth (and becoming a mother or father) is much like taking a journey through a labyrinth or a Labourinth. Unlike a maze, this ancient symbol has only one path, though it still can feel disorienting. It reminds us that for any epic journey to take place, we must step into unknown territory, into the mystery, and know there will be times that we don’t know what to do.
Like walking in a labyrinth, gradually one step at a time we can make the journey, however this will look for us. Even though we often feel confused, lost, overwhelmed or like turning around and getting out of there (sound familiar?) taking one step after another means that eventually we will reach the centre and get to meet our baby on the Earth side.
As the heroine on your own Hero’s Journey you don’t know what twists and turns await you along the way. But when you know that your journey is your own there is no need to try and “get it right” and compare yourself with others, or judge yourself for not meeting some set expectation of what is best or what is right or wrong.
With this in mind, preparing for your birth requires connecting with your inner Huntress. Find out what you are hungry for during this journey. What are you hoping for? What are you trying to avoid? How do you know what will be best? Knowing yourself and your own personal stories (and holding these lightly) will help you feel less attached to only one “right” way for your pregnancy/birth/mothering to happen. The pregnancy and parenting journey is filled with unexpected surprises.
Doing what we can do to make the changes we need is always necessary (like finding a care provider that respects us, saying what we need in the birth room, and so forth). At the same time there are many things in birth, like in life, that we cannot control or plan for.When we accept this uncertainty and embrace our vulnerability we have the opportunity to learn about ourselves in new and miraculous ways. We cross the threshold into the unknown. Allowing our experiences—especially the most challenging ones—to transform us is a deeply courageous and self-loving act.
With love on your journey,