Over the weekend, I started a novel called Midwives which has caused me to reminisce about my own pregnancy 20 years ago. I so clearly recall the fullness of being at the precipice of an irreversible change and the effort it took to hold the opposite emotions of hope and fear.
I feel pregnant with hope and fear today because of the impending birth of a new world. And still, I struggle to hold both feelings. On the one hand I am brimming with excitement that we are moving toward a time where we honor the sacredness of all beings and lead from our hearts. I see all kinds of evidence that we are heading in that direction, even though it is likely I won’t live to see its culmination.
At the same time, I’m devastated by the hate, violence, greed, abuse of power and all manner of separateness in our world that refuses to let go. Just like when I was pregnant, I feel both ebullient and heavy.
Bogged down this weekend by the news of Washington DC and state capitols arming for Inauguration Week as well as the fact that we still have not achieved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, I asked my friend Maria if I could walk the labyrinth she so lovingly built at her home. The labyrinth provides a magical structure for a moving meditation. A spiral with unexpected twists and turns, it represents the journey of going inward toward our higher selves as well as expanding outward into the interconnection of everything. So, it’s the perfect place to take a big questions such as “What is my role in ushering in a new way of being?” and “How do I carry both hope and fear as I do so?” Maria was more than eager to join me.
The day invited us to seek answers first through oracle cards and then by carrying our questions into the labyrinth. From the Magdalene Oracle by Toni Carmine Salerno, we got this powerful message about Divine order: “With all its suffering, destruction and war, the world can seem like a woeful place….Life is like a divine tapestry; each thread is vital to the overall picture. However…the overall design only begins to make sense when viewed from a higher perspective. Believing that things are not the way they should be only serves to keep you disappointed, angry and fearful. Divine order is visible but it is only visible through the perspective of love…. Your world doesn’t need saving, it just needs to be loved.”
Not only did this put things in perspective, but it also provided an answer to my dilemma about how to carry both hope and fear. I can put it in the container of love.
I asked the labyrinth to show me how to do this. My inner dialogue went something like this: “Okay Spirit, I’m here on earth at this time to do my part to make it a better place. How do I bring love into a world that is so full of hate? Then I started walking in. As I reached the center, this is what I heard: “Your job is not to understand why people spread hate. Your job is to find common ground. That is love. Stay in this vibration.” As I was on my journey out of the labyrinth, I received this gift: “Don’t get so fixated on what is not love that you forget to notice the beauty all around you. And remember to laugh.”
The messages I received in the labyrinth assured me that I don’t have to do it all. My small efforts are worthy. Common ground is often built one person at a time and that’s okay. I was reminded that love is a seeking energy, ever expanding. And that even if I’m afraid–and perhaps especially when I’m afraid–beauty and laughter are my medicine.
The incredible courage it takes to give birth is awe-inspiring to me, even after I did it myself! Yet, there is always that part of the labor process when the mother feels she can’t do it. Of course, she inevitably does. She doesn’t give up because she can’t. Her only choice is to move forward carrying both her hope and her fear…and her extraordinary love.
Experience a full moon guided meditation using the labyrinth as inspiration on Monday, January 25. More information here.