I consider Lady Godiva to be one of the deck’s heavies. I’d rather she turn up in someone else’s hand. But here she is, and I clearly have work to do around Humility. Lady Godiva is all about having the courage to bare one’s self fully, to share our raw and naked vulnerability, and, in so doing, to reveal our true strength.
Birth comes to mind. My first child was born cesarean. I had intended a homebirth. Thirty-six hours after my water broke, my labor stalled and the baby was showing signs of distress. We went to the hospital where I tumbled down the slippery slope of intervention. I was happy to have a healthy baby in my arms at the end of it all.
From there I waded through a deep pool of shame, fear, and soul searching. What happened? How could have all my prayers and hard work result in such a different birth experience that I had envisioned? Of course there are many factors, many of which were beyond my control. But one salient a-ha was worth all the pain and suffering I had endured—I got that I had not been able to completely let down my guard and let go. I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to birth well. I didn’t know that I could ask for help.
By the time my second child’s due date was upon me, I was in an entirely different place. I was working with a midwife with whom I could be fully myself. I was wise to the fact that birth was not something to manage but rather something to allow. I had called together a team of women (and my sweet husband) who had faith in my power to give birth. And, I believed in myself, stripped down and dirty. The birth began the same but ended in an blessed HBAC (Homebirth After Cesarean).
Where in your life has your true power manifest through humility?
By the way, if you do not know much about Lady Godiva, check her out. In my town there is a whole day devoted to this noblewoman. The projects that have emerged through Lady Godiva Day are powerful and healing.