The Pain of Letting Go

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Under most circumstances, we know that letting go comes with it the experience of some kind of pain: whether it is a divorce, letting go of a loved one, or in my case, the end of a business. I can hardly recall how many years I have been working towards building this dream- full scope birth centers all over the country, serving the needs of new families. I feel like I could be in a black and white movie dressed as Scarlett O’Hara and speaking in a southern accent when I say…”Sometimes the very pain of letting go is what has us feeling triumphant in the end.”

For me, the decision of letting go, to dissolve The Sanctuary/ this once-upon-a-dream is both painful and thrilling. For years I have been riding the hope that financially this whole thing will one day pay off not just in smiling faces and happy clients, but actually monetarily, but that is not so. In fact, I’ll be lucky if I can walk away from this dream with under 20k in personal debt. And personally speaking, I have realized that my true strength comes not in business planning and strategy or in people management, but in client care. In the being and teaching of midwifery.

(Although I do feel that if there is some school out there somewhere giving out MBA’s for effort, I should be on that list of new graduates, the same list of those looking for a J.O.B.) I try not to feel ashamed of the sentiment of failure. We had a business that seemed as though it was booming for several years, having some of our best months when the rest of the world seemed to be drowning in recession. But then the thrill comes to me because of the wave of potential of newness that washes over when I realize that I am no longer tethered to anything besides my 5 year old come August. That if I really wanted to, I could run off to India and come back when I finally decide to grow up and be an adult.

Tonight the owls are partying in my canyon something fierce, sending off the reminder that death is always around us. For those of us who work in birth, we try not to talk about death, but there is hardly any escaping it when you walk the line with folks making their journeys across the birthing threshold. Often in labor, we see that in order for the mother to truly claim her power, she must sacrifice the maiden, that the young and immature aspect of herself must die in order for her to claim her birthright as the queen archetype. I am realizing that there is a place in myself too that must die. There is a child whining right now, whining because it’s hard. Hard to tell current clients that we are closing, hard to see people around you leaving because no one wants to go down with a sinking ship, and hard to see all the wasted efforts and dreams that someone else will end up fulfilling in the end. Hard because the ego doesn’t want to fail, but the same ego doesn’t even know what to do with success. And my ego, she tells me its meaningless anyways, so who cares about success? And what really defines that anyways?

Tonight, my feelings are mixed between depression, anxiety and overwhelm. I’m still in process, still letting go. I have many mothers to tend to over the next 6 months as we wind down and a skeleton crew of people who haven’t permanently clocked out yet. I sit on my own birthing threshold of my own transition as I await the cool wave of ecstatic bliss when it doesn’t matter much what I do or who I am doing it with. What matters in that moment is that by the mere fact that I survived the journey, I become the triumph itself. Tap tap tap… I’m waiting…breathing…