In The Book of Awakening, Mark Nepo talks about the birth of a chick. After eating all the food provided in the shell, it’s grown to fill the space and begins to feel cramped. It cannot stay contained in that tiny shell or it will die. It stretches and pecks, breaking the eggshell - birth.
As we grow we change physically. Wayne Dyer talks about how our spirit inhabits and outgrows an infant body, adolescent body and finally into an adult body. Though, Even our adult body changes as the cells die off and new ones replace the old. Growth, a necessary part of life.
When it comes to our spirits, stretching and growing can be painful. It seems our most significant spiritual births are often accompanied by great discomfort and anxiety about the coming change. We may even fight it, making it more difficult. But, our spirits will continue to grow beyond our current existence. At some point, we have to make a conscious decision to move on or stay trapped in the shell of our circumstance and run the risk of suffocating.
I experienced this most acutely before leaving my abusive partner. Like many victims of domestic violence, I lived in a stifling relationship. Yet, my spirit began preparing me for a new birth, showing me that I could no longer live that way. It bubbled up as uncontrollable grief, health problems, anxiety, fear and more. I didn’t want to see it, didn’t want to know it. Was terrified of the unknown- how would I exist outside in a world I was unprepared for and taught to not trust. But, the day came when the pain of staying was more brutal than the fear of leaving. Like the chick, fighting for its life, I faced the truth and broke out of the shell.
Once a victim leaves, the relationship can nether stay nor go back to the way it was. The old life is irreparably broken. If we try to work things out with our partner, the truth smolders within us, an ember of resentment that will devour us. Some victims reach for alcohol, drugs or other addictions to silence it, compounding the pain. Others move on to a new life.
For those of us who move on, there are many new births as we quickly learn to reclaim our life and catch up to where we would have been had we not been stifled. Every new day is a celebration of freedom, learning and growing as we break through the shells that isolated us from our gifts and abilities, our support base and ourselves. We come to trust ourself and listen to our inner-voice. Then we can anticipate, welcome and celebrate each unfolding birth.