“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” Brene Brown
As many of you know, along with being a doula, I am also a counsellor. This quote hangs on the wall in my counselling office. I find these words to be so meaningful. On a most literal, surface level, sometimes it takes great bravery for people to even show up for counselling. Often that’s the very necessary first step to working through the struggles they face in life. And then we can look a little deeper at what it means to show up. I believe that in the counselling process, when we really “show up” is when we make ourselves vulnerable and face our fears. We show up when we allow ourselves to open up - to share pieces of ourselves with another person and to receive what others have for us. In order to overcome any challenge, we need to first show up. There really is no way around it. If we run from that challenge, we gain nothing. We need to show up. It seems so simple, and yet so often, even just showing up takes so much courage.
As I sit here and reflect on these words, I realize that they speak great truth when it comes to birth as well. When labour starts, we need to just show up. When our baby is ready to make that final journey through the birth canal into this world, we show up. With each surge, we show up. We stand up and face any fears, anxieties, or uncertainties that try to make us run and hide. We bravely show up and tell those fears that they cannot control us. We show up and allow our bodies to open up. We don’t fight the surges, we show up and face them. We let go and surrender to that which we cannot control. We show up with our whole selves, giving everything we have to this process. We are vulnerable and it does take great bravery, but we show up. And when we do, we find more courage deep within than we knew we had. With each surge that passes, our confidence in our bodies and their incredible power builds. We begin to believe that we will get through this… all because we showed up.