In my first book I compared the birth to a dream to giving birth to a child. The Law of Gestation helps us understand why it’s good to be patient, and why it’s okay if the success doesn’t always arrive when we want it to. After all, we want the baby and our dreams to arrive fully formed.
This gestation analogy also helps us stay in the right mindset in spite of the ebb and flow of goal achievement. Things go well, and then they stop going well; and then they go well again, back and forth. We think that’s a bad thing, but the Law of Polarity reminds us that there’s good in the hardship, and the Law of Rhythm helps us make sense out of the waves of pain. So does the birthing analogy—it’s like being in labor:
Going into labor is the final stage before the delivery of both a babies and dreams. The conception may have happened long ago, but when true labor kicks in, it’s finally time for the birth. With the onset of labor, at first the discomfort may be just bad enough to get your attention, but it’s tolerable. However, in the final stages, the pain can feel as if you’re at death’s door itself (and for some, it can indeed be fatal). Labor and delivery is serious business.
During the final transition, the surges of difficulty and pain can come so quickly and last so long that it seems there is no longer any relief between contractions whatsoever. When the contractions come back to back like that, it’s nature’s way of saying it’s almost over. Each pain brings progress, although it cannot always be detected, and it sometimes appears fruitless.
So if you conceived of a dream some time ago and it’s been growing, while you’ve been working and preparing to deliver it, and now you’re getting hit by one challenge after another with scarcely room to catch your breath in the middle, you may be poised for a glorious success, as long as you don’t abort now. Focus on the joy of success you hope to feel. Let that hope grow into an expectation. The pain and struggle will not be for nothing.
Don’t give up. Sometimes the relief only comes after you’re at the absolute end of all you can do, or after you’ve cut off all possibility of retreat and there is literally nothing else you can do. If you’re at that point now (and you’ll have to be honest with yourself about that), then all that’s left to do is to give it to God and trust.
Related: How to Surrender and Why You’d Want To.
A person who has not experienced extreme exertion like this can never experience the corresponding elation and euphoria of the victory that pairs with it. You may be able to experience a taste of it vicariously through books and movies made about people who dream boldly, believe fiercely, overcome tenaciously, and achieve gloriously; but it’s nothing like living and experiencing the full gamut of these emotions for yourself.
Just remember that the feelings come in pairs. If you feel discouraged, encouragement is available to you. If you feel defeated, victory is available for you. If you feel inadequate, then strength, wisdom, and everything else you lack is available to you.
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. … Ye are the light of the world. … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:3-16)
In short, there is no question without an answer, no need without a remedy, no pain without a salve. If you’re only experiencing half of the equation, circle back and ask, “What can I do today to strengthen or improve my relationship with God?” Because…
With God ALL things are possible.
You don’t need to go it alone.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
It’s your turn. Be the hero in your family. Don’t give up, and show it now by taking another step forward.
What will you do today? Originally published March 29, 2008
“Is anyone else feeling uncomfortable, aside from elation of course, with their new success? Last night I started to panic that we were actually getting what we wanted… I do get relief from the home study course where Leslie states this is normal… I feel so grateful and ready, just an unexpected nervousness as well…” – Amanda
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