Yesterday I watched in awe as our daughter gave birth to a healthy, 7 lb 10 oz baby boy, Caleb. We were with her during her last stages of labor, and were reminded of why the word “labor” is used when referring to the process of giving birth: it’s VERY hard work!
As little Caleb’s head appeared, a problem was revealed. The cord, that had given him life and nutrition during his development in the womb, was wrapped around his shoulder, under his arm, and around his neck. With each push, the cord was choking him and bruising his little face. The midwife tried feverishly to loop the cord over his head, but the strong cord was immovable. It could not be pulled or broken. “You’ve got to push and get this baby out NOW,” she announced loudly.
With one push, Caleb’s shoulder cleared the birth canal and he shot out, nearly airborne. The midwife deftly lifted the constricting cord and he pinked up quickly, although his cute little face remained bruised. Later, the midwife told me that those seconds that the cord is stuck before the baby is safely cleared seem to last for hours. Ironically, the very cord that gives the baby life threatens to take his life, if the restriction is too tight and immoveable for too long. It was only with the final intense, focused push that freedom came to our little grandson.
The force of habit can bind us or free us. We may start a routine that seems to provide us with freedom and satisfaction, only to find after a while that our allegiance is to the routine, rather than the reason we started the routine in the first place. In our daughter’s situation, the recurring contractions were a routine that went on for many hours. It was a challenge for her to recognize the urgency of that final push until someone (the midwife) had the perspective to recognize what needed to happen for little Caleb’s safety.
An example for me is making “to do” lists. Making the list is a good idea to help keep myself accountable and make sure I am accomplishing my goals. But when my “to do” list becomes unwieldy, with insignificant details that I write down to create a sense of accomplishment, I am fooling myself into thinking I am moving forward, when in reality I am wasting time keeping track of insignificant tasks. The routine of making lists changes into a habit that binds me.
It’s easy to become bound up in perspectives that constrict us; holding us back. We might think to ourselves: “If I had financial freedom, I could be more philanthropic, travel, fix up our house or car; accomplish my dreams.” If we had better health we could have the energy to work harder, faster, longer. If we could be pain free we would be better spouses, friends, parents. If we had greater faith we could move mountains!
When we get a clear picture of what is happening in our lives–including what is holding us back, we gain a perspective that helps us to know where to focus our “push” to freedom. Sometimes this comes by reflecting upon the choices that brought us to our current situation. Sometimes others can lovingly provide us with feedback. That can help when we feel so caught up in our current circumstances that we cannot see clearly how to get out. If it’s helpful to visit the past, go ahead, but don’t dwell there.
The past has passed. It’s over. Forget it.
To dwell on it, ponder, complain or regret it,
Will only prove futile, for you have gone on.
And the time that has passed is now time that is gone.
You cannot move forward if you are behind it;
To pause, or stand still, or attempt to rewind it
Will render you hopeless and helpless and caught
If you’ve traded your substance for all that is naught.
Move on then, with vigor, full measure and more,
Move into the present as never before.
Move far from the goals that would lead you astray.
Embrace all around you and live for today!
Where do you need to give a push in your life? Where are you stuck? Where are you constricted? Sitting and fretting makes our situation worse. Taking action, with a focused push will get us moving. Many of us have learned about the Law of Attraction. Ever notice that attrACTION involves ACTION?
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage,” said Dale Carnegie. “If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
Figure out a length of time that you are going to make your “push.” Have a starting and stopping point, so that you can engage in a specific action for a specific time, with focused energy. Give it your focus; give it a giant PUSH, and freedom will be yours!
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