Years ago, when I was pregnant, I was determined to have my baby the natural way. I did yoga, took herbs and vitamins, wrote a detailed birth plan: no unnecessary drugs or procedures. I was certainly not going to have a c-section, if I had any choice in the matter! The plan was all good… except nothing went as planned. Labor progressed slowly—then suddenly the baby’s heart rate dropped to half of what it should have been. No matter what we did, the heart rate stayed way too low. “Pray for the baby,” the midwife said. After an emergency transfer to the hospital, the doctors ordered surgery. I agreed, let go of my plans, and my son was born with no harm to his beautiful self.

Second pregnancy, determined again to have a natural birth, I did even more: doula, midwife, homeopathy, acupuncture. This labor went much longer, but eventually, surgery again was required. My plan, again, failed—but my daughter was born healthy.

The births did not go as I intended. I was not in charge. My babies were born safely only after I surrendered, and let go of MY plan. 

We come into this world, into the embodied human experience— birth—illness—death—We are forced to surrender, even to our own bodies, as the body has its own imperative. But we resist. We try to be in charge.

I used to know much more than I do now—what I wanted to be, what I would do, what my goals were. Then Spirit moved things around, and I was suddenly in my own dark womb. Now, I have no clear vision of the future, no ability to see the path ahead. I’m still trying to figure out what the plan is.

This may be exactly the right place: the surrender to uncertainty. All I can do is to embrace to what IS, and somehow trust there is some beauty, some rightness, behind or within the difficulties. 

Surrender requires conscious and committed effort, as we want to think we can control our lives. We try, over and again, to impose our will. We have all known so many hard stories, our own and those of others. How can we accept what life hands us? How can we submit? 

And yet, what other choice do we have? We may fight against our fate, but ultimately we find peace only when we give up the struggle against life’s turns. If we trust that all the twists of plot in this human story somehow come together in some divine way, we might even find joy in that surrender. At times, the unexpected, the unplanned, is much more beautiful and right than what we had expected.

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