This week marks the 14th anniversary of the hardest/scariest day of my life. One that I expected to be among the happiest. The day my eldest son was born.

Of course, I was immediately thankful for his perfect health, and quick to realize that the privilege of raising a truly special human being far outweighs anything that happened in getting him here. But that doesn’t negate the brutality, disappointment, panic and utter pain of that day. I was left to wonder – for a long time – why it had to happen the way it did? Why did I deserve it? How could I have avoided it? What the $%^# happened?!? And I felt compelled to write about it here (for the first time ever in 14 years) because I know that many of you who read my thoughts have been in situations that triggered more or less the same questions. It’s part of life some say. But why?

I’ve been challenged by my recent studies, to realize that EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS “TO” US IS GOOD – no exceptions! And how do we know that some event or situation is for our highest and greatest benefit? Simply because it happened. And nothing CAN happen except for the purpose of bringing us further along our journey of self-discovery and realization of our own magnificence.

But… but… but… (was at least MY first reaction to that lesson) you haven’t heard the magnitude of MY story. You don’t know that the memory of my husband haltingly asking the nurse “is the epidural machine’s screen supposed to read ‘error’?” as medication to artificially increase the intensity of contractions coursed through me, is more vivid than that of my son’s first cry. You don’t know that the anticipation of a serene, private, natural delivery got trampled under the feet of nine (count them 9!) medical strangers crowded into my room. You don’t know how single-mindedly I had focused on things unfolding in the diametrically opposite direction than they did. You don’t understand how unfair MY situation was. I didn’t deserve it.

But you know what? If I use the lens of ‘everything is for good’ to look back at the experience, I see that I did deserve it. I deserved to receive the lessons that I couldn’t have learned as powerfully in any other way: That I am strong (my body can adapt to and survive any situation); that I am supported (those who love me can be strong for me until I can be strong again for myself); and that I am enough (even in the moments simply getting from one breath to the next was all I could do, doing that was enough to move me through).

Upon reflection, I can see that I deserved the good that came out of the experience, but I also deserved the difficulty. Because I ignored (or more graciously, didn’t yet know) a simple natural truth. That the subconscious brain (the part of us which communicates with the Universe in relation to the Law of Attraction) doesn’t ‘hear’ negatives. You can’t tell it what you DON’T want. The power comes in diligent focus on what you DO want. And if anyone broke that cardinal rule, it was pregnant me. I militantly itemized all the things I didn’t want to happen rather than relaxing into the dream of what I did want. And look how it played out – I got exactly what I spent nine months ‘asking’ for: I won’t be in the hospital for anything beyond delivery (I was there 4 days, and my son had years of hospital follow-ups), I won’t submit to any interventions (I already told you about the induction-gone-wrong, which led to receiving  everything but the kitchen sink), I won’t lose control (man did the Universe make sure I had no choice but to) I won’t abandon my carefully thought-out plan and I won’t get scared (done and done!).

In the final tally – as with any experience from which we grow – I am grateful for the lessons both positive and negative. They have changed the course of my life. So, as always, looking back I can say I am truly, truly THANKFUL AND GRATEFUL.

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