Not your saving grace

Not your saving grace

I’m not your hero.

In the heat of things, in your hardest hour, in your desperation, you may look to me as if I am, but it’s because you’re not thinking straight anymore.

Luckily for you though, I know very well how to help you find your girl.

When the change that you’ve been curious about erupts and you finally know it but you wish you didn’t you may look to me, and I’ll place your hand in mine and we’ll walk that path together, back to the woman who can handle it all.

There are a few different paths to find your hero, and together we’ll find the one to get you there. Because she is always there waiting.

When there’s sweat dripping down your brow and the joking has subsided, when your hands are reaching for a fix, I’ll place a cool cloth on you and release the tension in your quivering fingers, and whisper your answer in your ear.

Together we’ll navigate the storm.

And each and every time you need me to I’ll help you find her. Because I know exactly who your hero is, and you do too, upon reminder.

She’s either been here before or she hasn’t. She’s either experienced pain or not. She’s either well read on this challenge or she’s unsure, but she’s there and she’s always available. Strong, brave, competent and courageous.

And though you have moments in your labour you will struggle to find her, I am always able to help. Because though I may be your view, you are mine, and so the destination is an easy one for me to locate.

Your hero is you. In the hallway, swaying your hourglass hips from side to side against the wall, though it’s the four hundredth time and your toes are curling to keep down the pain.

Your hero is you, in the rocking chair, chanting sweet nothings in a rhythmic and robotic way, as the curl of the wood touches down over the cold tiled floor, your slippers scraping and creating your musical accompaniment.

Your hero is you, gripping her hands into my arms, struggling to keep her increasingly tiring body upright after an entire night without sleep, but knowing it’s for the best and so mustering your every ounce of unbridled power to make it happen.

Your person is you.

My role was never to be your saviour, but to support her. And when we began our relationship I urged you to look within and really ponder that- because if that’s what you thought you were signing on for you’d have been sorrily mistaken.

I cannot be your everything.

We released some of your fears prenatally, and your questions were answered. I provided some ideas and together we painted some pictures and journeyed through some scenarios. But that’s not a hero’s work. That’s just me being someone who cares and who lives for this work. You’re the one who is going to put in the time that matters.

What I offer is an ice water at your lips when you need it. I may know a position to relieve the stress on your back and help you to assume it, getting your permission to guide your hips one over the next without so much as a word. I may hold your hand when you cue that you need grounding and whisper the words I hope you want to hear after a particular challenge. I will move in quickly with arms outstretched when I feel your body needs extra supporting, and move slowly when I am taking care to keep things quiet, dimming the lights softly to allow you the space you need.

But if I’m honest, a lot of the time it’s me guessing what I think you need.  You’re the only one who really knows.

You are the only one physically doing it.

I am a doula but I am not your hero. I am an honourable witness to your journey in finding your own heroine, nestled in your soul, your heart, your mind and your perfectly qualified body.

Your hero is in waiting. And believe me, tapping into her will do you a lifetime more good than trying to fabricate that in me.

So yes, you’re a woman in labour and you’ll need support, but I won’t be your hero today. I’ll just be there with you until the end to make sure you always find your way back to her.

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