Reflecting back: 8:00am, December 10, 2004
I had been pushing for three hours. My husband had gone off to do laundry - his nerves were shot from the labor. I was sitting in the birthing tub in Clara's nursery, my head hanging over the side and I was crying.
"I can't do this. It's too much. It hurts. I've been pushing too long. What if something is wrong? Why won't she come out? What's wrong with me?" I was tired, scared and in pain and I was telling my midwife through tears all the reasons why I wasn't up to the task.
She listened and then, she said what I needed to hear.
She lovingly picked up my chin and looked me straight in the eye. Full of knowing and strength and steely feminine power she said exactly what I needed to hear:
"This is not the most difficult thing you will do for your daughter - not by a long shot. You can do this."
Three hours into the labor, she woke me up. Reminded me of who I am. I promised her another thirty minutes of all I had to give. I got out of that birthing tub and got down to business. Two hours later, Clara was lying in my arms, looking up at me with quiet newborn eyes - my child, my heart. Born to Erick and I at home, in my office, on a birthing stool, in front of my computer.
When my midwife picked up my face and gazed into my eyes, she reminded me of something so fundamental about being human. I can do hard things.
You can do hard things.
My daughter, nine now, is learning to ride a bike. Better late than never, right? After a practice session filled with frustration and followed by tears, this is the story I tell her. This is what I say, with love and powerful awareness of what my daughter is capable of, "You can do hard things." She looks at me, uncertain, but she locks onto my eyes as I tell her, "...and those hard things? They bring the most amazing results."
Let me say this to you today, as well.
Whatever your big dream - wherever you feel afraid or not quite up to the task, here is what I know about you... you can do hard things. This (saying no, speaking up, paying off debt, living into your values, growing the business, writing the book, creating the program, making the ask...) is not the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. Not by a long shot.
You. Can. Do. Hard. Things.
You are strong. You are resilient. You are wiser and savvier and way more powerful than you might imagine. Even in your fear and your hesitation, I see you and believe in you.
You can do hard things and on the other side, the results are going to be epic.
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