Courage and 37 weeks (almost!)

I haven’t taken a belly shot in 2 weeks. I’m still expecting this little guy. Tomorrow, I will be at 37 weeks. Before becoming pregnant, I always had fears about what might go wrong with a pregnancy, so much so that I almost wished my way out of becoming a mum. What a mistake that would have been! Somehow, it has taken several missteps and falls before I arrived at today. Belly plump with a full term baby, I am now fully aware of how I must be brave if I want to be a part of this world, to be an active participant in my life.

I want to share this passage from poet David Whyte that I found on

Can I live a courageous life?

If you look at the root of the word “courage,” it doesn’t mean running under the machine-gun bullets of the enemy, wearing a Sylvester Stallone headband, with glistening biceps and bandoliers of ammunition around one’s neck. The word “courage” comes from the old French word coeurmeaning “heart.” So “courage” is the measure of your heartfelt participation in the world.

Human beings are constantly trying to take courageous paths in their lives: in their marriages, in their relationships, in their work and with themselves. But the human way is to hope that there’s a way to take that courageous step—without having one’s heart broken. And it’s my contention that there is no sincere path a human being can take without breaking his or her heart.

There is no marriage, no matter how happy, that won’t at times find you wanting and break your heart. In raising a family, there is no way to be a good mother or father without a child breaking that parental heart. In a good job, a good vocation, if we are sincere about our contribution, our work will always find us wanting at times. In an individual life, if we are sincere about examining our own integrity, we should, if we are really serious, at times, be existentially disappointed with ourselves.

So it can be a lovely, merciful thing to think, “Actually, there is no path I can take without having my heart broken, so why not get on with it and stop wanting these extra-special circumstances which stop me from doing something courageous?”

I am ready for the next step, to become someone’s parent, mother. Not because I know that I can do it but because I now know that it’s normal to be afraid but still be brave enough to take all of it on. It will be worth my life, my time, my heart and all.


  1. j0s1e267

    Thanks for sharing Stef. Throughout my 1st pregnancy, I was worried from day 1; it is no different this time around. I think we will be worried forever, that’s parenthood I guess 🙂

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