Navigating Growth and Grief of Both Pregnancy and Leaving Religion

Navigating Growth and Grief of Both Pregnancy and Leaving Religion July 28, 2023

Pregnancy and spirituality
The experience of navigating pregnancy, spirituality and the growth that emerges with each. Image created with AI by author. 

Pregnancy and Beholding the Phenomenon of Becoming

As I write these words, I think of other new mothers-to-be like me. Pregnancy is a rollercoaster of excitement and less happy emotions. I rub my round belly and feel the subtle movements of my baby. She is due in just weeks. I acknowledge the fear and anxiety that comes along with pregnancy. I sense the guilt that follows the fear. However, I try to be present. I try to behold this sacred phenomenon of creation – of becoming.

Pregnancy comes with hormone-fueled dread. It struck me recently that it is not only my baby who is becoming. I am becoming as well. I’m becoming a new version of myself – an upgraded version. It is frightening because you must fight the impulse to grieve the woman you were before this momentous time. You have to surrender to the unknown. It is important to realize that these emotions are normal, healthy, and okay. In an attempt to self-soothe, my mind has summoned the memories of a time when I felt similar.

Expectant Paradigm Shifts

During my undergraduate years at Catholic University, I experienced a paradigm shift in my spirituality. I was becoming a new person and a new kind of believer. I was growing toward a new approach to what God is. The way I envisioned this entity was changing. It was an unnerving time because I grew up in a Catholic household, and the understanding was that a terrible fate awaits a person who rejects the belief that Jesus Christ is God. I chose to take a scary leap away from what I grew up believing. What about my identity? It was strange to consider myself an agnostic or atheist. There was surely a sense of apprehension and sadness that lingered. I realize now that fear and grief are all a part of becoming, and it is valid to feel these feelings. 

Phenomenology of the New Person

Robert Sokolowski’s book Phenomenology of the Human Person helped me to anchor myself and follow my sensibilities in my search for truth. His breakdown of the human person as an agent of truth spoke to me. There was depth to the concept that human understanding is basically the transformation of various ambient energies into electromagnetic energy (a format compatible with the nervous system and brain). I found comfort in the notion that my own experiences are revelations, per se. I was stumbling into the world of New Thought Spirituality.

Upon reflection, it seems my studies of Phenomenology occurred right on time to serve as additional validation in my spiritual journey. Phenomenology and New Thought spirituality complement each other. The exploration of how we perceive and make sense of our lived experiences; the shared emphasis on the personal interpretations of reality acted as a handrail to a steep staircase that was my spiritual shift.

Conception Yet Again

Here I sit, experiencing major revelations yet again. Pregnancy and the experience of giving birth. The experience of motherhood. My little one is in store for massive revelation as she enters this new realm. My husband and I have the job of being her tour guides until she comes into her own. She will come into her own through experience. Experience will be her tool for truth and understanding, for she is but a new agent of truth. I am her threshold while she is our oblivious invitee to this strange party that is life as we know it. 

This experience of pregnancy and the new role as mother – the profound physiological changes it brings, has humbled me. I often daydream of caterpillars and wonder if they feel excitement or fear as they enter the stage of the chrysalis. I would imagine they feel both. Becoming is shrouded in fear, grief, and fulfillment.

The revelations of my college years fueled my becoming the woman I am now- who is becoming the woman I am about to be – a mother. The conscious events of spiritual change and motherhood are linked by transformation and the new worldview that emerges from them. Becoming is scary, but it is also beautiful – so long as we intentionally lean into our lived experiences and what meaning we can draw from them. Who can argue that metamorphosis, or becoming, is not divine revelation?

About Robzie Trulove
Robzie is an author, award-winning drummer, and storytelling enthusiast. With a deep-rooted passion for philosophy, theology, and the arts, Robzie's creative endeavors extend beyond mere self-expression. As a creative-activist, she co-founded a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, known as This Could Go Boom. The organization's primary mission is to champion the voices of marginalized artists within the music industry. After her pregnancy, she discovered a new calling: advocating for individuals expecting or raising small children and families. Recognizing the alarming lack of attention and protection given to this demographic, she has decided to share resources, information and support. You can read more about the author here.

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