Labyrinths :: The Ultimate Life Metaphor to Keep You Sane


You know labyrinths? Those mazes that aren’t actually mazes because they lead you to the center and then back out again? Walking a labyrinth is meant to be meditative, but I have found that simply thinking about them in relation to my life has helped calm me. So here are three ways a labyrinth can keep you sane.

During Labor

When I was pregnant, I took these amazing, beautiful birthing classes called Birthing from Within. One evening, our teacher encouraged us to go walk a local labyrinth. She pointed out how you can never tell how near the end you actually are. You can be so close to the center, thinking, “One more corner, and I’m done.” But then the path leads you away in an unexpected direction further from your end goal.

Our teacher equated this to giving birth. With false starts, stalled labor, early arrivals, or quick and fast surprise births in the car, you can never know how close you are to the baby’s arrival until the baby is there. Labor is a labyrinth–a labor-nth if you will.

By the way, I found this image so powerful that I actually wore a labyrinth necklace while giving birth.

Labyrinths :: The Ultimate Life Metaphor to Keep You SaneBedtime

You’ve got the kids bathed, brushed, pajama-ed. You’re walking into the bedroom for the final steps when one of them remembers something they must bring to school tomorrow.

Ok, put it into the backpack . . . Now here we go, into the bedroom . . .

I have to go potty!

You just went.

I have to go again! Don’t start without me!

Sigh. Ok, now we do stories and songs. Finally the lights are out. You relax as you shut the door behind you.

The door opens. WHY DOES THE DOOR OPEN?!

I can’t find my lovey.

Lovey found (it was right next to them), and you’re finally sitting down for 30 precious minutes of grown-up television.

. . . little feet on the stairs

. . . you wipe the frustrated tears from your eyes

. . . and on and on and on

You never can know when you’re done for the night. Bedtime is a labyrinth.


Ok, now to get all deep on you. You knew this was coming, right? We never can see when our end is coming. It can look like it’s right around the corner and then the path zigs and you’re back facing out towards health and wellness. And it can zag the other way too. Life is a labyrinth.

So maybe–in life, in labor, even at bedtime–maybe there’s no use worrying about where the path ends. Maybe it’s best to just focus on wherever your feet are.

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