It is in relationship with others that we learn about ourselves. We start with our families. Who are you in your family? Then who are you at school? In your church, clubs, teams, work, romance, marriage, friends, social circles… How can we know who we are without the relationships that we build? It’s how we discover who we are.
People and events teach and shape us. It certainly seems like the difficult events are the bigger lessons, the harder lessons: failures, losses, shocking realizations, painful events… The teachers and guides that we’ve met along the way hold a special place in our hearts and contributed to our growth as well. It takes time to assimilate the learnings and then to reorganize ourselves into our newly integrated self.
So here you are now, in what’s called the Land of IF. There are books and blogs that refer to IF as infertility. I use it now to refer to the place you find yourself, in fertility: striving to be more fertile. The language we use is VERY important. I’ve never met a woman who is infertile. I’ve only met women who are having difficulty conceiving. The reasons are as many as there are women.
I mention all this because this circumstance will certainly influence who you are. It is not all of who you are and that is part of this reminder. You are a daughter, a spouse, a sister, friend, partner, team-mate, co-worker. As Charlotte Kasl wrote in If the Buddha Dated:
“You are unique in all the world. You have gifts, talents, strengths, and a capacity for a wide range of emotions. Just as we have spring, summer, fall, and winter, just as the oceans rise and fall, just as the moon waxes and wanes, you have an inner world that is fluid and shifting. You have a rich potential to feel love and hate, joy and sadness, tenderness and passion. Your journey is to know yourself.”
I’m concerned about you losing yourself in fertility. Wandering around trying to figure out where to go, what to do, who to ask and who to trust. Difficult conception is consuming. It is a shadow, even in darkness. It is a deep desire. It is undoubtedly a force of nature hard-wired in our DNA.
This difficulty will shape and influence you. It will beat you up, use you, rob you and challenge you in ways you never knew possible. And it will make you special. I’ve said before that you are chosen. Not everyone can do this.
How do you want to come out on the other side of this experience? You get to decide right now what you will cultivate in yourself during this difficulty. Do you want to be calmer, more peaceful, more compassionate, resilient, emotionally stronger? Because if you don’t decide, if you allow yourself to be batted around, unseen, unacknowledged and alone, it can result in an angry, anxious, unfulfilled “daughter, spouse, sister, friend…”
People who have good social networks and intimate connections are healthier, happier people. Come and be with your tribe, women who can see and understand, acknowledge with certainty the difficult challenges you face. They can listen to you, offer a supporting touch, a tissue and then a story that will crack you up after the tears. Let this be what you take from this journey: the ability to be vulnerable and trust, to be open hearted, compassionate, to know your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses, generous in spirit, and kind, foremost to yourself that you may offer kindness to others.
This is what we do here at Fertility Road. Come and be ALL of who you are and use this journey to keep becoming the person you wish to be.