Cheers, dear readers,
I’m writing you today with a happy heart! Last night was a bit of a breakthrough for me – an infertile “barren” woman’s moment of enjoying a small sweet victory. And believe me, I’ll take all of the little (and big) victories that I can! We all can! No one told us life was easy (and if they did, they were lying). The more I walk through life, the more I realize that we ALL have struggles – mine may be my infertility and childlessness-not-by-choice (among other things such as the loss of my parents) – but others struggles and crosses are just different. That is all. A struggle is still just a struggle. At the end of the day, we are all so similar, wanting love and belonging with other basic human needs, wanting to solve our problems, wanting some peace, love and happiness. We all want many of the same things, including experiencing joy.
Two amazing and eye-opening things happened last night…
I met a lovely child, and I felt no pain at all. I actually felt joy.
To some readers who have never struggled with infertility, this may sound confusing or strange. But to those who have struggled, you probably know exactly what I mean, and why I am so relieved. Even though it has been about seven years (Wow! Seven!) now since I had IVF treatment, as we like to say “The Struggle Is Real” in being childless in a baby crazy world. And the invisible loss felt from that often stings, much like missing my deceased parents often stings. But there comes a time when we turn a corner, when we start to feel joy rather than pain – joy for other’s good fortune in having children, for looking in the bright face of a child (though not my own), for the feeling of gratitude that my parents gave me such a wonderful childhood and cherishing those memories (instead of mourning the loss over and over ad nauseam).
Last night was very special to me. I had the opportunity to meet a child that I had very much wanted to meet: a beloved friend of mine’s 6-year old son. It came as a surprise, which probably was quite nice so that I didn’t overthink it. This young man came striding into my house in his cute red argyle sweater and red-laced sneakers with a careful look in his eyes. He clutched his iPad close to him for but a few moments. Then to my surprise, he excitedly starting showing us his latest Lego Star Wars game that he was fascinated with expressing utter glee! I did not feel pain looking at this sweet boy or watching his father pick him up and toss him around happily – I felt joy, relief, elation, excitement that this boy seemed to find Eric and I safe enough to share his excitement over five more of his favorite games on his iPad (one had a white kitten in a wonder woman costume – that was my favorite! Kitten! Wonder Woman Costume! Too Cute!)
Feeling like some of those sorrowful days may be behind me is such a darn relief. I tell you this partly so that others here know that there really can be gold at the other end of the rainbow – just keep walking! Whatever path you are on, know that even if it is challenging, it does indeed get better… with time, support and self-care. Hang in there, my dear friends! Please be patient with yourself and those around you. Also please practice self-forgiveness. We all are only human afterall. Don’t try to be “perfect” as that is just an illusion. Love who you are TODAY and tomorrow.
The second thing that happened was an awesome perspective shift to go right on the tail end of meeting this sweet boy and his family.
For my relationship coaching training, I had an hour long call last night as part of my certification program where I connected with five other colleagues who are also in the same niche. As we each told our stories of why we selected relationship coaching, it became clear that though our stories were all different, we had so much in common that helped bring us to that moment on the call with each other. My calling to relationship coaching was related to my infertility struggles coupled with an identity crisis that rocked my marriage, and my desire to help others not have to struggle as much as I did. Some of the other situations that brought others to the call were raising an autistic son, having survived sexual assault, growing up with a narcissistic mother, another had a son who is at risk for suicide, and yet another grew up in a domestic abuse household…
We all have our struggles; we all have our crosses to bear; we all are doing our best to survive each and every day. In the end, our differences make us all beautiful and unique, with so much to teach each other! Every day we get is like a miracle. To live each day. To strive to do better. To become the person we want to be. Every day, we get to try again. We get to live in the moment. And choose how we want to react to each moment. You can choose to be happy. Choose to be joyful. Choose to celebrate life, as well as help others who are not in such a joyful place as you. What would the world look like if we all practiced and shared more empathy towards one another? I wonder… and I aim to find out by doing my part. How about you?
Please join us next week to hear more about our personal journey down the infertility path. I look forward to speaking with you. And I wish you the best on your journey.
This post is also available in: Arabic