Cheers, dear readers,
Last week I shared with you a very difficult moment that I experienced where I emotionally “fell down”. My close friend had just told me that she had gotten pregnant immediately and extremely easily. She was over the moon, excited as well as shocked at how swiftly she had conceived. It was amazing and overwhelming for her. Well I too was amazed and overwhelmed, and proceeded to have a complete mental and emotional breakdown as soon as she left my house after sharing with Eric and I the jubilant news. I was able to hold it together and share her excitement and joy while she was at my home. I was not faking it, mind you. I was truly and completely thrilled for her! I knew how much she wanted a family. Her husband is not a young man, and she was concerned with the quality of his little swimmers. Spoiler alert! Their little baby girl is 100% happy and healthy! His swimmers did just fine. Right on, dude! 🙂
Back to my story of falling down. Luckily in that moment, I did the right thing times two… I kept my cool and shared in her gleeful news and jumped up and down with her, and showed her how truly thrilled for her and her family I was. And the second thing, I allowed my pain and sorrow to wash over me and move through me. I did not suppress my difficult emotions. I let them course through me as completely and fully as possible. Suppressing emotions (whether happy or sad emotions) is just never a good thing. What we resist persists! Sometimes the right thing to do is to own our sorrow, own our traumatic experiences, realize that they are a part of us, they shape us, they help make us who we are. They offer us wisdom, insight and the ability to feel empathy for others when they are also going through a difficult experience.
As Brené Brown states in her book Rising Strong, “the irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls. In this way, we can own our stories of falling down and facing hurt so we can integrate those stories into our lives and write daring new endings. Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”
She goes on to say that this helps bring us more wisdom and wholeheartedness in our everyday lives. Her definition of wholeheartedness is as follows:
WHOLEHEARTEDNESS: Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, no matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.
Also, here is her definition of love that she has created based on her research and interviews of thousands of participants:
LOVE: We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them—we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare.
Even though I was having a very difficult, sad and painful moment. I was still thankfully able to love my newly pregnant friend, love her unborn baby, love Eric and my relationship with him as I let him support me in my sadness for our infertility diagnosis, and love myself by allowing myself to truly FEEL and own the moment. It was the healthiest thing I could have done – the most loving act for myself to allow me to move to the next moment, and then the next. We are all on this journey of life together, doing the best we can day to day. Don’t give up. We are here to support you each step of the way. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime you are having a difficult moment.
Please join me next week to hear more about my 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