The funny thing about being told that you can’t have or do something is that it makes you want it even more. And then when there’s a sliver of hope that the “thing” is possible after all, we automatically go into shock. Like “Whoaaaa, whoaaaa, whoaaaaaaa… I don’t know if I even want that ‘thing’ anymore.”
No? Just me? I doubt it. Let me give you an example:
Imagine that you’re at a restaurant and you decide that you want to order the soup of the day. This place is known for its soup – it’s outstanding, you hear. But when the waiter comes around to take your order, he tells you that they are all out of soup.
You really had your heart set on soup.
It’s a chilly day and you really could use something wholesome, heart-warming, and nourishing.
You whine and plead: “Can’t you just make more? I really neeeeeed soup!”
But alas, no soup for you.
So you pull yourself together and instead, you order the pasta. You’re not thrilled at first but you’re settled on it.
The waiter takes the order to the kitchen and comes back with your drinks. His face is lit up and he’s thrilled to share the GREAT NEWS: there’s actually just enough soup for one more and he asks if you still want it.
Oh, wait, what? Really? Hmm.
You’re in (slight) shock.
And now you must ask yourself a fundamental question: Do I actually still want the soup?
Ping-pong ball thoughts race back and forth.
Do I still want soup? Or did I just want the soup when everyone told me that the soup here was the best? When I believed that having soup was an option… And then, even more, when it was no longer an option? But now that it’s an option again… Do I still want soup? I’m not so sure anymore. I like the pasta here. It comes with salad and bread. I didn’t realize how hungry I was until just now and I’m not so sure that the soup will fill me up… But will I regret not getting the soup? This may be my only opportunity for soup…
What. Is. Happening?
The mind craves predictability. So, when life throws hurdles at us and requires us to change course, the mind panics. Its primary purpose is to keep us alive and safe from harm and anything that challenges the status quo sends the mind into hyperactivity to find a new normal. One where we will be safe. One that is secure from the dangers of the external world and that offers a way forward with predictability. There’s that word again.
Underlying this pattern is the belief that the world is a scary place and that we are constantly in danger of something…bad parking, missing the bus, no more soup, annihilation. Survival is the only option, and making plans for the future is the roadmap. Oh, and then there’s the other underlying fear-based belief that I’m not worthy as I am and that in order to earn survival, I MUST BE AND DO EVERYTHING PERFECTLY.
I can’t say that I’ve been one of those women who always wanted to have children, but I took for granted the assumption that I COULD. The option was there. That was my safety. Because, what would it say about me and my worth if I couldn’t get pregnant? I’m a woman. Isn’t it supposed to be something that I SHOULD be able to DO?
So when the doctors told me that I have a very low egg count and would likely never get pregnant on my own or through IVF, my world shattered and this new reality required me to shift. All of a sudden, the option was gone and I was face to face with my mind… and let me tell you, she’s not always very kind. I questioned my worth and my abilities and felt like a total and utter failure. The GIANT unmistakable blemish on my self-created mirror of perfection. One more thing that proved to the world and to myself that I’m not good enough and that I’m not worthy of my place in this world.
To top it off, there was so much uncertainty in my mind around what the future would look like for us. I had spent so much time and energy creating and curating my life around the “certainty” that we could and would be having kids. But now I needed to create a new reality and a new plan for the future. One without kids. It took some time, but I got there. I had a vision of a life without children. One that was still filled with purpose and love. The New Reality. Safety.
Until one day, my Acupuncturist says to me that she believes pregnancy is still a possibility for me. Wait, what?? But I’m finally ok with it NOT being a possibility. Do I even want to get pregnant now?? I kind of like the idea of not having to change diapers, of no 2 am feedings, of air travel without a screaming toddler…so what am I supposed to make of this new information?
Well, it brings up a lot of things: hope, desire, conditioning, truth, and individual journeys. But at the end of it all, I’ve decided to simply Surrender. To trust in Faith, without expectation and any attachment to an outcome. Is that not that the real lesson in life?
Unpredictability is a fact of life. It’s probably the only thing that we can rely on, and the only way to navigate it from a place of love is to trust that Life is working in our favor. The act of surrendering my mind’s desires for the unknown is a conscious choice that I make and for me, it is an act of Love and devotion. It means trusting and knowing that if I never have a baby of my own, it’s a part of my life’s unique journey and that it is not a reflection of my worth. Rather, I recognize that THIS TOO is the Divine’s hand at work in my life. So, I surrender this desire for a child and open my energetic space up for whatever else the Divine has in store for me.
It’s almost 2 years now since my diagnosis and my acupuncturist still strongly believes that I can become pregnant. However, instead of going through the mental gymnastics of shaken realities and super-charged emotions, I feel more grounded in the Grace of not knowing what is next and trusting that I am where I am meant to be.