On your journey to conceive, you have likely become aware of two opposing forces.
At times, you may feel hopeful and excited about your fertility treatment plan and at other times, you may feel hopeless and in agony with fearful thoughts like this is never going to work.
They are such different feelings to experience.
When you hear a pregnancy announcement, you may ask the question: what is wrong with ME? Then the layering of different emotions begin to unfold.
Why am I feeling this way?
I feel jealous, there must be something wrong with me?
I shouldn’t be feeling this way.
This isn’t me.
There is a deeply ingrained cultural idea that tells us we shouldn’t feel depressed or jealous, that this sort of agony while trying to conceive must mean that we are doing something wrong, that we are flawed and have failed.
We may even begin to feel that we are sabotaging our own fertility.
Fear of failure is rooted in our primal brain. Comparisons and social ratings are embedded in our culture. Our sense of who we are gets organized around this fear of failure and not meeting standards and we gradually develop strategies to get approval and protect ourselves.
We may withdraw and retreat and do things to compensate for the feelings of deficiency. In this mode, we are cut off from the parts of the brain that help us to feel calm and sense our deep belonging.
What if we engaged the despair and helped it to move through us? What if we saw it as a wave, something we need to flow with? The layers aren’t going to suffocate us if we can understand that we have the power to unveil them. To meet them graciously. To familiarize ourselves with them.
This isn’t MY fear, this is THE fear. This is what fear of failure is like. For EVERYONE. It’s not mine. It’s not me.
While we don’t get to choose what dances within us, we have a choice as to how we respond to it. How will we greet each fearful thought? Each pang of agony? Will it be met with anxiety and anger or with an openness and acceptance?
To open up to our experience does not require that we like what is happening. These feelings are non-negotiable. They are a part of life, so deeply engrained in our humanity.
Whether we like it or not, we must take a moment to turn towards it and understand that we can’t experience hope without experiencing agony. We can notice them both and focus on anchoring ourselves somewhere in the middle. 💕
Amira is a Social Worker in Toronto, Ontario. She works with individuals and couples who are struggling with infertility. Amira facilitates the Mind-Body Fertility Group at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
She is also a mother of three miracles.
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