Infertility & Self Judgment: To heck with em all. Who cares what other thinks? Um . . . me.

Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people’s souls.”

– Melody Beattie

I wish I could say that I was someone who did not care what others thought. That I was someone who was confident in self to such an extent that the opinions, judgments, perspectives, and thoughts of others bounced off me like the rubber ball in dodge ball. Alas, I cannot.

I suppose this is being human. This need for approval, need for validation, need to be accepted.

Every day each of us writes the story of our lives. As women gifted with the opportunity to consciously conceive–and yes, I know many days it feels like anything but a gift–we have a voice so uniquely our own, and so important to be heard.

One in 100 babies in the U.S. is born via IVF. While wonderful that women now have medical options to pursue when the good old fashioned route to parenthood has roadblocks, I can’t help but wonder why our world isn’t more concerned with the why.

What is happening in our world that is affecting women’s, and men’s, bodies to stop procreation in its tracks? What has turned the most natural of processes into a repeated medical miracle?

I began writing this blog as a way to heal my heart. I continued writing as a way to share what I learned on my journey. And now, I keep writing so that my voice may add to all of yours, to the women who silently endure heartache, heartbreak, and whose bodies become in some sense test tubes.

The stigma still attached to infertility keeps many of us silent. The fear of judgment, of being rejected, of finding confirmation of our greatest feelings of inadequacy from others, often keeps us quiet and insulated from the world at large.

Yet today I encourage all of us to not only live authentically from our hearts, but also to share from our hearts–to open ourselves up to being really seen, really known. When we do so we allow others to be touched and healed by our story. We allow the world to see that we are no different from them, and that it is important to begin asking “why?”

Fear can be a great motivator–a bit like duct tape across our mouths. Love however can be an even greater one. Love for ourselves, love for each other, and love for the millions of women suffering silently. Many times sitting right next to us, too afraid to share their struggle with us.

It is ok to care about what others think; in fact it is completely natural. Yet to let that concern stop us from being our authentic selves, from sharing our tremendous courage on this arduous journey, means erecting an impenetrable wall between ourselves and those whose souls could be deeply touched and healed by our stories.

So today, perhaps, take the risk to be more real than you may have in the past. Sure, some may confirm your fears in their insensitivity and prejudice, yet others may truly surprise you. Perhaps more than you ever imagined.

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