Dear Younger Self
I know how much you’re hurting right now. I know how desperately you want to have a baby, to start a family. I know the pain you’re feeling – the frustration, the confusion, the sadness and the total exhaustion. You’re wondering what’s wrong with you? Why you? You’d do anything, anything at all, just to be pregnant. Well, read on. I have so much to tell you. Pay attention - you’ll want to hear this.
There are some things you need to know. They won’t all be what you expect, maybe not even what you want to hear. And I don’t promise it will be easy either. But I do promise you it will be worth it. You need to trust me on this.
You hurt. More than you ever have before. You’re holding it together, but it is just by a thread. You feel like you must keep functioning and put on that happy face. You don’t. You need to stop holding it in and let that emotion go. Let it out! There is a lot going on for you – they don’t call infertility an emotional coaster for a giggle.
You’ll learn later that infertility is reported to be as stressful as being diagnosed with cancer. Give yourself some love, and appreciate how freaken tough this all is. You are way too hard on yourself. Be honest about how you are really feeling. You are tired of containing it all and putting on that brave face. It takes courage to open-up but you have that courage. Be vulnerable. You are strong, so much stronger than you think.
You feel alone, like you are the only one, like there is no one around you who understands. You are wrong. You need to talk. Find someone to talk to. Not everyone gets it but keep persevering until you find someone who does. You need to know you are not alone. What you are experiencing is happening to so many women right now. You are part of a group, a community, a family. If only you knew this, it would help you. Try another group, get online, talk to someone professional. Do whatever it takes to feel less isolated. You do not have to do this on your own.
You feel like it is your fault, like you are broken in some way. You need to know that it is not your fault. You are not broken. You are whole and complete just the way you are right now. This is so important for you to understand I want to underline it and put it in bright sparkly lights. There are so many ways to be a woman, to be in your divine femininity. You’ll know this soon enough and it will bring you a sense of joy and connection.
You want to be a mother. You want to have the family you planned to have, that you always dreamed you would. You want to be part of that special “mothers club”. You think you understand what it is going to be like, but you don’t know that for sure. Sometimes longing can give you blinkers. What if I was to say there are pros and cons to motherhood? I’m going to say something that you may not like right now but with time it will sit better. It is from a book called Never to Be a Mother by Linda Anton and it goes like this - “Some women are denied motherhood, while others are relived of it. It is a matter of perception”.
You are not aware of this right now, but you feel the expectation and the pressure of a society that expects women to be mothers, to want to be mothers, to need to be mothers, to do whatever it takes to be mothers; at any cost. You need to see the pressure for what it is. It is conditioning, it is programming and it isn’t real. It is just a way of doing things that doesn’t have to be the only way. It shouldn’t be the only way. You don’t understand this yet but you will.
The final thing I want to tell you is the most important. I know you’ll love for me to tell you that your dreams come true, but that would only spoil the surprise. The last thing I want to do is deny you the journey (yes, I said journey). I know that word makes you cringe right now but that really is the best word for it.
Ok here goes – I hope you’re ready.
Yip let it all go. Let go of trying. Let go of the dream. Let go of how you think it should all be, of what it is supposed to look like.
Good, you’re still reading. I was worried I may have lost you. I’ll continue.
Stop trying so hard. Throw away those ovulation tests. Put the thermometer away. Have a glass of wine or two for goodness sake. Just let it go – all of it.
You have done enough already so start living your life. If you don’t, years will have gone by and with them all the moments that could have been something. Trust me on that one. Your life has been on pause for way too long and it is time to claim it back.
What is it you want for yourself? If you want family, be with the family you have right now – I mean really be with them because they won’t be around forever. If you want to leave your crappy corporate job and be at home or to travel, do that already. If you want to find meaning, find meaning. I know it feels like there is a gaping hole in your life but looking at it only makes it seem bigger. There are things that will fill it. Be bold!
What else brings you joy? What makes your heart sing?
You have so much love to give and I promise you, you will be able to share it. There are so many ways to love.
I know I make it sound easy, and I more than anyone, know it’s not. It starts with a decision. A decision to stop waiting. To stop hoping. To start living.
I’ll let you in on a secret - you already have what you need to be happy. I’m not saying this is as good as it gets – far from it. I’m just saying it’s already all there. Start nourishing your soul, nurture your divine feminine. Tap into that space of creation and flow. There are many ways to be fertile, to nurture, and to create. Allow yourself to play, to receive and to just be (let’s be honest – you’re pretty terrible at that right now).
Sometimes the more we force, try to plan and control, to push through the struggle, and the harder we try, the further away we get from where we need to be. Fertility is not supposed to be about the struggle!
Life has a way of working out if we allow it. There is an infinite intelligence at play and at the risk of sounding too woo woo, you need to trust the Universe, God, Mother Nature, Divinity, or whatever you call the higher power you know is there. You are already enough. You already have what you need.
It’s time to trust. Stop hoping for the best and see the best in what you already have. Trust what is coming. Infertility takes so much but there are gifts in there too, if we are open to seeing them.
Once you begin to trust, the joy will come back (remember joy?). You’ll get bold and start living. I know you’re thinking who am I to say this? But I know it will make sense to you soon. Remember I said you may not like what I have to say? And I’m not saying it’s not easy but when you let go, it will be worth it. Because on the other side of letting go and trusting, is peace. Who doesn’t want that?
You are more special and more beautiful than you know. If I could tell you anything it is to get in touch with who you really are, your inner essence. Be still, listen, be honest. It is going to work out better than you think.
About the Author
Kathryn Grace is a Life Coach at Fertility Potentials. She is passionate about supporting women on their fertility journey and helping them find acceptance and peace whatever the outcome.