The Truth About Our Challenges—And the Gifts That They Bring
In 2012 my husband and I agreed it was time to start a family. I was excited.
Over the course of a year, I scarfed down hundreds of prenatal supplements, put myself on a cardio regime and had acupuncture, massage, Chinese herbs, and homeopathy. I started yoga for fertility classes and hypnosis sessions.
Eighteen months in, we visited the IVF clinic to ensure nothing was fundamentally wrong. The doctor suggested we give ourselves six months naturally and if I was not pregnant by July 2014, then we would start IVF. Talk about pressure!
I started acupuncture again and booked cranio-sacral sessions. I saw a counselor to make sure there were no subconscious blocks about becoming and being a mother, parenting with my husband, etc.
One month, out of fun, we decide to have sex every single day.
July 2014 arrived. IVF alarm bells were loud.
August 2014. Just wait one more month. September. October.
By the end of 2014, I made the decision that I wasn’t doing IVF. A massive weight of unconscious stress lifted from my whole being.
I started guided meditations about falling pregnant, healthy wombs, lots of healthy eggs.
I gave up coffee. I read Better Pregnancy and The Body Ecology Diet and applied everything I read. I booked myself into far infrared saunas.
I completed a course on low-tox living and tweaked my whole existence into natural and organic. I had a Tapping and EFT session.
Still…an empty womb.
The next month, I cried to my husband like I hadn’t cried before. Not because I wasn’t pregnant, but because I was glimpsing the reality of never knowing myself as a mother. We all grow up with a sense of knowing who we are, and I always knew myself as a mother. I knew it. I was now mourning the concept I had held of myself. On the lounge, heaving my breaths from crying, I was feeling into a new reality, adopting a whole new version of myself that was different to the person I thought I was.
Losing myself is the most vulnerable feeling I’ve ever experienced.
Then, it was October 2015.
We woke up to the smell of fresh, home-baked bread. Our home smelled delicious and we stayed in bed being husband and wife, eventually getting up for a shower. We moved around each other together in the kitchen, like synchronized swimmers.
He cut the bread. I reached over and smelled it while I put the kettle on. He got out the tea bags, and I slid the mugs in under them. I got out the butter while he was reaching for the Vegemite. We poetically made breakfast without commenting on the beautiful dance going on in our kitchen.
The clarity of the whole routine mentally slapped me.
For the first time, I appreciated just how damned good our world is, just the way it is.
Something shifted deep within.
I slipped into a beautiful meditation and visualized something that was so inspiring to me, as a life to lead, that I had tears running down my face. This vision was where I wanted to take my life. Maybe there was a baby in it and maybe there wasn’t, but the void had broadened to a much bigger picture now. I realized that my legacy could be much more significant than someone who looks like me.
Over Christmas I let the new version of me linger in the background, wondering how to progress the concept. By February I was honing in and made the decision that I wanted to work with high school–aged students.
Suddenly, it felt almost selfish to raise only my own children when there are literally thousands in Australia alone who could use energy that I, as a non-parent, have available to give.
In April 2016 I started in a mentoring program working with teenage girls. I was paired with a girl named Eloise. We hit it off well, and on our second meeting it occurred to me that she was so well balanced (at least on the surface), that I actually felt a little redundant in this mentoring relationship. In the middle of the night, when my senses were heightened and emotions were amplified, my feelings of being unneeded swelled as I mourned this opportunity to feel like a parent. I realized that it was me who completely needed Eloise more than she needed me.
The next day, Eloise opened up to me a little about some of the challenges she’d been facing, and it was a hug to my ears that maybe she might need me too, even if only as someone to admit things to.
Now that I’m in this program, I recognize that I want more. I wholeheartedly appreciate the path I’m on. I’m ready to dedicate my energy to working with people who know there’s a great life out there for them if they can only figure out how to access it.
It’s certainly not the case that I’ve completely turned my back on having children—not at all, not in my heart. But in the process of “trying” and moving through this challenge of mine, I’ve realized that the challenge itself really was mine to own: my education, my vehicle to move me from where I was to where I intuitively wanted to be, my understanding of the way I can contribute to the world.
Our challenges aren’t necessarily our obstacles. They can be gifts to carry us to bigger visions for ourselves, bigger lives, bigger contributions. I feel all of my life experiences accrued to qualify me for this role if dared to think so grand about myself. I thought it was going to play out in children of my own, but I now appreciate that it’s so much more than that. I feel as if I just woke up to my true purpose in this life to work with hundreds of people trying to figure out their way.
I have both lost and found myself during this emotional expedition, and I now have nothing but appreciation and gratitude for every twist and turn that helped me to arrive here. I truly feel that I am here to serve humanity, and I now have the capacity to do so.