Thursday, June 05, 2008

And my heart cracked open

Calliope asked me to blog about some work I've been doing with myself, trying to accept what is. But I haven't felt ready. I am very much a work in progress, and haven't even got all the way through the book I'm reading. What can I possibly say that would be meaningful?

And then last night, it happened. My heart cracked open. I literally felt like it had been encased in a giant eggshell that cracked and fell away.

I had an acupuncture appointment last night, which was moved from my usual Thursday spot because he's going to be away for a day. So he was a busy boy and was running late, and I ended up sitting in the waiting room for a half an hour. I was the only one waiting, as I always get the last appointment of the day. So I sat and read a paper, and huffed, and fidgeted for a bit. And then finally calmed down and closed my eyes, and my mom came to mind so I started talking to her. By "talking" I mean I was imagining her and I walking together and talking. I've only been able to do this with any reliability since I did some heavy visualization work when I was trying to clear some blocked karma that the lady who did my akashic record reading talked about. And lest you are now completely turned off by all the new agey stuff, well, as Dumbledore says to Harry in Book 7, "of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?"

So, anyway, mom and me, walking. It came to me that I was glad for her that she was dead, because she has been able to learn what her soul's journey is all about, has been able to experience all the knowledge of the world and is operating on this whole other plane. And various other new age mumbo jumbo stuff - yes, I believe in past lives and that we'll remember them after we die. And yes, I believe we have a soul that continues after we die. You, no doubt, believe differently, but to each his own, eh? Humor me here. So once I was able to tell her I was happy for her that she was dead, and hug her and give her just so much love, I started thinking what a great adventure death is and that it was really something to look forward to when the time comes. And then I was able to think that if I was happy for her that she was dead, I should be happy for me too that she died when she did. At the perfect time, both for her and me. What craziness that is - she died at the perfect time, because she died when she was supposed to. What a shift in my thinking.

The time came to get on the table and have the needles stuck in me, and as I was lying there relaxing, I was thinking more about death, and what an exciting journey it must be, and how it'll happen at the perfect time. And then that morphed into, why be afraid of death if I believe that my soul will continue afterwards (after all, if death really is the end and I dissolve into nothingness, I won't know about it, so why worry in advance?). And suddenly, for the first time in many years, I was excited to see what the rest of my life's journey brings, whatever happens. We have this honor and privilege of being alive on this beautiful earth. We have bodies that carry us around and are just amazing things. We have so much to discover and learn before we die. Whatever life brings to me, it should be an adventure of discovery, not a drudge. Not a thing to be worried about or be sad about. So I thought about going back to school, having a new job, moving, having a relationship (how exciting will that be - a new relationship!). And yes, of course, I thought about having kids or not having kids. And I was OK with it. With whatever happens. Suddenly OK. If my life's adventure is not to have kids, so be it. If I adopt, and get to meet this amazing child who I can be privileged to raise, wow, what an honor, what an exciting thing. If this final IVF works, what unbelievable luck. Suddenly, everything was equally wonderful. There was no stress over genetics, or the lack of them. Just excitement at what's coming next, and the fact that I have no clue about how my life will go. I finally felt that genetics weren't important to whether I could be a mother or not. Finally. After all this time.

I felt truly open to anything. After all this time. After the therapy and wacky treatments, after telling myself that I was "open" when I was really not. After resenting fertiles and my own infertility. After hating my life so much and for so long. After trying to do "mind/body" work and getting nowhere but annoyed. After trying hard to open myself up, and grieving how crap my eggs are, after the tears and the frustration, after roadblock after roadblock, the shell just cracked and fell away without effort. Without warning. After I have been a lupron grouch for days, and been irritated at people at work. After being self-centered, and wrapped up in my own shit, and after probably not being a very great friend to anyone else. Although I have been working hard setting up the next phase of my life, so that is finally moving and probably contributed in a big way to helping me get unstuck. But really, what took me so damn long?

So I got home, and I went on to Byron Katie's website, The Work. It is pretty deep stuff, and yet so accessible. She has little videos you can watch which just show you in five minutes what she's all about. It's what I've been reading and watching and doing and mulling for a while. It has led me to ask the question: what would my life be if I didn't believe the thought "I shouldn't be infertile", or "I should have got pregnant", or "I should have had kids when *I* wanted them." It really has helped me to accept infertility as just "what is" rather than something to be fought against and railed against. It has helped me see that "what is" is "what is supposed to be". That it is pointless to suffer based on my own thoughts about what should or shouldn't be. That God/reality/the Universe is running the show, and just because I think something should or shouldn't happen doesn't do a damn thing to change it, it just stresses me out. If I accept that these things (any things) are *supposed* to happen, and just deal with them as they come along, life can be so much easier.

And then bedtime rolled around. And I lay there thinking and wondering and feeling the newness of my freshly revealed heart. And it hit me. I would not be here today, would not have had this realization, would not be taking this journey, if it wasn't for infertility. If I *had* had kids when I wanted them, if I hadn't gone through the vale of tears and the heartbreak, I would not have opened my heart. I would have remained as I was, stuck in my old worldview that I somehow deserved things or that if I worked hard enough I could get things, or that my life was supposed to go how *I* planned it. Infertility, therefore, gave me a gift. Infertility *is* a gift. A hard gift, to be sure, full of more pain than I could have imagined, and one that I would never have accepted willingly, but it is a gift that has led me on a journey that I never expected (and never wanted). A gift that contained the key to a life that will be better than I ever could have imagined before. OK, so the key was buried inside a locked box that was hidden deep, deep within my heart and it took a lot of pain and digging to find it, but the key was there nonetheless. What is that saying - if it is easy, it's not worth having? And once you accept that something is a gift, you have to accept that you are honored, privileged and grateful to have received it.

And *that* is something that I never thought I would say. As hard as it has been, I am grateful to have been given the privilege of being infertile.

23 comments:

anne said...

Wow.

Heather said...

"Infertility *is* a gift. A hard gift, to be sure, full of more pain than I could have imagined, and one that I would never have accepted willingly, but it is a gift that has led me on a journey that I never expected (and never wanted). A gift that contained the key to a life that will be better than I ever could have imagined before."

I had to quote it - it is the most beautiful thing I've read. It is so true, and written better than I ever could have. I would love to quote this and link to you on my blog.

Jess said...

This is beautiful. I sit here with tears streaming down my face. Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Sarah - I am so happy your journey has brought you where you are. That infertility was the hard road you had to take to get to where and who you are now. I have found it to be not only powerful, but incredibly peaceful to finally know that the path I took was the one I was meant to take. Wow and congratulations! And, I would add, it didn't just "happen". It took a lot of pain, suffering, personal work, and a journey so long and hard that anyone who hasn't gone through it would ever even understand. And, you can come out the other side with the peace and insight and understanding is just an amazing personal transformation that is beautiful. Again, win, loose or draw, I'm happy for you that you have arrived where you have and maybe learned the lesson in this life that you were meant to learn freeing you to more fully live it. Deb (deb2you2)

amazingk8 said...

I've been having an existential crisis of sorts lately, about death and life and meaning and this post touched me very deeply. Reading this post couldn't have come at a better time for me. Thank you for sharing your words and insights.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and meaningful post...

katedaphne said...

Sarah, what an incredible post by an incredible person. I'm glad for you that you have found this kind of serenity.

I'm awarding you the Pink Rose award because this is such an inspiring day -- for you, and for all of us who get to read your words.

love, kate

calliope said...

I have read this post 5 times now and each time it feels more and more stunning and beautiful.

This is. God, Sarah, I don't think I can even articulate how perfect this post is.

I know I will read it many more times. Even now I can feel all of this reverbing.

wow.

"My heart cracked open."

love you!

DC said...

This is an amazing post! I share your beliefs in the afterlife (and have also had an Akashic Record reading).

I would love to add you to my blogroll. I hope you don't mind.

DC
http://lupuspie.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful, Sarah.
I'm proud to have you as a friend.
You are an amazing, amazing person.
-Margie

Kymberli said...

Stunning. It's hard to get to a place of seeing where infertility has actually done some emotional benefit vs. emotional destruction. I hope this new way of thinking carries you further than you ever dreamed of going!

sarah said...

I really hear you on this. For me it wasn't so much of a personal change, although there have been plenty of those, the biggest gift from infertilty is a much stronger marriage. We started couples therapy at the same time as the TTC craziness hit us, and even though we had to end it in order to afford all the IVF extras, we were in a much stronger place when we started it. Also, I feel like I was much less distressed during IVF because of all of the painful issues from my past that I worked thorugh as a result of not getting pregnant.
congratulations on your breakthorugh.

amy said...

wow, you are very, very brave! hoping you get it all, one way or the other...

Mermaid said...

Wow, that was beautiful and moving. You are very strong.

Hugs and all the best.

--Becky

gypsygrrl said...

sarah, to say this post is amazing is probably one of the grandest understatements i could ever speak or type.

i will be re-reading it and maybe even saving it somewhere on my computer to read again. acceptance of anything that is difficult is a lot of work.

you write so eloquently. i am sending you a lot of love...

that is all i can say...
xo,
gypsy

Anonymous said...

Sarah, this post is amazing. I'm so happy for you that you've arrived at this place. Whatever you do with it, one thing is sure: there will be peace, there will be acceptance, and dare I say, there will be joy.

Jo

SAHW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SAHW said...

Wow...just wow.

This is awesome. I'm bookmarking this to read when I start losing perspective.

LAS said...

Beautiful post - and very thought provoking for me on my own issues of acceptance and surrender and resistance. I came here by way of Calliope...just wanted to say hi - and very moving. I am glad you shared this.

Kami said...

I haven't commented or lurked for far too long. I just came over from katedaphne's blog and what an amazing post to land on.

I found I was smiling throughout - for the positive change in your life and the hope that I will come closer to full acceptance myself.

Freyja said...

Ditto Kami on the lurking and commenting and coming from katedaphne's place.

Your post brought tears to my eyes. Literally. The last few years have been so hard. So mean. So unfulfilling. And it the recent past I've been having a lot of thoughts and feelings like the ones in your post. For me it hasn't been a flash of insight but a gradual awakening. And since I'm still a bit from it, it's hard to say for sure, but it seems like the conclusion is the same.

Alyson & Ford said...

Beautiful story - yes, you said what I could not have said - infertility is a gift. We are on a journey to adopting our new daughter which makes life better than I could have ever dreamed!

Alyson LID 01/27/06 IA China
NCLM

Not on Fire said...

What a great place to be in! I am glad for you.