Womanhood and fertility are intrinsically linked. When not able to create or carry a child, it’s not uncommon to feel defective, broken, or inadequate. Infertility is not viewed as a medical condition but rather a measure of self-worth—an indelible personal failing. The tendency to personalize adds exponentially to the pain. The objective becomes getting rid of infertility as fast as possible or avoid dealing with it as long as you can.
Mindfulness encourages you to open to the present moment just as it is, without trying to hold on to what you like about it or get rid of what you don’t like. As well, mindfulness encourages you to be who you are, not how you wish yourself to be. Your sense of self is not based on interpretation and personalization, i.e. “I feel like a failure, so I must be.” Rather, mindfulness suggests exploring what inadequacy or any other emotion feels like in the body i.e. “So this is what inadequacy feels like…a heavy chest, racing heart…” When you get to know what you’re feeling with bare attention—void of interpretation or personalization—you’re developing a kind of intimacy with yourself. As you’re turning toward that which is difficult, you’re learning how to be with what is, not on how you wish yourself or the situation to be. Imagine the relief!
Informal Mindfulness Practice: Throughout this week, whenever you notice yourself interpreting and personalizing what’s happening—as though it’s happening to you or it’s about you—bring your attention to your body. Get to know what inadequacy, fear, doubt, ambivalence or whatever you’re sensing feels like in the body. Greet your emotion like you would an old friend– “Ah there you are again, my friend, you’re so familiar.”
“Life blooms In the midst of suffering.”