“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop”~Rumi
I have found that even in the darkest moments, that the present moment is always tolerable.
Both the past and future are intolerable. We can’t do anything about either one.
The past stirs up feelings of either regret or longing and the future quietly lures us into anxiety or impatience.
But the present, now THAT has the ability to not only make the intolerable…..tolerable, but also provides a much needed lifeline.
The present moment turns into an interesting phenomenon during the worst moments.
When my mom was sick, I remember feeling that I could not bear the pain. Literally every second hurt.
But every so often in the midst of my grief I would just stop, take a breath and listen. Do you know what I heard?
Birds chirping. Cars whizzing by. The world continuing to operate.
Many times I heard nothing. It was very quiet. Calm. My world was frozen in time, but the rest of the world wasn’t. My life had been forever altered, but at the very same time all was well in the universe.
I know some people might read this and think “what the fuck.” That is SO not helpful.
Other’s might feel angry that their life is falling apart but the universe is “well.”
These next words might seem harsh, but it’s important that you hear this.
What is happening to you is not PERSONAL. It really isn’t.
I really feel that my mom’s illness and death “is what it is.” It wasn’t personal. It wasn’t God NOT loving me. It’s not “everything happens for a reason.” Nope. None of that. It just IS.
She got sick and passed away. Probably because of a million reasons, or none at all. Because none of us get by scot-free. There is no favoritism.
Two years after my mom died I experienced infertility. The comfort I sought from a baby turned into further heartache.
Again I asked “Why me.” After all I’ve gone through, WHY wouldn’t God make this one thing easy?”
And again it wasn’t personal.
It ABSOLUTELY feels personal, but it’s not.
Was I not successful due to my ambivalence? Maybe. Could it have been bad genes? Probably. Did a stressful 30 year life impact my reproduction? Of course.
Again maybe all of those reasons or none of them at all. It is what it is.
This “it is what it is” mentality really frees you to give up the shame and guilt surrounding infertility. There is no big emotional thought patterns anymore like “I caused this” or “this is my fault.” Nope. It just is what it is.
And then after making this very big and mature decision to look at your situation differently, you either push forward with other treatment options or you just stop.
And took a deep breath.
I restored myself back to being alive. Because truly when you’re going through infertility a part of you is completely numb. At the very least it’s on hold. Maybe even dead.
So whether you’ve stopped treatment or you’re pushing forward, restore yourself RIGHT NOW.
Come back to the present, even for a second.
That one second turns into a minute. A little relief. And then that minute might turn into an hour. You can feel “ok” right now.
And sometimes feeling ok is all you’re looking for.
So how do we do it? All you have to do is stop and take a breath. Yes it sounds hippy dippy and bullshit. But I’ll tell you, it works. You’ll feel better.
And yea after that breath your mind will probably gallop away bringing with it a whole slew of emotions. But you can always come right back to the breath for a little relief.
But the great news is, truly awful times don’t last forever. They feel like they will. But that’s a lie. They won’t.
So even if you feel like your present moment IS truly intolerable, JUST HOLD ON! You will return to another form of normalcy where the present moment is even more tolerable.
Even happy. I promise.
So in the meantime, let me hold your hand, and let us stop….breathe in deeply…..and enjoy a new moment together.
And just that simple breath TELLS your nervous system that “I’m safe.” And guess what that second breath communicates? It reinforces the first breath by adding another layer of security! Because that’s the TRUTH. We are ok. We’ll always be ok.
Continue on to the next exercise: Tolerance~my new favorite word