I have recently been watching a TV series on becoming happier, it is an 8 week series following 10 people who try out different mind-body exercises to raise their happiness levels. In the first series they carry out a test where the subjects have to submerge their hand in freezing cold water and see how long they can hold it there. At the end of the series they do this again to see if it has made any difference to their time. All of the subjects at the end of the trial were able to hold their hand in the water for much longer than their original time. They explained that your level of hopefulness (a large component of happiness) directly correlates to your tolerance for pain both physical and emotional.
Hope during infertility is your best friend and your greatest enemy – hope can boost you up when you think this month has got to be your month and can slay you down when your period comes and your hope seems so ill-founded. One of the main things I was praying for in my darkest times was to stop hoping. I thought if I could remove the hope then maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much – but watching the test above it seems exactly the opposite. So how do you maintain hope in the face of such heart ache?
Hope is defined as “1. A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfilment 2. confidence and trust”. In terms of infertility it is very difficult to have confident expectations; the fact is that we may or may not become pregnant and having an unshakeable confidence that it will happen makes me fear the fall will be even harder if it doesn’t happen. The second definition actually gives me a lot more comfort because it relates to faith – to trusting.
I want to have hope in my life in terms of confidence, trust and faith that no matter what happens – I am going to be ok and will be able to cope with it. That no matter the outcome my life will be exactly as it is meant to be and although I can’t see the path for the dark forest right now the path I am forging is exactly the right path for me. I was trying to dispel the hope to have a baby from my heart, but I threw out the baby with the bath water (pardon the pun) and I lost hope in myself and in my life.
I feel my hope coming back slowly, my confidence in my relationship is returning, my determination to use my life for good is returning and my sense of joy is returning. I had a dream recently of this vivid rich world, the dream begins with a tall warrior like Asian women she is powerful and beautiful. She is heavily pregnant and is wearing a top cut across her body so I can see her round pregnant belly on which is a large striking tattoo that looks like strands of a jewelled necklace she also had two swords crossed on her back. She walks to an old burnt out church where she fights two demons a man and women to save a young boy. In therapy I went back to the dream and asked her about the tattoo and the women said these were her strands the marks that keep her safe and give her strength.
I have come to realise that the journey of my life is in collecting these strands that every lesson, heartache, disappointment and accomplishment make up these strands they are my talisman of hope something I plan never to try to excavate from my soul again.