Reading a post with the same title at Pregnant with Hope got me thinking about what the worst thing about infertility was for me? There are lots of things that are hard but the hardest is a dark thought I try not to visit but seems to lurk around anyway. ‘What if we never have children’ – what will life look like and be about, will I always be sad and will I be left behind by all those other people with growing families?
The truth is I don’t know what life will be like either way – I may have a house full of children, soccer games, school lunches and all the other things parenting entails. Or I may have a life full of travel, time, adventure and my own artistic pursuits. Both will have their sadness and both will have their happiness. The thing that takes me away from this dark place is realising that my mind can not deal with imaginary situations. Even just imagining driving down the street is much harder than actually doing it. So trying to come up with some plan to deal with either of these futures is futile. Whatever happens I will know exactly what to do when I get there.
I have realised that this thing that is ‘the worst’ aspect is a just a thought. I recently listened to a podcast by Byron Katie who has developed this process of inquiry called ‘The Work’ it consists of four questions that you can use to challenge the thoughts that are causing you pain. So I used it to work through my thought below;
Thought: I may never have children
Question 1: Is this true?
Not really because I have not gotten to the end of my journey so I can’t say that it true
Question 2: Can you absolutely know that it is true?
I really can’t because I have not reached the end of this journey yet. I may well still have children.
Question 3: How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
I feel terrible, frightened, lonely and desperate. It fills me with fear and longing
Question 4: Who would you be without the thought?
I would be a happier and more positive person, I would take things as they come and just work on where I am at in the present moment.
After I go through this process the thought just seems irrelevant and silly. Then she backs it up with another great technique – what she describes as identifying whose business your dealing with. According to Byron there are only 3 types of businesses in the world. Your Business, Other Peoples Business and God’s Business. This thought falls directly into Gods Business – I can’t control what happens here, I can only do the day to day work and leave the rest to the heavens.
You can check out Byron Katie’s website here and there is a free download booklet which takes you through the full process.