1500 words. Big. Long. Read.
VERY STRONG DISCLAIMER
Friends, this can be quite a contentious discussion, hence the disclaimer to begin with.
Firstly, there is an idea in the new-age world that “your thoughts create your world” and more specifically that your emotional traumas etc create physical disease in your body. I acknowledge that some of what I have written may feel similar to these. However I personally find these ideas incredibly dangerous and insurmountably unhelpful and damaging to anyone experiencing anything (physical, emotional and spiritual). I think it has been an epic collective victim-blaming bullshit move. That is just plain old shitty. And stupid. And needs to stop. I would invite you to read this incredibly well articulated article relating to endometriosis and an epic smackdown regarding these very ideas. http://www.thenutritionista.ca/emotional-causes-of-endo-response/
Secondly, I write from within my own world view. My world view involves love and magic as well as energy and spirits. This is my personal experience with this. I am not projecting this experience onto anyone under any other circumstances. I am not making any generalisations or explanations for any other person with this or a similar experience. I am expressing my journey with this, and the space I found perfection in. I am not a better or worse person for my beliefs, and I certainly don’t report to understand the workings of the universe. My journey gave this experience meaning. And I wanted to share that journey.If you are in any pain (of any kind) seek help.
Attitude of Gratitude
The principal at my yoga-teacher-training studio has this saying of attitude of gratitude, with the idea that it will transcend the notion of ‘three things I’m grateful for’ – because it is a space, theoretically, where you become grateful for everything. You have an attitude of gratitude. [Rather than the list of things you do; because in a way, you’re saying these things I am grateful for, everything else, I’m not… obviously you’re not exactly saying that, but that’s one idea about it].
It is a concept that has been loosely playing around in my mind for a few years.
It is a concept that I can intellectualise. I get it on an intellectual level.
I am lucky in that within my world view is a idea / understanding about the happenings of random, chaotic, painful, scary, devastating thing. So this concept of attitude of gratitude can fit right into that. At this point, for me, this concept was similar to hindsight… where, in hindsight you can see that the breakup with the love of your life actually turned out to be quite a wonderful thing. [I know, they really were a turd!]
I could think and talk about this attitude of gratitude thing…
what I couldn’t do yet, was feel it.
But over this last week, my understanding of attitude of gratitude has shifted. I have shifted.
TTC (Trying To Conceive)
I have been on this incredibly turbulent, painful, shitty, exciting, doubly-shitty, intense journey trying to conceive. As anyone who has remotely even glanced at my blog will recognise. It has shown me deep dark parts of my psyche that I’d mostly rather forget about. I have seen darker sides to my peers, acquaintances, family members and friends. I have also seen incredible resilience, love, trust, hope, faith, compassion, understanding, empathy and pure human spirit (which ironically I don’t think is ‘human’ – but I digress).
It has been, and is bloody tough!
A few weeks ago, confirmed again this week, I received a diagnosis about my uterus / ovaries / reproductive organs. More specialist appointments, more X-rays, CTs, MRIs, ultrasounds etc etc to explore the extent of it, and thus best “plan of attack”.
Now I don’t use the name on purpose. I choose for it to not have power over me. I choose not to be defined by other people’s experience or expectation of it. Naive and in-denial or not, that is my choice with this.
There was this weird relief.
Relief that, it wasn’t ‘me’. There was a reason I wasn’t falling pregnant (again).
Relief that the pain I had felt (and attributed to baby related things) wasn’t all in my head.
Relief that there was something. Because something can be fixed.
Then there was heartbreak.
My body was broken.
How could it do this to me?
Did this affect Baby Awesome?
– Is this the reason Baby Awesome
didn’t couldn’t stay?
What the actual fuck, body!
And a very healthy amount of why-me.
After that there was panic disguised as proactive-fixing.
I googled percents and procedures.
A specific % chance of pregnancy.
Life? Surgery. Cure? Pain.
There was tears and desperate calls to my husband. As if he could change it somehow.
And more googling.
Diet. No red meat. No sugar.
This, and that, and what’s-it-called.
Cures. ‘Cures’. And even more “Cures”.
I was exhausted. I hadn’t slept properly for 3 days. And the pain seemed to keep me anchored in this fear / panic state.
It was on one of those sleepless nights, after I had blogged about what a crappy person I am at literally everything… that I decided to google the “spiritual meaning” of it. Yes, I literally typed those words in. It’s a thing, okay guys.
What came up was incredibly personal and equally profound.
Insecurity, disappointment and frustration.
Replacing self-love with sugar.
This was like looking in the mirror, and seeing myself staring back at me.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Triple Tick. (I really like chocolate okay?!)
And what I saw, wasn’t blame or shame.
It didn’t make it, or the pain any more or less real and valid…
In that instance, I just saw that my beautiful perfect body.
I saw it working perfectly, diligently, regardless of what I had or had not intellectualised.
I saw that physiologically, for reasons I may never understand, my body’s answer to something it was experiencing was this.
Yes it is biological. Yes it is governed by genes.
And yes, something activated or switched those genes on.
It gave me a different lens to view my body in, as well as my experiences and contexts that may have lead to the activation of this/these(?) genes.
I saw my body as this loyally impartial presence. [Oxymoron anyone?]
That just was.
And when certain genes were activated, it did certain stuff.
It wasn’t a personal attack.
It wasn’t even personal.
It certainly wasn’t evidence that I am a shitty person or am inferior or any other projection / victim blaming bullshit.
There was pain.
There is pain.
Physical. Emotional. Spiritual.
The shift for me was to loving my body.
Loving that it so loyally responds to activated and deactivated genes.
Loving that it is so impartial.
‘This is what was activated’ How do I know? ‘Here it is’
And feeling, deeply deeply feeling – to the core of me – absolutely grateful for this.
And my body.
And the perfection that I see it to be.
I don’t need to fix it. *right now*
Which doesn’t mean I am not going to explore different healing stuff.
Because I am.
But right now, I am so grateful for my amazing body! And this thing, that has given me the space to explore myself further.
I grieved and raged. And no-one told me not to. No-one tried to suppress me or my fear, anxiety, rage, anger, and heartbreak. I was able to feel all of this. I posted about feeling shitty and not good at anything a few days ago. I was able to talk about worst case scenarios and told my husband to leave me so he can have babies with someone else. We spoke about life and death and where babies fit into that.
I processed this all. I expressed it. I honoured it. I loved it.
For the incredibly authentic expression that it is.
AND THEN a breakthrough came.
And then I had the space to find some meaning. And a way forward. That made sense within my world view.
I am really proud of myself for feeling this as deeply as I have. For honouring every part of myself during this time.
And I am grateful!
I am SO grateful for the anger, the rage, the fear. I am grateful for the heartbreak and the heart connection. I am grateful for my body. I am grateful for the bits and stuff that aren’t “meant to be” where it is. I am grateful for the pain. I am grateful for my ovaries, my uterus, my tubes. I am grateful for my vagina and my womb. I am grateful for my body. For all it the stuff it’s been through. For all the ways it has kept me safe during unsafe times. For receiving all the hate I had sent it. For staying and standing and being, regardless. I am grateful for the sympathy – it really honoured the enormity of what I was feeling. I am grateful for incredibly intelligent people that articulate delicate and dangerous ideas phenomenally well. I am grateful that I am alive. I am grateful that I have the financial capacity and resources to explore my health, with urgency. I am grateful for healing, and the journey, and the inexplicable process from perfection back to perfection.
I am so grateful that I glimpsed this attitude of gratitude!