Sunday, March 15, 2009

What others are saying...

I just finished writing an article yesterday for Creating Families Magazine about Proper Etiquette when speaking to someone about fertility. I created a list of common responses or comments that often feel hurtful and insensitive. I gave a list of suggested responses that feel more supported. It is amazing how one word or comment can carry so much meaning. In my support group on Friday we discussed hurtful comments and how much others just don't "get it". Although I am still determined to increase awareness about fertility and help others understand the depth of the emotional journey, I realized that perhaps my energy should be placed more on helping women and men struggling with fertility shift perspective about other peoples comments.

Here are my suggestions:
When someone says something that triggers you (you feel hurt, disappointed or misunderstood) begin to look at it as an opportunity to heal a deeper part of yourself. It is no longer about them, it is about you. Stop and reflect on what they said or did that affected you. What meaning did you place on their words or actions? For example, if someone says "why don't you just adopt?", what did you make that mean?
Common thoughts may be:
"No one believes I can do it"
"Everyone thinks I might as well just give up"
"I am a failure"

This simple but powerful awareness exercise is where you take your power back. You cannot control others comments or actions, but you can change your perception or thoughts about what they said or did. You can do this at anytime. It doesn't have to be in the moment but you must be willing to look at it. Let me break it down for you.

1. What did they say or do? eg. a pregnant women was rubbing her belly while talking to me

2. What did I make it mean? What thought came from you? eg. she is rubbing it in my face, that I am not pregnant and she is

3. Is my thought true? eg. no I am focusing on what I don't have and I feel jealous

4. Accept where you are. eg "I am feeling jealous and it is ok." or "I am where I am and it's ok."

5. Find a thought that feels like relief. eg. I have the ability to shift my thoughts, it is not really about her.

6. Forgive yourself and the other to let it go. eg. "She is not doing it to make be feel bad, I forgive her. I heard many other women in my situation have thoughts of jealousy. I forgive myself for feeling jealous.

7. Shift your perspective. eg "How can I look at this differently? I can be a Mother and one way or another it will happen" or "What can I do to support myself? I will take a hot bath tonight and more time to relax and reflect"

I use this sequence often throughout my day. It becomes easier and easier. There may be times that under certain circumstances your trigger is deep and you may need some additional support to process your feelings. Turn to your partner, friend or family to help you process it. If you still need help find a counselor or life coach to help you. You are more than welcome to email me or post a comment.

You don't need to go through this alone. We are all in this together and I believe in each and every one of you!

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