Wishing YOU a "Flawsome" New Year!
Happy New Year Dear Friends!
I enjoy watching the news. I know news can be depressing and some say that "no news is good news," but I still like to be informed about the events that happen worldwide. I don't want to live my life under a rock.
At the end of the year, I especially like watching shows that highlight the events that took place during the past year. The older I get, the faster the years seem to fly by, almost as if one year runs into another. However, when I watch those news shows, I am reminded of just how many incredible things DO happen in a year.
I am in awe of those who produced fabulous movies or wrote incredible music. Sometimes, a person has made an amazing breakthrough in science. For sure, news reporters are going to give a summary of the celebrities who have passed away this year and have made their mark on history. On a recent end-of-the-year news segment, an inspirational story of a small child who created a little business to raise money for cancer patients was featured. For some mysterious reason, the child's mission caught on all across the globe and she ended up raising millions of dollars for cancer research. I find myself thinking that some people have accomplished more in their short 6 or 7 years than I have in nearly 6 decades. As much as I enjoy watching the highlights of the past year, I find that I can get caught in the trap of thinking I haven't done enough with MY life? I'm not talented, smart or creative enough. (I should make a resolution to become a better version of myself.)
Since I enjoy the news, I thought I'd share my reaction to a segment I watched on New Years Eve highlighting a Japanese art form. Kintsugi, as the Japanese practice is known, gives new life, healing or rebirth to damaged or aging ceramic objects by celebrating their flaws and history. The philosophy behind the technique is to recognize the history of the object and to visibly incorporate the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it. The process usually results in something more beautiful than the original.
While watching this segment I began to ponder what it might mean to live a "Kintsugi" life. Wouldn't it be so meaningful to find value in the missing pieces, cracks and chips in our lives by bringing to light the scars that have come from our life experiences? To find new purpose through our aging and our losses, to see the love and the beauty of 'imperfection' and loving ourselves, family and friends completely...even with all of our flaws... is the true meaning of deeply, unconditional love.
During the segment, I began to reflect on my own life, the people I've met through my fertility advocacy work and the members of my RESOLVE support group. The person who came to the forefront of my mind during the broadcast was a young woman I’ve had the honor and privilege to connect with through her fertility blog. Justine is openly sharing her fertility journey on her own blog that she has aptly named, "Where's the F*%$@cking Stork!" She has recently started IUI treatments. Right before Christmas, she received her third negative IUI. She felt like a complete failure! Her body failed her. She felt like she was failing her husband and she was afraid that she may never become a mother. (I can most certainly relate to that.) Justine is in the thick of her battle with infertility and she is scared. She dedicated her whole post to feeling like a failure.
I recall some of my own feelings of inadequacy during my fertility journey. I felt flawed. It is understandable for those who struggle with trying to build a family to feel like a failure. Giving birth, a natural phenomenon for most women, is incredibly difficult for us. We feel our bodies are betraying us and we feel we are broken. We spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on procedures only to receive a BIG FAT NEGATIVE. It's no wonder we feel like a complete and total failure when our bodies fail us time and time again.
During these intensely devastating times, it is important to remind ourselves that although a PROCEDURE may have failed, WE are NOT a complete failure. We must learn to separate our feelings of self-worth from a failed outcome.
I'd like to take this notion to an even deeper level. When we have suffered yet another failure, it's critical to remind ourselves to see the beauty that lies within. We really don’t need to make a New Years Resolution to become a better person. Instead we need to embrace our flaws. If we can try to live more of a Kintsugi life while dealing with our infertility, we may surprise ourselves by our "flawsomeness."
By filling our broken hearts from a failed treatment with positive "self talk" of how much strength and courage we possess to have come this far, we will become empowered. By not being ashamed of our infertility and not hiding it from others, much like Justine is doing, perhaps we can ignite compassion by sharing what we are going through. We will become a beacon of light. We can help others realize that they are not alone. By bringing light to our infertility "scars" that have come from our failures, we will be able to find new purpose through the beauty of our "imperfection" and love ourselves… even with all of our flaws… to a depth we never thought possible. And it just may be our horrible, glorious flaws that help us to resolve the most difficult journey of our lives. How beautiful that will be!
So… for any of you who who are reading this who may be feeling flawed and even broken this New Year, and especially for Justine, I hope you will embrace the beautiful flawed person that you are... with all your cracks, missing pieces, failures and losses... and realize that your history, your life experiences and even your misfortunes are making you the completely beautiful person that you are today. You are totally "Flawsome" and I wish you a beautiful New Year!
In-Fertility & Friendship,