Do you have a "Why me?" mentality?
By Juliana Kassianos, Transformational Fertility Coach, Yoga Teacher and Founder of The School of Fertility
Are you someone who plays by all the rules? You don’t smoke, you don’t drink, you eat healthily, you take supplements, you look after your body, you pay your taxes, you give to charity and yet the one thing you desperately want in life – a baby of your own – you don’t seem to be able to have.
It doesn’t feel fair that you’re struggling to get pregnant, whilst missy over there got pregnant by accident, only did it once, smokes like a chimney and lives off McDonald’s. You just can’t understand how it’s possible that she managed to get pregnant, whilst you haven’t. It makes you feel angry, bitter and frustrated, as you ask yourself “Why me?”, “What the hell did I do to deserve this?” Feeling completely powerless, you feel the World is against you and there’s nothing you can do about it. You wallow in self-pity, listen to sad music and eat a whole load of comfort food. After all, what's the point in trying so hard if it's just not paying off.
DO YOU HAVE A VICTIM MINDSET?
Whilst it’s normal to feel a little sorry for ourselves now and again, what we don’t want to do is fall into a victim mindset. This mindset isn’t caused by the reality of our situation, but that of our beliefs. We believe that everything should be exactly as we expect it to be. That after a few months we should be able to get pregnant, just like it happens for what seems like everyone else around us and that at 12 weeks of pregnancy, we should be able to see our little one wriggling around with a strong heartbeat. But of course, as you may know by now, life doesn’t always work out this way.
We get diagnosed with fertility issues, are given the frustrating label of unexplained infertility or have the heart-breaking experience of having a miscarriage. We start to believe that we’re never going to get pregnant, we’re never going to carry a healthy baby to term and that we’re never going to be a mother. Believing these painful stories leaves us feeling helpless, that everything's working against us and that life is a constant struggle. These beliefs even start to affect our self-image. We start to see ourselves as a failure, as we’ve failed to do the one thing we’re put on earth to do – to reproduce. The more we think to ourselves “I’m such a failure”, the more we believe this thought to be true.
FIND INNER PEACE
You see, it’s not our thoughts that are the problem, it’s the fact we start believing them. In essence, we believe we are our mind. To find inner peace, we can start by observing the mind, instead of submitting to it. We can’t control our thoughts, but we can choose to be aware of them, to accept them, but not to get caught up in them. If we don’t fight them, analyse them and feed them with our energy, they very quickly dissolve into thin air. By practicing this form of mindfulness, we’re able to differentiate between what’s real and what story our minds have imagined. We free ourselves from our thoughts, our minds become powerless and we learn to be at peace with the situation we're in.
QUESTION "IS IT TRUE?"
Write down a list of any negative thoughts you’ve become mindfully aware of that you believe to be true. To open yourself up to possibility, ask yourself "Is what I believe really true?" Say to yourself out loud “Is it possible that [insert thought] isn’t true?”. Then, collect the evidence for the opposite of what the thought is saying. For example, you could see it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, as part of your journey, time to grow, build emotional strength, become a better role model, connect on a deeper level with your partner etc. You may be resistant to this way of thinking, which is normal, but just let yourself try it. Then ask yourself “What is stopping me from believing something else?” and “What new liberating belief can I choose to have instead?” . Make a list of these new beliefs and come back to them now and again.
ASK "WHY NOT ME?"
Another way to rethink the victim mindset, is to accept that life doesn’t always go to plan. At some point in our lives, we no doubt all experience pain and struggle in some way or another. If it’s not fertility related, then it may be cancer, the breakdown of a marriage or the death of someone we love. We’re no more immune to suffering than anyone else in the World. Yes, missy over there may be pregnant, but she’ll no doubt have other struggles in her life that you may not have to deal with. It’s not that some higher being is giving her the pregnancy instead of us. It's not that life is out to get us. And it's not that we’re being punished for something in the past. It’s just the reality of life.
If we learn to accept obstacles as a normal part of our journey in life, to embrace them fully, and believe in our ability to work through them and grow as a result of them, we stand a far greater chance of getting to where we want to be. To know in advance that it’s not necessarily going to be an easy ride, but to confidently say to ourselves nonetheless: “I’ve got this” and “Bring it on”.
HOLD ON TO HOPE
It’s hard not understanding why things happen to us. If only we could look into the future and see how it all turns out in the end, it would make the journey so much easier to handle. Sadly, we can’t though, and we have to rely on hope to get us through each day. Hope that one day we’ll get a Big Fat Positive. Hope that one day we’ll see a heartbeat. Hope that one day we’ll have a baby in our arms. Hope that one day our little one will call us mummy.