You know those days when you get in your car to head to work in the morning, you’re just going through your normal routine, and then BAM! You hear something that is exactly what you needed to hear in that exact moment? It’s almost like God is speaking to you?
Well that just happened.
After my normal morning phone call to my mom, I was listening to one of the morning radio shows I normally listen to (Elvis Duran, if you’re curious). There was this British guy talking about relationships and the different roles women often take within a relationship. Here are the basic descriptions:
- Defeatist: takes all the blame and makes all the compromises
- Reactionist: places all blame on others and gets angry
- Stoic: Accepts what is happening
- Master: Turns what is happening into a learning experience and takes control of the power again
The example he gave was a man going to his girlfriend and saying he wanted to take a break.
- The Defeatist says: I’m not good enough for you, I’ll do anything to keep you, let’s just be casual if that’s what you want (even if it’s not really what she wants or how she approaches relationships)
- The Reactionist says: Fine, I hate you, you’re nothing to me, go.
- The Stoic says: Okay, go, there are plenty of other men out there, but I’ll be here when you get back.
- The Master says: Thank you for letting me know you can’t meet my needs. I want you to go be happy, I would never want you to stay if it makes you unhappy. I may not be here when you get back, but do what you need to do and I’ll do what’s best for me.
The speaker, Matthew Hussey, then turned this into roles that define successful and unsuccessful people, not just women in relationships. A waiter given complications on an order can be reactionary and get annoyed, or he can be a master and accept the challenge and the opportunity to earn a bigger tip by being a great waiter who gives the customer exactly what they wanted.
“Darla, this is all great info and interesting, but how on earth does this apply to you? How was it exactly what you needed to hear?” I know you’re asking your computer screen this right this very second.
So now, without further ado, my explanation.
By now, I’m sure you are all aware of the fertility journey my husband and I are on. I talk about it ad nauseum, I know. Here’s the thing the talk this morning made me aware of: I have not been displaying the qualities of a successful person while on this journey.
Up until now, I have been somewhere between a Reactionist and a Defeatist. A Stoic on rare occasions. I have been angry about our situation for some time now. Angry with doctors. Angry with myself. Angry with God. And let me tell you, it is hard to carry around so much anger all the time and still be a productive person.
What I learned this morning is that I need to be a Master. Of my emotions, of my situation, of my life. I am in control, and I need to remember that again.
As a Master of our fertility situation and journey, instead of being angry with everyone and everything, I need to turn this around and take back the power. I need to accept the situation for what it is and welcome the challenge and the opportunity to grow as a person, to grow with my husband as a couple, that the situation is presenting me.
We didn’t get pregnant this cycle, despite medical intervention. I am angry. What I need to be is grateful that we have a team of medical professionals who are determined to help us conceive. I need to be thankful that there are medical interventions that can help us, eventually. I need to turn this into an opportunity to continue to be open about our journey and about infertility, something that as many as 1 in 6 couples face. While my end goal for our journey is to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby, I also need to focus on the goal I also set for myself of educating people (starting with my friends and family) about infertility, about the struggles so many couples face and often in private, and how to relate to and support people facing infertility.
I read this article a while back. It talks about infertility as being trauma. And it really is. I agree with a lot of what this article has to say, especially about society being “fertility-normative.” It is expected that a woman’s body can and will produce a child. That is the norm. And when something outside the norm happens, we don’t know how to deal with it. “We” being both the person experiencing the trauma and society as a whole. And I’m really starting to believe that it is part of my journey in this life to help people understand this trauma and learn to relate to and react to it.
That is, I believe, what I need to do to become a Master of my situation. God is giving me an opportunity here. And while I may not fully understand, ever, why He’s putting me and my husband through this, I can take the opportunity to educate others on our experiences and let people know they are alone.
Obviously, reaching that Master level in life takes a lot of work. And a lot of conscious effort. But this was exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right moment. Now is the time to change. Now is the time to stop being angry. Now is the time to bond with my husband over our struggles so we can both come out of this stronger people. Now is the time to start living the life I was given and loving the life I live.