INFERTILITY: Should we speak our truth at the risk of offending others?

Jan 04, 2021

This question has been on my mind, due to a recent post I put up on Instagram.  It caused quite a stir and criticism, and got me thinking whether I had done the right thing.

Actually, in truth, it shot me straight into a vortex of confusion and shame. 

Which is exactly how I felt when I was in the midst of my fertility journey.

I had so many ugly thoughts and emotions and because of that, I thought that I was a bad person too.

I judged loved ones for not raising their children as I would my own.  I got pissed off when they complained about how hard pregnancy was.  I rolled my eyes when they said they’d had trouble conceiving when it only took them 6 months to fall pregnant. 

I know I’m not alone.

I spoke to someone recently about Chrissy Teigan and John Legends tragic loss of their baby, and she shared with me her first thought when she heard the news.  Her first thought was “at least they can get pregnant”.  There was no judgement from me, just compassion.  Because I’m familiar with that pain and that perspective.

But not everyone reacts like that.  Because we all have our own experience.  The way we view things, is through our own lens.  Based on our perspective in that moment.

But because we’re so ashamed of our thoughts, and scared of being criticized for the ugliness, we keep them inside.  We think that our thoughts alone make us a bad person. 

I don’t have it all figured out, and I’m not sure I ever will.  But what I know to be true, is that our thoughts don’t make us good or bad.  Our actions do.

And a lot of the time, we don’t get to choose our first thought.  Our first thought is based on what we have grown up believing, and what we’ve lived through.  And those habits and thought patterns are so ingrained in us, that it’s hard to rewire them.

I have been off the fertility rollercoaster for almost 5 years now, and when I attended a baby shower recently, there was a lady who was talking about how horrible her pregnancy was.  My thoughts went back to my own struggles on my journey.  In an instant, I was back in the struggles where I craved pregnancy more than anything in the world.  For 5 years I had just wished for morning sickness.  And my first thought when the woman who was completely entitled to voice her opinion on how hard pregnancy is (because it is!), my first thought was judgement.  And it didn’t feel good. 

We are human, and we (including me) need to give ourselves a little grace.  This journey can be long and traumatic.  It can create deep scars that remain long after you step off the fertility rollercoaster. 

Accepting our thoughts is one thing.  Voicing them is another.

For so many years, I was asked when we were going to have a baby by unsuspecting people. I know I’m not alone.  We have ALL been asked that ridiculously insensitive question.  And we battle with the answer.  Do we push our truth down to make others feel comfortable.  Or do we reveal the real reason we don’t have a family, knowing that it be awkward as f*ck, and it will cause discomfort to the person asking.

I was the one who pushed it down.  I was the one who sucked it up.  I was the one who betrayed myself over and over again.

We do it, because we were brought up to believe that we must put other people’s feelings above our own.  We must be positive.  We must be grateful.  We must be strong.

I am a self-confessed people pleaser.  So, when I received criticism on social media for sharing my truth, it hurt.  What they were sharing with me was their opinion.  And everyone has a right to share that.  But it felt like they were also attacking me as a person (and some were). 

I love the quote by Rachel Hollis, which goes something like, OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS ARE NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.  I completely agree. But it can be tough to block those opinions out when people are making their opinion your business by telling you what they think on social media or in person. 

And when we’re struggling with infertility, we question so much of who we are, it’s easy to lose track of what we actually think ourselves.  So, we defer to others.  We poll them before we decide how we feel and what we should do next. 

That’s why we find it hard to make decisions, we forget what we like to do, and get consumed by infertility.

It still begs the question – should we speak our truth at the risk of offending others?

Here is my opinion.

Speaking our truth does not deny other people their own feelings.  It merely acknowledges ours. 

It is truly exhausting trying to say things that don’t offend others.  Trying to analyse how other people will take it.  Seeing it from their perspective.  And watering it down, so we’re not really connecting or saying much at all.  So, we’re all still pretending.  And no-one is sharing their truth.  And I know from personal experience, that holding in our truth is exhausting.  Sharing it is what sets us free.

I also know that our thoughts feed our emotions.  And our emotions are energy.  If that energy gets stuck, it can cause all sorts of trouble.  Your emotions (including the negative ones) are necessary, but it is also important to move them through your body.  And one of the best ways to release your emotions is to share them. So, if you’re not sharing it, you are storing it.  And in order to heal, you must feel.

The season you are going through right now is a tough one.  You are experiencing grief and trauma like you’ve never known before. 

And the path to healing begins with pleasing yourself.  Setting boundaries for yourself and others. By being true to where you’re at.  Acknowledging your truth so it doesn’t consume you any longer.  And speaking it out loud.

Because you’re not alone. 

I will continue to advocate for you.  I will continue to speak my truth and your truth, no matter how ugly or shameful it is.  No matter the criticism.  Because there are always two sides to every story.

I will continue to develop programs that acknowledge your truth and where you are at.  Because THAT is where empowerment begins. Where you can set healthy boundaries and take back control of your life in amidst infertility.

I will continue to coach you through this season.  So you can see that you are not your thoughts.  That they don't make you a bad person.  And that you get to choose how you react.

If you're ready to set some healthy boundaries, and break free from the thoughts that are holding you back, you're in the right place.

If you'd like some personal support, feel free to inquire about my 1:1 coaching program.  I'm not taking any new clients until February 2021, but if you'd like to get onto the waitlist, send me a message HERE.

AND.........the doors are now open to The Lighthouse Project, a 4 week program to hit the reset button and create some healthy habits moving into 2021.  You can learn more HERE.

Would you like to know more about how you can work with me, so you can get back control of your life and start moving forward?  My 1:1 coaching program is packed with information, tools and support. Find out how you can get on the wait list now.  

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