Are signs a beacon of hope or a form of self-destruction on our fertility journey?Sep 06, 2021
I wouldn’t normally consider myself a superstitious person……until infertility. This journey has a way of taking over our mind and our body. And the longer you’re on this somewhat soul-destroying rollercoaster, the crazier you feel, and the more consuming it gets.
Around five years in to our quest for parenthood, my continual search for signs from the universe or hang onto beacons of hope, were starting to take over my life.
The only thing worthwhile about turning a year older was the birthday wish. And I took it very seriously, blowing out those candles with vigor and praying every single year for our baby. I couldn’t walk past a dandelion without picking it, and blowing it to make a wish. I refused to walk under ladders and would cross the street if I saw a black cat coming toward me. I’d fight people for the wish bone in the chicken, and gaze up at the stars each night waiting for a shooting star.
I would go out of my way to do these things, and if I didn’t, I worried that THIS could be the reason why we wouldn’t get pregnant.
And then there were the psychics, clairvoyants and tarot cards. You can see where I’m headed with this, can’t you?
It’s a lot, isn’t it? But it’s completely understandable. There is a constant argument occurring in your mind – you must do EVERYTHING to ensure you get your baby. And when you feel like you’re doing everything you can physically do to make it happen, it’s no surprise that you also turn to signs from the universe. The desperate cling to faith.
Some days I’d feel hopeful. Like on the days I saw a rainbow or a butterfly. Then on other days I secretly wondered whether my struggle was a sign that I wasn’t meant to be a mum or that I’d make a terrible mum. I thought that the fight was a sign, and that I should be taking the universe’s advice and walking away.
I’m glad I didn’t. Because the fight and the struggle didn’t mean any of those things. Today I am a bloody fantastic mum (if I do say so myself). The fight and the struggle were merely parts of my journey.
Now that I am out the other side, I’m able to see the signs and the struggle in a different light. And I’d love to share that with you, along with HOW you can use signs in a healthy way as opposed to a path to self-destruction.
First of all – WHY do we search for signs?
Simply, infertility is filled with uncertainty and a complete lack of control. For me, it was the first time I realised that just working hard and doubling the effort, did not guarantee success. And it knocked me on my ass. As a control freak and a smart woman, I was frustrated that I couldn’t figure it out. Yes, we can do ALL the things we’re told to do – modify our diet, do acupuncture, drink the fertility tea, go on a holiday, cut out gluten and alcohol, meditate and chant affirmations – and STILL not get pregnant. The fact that we have no control over a positive or negative pregnancy test is enough to drive you insane.
This journey is also disheartening. We struggle to find and maintain hope, because we have been disappointed so many times before. We need that push to keep moving forward despite being exhausted and heart-broken.
Most of all however, we chase reassurance that everything that we have sacrificed (including our soul, our friends, our social life and our bank account) is not for nothing.
So, we search for certainty and hope in SIGNS FROM THE UNIVERSE.
And that makes complete sense. There is nothing wrong with this, and you’re not crazy for doing it. We all do it.
There were so many occasions on our journey where I found hope in a sign -
When dates lined up for a cycle and our results were due on my late father’s birthday – you can’t tell me that’s not a sign from beyond the grave.
Or when we saw a double rainbow on the way to a transfer – like, when do you EVER see a double rainbow? That can’t be a coincidence.
But when it didn’t work, my heart was broken and I became a little cynical. And the next time I saw that sign, it carried a negative feeling. And I began to turn toward the dark side. I was angry. And I began to think….what’s the fucking point?!
If that’s you, that’s ok too. It’s completely understandable. This journey really does suck. And it’s harder than anything I have ever had to endure before.
Yes, signs are a slippery slope, but I still believe that they are really important.
So, HOW do you use signs in a healthy way? How do you use them in a way so they give you a good feeling, and don’t result in you losing faith in them?
First of all, you can attach whatever meaning you like to a sign (because you’re in control of your beliefs). But what we tend to do is attach a very specific meaning to them i.e. if I see a rainbow it means that THIS cycle is going to work. So, we put pressure on ourselves and that poor little rainbow, lean completely into hope and convince ourselves that THIS is the one. Unfortunately, if it doesn’t work, we lose complete faith in our rainbow and we punish ourselves for being so foolish to believe a silly rainbow.
A better way however, is to attach a more general meaning to the sign. It could be –
This is a sign that I am going to be ok.
This is a sign that I am on the right path.
This is a sign that everything is going to work out in the end.
This is a sign that I am where I need to be right now.
This is a sign that it’s going to be a good day.
When we remove the timeline and the result, it can still give us hope and faith, but without the additional pressure. Which means there won’t be the continual tug of war between hope and hopelessness. It allows you to use signs to guide you and provide you comfort, without the self-punishment attached.
If that feels good for you, let’s take this one step further. If you get to CHOOSE what meaning you attach to a sign, what’s stopping you from creating your own signs?
For example – when I see a butterfly, I am immediately snapped out of my head and the thoughts going around and around, and I’m brought back to the present. And the message that I have attached to a butterfly is that I am on exactly the right path I need to be on, and that everything is going to be ok. It gives me an instant boost AND removes me from a potential negative thought.
Another one I have created is - when I look up in the sky and I can’t see any clouds, I take it as a sign that it’s going to be a great day. And I immediately feel excited and hopeful.
You can do this too. Make a list of potential signs and choose what meaning you attach to them.
It could be a sunrise, a rainbow, a bird, blue skies – the options are limitless. You can develop a whole heap of them!!
And every time you see one of these signs, they become beacons of hope and faith. It can provide you with that reassurance that you’re craving. And it will absolutely provide you with an instant mood boost.
THAT is how you can create a healthy relationship with SIGNS from the universe, and start leaning into hope and faith a little more.
As always, I love hearing from you, so when you’ve completed your list, feel free to email me HERE.
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