Over the past (almost) 3 years, throughout the baby making journey, the beginning of each cycle brings a flood of emotions. It is a time I am forced to reflect and apparently also causes writer's block. After 29 months of continuous visits from the unwanted and certainly uninvited Aunt Flo, you would think it would get easier. It doesn't. In fact, quite the opposite. In the beginning, all the emotion was centered around the fact that we would go one more Christmas, Easter, Birthday, Mother's/Father's Day childless. Over the last 29 hope-filled months there have been significant estimated due dates (should we actually be pregnant at the time) such as, my Mom's birthday, my Grandmother's birthday, our anniversary and the most recent, my oldest brother, Bryce's birthday. All of which have come and gone.
With each passing month I have found my emotion covers a much broader spectrum. Not only am I sad, frustrated, disappointed, angry about being 34 and not having a child; I share the same about not knowing what I want to be when I grow up, failing to stay in better contact with people in my life that I truly adore, not being a better Christian, not following my dreams, forgetting birthdays or anniversaries, not speaking my mind when I should and speaking it when I shouldn't (oops), not being the best daughter/sister/wife/friend I can be. I go from sadness, hopelessness, frustration, anger, disappointment to complete and utter failure. It sounds extreme, but I can convince myself that there is not one thing I have succeeded at in my 34 years and baby making is just one of them. I have been in this dark place for the past 6 days, the same dark place I go to at the beginning of every cycle. Slowly I break myself out of it and start to see the light but I know there is another big black cloud looming.
A dear friend, who I miss terribly, came into town yesterday from Atlanta. We celebrated her homecoming, although only a 4 day stay, with dinner, cocktails, good friends and great conversation at her Mom's house. Exactly what Debbie Downer (me) needed. While talking to another dear friend, the person I credit with inspiring me to rekindle my love affair on the mat i.e. yoga, I felt a break in the clouds. A light at the end of this dark tunnel, if you will? And a light that may stick around for more than 3 weeks at a time. Our conversation centered around yoga, as it so often does. We were discussing recent injuries we both have/had and how our practice has been effected by them. For many yoga practitioners, the most difficult thing to learn is not how to do king pigeon or feathered peacock it's to quiet the mind and check your ego at the door. I am no exception. It is very easy for me to get wrapped up in those practicing around me. To start placing judgement on myself when the person next to me is bent over backwards, with their head between their legs and I am struggling to stay in full wheel for more than a minute at a time. When you're injured you are forced to take it easy, bring yourself back to the basics, practice with caution and to practice patience. Patiently waiting the injury to heal. With that you remember where you came from, how you often take for granted or fail to notice how far you have come. How you may not be where you thought you would at this point in your practice but you're a lot further along than when you started. You're faced with humble humility. I believe it to be a necessity for growth in your practice.
It's amazing what an hour and a half of yoga practice a day can reveal about your life off the mat. I mentioned, the emotions I feel upon the arrival of a new cycle are more than just baby related, they're life as a whole related. Just like with my injury, my thoughts and emotions are reminders that I have a long way to go to get where I want to be, but also that I have come so far from where I started. They're reminders that this may be MY life but it's according to God's plan. The emotions, although dark and negative, force me to check my ego at the door. They are my injury, sending me back to practicing the basics. They're lessons in humble humility and patience. And I believe both to be necessities for growth in life and in this journey.
"The practice of patience guards us against losing our presence of mind. It enables us to remain undisturbed, even when the situation is really difficult. It gives us a certain amount of inner peace, which allows us some self-control, so that we can choose to respond to situations in an appropriate and compassionate manner, rather than being driven by our disturbing emotions." - Dalai Lama