29 August, 2017

You cannot change what you refuse to confront

This speaks to me, as I bemoan my messy office (whilst editing photographs or writing blog posts), my desire to lose weight (but my love of food and wine), my lack of income (but my procrastination about launching a new business), etc.

But it is relevant in the infertility context too, as we know that when we are trying to conceive, it is easy to single-mindedly pursue our goals, refusing to confront the prospect that we may never conceive or carry to term successfully, whilst desperately wanting the pain and frustration of infertility to end. Confronting that pain is the first step to changing the pain, and walking through that neglected door in the Infertility Waiting Room that I’ve written about before.

Once we are through the door, and living a No Kidding life, it can be easy to feel we’re going through the motions of life, without realising that we first need to confront ourselves, and our thoughts and beliefs that can so easily keep us feeling miserable, or thrust us back into grief. Confronting those negative thoughts about our lives, and the way others might perceive us, can help us reprogramme our brains, change the way we think, and live more contented and compassionate (to ourselves and others) lives.

It’s a constant lesson for me, one that well over a decade later I am still learning. At first, it was important to confront the thoughts about my worth, whether I deserved my fate or not, but now, I find myself confronting my feelings about how others react to me, deciding whether I can educate, be compassionate to what might motivate others to act or be insensitive, or to forgive and let it go. The compassion and forgiveness come more easily, as does the willingness to speak up and educate, to be matter-of-fact but kind, and most importantly, I try not to criticise or blame, but of course, this is all still a work in progress, because, well, that’s life.


  1. beautifully written.
    Indeed, that's life.

    wishing you a lovely week.

  2. This is lovely. And so true. (Also I wish that delicious food and wine would not be so quick to settle on my bones, seems such an unfair setup!) Awareness (through confronting) is definitely the first step to some kind of change. Sometimes not confronting something just prolongs the damage it is doing to you.

  3. Such a thought-provoking post, Mali, thank you!
    It is a constant lesson for me, too. And I'm so grateful to have people like you reminding me of the fact that it is okay if the lessons keep coming up :-).

  4. yea, about lessons that keep coming up... We are gearing up for a big(ish) party for our 12.5 anniversary of being together. Yesterday a friend said she wouldn't come. At first giving some excuse.
    But then she said that , while so happy for me, she really felt not comfortable after her divorce last year.
    Ouch. It took a moment to set aside my feelings of rejection and realise that for her there is nothing to celebrate (or no one to celebrate it with) I did apologise for pressuring her and not understanding. But o dear, how silly I feel. (And there I thought I had learned a thing or two about empathy)

  5. And because making the decision to educate or not, having a sense where the other person might be coming from or forgiving and letting go all in the moment is very very hard:-). Such a good description of what a lot of our interactions bring.

    This reminds me of some of the experiences I had in yoga teacher training - I was exposed to a lot of things that revealed a mightily changed world view from before infertility, but I was having a hard time putting my finger on it. I just don't think I was quite ready to deal with it all. I could not accept what I refused to confront!