Dec 28, 2021
We made it through the Christmas holidays. I had a really beautiful holiday. It was small, but it was, something very magical.
I think a lot of it has to do with the thoughts I chose to think about myself this holiday. I did not wake up on Christmas morning with this empty pit in my stomach. I woke up feeling grateful for the love I have with my husband, the family I have to share it with. The memories I have of the people that I normally celebrate with that we just had smaller celebrations this year, but I still had such a love and gratitude in my heart for those people, whether they're still physically here on earth with us or not.
Overall, I just I felt really grateful this holiday season for the life that I have and the work that I've done for myself and on myself about living a life that is meaningful and has meaning to me, even though I'm not a mom. I've been thinking a lot about where we're going to go next year on this journey together. I've been thinking a lot about some of the sticking points I've had and frankly continue to have, because if you know anything about me and the thought work that I do, the concepts that I share with all of you is that this journey never ends of judging ourselves. Wishing we had a child wondering what, life would be like if we were moms.
As we start to think about the flipping of a page on a calendar, what do we want to flip in our minds and in our daily practices to create even more meaning with this amazing life that we've been gifted. I want to talk more with you about how to love your life again. How to stop judging yourself for what has not happened in your life, or maybe some things that you have done in your life that you might not feel great about, or might feel some shame around. How do we get back to that point in our life that we actually love who we are and love the life that we're living in?
A lot of it, I believe has to do with goals that we have for ourselves versus expectations we have about ourselves as well. Goals are not expectations and certainly it's important to have goals. And when we have goals, they offer us the ability to create a plan or a roadmap to an achievement. Goals absolutely motivate us to push forward through challenging experiences and encourage us to improve our abilities over time. However, when goals slide over into expectations, they can become problematic - hinder our thoughts that we're having about ourselves and the feelings we have about what's going on with us and in our lives. Goals, yeah, they help you strive for excellence and structure your attention and your focus and provide direction for optimal results for what we want to create in our lives, but goals aren't permanent. I think we can all agree that it feels great to achieve our goals, and it's certainly important to realize that goals are wants not needs.
Learning to provide yourself the liberty to amend your goals based on new information you get in your life, may generate a need to reprioritize our life and thus our goals. Thinking about it in that way, allows you to give yourself the liberty to modify.
We are so often, and I know I'm number one in line for this, get set on this goal and we have to put blinders on and think that unless we achieve that goal, we are not worthy of our happiness or gratitude, unless that goal is achieved. I have come to learn that that is so not the case; especially when it comes to living with infertility and realizing that being a mother is not part of the journey that you're going to be on in this life.
When keeping a goal as the point of focus, you'll need to work, to stay focused in the moment and involved in the process of achieving a goal. And certainly that's going to help you become more mindful and flexible and capable of optimal results, but becoming over-focused on goal achievement will likely cause you to feel things that aren't going to give you the results that you want to create with your life.
And I'm not talking about motherhood, I'm talking about overall living a life that is Happy; in living a life that you're grateful for; living a life that you're learning about yourself because of the obstacles that you've overcome, or because of the goals that you've had to remodify in your life and keeping a long-term perspective of becoming better at achieving the desired results in your life over time and using goals as stepping stones along the way to your ultimate goal of self-improvement will enable you to remain flexible and avoid expectations.
When you can embrace the process of becoming better at understanding why you want to achieve a goal and steer clear of expectations you've set for yourself, you will have a greater satisfaction and better thoughts and feelings about the results you're creating now.
When we're diagnosed with infertility and fail multiple rounds of IVF, we need to give ourselves the grace to amend the goals we set for ourselves when it comes to motherhood. For those of us that have gone through countless medicated cycles and still don't have a child, we think that not being a mom is reflective of who we are as women. When we're born biologically as females and we're ready to start thinking about creating a family, we just have this expectation that it will happen for us. It's interesting how the term "I am expecting" or ""we're expecting.
It's so closely tied to childbearing and pregnancy. I mean, how many times do we hear someone say, oh, we're expecting, we're raised to expect that we can conceive that we can carry a fetus full term, that we can create a healthy embryo that we should expect to be a mom. When we have that expectation of our body and it does not happen for us, we lose confidence in ourselves; we increase the pressure we put on our bodies, on our relationships, on our minds. We choose to create the meaning of our lives with the results or outcomes of the expectation of pregnancy. I get it. I did it too for so many years. I believe that we all need to go through the feelings of loss the feelings of grief that come along with infertility and failing IVF cycles.
We have a goal of motherhood, but it's impossible to have an expectation of ourselves to be moms. Cause when we have such expectations for ourselves and they don't work out as planned, this will hinder the experience and the opportunity you have to learn about yourself on this journey of life. When you see yourself as somebody who did not achieve the goal of motherhood, you will start to judge yourself and the quality of the life you're living, because you are thinking that you did not meet that goal because you had an expectation, it would happen.
Many of the expectations we have of ourselves in our bodies can lead to negative thoughts of ourselves in our bodies. Expectations are mismanaged goals or results that we are having, that we are not evaluating from a place of love and compassion for ourselves.
Expectations can generate frustration when you feel you aren't performing up to your potential. When we have that frustration, it interferes with the optimal results we want in our lives and can become part of a downward cycle of negativity that impacts us and the thoughts and the feelings we have about us as well.
Expectations can cause you to be judgmental about the quality of your results. When we judge ourselves or think that others are judging us, or when we compare ourselves to others, we're usually measuring ourselves as "less than". The process of judging and comparing ourselves to others, interferes with thoughts and feelings that we have about ourselves.
Comparing yourself in the journey you are on to the life of others is a distraction from giving you your best and smartest effort to live your life and embrace your life that you've been given. If you learn to eliminate the distraction of comparing yourself and the expectations you have of yourself with others, you'll enhance your experience and really allow yourself to get curious about what it is that is working or not working for you.
When you expect things of yourself that are out of your control, you innately create a negative cycle of disappointment because when you're feeling disappointed, it's common for you to think.
I'm not good enough.
My body is broken.
I have no meaning because I'm not a mother.
I invite you to pause and ask yourself. Did I have an expectation I'd be a mom, or was it a goal? Many of us start out expecting it'll happen. You must let go of the judgment you have of yourself because you aren't carrying the title of mom.
Is that possible that your life can be full, even if you're not a mother? Not meeting your motherhood goal may shy you away from setting goals all together. I did it too. I sat on autopilot for years after my last IVF cycle ended. We need time to grieve the loss, but decide that one day you can move past this. That you have goals waiting to be achieved beyond motherhood. Decide today that you can't expect yourself to feel or think better about your future, unless you set a goal for yourself to do so.
There's time that it takes to get there, but I am so excited for this new journey that you are about to go on. You are going to love your life. You're going to feel gratitude for the compassion and the hard work you put into your goal of being a mom.
Decide now that the goal you did not achieve does not mean that your life cannot be full of abundance; full of achievement; full of joy, and maybe still a little bit more heartache, but that's okay. Because as you know, life is 50/50. I'm so excited for 2022 to embark upon us and for us to start this new journey together.
Speaking of going on journeys together, I am currently offering a free one-hour discovery call where we can take about an hour to go through and talk about some of the goals you have for yourself in the future that you want to create for yourself. If you're on my mailing list, you've probably gotten the email about it already, but if you're not, I have a couple options for you.
You can either go to www.stichcoaching.com and schedule your discovery call there, or if you download the Guide to Meaningful Holidays, which is still relevant and still available on my website or on my bio in Instagram. You will automatically be registered for my email list and get all the latest and greatest updates about what's going on with Stitch Coaching.
Take advantage of your free discovery call and start to guide the path to the future that you're going to create with your life. And remember, it's never too late to discover your meeting, wishing you a beautiful week.