There must be something in the air… I’ve seen a number of posts this week from other bloggers about religion or more specifically, lack of religious beliefs and the struggle of infertility and loss. Two of my fellow sisters-in-infertility, Schrodinger’s Catbox and Kitten over at Yet Another Bitter Infertile recently posted about this same/very similar topic. Check out what they have to say about it here and here.
I found all these posts and the commentary that followed particularly interesting because as one who does not believe in “God” I’ve had some of the same issues encountering it on the web and real life in dealing with infertility and loss. Those well-meaning but poorly received platitudes (“God has a plan” etc…) just make me angry.
My own thoughts on religion have never really been clear, it’s one of those topics that I’ve managed to avoid. I’ve never really wanted to commit to one side of the argument or another. I grew up christian-ish and occasionally went to church, but like Kitten, it was mostly with a friend and her family. If any one asks, I usually just say that I’m not religious. (See, non-committal on whether or not I believe). Discussions that involve “God” tend to make me uncomfortable because I don’t believe there is a guy in robes and a beard pulling the strings and mapping our destinies. That said, there are other aspects of spirituality that I’m not able to discount so readily. So, formal organized religion = NO. Personal exploration of spirituality = OK Maybe.
I mention all this because…
My husband has been interested in Zen Buddhism for a while now. He first tried to get me to meditate back in 2004 before our wedding. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I’ve always had a hard time getting my brain to slow down. (You know that scene in Ghostbusters… Yep, I’m Ray and the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man Monster is totally my fault).
So, DH recently discovered an open meditation series where different teachers rotate in usually on a 3 or 4 week schedule. He goes to this regularly. I went with him once, a month or so ago, to check it out but then didn’t go back until last week. It was the first of 4 weeks for this particular teacher and I’m planning to go each week to see where this takes me. I’m not committing to any belief system, I’m just exploring some options. Anyway, one of the ideas the teacher discussed this week was this: she said, “Your problems are not problems, they are opportunities for growth.” That idea really struck a chord with me.
At times I feel like I stopped progressing in my life back in 2010 when we couldn’t get pregnant. I feel like I’m in a holding pattern just waiting to become a mother. And that once that happens, my life will begin again. Before we managed to get pregnant and after our loss I’ve asked myself all the typical grief related questions… Why? Why is/did this happen to me etc… ad nauseam, struggling to make some sense of how all this infertility related stuff has impacted me and my life. What I’ve discovered is that those questions are not really helpful and I’ve been trying to move away from that type of thinking and look more at what this experience has taught me and what I can take away from all of this. I think that’s why the meditation teacher’s comment made so much sense to me. I have an opportunity for growth, so now, what am I going to do about it?