This is such a simple quote. I know. But I just think it's so true. I believe it with all my heart. I think we all wonder sometimes how the person stricken with serious illness or the one who has hurdles in life we couldn't even fathom, manages to get by. And especially those who are more than getting by. Those who are happy anyway. Those who choose to be happy right where they are, even if it's a lonely place, a place of illness, or fearfulness.
How do they do it? Are they actually the lucky ones? When you really think about it, how unlucky are those that have so much to be grateful for, yet don't have the hearts and eyes to see it? It's tragic really.
I don't ever want to be one of those people, yet the other day, I was reminded of a time in my life when I was just like that. Halloween used to be a sad time for me. It was one of the worst holidays for me when we were struggling to conceive. It is a holiday that is all about the children and my neighborhood is the epicenter for Halloween. Each year we have over 200 trick or treaters and the evening commences with a never-ending parade/sea of children decked out in costumes and marching proudly with their parents toward the neighborhood pavilion where they enjoy a cook out, costume contest, and haunted forest tour. Then the trick or treating begins. My husband and I usually just sit on the front step because the flow of trick or treaters is so constant, that it makes no sense to close the door between knocks.
With each little angel, fairy, and pirate that approached us, it used to tug at my heart strings and also make me kind of angry. Why couldn't I have a child? There are so many children! It seems that everyone can have a child! Why not me? Why not us? My husband also disliked the holiday and we both wished we could just close our windows and turn out our lights. But nope, not in our neighborhood.
However, once we became parents, it's funny how all of that sadness just sort of melts away. I've been enamored with dressing up my daughter and parading her down the street. I volunteered to help with judging the costume contests and I enjoy every single moment of the evening. But to be honest, I'm not sure it was just having my own child that changed my heart, although let's be honest, it helped. However, I believe that the journey I took to become a parent changed me and how I see the world around me.
The picture above was taken this year at Halloween and I had a total blast. Unfortunately, it was only days after finding out that our recent ivf attempt had failed.This news was another bitter pill to swallow, but this time it was different. I was disappointed, but I also knew better than to crumble. I have too much to be grateful for, right here! It's almost overwhelming when you start to count all your precious blessings, but it doesn't mean you aren't sad. You just know better. You know better than to miss out on all the beauty around you by spending your days wishing for better or different ones.
It's about perspective. And in life, you are allowed to feel real feelings. Sadness, pain, and anger. They are natural and healthy feelings. You have to allow yourself to feel them. It's not wrong to feel them. But at some point you decide how much of life you want to miss out on by allowing those feelings to control you. My girl Oprah once said, " You do the best you can until you know better. Once you know better, you do better."
But like I said, doing better doesn't mean you don't hurt. It just means you know that life goes on and you choose to live it. You choose happiness and you choose to be present. I have no idea where our journey will take us next but I feel quite certain that it's far from over. I can say that with a lot of peace and faith in knowing that there's beauty in the journey and I plan to look for it even when it's hard to see.
I just got news that I am able to rent a room in a nearby church to host an infertility support group for women struggling to conceive. I'm calling it STC (struggling to conceive). I'm absolutely passionate about reminding these women like me, that we are not alone and there's nothing to be ashamed of! So cheers to the birth of my newest endeavor! May it bring strength and inspiration to those in need. I could never have planned it or dreamt it, but it is exactly right. And I'm so glad I have eyes that can see that!