Archive | 11:20 am

Resolving Nothing: Part 3

11 Jan

Resolving Nothing: Part 1, Part 2

one little word (more here)

A few words came to me as I thought about this exercise. Just when I thought I had one all worked out and committed to, my therapist had me pick out a wisdom card and it read something pretty close to this (I didn’t write it down):

This year I want to focus on bringing joy into my life.

Joy.

That will be my word for this year. Not because I am a mystic and do what the wisdom cards tell me to, but because the tone of the message really resonated with me. It was a statement about the entire year (remarkable choice, given that the card could have been picked on any day, not just a day sitting one week into the year). And it illuminated a choice that I had disgarded.

Joy was the first word I picked, but I immediately backed away from it. Joy is scary (especially if your general disposition is pessimistic). Committing to joy is even scarier. Joy is different than appearing happy, much more than feeling okay.

It’s hard to feel worthy of joy. To genuinely believe that one deserves to feel good. It’s hard not to avoid joy, to fear that relishing in joy is merely staying one step ahead before he next shoe falls. Being open to joy, means being open to feeling different about myself. Being open to joy means letting go of bad feelings that I’m more comfortable holding on to.

Seeking joy, feeling joy, living joyfully is probably much bigger and far more complicated than I understand today. I don’t know how it will show up for me throughout the year, nor do I know exactly what I will do to fold this word into my life. But throughout the year I will be revisiting this topic an letting you know its going.

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Resolving Nothing: Part 2

11 Jan

Mondo Beyondo 2008: Completing

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007?

I want to acknowledge myself for pursuing a natural childbirth and for reaping the reward of feeling every pre-labor contraction, every active labor contraction, every sizzling burn from that ring of fire, and the amazing swoosh of my daughter’s body leaving mine for good.

I want to acknowledge myself for refusing to succumb to bitterness and anger at anyone for the loss of my uterus. There is a path of litigation and revenge that many in my situation might seek. I will never know if any of this is someone’s fault, not even my own. Knowing that someone made a mistake (even if that someone is me) wouldn’t make me feel better. And it won’t bring my uterus back.

I want to acknowledge myself for still putting my daughter to the breast to feed at least once a day, even though a majority of her nutrition has come from formula (now baby food) since the day she was born. Her benefit may be small, but she is benefiting nonetheless.

I want to acknowledge myself for the nights I sat up with my newborn and for learning that I can cope with less sleep. I had a deep fear of being sleep-deprived, but it was one of the easiest parts of being a new parent (for me) and also one of the most short-lived.

2. What is there to grieve about 2007?

I am in grief about the loss of my uterus, the loss of future children, the lingering pain.

I am in grief about the memories I carry of being intubated, of awaking in the ICU.

I am in grief about leaving my baby alone for two days postpartum and the agony of her blue-handed scream in this photo.

I am in grief about not being able to care for my baby by myself in he beginning, or being able to cradle her without a pillow protecting my belly.

I am in grief about not coming back from this birth whole and complete, and being able to give my husband a whole and complete wife.

I am in grief from the weight of people being so afraid of losing me.

I am in grief because I have a scar, and stretch marks, and sagging belly skin, wider hips than before I became pregnant.

I am in grief because I didn’t make any money to

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?

When I was training for labor I tried to focus on the idea that with every contraction that was to come, each contraction was its own thing. Once I had it, I wouldn’t have to have it again. No matter how long it was or how intense. When it was over, it was over. I wouldn’t have to have that contraction again.

I am working toward feeling that about everything that happened to me last year. I am not there yet, but I’m working on it.