The last 2 weeks, I’ve talked about how I overcame my roller coaster emotions while on my infertility journey. Read part 1 and part 2 here. In this last part, I’d like to share a powerful way to change your mindset. I started doing this while struggling with infertility, but I continue to this day. I’ve learned some of the most successful people in the world practice this as well.
The third way to overcoming the emotions of infertility is having a practice of gratitude. Of being grateful for things I ALREADY have. Of changing my thoughts from what I DON’T have to what I DO have.
I follow a lot of influencers through blogs, instagram, and podcasts. Throughout the last year, I kept hearing of many powerful, successful, and peaceful people saying the secret to their success is gratitude. Most of them have some sort of gratitude practice. Some journal (quite a few of them use this journal, get it through Amazon here), some have trained themselves to consciously think of what they’re grateful for first thing in the morning, and some recite something they’re grateful for once in the morning and once before bed.
What’s powerful is that all of these people say that after they implemented their practice, it ended up running over into their entire life. They found themselves being more grateful over all. More positive overall. Thinking thoughts of gratitude more naturally in a stressful situation. I knew I needed to change my outlook. I really wanted to not get so upset and stressed when something unexpected came up, so this idea of having a gratitude practice really intrigued me.
I listened to an interview with David Meltzer, author of Connected to Goodness: Manifest Everything You Desire in Business and Life, and CEO of Sports1 Marketing. He said,
“Nothing changes your life more than your perspective, and there’s only one factor in perspective, and that’s whether you’re grateful for it or not. Because what gratitude does, it makes everything in your past better, everything in your present even better than that, and everything in your future even brighter.”
Listen to that interview (as well as gratitude themed interviews of other successful people) here.
You may be thinking, how does gratitude make the past better? Isn’t it unchangeable? He goes on to say that our outlook changes it all. We can look back on our past and hate it and wish it never happened. Or, we can realize that everything in life is a lesson. Everything is something we can grow and learn and change from, for the better! If we are truly grateful for the lessons we have learned, we have a better outlook on our past, even if learning those lessons was difficult.
Finding reasons to be grateful during your trial is NEVER easy. I vividly remember saying, “I can’t think of ANY reason this is a good thing!” At the time, I truly could not come up with ONE THING to feel like it was a good trade off or would make my life better, and I certainly NEVER thought I would look back and be grateful. I also remember thinking about how people say they look back on their trials and are grateful for it and “wouldn’t change a thing!” I knew I would never be one of those people, and honestly felt as if all the pain would never feel “worth it.”
But little by little, I started finding reasons to be grateful for my trial. I implemented a gratitude practice. I decided to try to train myself to think of at least 1 thing I was grateful for upon awakening. When a jealous, angry, or sad thought relating to infertility would come up, I did my best to turn it around and instead switch my thoughts to something I could be grateful for. It didn’t even have to be related to infertility, just something I could be grateful for.
After practicing this for a few months, my practice has slightly changed-I do my best to meditate 2x a day using the Ziva technique by Emily Fletcher (read the book here), and in that she has a gratitude practice. I do it once in the morning, and usually again in the afternoon. This twice a day practice has worked well for me. I definitely find it running over to other times of the day. I find it easier to be grateful, to not get as stressed but to instead find the good in a situation.
With my infertility, I have indeed become grateful for my trial. As I said, I NEVER thought I’d say that. But I have found many reasons to be grateful. I’ve become increasingly closer to my husband because of all of this. Immensely close. We have truly grown stronger through it. I’ve also been able to have experiences I never would have if I had children. My trip to Puerto Rico that I wrote about in my previous blog post showed me how flexible life can be as just 2 adults. We were so grateful to go on that trip and just focus on us. I also focused on what I want to do in life and this time of just the two of us has really given me the time and ability to do so. As a mentor to the teen girls at my church, I’ve been able to relate to their emotions and trials more than ever. I understand their feelings of wanting something so badly. Of feeling hopeless and depressed. While I wouldn’t be all in to feel that way again, I can look back and say I am SO GRATEFUL for what I learned! I’m bringing this practice and positivity into my next journey of life.
Our battles our in our minds. Gratitude is a powerful way to overcome your infertility trial. As I said, I’m bringing my sense of gratitude into my next journey of my life, whatever that may be. Wherever you’re at in life, use gratitude to get you through!
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2