A friend just told me that she is pregnant. It’s her second pregnancy; she lost her first last year at around the same time I did. It’s early days still and she says that every time she goes to the bathroom she checks for blood. She is so afraid it will happen again.
The best response I could muster to that was, ‘Oh, honey.’
Because OF COURSE she’s scared. Were I ever to find myself pregnant again, I am pretty sure I would be doing the same, feeling the same. But there is a very good chance that this one will go to term, and there is a very good chance that all the way through, she will hold the flame of hope in one hand and a rock of fear in the other.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how little we can control what we are sent. How it is easier to bend and flow to what life brings rather than rage against it, or, worse yet, punish ourselves because we believe that we have created our entire reality.
The most important thing, the most, is to keep hoping, even when the disappointments are coming thick and fast. If hope dies, bitterness oozes in to replace it.
Now, I gotta confess: sometimes I find it hard to keep hope alive. Sad things happen, bad things happen. That’s life. And when they do, how to be gentle with myself? How to show compassion for me? And not blame myself when I’m not at fault? I don’t know. When I am hurting, I often dip out of the flow of life. I find it much harder to experience the deaths, sadnesses, and disappointments as Life than I do the serendipity, the births, the love. I KNOW they are curves of the same circle. But it doesn’t always feel that way.
I do find my Happy Lists help. So does going to the beach, doing yoga, hanging out with good people. The connecty stuff, you know? The yuj.
It also helps, sometimes, to feel the fear and do it anyway, if you will forgive me quoting myself. That’s what my friend is doing with her pregnancy. She wants this, and the fear of what-if isn’t strong enough to hold her back from trying again. That, I guess, is how. Hope stronger than fear.
Jump. And if you fall, get up, dust your knees, strap your sprained ankles, and jump again. That’s what I am doing. I’ll let you know how it goes! And no, I am NOT referring to getting myself accidentally knocked up. For me, that wouldn’t be jumping, that would be stupid. I am aware of the distinction, people!