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There are times when some else captures the sentiment so eloquently that we just have to repeat them. I love a good quote, so when I was tagged by blogger CW of Almost Pregnant to participate in a 3-day quote challenge, I decided I was up for the fun.

Here are the rules for the challenge:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you. So, thank you CW from Almost Pregnant for thinking of me. Not only is this a fun way to share some quotes that help keep me going through this crazy journey of life and infertility, but it also means that someone’s reading my blog and actually thinking of me. And that’s pretty cool.
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days and explain why it appeals to you.
  3. Nominate bloggers to participate in the challenge each day. Today I’m tagging bloggers A Womb is a Place to Store Dreams and Fighting Infertility. I’ve enjoyed both of these blogs and encourage you to check them out.

corage

I have a little book called Courage that has sat on my bookshelf in my office for years. It’s a book with blank pages, and on each page there is a little quote at the bottom that touches on the book’s theme. It was given to me during my pre-doctoral psychology internship where I was doing assessment and therapy at a student counseling center at a private University in the mid-west. That year I worked with several college students, mostly women, many of whom were struggling with eating disorders, traumas, and body image issues. I loved working in that setting because it was a time in these young women’s lives when they were truly setting out to find themselves and begin carving out their individual paths in this world. It was a time of opportunity. Many were following their dreams or deciding just what their dreams truly were. Although this was an exciting time, it was also a scary time for those that were venturing off alone for the first time. And, like anyone, they brought their personal experiences and insecurities with them. I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of their growth and journey.

By the end of the academic year, as my internship came to an end and I was moving on to the next phase of my career, I had developed close working relationships with several of the students. I remember one woman in particular – she was a pre-med student with plans to pursue her dream of becoming a medical doctor. She was organized and had tight control on her emotions, well achieved in every way. But what no one would have guessed from her strong outward presentation, was her inner struggle with her own confidence, self-esteem, and body image. That year she rose to her own personal challenges and together we uncovered her inner strength. I have no doubt that she is working somewhere right now as a highly skilled, compassionate doctor.

When we had our final therapy session and said our goodbyes, she was well composed as typical, but I could tell she was holding back just a bit. She ended up returning later that day saying that she couldn’t leave our goodbye at that, and she presented me with a little gift. It was the Courage book. She said that over the course of the year, I had helped her find her courage and so she wanted to give me some courage back in case I ever needed it. It was a heartfelt gesture and much appreciated.

Little did she, or I for that matter, know just how much I would need courage one day.

So here we go with a quote for day one from my little book of courage.

“The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.”

~ Max Lerner

When I think about the women (and men) that go through infertility, including myself, I am amazed by our inner strength. It’s a strength that we don’t always realize that we have, and often can’t see it while we are in the depths of our struggle. But it’s when we open up that piece of ourselves and see our value, just as we are – with our scars, our broken Fallopian tubes, “old” eggs, endometriosis, with or without children, etc. – that we find our core strength. And at that point we see what we are capable of and know who we truly are. That is the unexpected gift of infertility.

Infertility changes us. But through our own strength, we will survive and grow. We will become.