Infertility has sent me on a spiritual journey in search of my lost soul.
When faced with loss, people will always try to make meaning of their situation. The search for meaning implies reaching some form of understanding of why things happened and what is their impact in one’s life. With this new understanding, people can better control, predict and act to influence what their future can look like. Meaning making is also important because severe loss many times questions basic assumptions we have about the world and ourselves. When this happens we need to reconcile such assumptions with our new reality, usually by reviewing the assumptions as most of the time we cannot change reality.
In the process of coming to terms with their unmet desire for children, people often
- try to make sense of their past efforts to achieve parenthood, or of the pathway that led them to their current situation;
- question who they are and can become without being parents;
- re-evaluate their life values and priorities, in search of a meaningful future in the absence of the desired children.
In this process, many people question what they have been told about what it means to be a woman (for instance, women are born to be mothers) or a man (real men provide for their children), to be in a partnership (marriages do not survive without children) and of what is a family (children are part of family life). This critical reflection about the ideas that society imposes on us facilitates adjustment, as people go on to develop their own personal meanings of what their life, partnership and family can be, with or without children.
Where am I? Where am I going? Where am I supposed to be? If God hasn’t chosen me to be a mother, what is my purpose? That is my biggest question. What am I doing? Why have I been put on earth? is my purpose? That is my biggest question. What am I doing? Why have I been put on earth?
One thing that I did notice, when we wanted children, there seemed to be children all around, in the media and television. And it sold the wrong idea, it sold this idea of marital bliss […] And you think, ‘What a load of crap!’ […] Why does society sell it? It’s an illusion, isn’t it?
How can you make meaning of your own personal situation? The following three activities may help you do this.
We appreciate any feedback on these activities, please complete the following survey.
Click here to go to Acceptance
Click here to go to Pursuing Other Meaningful Life Goals