You Are Worthy. Do you believe that? Do you question whether or not you deserve to be a parent? Do you find yourself apologizing when you talk about your fertility journey? Do you feel that you are quite simply not good enough as you are?
We are taught, as little girls, that we must stay small and quiet and young. That lie tells us we must not take up too much space in the world or say what we really think or fight for what we believe in. That lie also tells us that as we age we lose our power. It tells us that we should cover it up and be ashamed by it.
I have a truth to tell you. You. Deserve. To. Be. Here.
Going on this journey is HARD, for everyone. Finding compassion for yourself, your partner and family is something I think we all need to pay attention to. From the wonderful work of researcher Brené Brown, I now understand that most compassionate and wholehearted people “also have the most well-defined and well-respected boundaries. They assume that others are doing the best they can, but they also ask for what they need and they don’t put up with a lot of crap. Boundaries are hard when you want to be liked and when you are a pleaser hell-bent on being easy, fun & flexible. Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to and when they say yes, they mean it. They’re compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment.”
Hmmmm…does that “fun, flexible, easy-going” gal sound like you? It certainly resonates with me. Setting boundaries is really hard if you haven’t ever had to think about them or consider your place in the world. This kind of journey we’re on can become a fragile and tortuous one very quickly, forcing you to face your sense of worthiness and need for boundaries head on.
In the first fertility clinic we attended, the director of the clinic (and senior embryologist) had zero people skills. He rushed through our consultations, never made eye contact and recommended procedures for me without fully explaining his thinking. The nurse manager regularly called me to remind me how time was running out for me. I didn’t feel respected. I felt bullied…no more than a number on an assembly line.
I realised that something I needed and had to ask for is RESPECT. I am worthy of eye contact, patience and kindness. I was also experiencing something truly challenging. I needed time to take in new information before making decisions.
I had to communicate this to my husband, who wasn’t aware of the depth of my discomfort. This alone was tough for me, as I hate to seem “needy” or “high-maintenance” but I did it. We asked the clinic for the kind of relationship we needed, but they didn’t get it, or care to.
We moved clinic.
It was a really tough decision as it meant starting all over again. It also meant believing that we deserved better. If I didn’t truly believe, in my muscles and bones, that I was worthy of respect, we probably would have stayed put and stayed quiet.
I want to invite you to consider your place in the world and how you want to be treated. How can you begin to ask for what you need and want? What boundaries do you need to put in place? How can you be generous in your assumptions and intentions, while being very clear about what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable?
Why not begin by writing out What Is and Is Not Ok. Make a list, take your time and really get clear on what you need and what you will not tolerate. You might just find it liberating and empowering!
Let me know in the comments below if you struggle with your own sense of worthiness and setting boundaries. Please, share with a friend. I think this is something many of us struggle with, whatever path we’re on.