Three years ago last weekend this website went live and I started to stand up and be counted as a childless woman. Three years feels like a big milestone and I thought I should write something special to celebrate it.
In the past few days I’ve spent a long time sitting in front of my computer looking for inspiration.
I pondered writing about the highs and lows,
I wondered about sharing how the Inspirational Stories have changed those who’ve written them as well as you, the reader.
I thought about writing that, because I take my own development seriously I’ve learned and changed so much in that time that I can hardly recognise myself. And of course how I work with clients has changed too.
I started writing many times, but inspiration wasn’t to be found.
Then I read a post from Melissa, who writes as the Stirrup Queen. She writes about how we shouldn’t let childlessness define us, that we have A Life and she encourages us to ask ourselves these four questions:
- Am I doing things that make me happy?
- Am I spending time with people who make me happy?
- Am I living the life I want to be living vs. the one I think looks good to the outside world?
- Have I followed my bliss, or am I living someone else’s expectations?
And if not, why. Why am I waiting?
Really, why am I waiting? Because this is it. This is the only life I’m going to get, and I can either live it apologizing for my likes and dislikes, my interests and wants, my grief and upsets, or I can take the whole of it, even if it’s messy and hard to hold, and throw myself into the things that spark my interest.
Well I couldn’t have put it better, this IS it. This is the main thing that’s been re-enforced time and time again.
Life is precious, so grab it with both hands.
Yes, my life didn’t turn out like I wanted or planned, but I gave having children everything I had. Coming to terms with being childless has been incredibly hard; and now that I have, it will not define me and I will not hide my truth from the world.
I am at peace with my life and who I am.
Having said that, my life is not yet completely how I want it to be. Not having children gives me freedom and flexibility and there is more I want to do to take advantage of that. I will therefore be taking some time over the Summer to take a deep look at my life and to answer Melissa’s questions. And I will be encouraging my husband to do this too.
I spent a long time waiting and I’ve done with that too.
Which leads me on to the second thing.
You have to do the work.
It takes courage to step into the pain and if you’re British, ‘pulling yourself together and getting on with it’ is part of your DNA. But wounds only heal when they are tended with care.
Yes it may be messy sometimes, but personally I won’t hide from the mess because I know from experience how much joy and transformation lies on the other side.
And (I’m getting feisty now), I will not apologise. I love my life and I will embrace all of it, including the messy bits.
That’s what I’m doing.
What about you?
Will you spend your life hiding your childlessness from the world, pretending to be someone you’re not?
Or will you grab life with both hands and take action to find the real you, the you who got lost in the chase for children?
With every fibre of my being I encourage you to do the work so that you can grab your life with both hands. Because the will years pass whatever you do, and your life is precious. As Steve Jobs says, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
What do you think?
If this resonated with you, or if it infuriated you, please leave a comment (you can use another name).
How would you answer Melissa’s questions?
And what else could you do to get the life you know you want?
And if you’d like to make a start, take a look at Small Steps to Healing, the self-paced programme that will set you on the road to a fulfilling life.