I heard these words last weekend at the ‘There’s More To Life Than Children’ day at Fertility Fest. They were spoken by Sheridan Voysey during his talk as part of the Fertility Fight Club.
What he said was: ‘What good could come out of your pain…? Could it be that you could find a great sense of release, new gifts, purpose, new possibilities in this moment if you marry the trial you’re going through with your God given talents?’
As examples, he mentioned great artists who created some of their best work following illness, followed by Maya Angelou, then Jessica Hepburn and Gabby Vautier who created Fertility Fest by marrying their pain of going through infertility with their talents as theatre Producers/Managers. Not only have they created a 2 week arts festival solely focused on all aspects of fertility, they’ve changed many lives by giving people permission to be more open about their story.
There’s more to life than children
And on Saturday, at the ‘There’s More To Life Than Children’ day, they created an enormous amount of good. I’m finding it hard to find the words to describe how incredible the day was. Together with Berenice Smith (from Walk in Our Shoes), I was a heroine, so we were available for conversations, hugs, shoulders to cry on and to answer questions. Our day was a mixture of being incredibly busy during the breaks and quiet during the talks. And I’m glad to say the box of tissues stayed unused.
The whole day was amazing. I was struck by the noise during the breaks, as I said on the MTL Facebook Live (see the link at the botttom of this post) everyone was engaged in conversation. I spoke to several men and women who were on their own, and for some it was the first time they’d met others who are childless. I know how much courage it takes to take that first step and, as far as I could tell, everyone was talking to someone. The room was absolutely buzzing. How incredible is that?
I was only able to watch the Fertility Fight Club & it was great, especially the tear jerking moment just after Yvonne’s talk. I encourage you to take time to watch it (see the link at the bottom of this post).
So what good could come?
Sheridan’s words have been on my mind &, in addition to himself there were others in the room who they equally applied to, specifically 3 people you will know, Jody Day created Gateway Women from her pain, Stephanie Philips created World Childless Week and Berenice Smith, Walk in Our Shoes. There are over 40 of us in a Facebook group for those providing childless support, and there are many, many more supporting those going through treatment & after miscarriage. I’m guessing also the Artists at Fertility Fest, the Heroes, panel members and Chairs; we’ve all created good from our pain.
Sometimes you have to go through the pain to realise your talents
Thinking about friends who have small businesses; as yoga teachers, EFT practitioners, small business coaches, personal coaches, therapists, acupuncturists, small business mentors, going through pain was the catalyst for them to finding new gifts and purpose.
I have childless friends who’ve changed in other ways; they’ve become kinder and more caring to others, are more determined, laugh a lot, have a deeper understanding of others’ pain, are less judgmental, have re-discovered their creativity and a new zest for learning. They have no desire to create a business but are living differently as a result of what they’ve been through.
And it could be the making of you
Sheridan also said; ‘this could actually open up a bigger sense of self for you, a bigger sense of identity, you could release some great gifts into the world when you marry your trial with your talent. It could be the making of you.’
This is exactly what happened to me; going through the pain of grief to write my book ‘Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness’ hugely changed my sense of self, gave me a great sense of release and opened up new possibilities. And, yes it has been the making of me.
But only if…
I used the phrase, the pain you ‘went through’ deliberately; Sheridan said ‘going through,’ both of us emphasising movement. Because, as you know, none of this ‘just happens,’ YOU have to take action.
Here in the UK its Spring, the time when seeds planted at the end of last year start to sprout and everything begins to move. So it could be with you, maybe it’s the right time to take that step forward, to go into your pain & see what possibilities are waiting on the other side?
Do you want to find out?
You’ve read how myself & others created good from our pain, how moving through enabled us to find new gifts & a greater sense of self. Some, like Jessica and Gabby created a huge movement in Fertility Fest; others made smaller changes to their life.
Coming to terms with a childless life absolutely changes you and,
What if Sheridan’s words are true for you?
Wouldn’t you like to find out what’s on the other side of your pain?
Please take that first step.
You can read more about Sheridan & his new book; ‘The making of us’ here, I haven’t read it yet, and I feel I’m going to enjoy it.
And I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you were at Fertility Fest.