In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week
, (NIAW), a young friend of mine read me a beautiful poem that began with "I wonder". Hearing her lovely, excited voice repeating the poem, remembering many lines, nothing written down, I was inspired to look it up and share it with you. It really spoke to infertility,
to the cyclical nature of treatment and hope, and it definitely spoke to me. However, when I looked it up on the internet, I found many poems, none of them the one she spoke to me.
I am embarrassed to admit that I don't usually understand or appreciate poetry, most specifically Rumi. As a yogi, that's just this shy of disgraceful. (Not that it would be called disgraceful, something a tad less judgmental, such as "unaware".) Many of my friends send me Rumi poems and wax philosophical about them, almost gushing about the meaning and messages and I again admit, they leave me cold. I find the Persian poet depressing, often, confusing even more often. In looking last night for a poem that starts with "I wonder..." I came across the Rumi poem below and I got it. And I especially got it as it relates to infertility, positive thinking, what to do with negative thoughts. We often talk in peer support group about what to do with those negative thoughts; shame, embarrassment and fear are often associated with them. We are often full of shame when envy, jealousy and resentment come to visit. We are embarrassed that we have those feelings; we associate them with lack of generosity, with being mean or unkind.
We fear that these feelings say something deeper and more essential about us, that we are mean, unkind, ungenerous, and something baser than we thought about ourselves.
My young friend who spoke so beautifully to my heart last night, who shared a poem that touched her helped me find the Rumi poem below, which made me think of you. You, me, all of us who worry that our unkind thoughts make us unkind. That our resentment and frustration is an essential part of who we are.
So for NIAW, I share with you the first poem by Rumi that I understood and I got. And I hope that on your fertility journey, you find this poem and many other ways to remember that you are not your infertility and your infertility is not you. That you are not your unkind thought. You are not your resentment. These are feelings that come to visit, that perhaps clear the path for the brightness and vibrancy that are waiting just beyond.
In yoga class, we traditionally close, with "Namaste". The light in me sees the light in you, the light in you, sees the light in me.
This Being Human is a Guest House
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.