Part 1 here.

I had to change my definition of hope because never giving up was killing my soul and stealing my light.

We’ve all had those dreams we’ve wanted our whole lives. The dreams we’ve worked very hard for. The dreams we maybe even paid lots of money for.

The dreams we will do anything for.

But what happens when our pursuit of that dream begins to take more from us than it will ever be able to fill back up?

Losing ourselves to our dreams means we have nothing left of ourselves to enjoy them if they come true.

And so we must practice active acceptance of what we cannot change and grasp on to a new and more realistic hope for ourselves.

The only thing, ever, in our lives that we must never give up on, is ourselves.

And for some of us, this includes the work of letting go of what we hoped would be and practicing active acceptance of what cannot be changed.

Yes, we chose to stop infertility treatments. A choice between shitty choices; keep going and wreak more havoc on our well-being and our finances or determine our enough and begin the difficult work of redefining.

To let go of the dream that was destroying me by accepting what is not in my power and grasping onto a new, realistic hope was the only way to truly be okay.

When hope grows up we practice active acceptance and never give up on ourselves.

~~~

Tomorrow we’ll talk feeling it all to make room for the light.

“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
~ T.S. Eliot

~~~

My debut coloring journal, Taking Flight, is now available via CreateSpace!!!

collage_20150915092654403

9 thoughts on “When Hope Grows Up: Part 2

  1. I think a lot of us have trouble letting go of the idea that the intensity of our hope can influence an outcome. With the vast spectrum of medical cases in the IF community, we need a broader view of hope, which is why I think this series is such a great idea, Justine! (and I liked your original title too:-). Sometimes it makes sense to soldier on, sometimes it makes sense to change course.

    In spite of a fall out of sorts with hope over the past few years, these posts made me notice it is still present in me, just in very different ways since we had to stop our pursuit of parenthood one year and 7 and a half months ago. The cycles where I not only had hope for success but thought that my hope would affect the outcome, well, those failures were the most bludgeoning. And I’ve done my share of groaning and eye rolling in response to the never ending hope parade that exists in the IF community, so attached to one outcome only. But I realize I still have hope – Hope that I will find a measure of peace/acceptance/equanimity in this one day, hope that I’ll live a satisfying and fulfilling life, and currently, hope that I have the capacity to grieve well. The difference is that my hope is functioning as a response to my current reality, not as a denial of it.

    I’ve noticed hope is used often as a scolding of sorts, becoming an unwitting cog in the machine of “better than”. It seems someone has decided for us that it’s “better” to keep hoping a child will show up somehow than to accept reality. So glad you’re stepping forward to put your foot down and say “No, actually it isn’t!” I’ve had my share, as I’m sure most of us have, of conversations that go something like this:

    “Well, you can never say never, Sarah……”

    Me: “Oh SURE I can!!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this, “I think a lot of us have trouble letting go of the idea that the intensity of our hope can influence an outcome.”

      And, of course we still have our hope, it is our healthier, happier definition of it! Love engaging with your story, thank you for sharing!

      Like

  2. My (our) goal was always happiness. Our objective was to have a baby because we thought this (among other things) would help us achieve happiness. But somewhere along the line we realized the likelihood of having a baby was virtually nonexistent and it was wearing on our emotions, marriage, and pretty much every area of our lives. So we changed our objective to finding happiness without children. We didn’t quit. We didn’t give up. At least I don’t see it that way. We just changed direction (think the 1985 classic Top Gun…..”brake hard right”). We knew that happiness was still achievable, but we realized that we’d have to figure it out without kids. Unplanned? Yes. But not impossible. Hard? Hell yes. But we chose us. We chose our sanity. We chose our marriage. And we are both healthier and happier today than we’ve been in quite a long time. I still have hope for a lot of things, just not having a baby.

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    1. We chose us… yes, yes and more yes. Even if our dream does come true, we still must choose us! We’re getting lost in the battle for the dream versus finding ourselves. Thank you for your heart here! J

      Like

  3. artemise says:

    Acceptance is such a long way… The first step for me is to say goodbye to my old dreams so I can create new one and accept our reality.

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    1. Acceptance is so tough. I found I had to accept what I couldn’t change, but this is active acceptance work, sometimes daily… Justine

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  4. anotherforty says:

    Thanks for this series Justine, I love it!

    It has taken me awhile, but after 60 or so monthly cycles of disappointment, I’ve finally realized that hope for a baby doesn’t serve me anymore. I used to feel guilty – like if I didn’t keep the hope up I really wouldn’t stand a chance, -but now I realize that continued hope for this elusive thing is doing nothing but holding me back.

    While hope is hard enough to deal with for those who have faced infertility, I find it almost harder to deal with other people’s hope. If I had a dollar for the number of times well-meaning friends and family declared – ” just wait, it will happen when you stop trying!” We’ve all heard it, and instead of yelling at them (which, seriously, I would like to do sometimes) I just remind myself that this is their expression of hope.

    Dealing with my mother’s hope has probably been the hardest. She is so hopeful on our behalf that it will “all work out,” and while I do love her for it because I know she just wants us to be happy, I *hope* that she will someday redirect her hope to a more fruitful pursuit.

    Like

    1. F#$k that bittersweet clarity of letting go of it is so brutal! I know this pain but also know the light that comes with it. I am sending you love and clarity on this part of your journey. Thank you for reading and commenting and I am glad you like this series I hope it is challenging some people and allowing them to let go of this unhealthy hope to find themselves again. Much love, Justine

      Like

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