I received an email that reminded me of the importance of being there for all who are suffering. Here’s a portion of the email:
I have been writing an email to you in my head for 18 months now but somehow never could sit down to write it. There have been many dark and sad times when talking to you in my head was what helped me process my feelings and get by.
This email is not what I wanted it to be but I just really need your help. I am despairing and am finding it hard to cope. I am so sad, fitful and rageful and so jealous of my friends. I am 35 and childless after 7 years of trying and 9 failed ivfs. I ceased treatment 18 months ago and have been struggling. The past six months have been the hardest as my closest girl friends have become pregnant or had babies. I feel so despairing and feel I will never feel happy again. I was hoping you could give me some support and hope as I currently have none of either.
As I read the message, I was immediately transported back to a difficult period in my life several years ago. I remembered how important it was then that I find some light, a beacon to carry me out of the darkness.
I replied and asked permission to share portions of this email along with part of my response, because I knew that you, dear readers, would have your own encouragement to amplify a message of hope. Here is what I wrote in reply:
Some years back, I was where you are now — on every dimension you describe. I truly could not imagine a life where laughter, joy, and lightness would ever find me again. Despair consumed me. I know how hard it is to cope and try to push through the bad feelings. It’s good that you want to get to a place where bitterness and resentment are not your constant companions. This is a particularly hard time of year.
Each one of us heals in our own way. It’s not always a straight line, but the good days in time do start to outnumber the bad.
I’m limited to my own experience in the grieving and reinvention process, but I found that constructively thinking about the future me provided a focus. Not just where do I want to be (as in What Color is Your Parachute), but WHO do I want to be? I started with attributes: Happy, emotionally available, big hearted, content in the moment (not what if’ing the past or fearing the future). I imagined myself 10 years forward recognizing a woman at peace, a mentor to others. That became the framework to measure my progress.
Years ago, when I was a newbie in the blogosphere with Coming2Terms, I created a category of posts called An Act of Kindness. I would like re-introduce that category here.
I would like to extend that idea into 2013 and make a conscious effort on a regular basis to reach those in need of reassurance, kindness and compassion. If you would like to join me, we can start here. Please share your wisdom. What helped you find hope when you were in pain?