I pride myself on being a rational person. I’m rarely swayed by emotion. I’m like a Vulcan. Well… a poorly-trained Vulcan. I have emotions, of course, and I often express them (admittedly, not very well, but that’s another post). I don’t believe in the supernatural, e.g. gods, angels, heaven, ghosts, psychics, magic, the afterlife, etc. That’s not to say I’m not spiritual – I am, just not in a conventional way. I meditate, I use my dreams to sort out my emotions, and I use photography to capture the things to which I feel most connected.
Nothing destroys a rational brain like infertility and loss. I find myself pleading with gods I don’t believe in, calling upon dead relatives who I know do not exist in any form (except my memories), and invoking magic and superstition to boost my chances of conceiving. I’m ashamed to admit it. I actually paid a woman on Etsy to cast a fertility spell for me. How ridiculous is that? And, I carry a rose quartz stone in my pocket, because some book on magic rocks told me it promotes fertility. There are other examples – I may reveal them at a later date – but that gives you an idea of how far I’ve fallen.
Now, one can easily argue that these are relatively harmless actions, so what’s the big deal? The big deal is that these things are a radical departure from my true self. By participating in this woo-woo, I’m setting aside my deeply held beliefs and values. I’m desperately grasping for anything that will give me an illusion of control, and, when it fails (for it will), I will feel that I have failed. Take, for instance, a book I recently read about “spirit babies.” The whole idea behind this book is that if you can communicate with the spirit of your future baby, you will conceive, despite infertility. Even though I don’t believe in this hokum, I tried it, thinking it couldn’t hurt. I did all the meditations and visualizations, but I was not able to see or hear my spirit baby. Could this be why I’m not pregnant? Because I’m not able to communicate with my baby? This is just another way for me to blame myself for my infertility. It’s not healthy. It’s dangerous to my sense of self-worth and to my core values.
It astounds me how quickly I turned away from reason when dealing with infertility and loss. I guess grief does that to a person. That’s why so many people turn to religion at times like this. That’s not an option for me, but it’s clear that I have some work to do when it comes to my spirituality.