Too often we notice the bad. Too often we wallow in self-pity. We just feel blue that the world has engulfed us in all this negatively like the pandemic, climate change, pollution, over population, hate, racism…and the list goes on. It is so easy to point out and notice all that. But why don’t we see good through all the hardship and challenges?
I am a certified Life & Happiness Coach, but that doesn’t mean I was always able to see good. Growing up I had low self-esteem, always worried what others thought of me, and felt the world was always a little against me. I didn’t appreciate all that I had, I would ruminate over the negative and get stuck in bad memories or thoughts. Over the years, through practicing gratitude, kindness and self-care did my understanding and appreciation for everything in my life come about.
One the earliest memories I have of feeling like I hit rock bottom was when I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis when I was 24. I remember having a surgery and lying in bed at Mount Elizabeth Hospital with my then boyfriend (now husband) by my side. The doctor came in and said that because of so much complications down there it would be quite unlikely I would be able to conceive a child naturally. I didn’t even understand what that meant, I thought after going under for surgery I would come out bright and shiny. I remember looking over at my husband and immediately feeling shame, guilt, and that there was something so unnaturally defected about me.
I remember a family member telling me not to tell anyone, to keep this secret from the family. What would they think of me? How could I not pop out babies easily like everyone other woman? What was wrong with me?
Infertility is so common, yet no one speaks about it. I felt very alone, very young, and very naïve. I was told injections, surgery, scans, pills, would help, and that I was to just do it. I don’t remember a single friend at that time who had difficulty conceiving. At this time most of my friends were busy dancing on tables at bars and clubs while I suddenly had a huge decision to make. The earlier I did IVF the easier it would be.
Gathering all my wits I remember looking at myself in the mirror and saying if I wanted children, I had to bite the bullet, sacrifice a bit of my 20’s and just start the process. I knew being a mother was something I always wanted to do. It was my dream to have a family full of screaming kids. By myself, with my own body and mind I said to myself instead of feeling sorry for myself, I had to switch this story around. I had to see the good. I started to list it out. I am lucky to even get a chance. I have the ability to try. Nothing is lost. I am so so lucky and grateful. I always give reference points of my situation, and the worst case scenario would be you cannot have a child at all.
I changed the narrative. I started to feel lucky, grateful that I get a chance, with a good qualified doctor, in a clean hospital to even get to try IVF. In the worst moments, through those painful injections, miscarriages, I felt so lucky. Friends who felt bad, and gave me the comforting awwww I am so sorry. I looked at them and said I am so so lucky I can even try to do IVF. Let’s celebrate this!
Miracles, and the ability to see silver lining happen when we can see the good and the amazingness and the wonderfulness around us. It is up to us to stop, notice and acknowledge it. The power to do so, give thanks, and show gratitude can make even the worst situations completely beautiful.
As a Life & Happiness Coach I created Getting to Happy last year in the middle of a pandemic. I developed my coaching work to highlight and celebrate happiness. Getting to Happy is a movement to create a happier society, one where we can fall, but pick ourselves up, have bad days, but have resilience to fight it, be brave and not be held back by our thoughts. I encourage you to practice gratitude to see silver lining in every situation, no matter how bleak the outlook is. Happiness is always there.