Navel Gazing

We all have “stuff” right? The things that we believe define us, the things we have gone through, endured, survived, or inherently believe. I can’t speak for anyone but myself when I talk about my “comfort zone” because its unique to me. Isn’t it?

The dictionary defines a “comfort zone” as: a situation or place in which a person feels secure, comfortable, or in control. People talk about their comfort zone abstractly. As though using that phrase clarifies for us what they are and are not able to tolerate.

What is your comfort zone?

Mine is a bunch of self concepts, wife, step-mother, daughter, sister, adult child of abusive parents, insomniac, audiophile, reader, technology geek; whatever. My world prizes critical thinking as its highest output.

Name it, diagnose it, put a label on it, put it in its box and put it away. If I name it, then I can understand it, and if I understand it then I can fix it. The funny part of this therapeutic model is that I presume I will end up some place different from the mess where I began. So much for critical thinking.

Reflection helps, for a while, because it’s the start of self-inquiry, but too much of it further conceals who I am by providing me with more self-concepts. Labels for notions of what I am and what I’m not. From these labels I construct what is my comfort zone. The walls of this zone are the limitations I set for myself. The beliefs I hold inviolable, the ground I will not bridge, the “no-ways” and the “not in this lifetimes”. I pad the inside of this cell with familiar habits, preferences and patterns. “Its just the way I am, so get used to it”

In truth, my “comfort zone” is anything but comfortable. There is no room to turn around in it, no room for anything new, for forgiveness, or redemption, or kindness or compassion. There is barely room to breathe.

As a kid I had one of those “mummy” sleeping bags. It was warm, but I couldn’t move, or turn over, or rest comfortably without getting all tangled in it. Yet I’ve held on to these old methods of coping, even though they no longer useful.

For me the process of IVF has meant that I really have to look at myself, and what motivates me. If I am truthful I spent a long time thinking I wasn’t good enough to be someones mother. I really wanted to be, but I didn’t trust myself to do or be better than my upbringing.

Its meant bring brave, and relentlessly facing the future, no matter what the outcome is. It’s also meant coming to terms with my past. You have to think positively during IVF or there is no chance of it working. Its more than just physiology. You have to be willing to hope. Whats funny about that is, I punish myself for hoping. Vulnerability is not my strong suit, yet here I am posting some of the most personal stuff ever all over the internet.

What I really want is to be able to shed this “skin”, and start over with something new, that’s tender and vulnerable. To quote Lilly Tomlin “Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past”

I got the call yesterday that my goldfish was fertilized. I will get another call on day 5 and they will let me know if it makes to blastocyst. Each time I’ve done this, I am surprised at how much I want those cells to keep splitting. I think its time to give myself permission to hope.