In the face of criticism and judgment I go straight into shame and embarrassment. I second guess all my choices. I question the yearning in my heart. I put on a mask and hide from those around me. It's not a pretty place. While listening to a Brene Brown talk this week though, I heard a quotation that helped me think of these moments in a new way. The quote is from Teddy Roosevelt, and I wanted to share it with you.
These words made me see myself and my journey in a new way. Ladies, we are the "man in the arena". We go head to head with infertility everyday. We get knocked down, wounded, and dirty, but we keep getting up. We rise to our feet and we wipe off our tears. We "strive valiantly". We give our all to a "worthy cause", because what could be more worthy than calling forth life? We hope that we will succeed, but even if we fail, we will fail "while daring greatly". We can own that effort, that heart, and that bravery with pride. I understand that our friends and loved ones mean well. Their comments come from a place of concern for our well-being, but they are not in the arena with us. They sit in the stands and offer advice and criticism for how to approach an opponent they have never faced, in a battle they will most likely never fight. Going forward I will hold these words close. I will do my best to shake off the criticism of my choices on this journey. I will look around the arena and I will link hands with the other women out there; women (and some men too) who are standing strong and DARING GREATLY. Thank you for allowing me to share these thought with you today.