Yesterday I received a heart wrenching email. Yet another friend and fellow yoga teacher shared her news about the miscarriage of a baby she was greatly wishing for. Whether it is just that we are sharing more information nowadays between social media and technology in general, or that a majority of my friends are now entering this stage of their life where experiences like this are present, I am hearing more about little babes that come and go in the womb more often then ever lately. As well as friends and family who struggle with conceiving to begin with. Often my mind wants to ask why and to be swept away in the search for reason and answers. Yet that would be a missed opportunity to truly cope with what is in front of me and support those who need it most. Here are two key steps to coping; may they help you or someone you love in a time of need:
- Commit to making this a life-moving-forward experience. I have no argument for experiences like the loss of a child in a present moment. While there are always perceptions that we can shift in our current situation, and in hindsight we always see a bigger picture of our lives that we can understand more fully, we’ll never completely know in this moment why our path includes the crazy ups and downs that it does. It’s part of the journey of life that makes us fully alive. What we can do is commit to transforming each experience we are presented with into life-moving-forward energy. No matter how traumatic, unfair or unreasonable what you’re going through is, it can allow your current relationships to grow stronger and new bonds to form. It can give you the experience needed to help others processing similar things. It can also expand your ability to fully love and be loved. Whatever life-moving-forward energy is available to you, commit to finding it. Once this commitment is truly made within you, something begins to shift. This doesn’t mean that your wound heals immediately; it means that your consciousness can begin to be directed down a path toward healing.
- Consciously acknowledge and feel the full range of your emotions. With any traumatic experience, the range of emotions that come can seem endless. It’s valuable to recognize that they are not in fact endless, and they can be consciously examined– all of them – again and again. Take out a piece of paper and record every emotion you can identify: anger, fear, grief, guilt, disappointment, rage, terror. Let the list go on and on. And don’t leave out the good ones, too, they’re there: gratitude for the support you are getting, relief that you may know something is over, maybe even happiness that you’re alive.
Early on in my first pregnancy, my husband (fiance at the time) and I went to get an ultrasound, as both our midwife and nurse-midwife couldn’t find a heartbeat for our little one. I remember the experience vividly – the people in the waiting room, the music playing and the anticipation of knowing one way or the other. When the moment of truth finally came and the nurse said, “We have viability – that’s a strong heartbeat and healthy looking baby,” my immediate emotions were overwhelming relief, gratitude and hope. As we drove home, I scanned my emotions further and identified feelings of disappointment, too! I would be lying if I didn’t say I was also just as terrified to know that a baby was, in fact, still on the way. So I shared those with Michael and he was massively relieved – he was feeling guilty for having similar feelings. We laughed and it made the entire experience more whole. Life is a giant roller coaster of thought and emotion. Deciphering moment-to-moment what you truly are experiencing is the key to find grounding along the ride.
Once you have truly committed to finding the life-moving-forward energy and can continuously identify and acknowledge your individual emotions within, the process of coping with what is in front of you begins. While what you’re dealing with may gradually cease to be at the forefront of your thoughts each day, coping never truly ends. Your experiences will always influence who you are in this life. How you relate to others, how well you know yourself, and the decisions you choose day to day are always influenced by what we’re processing throughout life. True coping, to me, is when all aspects of who you are fully embrace, and you utilize your experiences to move your life forward — along with the lives of those around you. As your heart experiences rawness and the full spectrum of life’s sensations, may it shine brighter to the world and guide you along a path to peace.
Alexandria is an Energy + Life Coach, Doula, and Yoga practitioner. She owns two Yoga Deza studios in Fayetteville and Bentonville, Arkansas, where she trains and develops passionate community leaders. She is currently expecting her first baby due June 2015.