Thanksgiving in the United States is typically a holiday spent with family. However, this can be a painful “celebration” for those who desperately want to have children of their own and are surrounded by the joyful laughter belonging to others.
This type of holiday can feel very bitter to those with infertility. So what do you do, celebrate in silence? Avoid the family gathering? Create your own holiday?
My husband and I moved away from family. We no longer celebrated holidays, observing the joy of other families. While we love our families, moving away was a great gift to our mental health and relationships. My husband and I created a Thanksgiving tradition which included dinner at a restaurant and a movie (or two). We changed the way we celebrated. By getting away from the constant reminder of our sadness, we were able to focus on what we had to be grateful for.
Experiencing pain allows us to recognize and appreciate the joy in our lives. Focusing on the negative brings what to your life? Negativity. Taking a moment each day or year to remember what you have to be grateful for, brings what to your life? Feeling blessed.
(Please note, many people just can’t see or feel any joy or blessings this time of year. While this is common with infertility, it does not need to be like this. You do not need to suffer. We highly recommend getting support from a counselor, friend, or a group. One of my favorite coping strategies is meditation. A couple of great resources are Circle + Bloom and Oprah & Deepak.)
From personal experience, I’ve learned you have more to be grateful for than you realize, simply because you cannot foresee the blessings that are coming your way. Our blessings can be like stars. On any given day, we may not be able to see them, but they are always there or they will soon be discovered.
This Thanksgiving, may you feel blessed and grateful. This Thanksgiving, may the stars guide you and may your gratitude attract the positive. May this be your last Thanksgiving wanting.
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