“Drink it”, he said.
Ughhhh!!! I soooooo didn’t want to.
You would have thought it was medicine or poison he was giving me, truth is… it was a glass of water!
Insert eye roll. I know right?!
That morning when we woke, my boyfriend handed me a tall glass of water. There was an innate knowing that drinking this lifeline of liquid was good for me. However, at play in the same moment, a 4-year-old rebel was displaying itself that didn’t want any part of this healthy action.
Steely eyed, I just stared at him.
Truth – I JUST WANTED MY COFFEE NOT WATER! Coffee is my warm morning hug. It’s my self-admitted, 100% addicted adult beverage that speaks to me in way that can only be described as a love language.
“What’s the big deal?” you may ask. Just drink it and pick which beverage you want. Simple right?!
I thought so too, until the day started to unfold, and these similar juxtapositions started to pop up everywhere.
We recently took solace on the rugged east coast of Barbados. A stunning, heaven-kissed space of nature where sky and sea meet. Here you can hike through elevated terrain with groves of trees and find yourself standing on the verge of cliffs as if it is the edge of the world. A space where your eyes can see almost to the coast of Africa (well not really but you get the idea right?!). Your gaze travels for miles and miles over staggering shades of deepening blue until the horizon brings it to a natural break
That morning we stood arm in arm and took in the wondrous beauty before us. Eyes settling onto nothing, yet everything. The waves were splitting the colours of the deep blue sea as they moved across the water’s surface. It was like an artist taking a paintbrush loaded with pure white paint and streaking it through the glistening turquoise palate with majestic flare. From up so high we could not see the details, but we could see the profound and beautiful impact it was having to the water below.
The churning water of the waves was disturbing the all-blue landscape. “Hmmm”, I thought, and I zoned in on what was happening. I cocked my head, and the juxtaposition reared its head again.
Here before me was both intense beauty and menacing peril. The danger of the rough sea from so high did not look imposing or intimidating at all. As we made our way down the hill and got closer to the seaside, what I had seen from above was not what I was now faced with. Standing on the beach, the waves were twice my height, the speed they were rolling in could barely be counted, and the deafening sound as they pounded the sand was something that had escaped us from our vantage point a few moments before. It was incredible that my perspective had changed in literally a matter of moments. The landscape was the exact same, but my view and my experience now was VERY different.
Here was life slapping me with a lesson once more.
Like standing on the beach, sometimes we get so nucleus-focused on our problems that we can’t see anything else around us. In this space, we don’t ask for help, we don’t talk about it, we box ourselves in with the need to handle it all alone and we can only concentrate the enormity of the problem in front of us.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when we need to give the challenge ahead of us all we have but what I was realizing in that moment was that in order to gain wisdom, in order to see beyond the boundary of my problem, I also needed to step back, pause, hold the hand of someone I trust and in that new space give birth to a new perspective. The elevated state invited me to see a beauty and a panorama I would not have been able to experience otherwise.
As I stood there with newly gained insight, I realized there was a caveat. Neither me nor my situation had changed. Whether high on the cliff or down on the beach, the fact was I still had to deal with the stuff I was struggling with. Then it hit me, a new perspective has the power to give you courage and hope. It also gives you the reminder that YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY YOUR PROBLEM. In addition to being a human living through a historical world event, a medical diagnosis, a mental health challenge, grief, loss, or some form of changing life situations… you are so much more!
For me, I reminded myself that I was also a friend, a daughter, a life-partner, a runner, a lover of sunsets and sunrises, a book worm, a faith fighter, a dancer to anything played by Earth Wind and Fire, a lover of chocolate ice cream and sour gummies, a container of laughter and kindness, a dreamer, a champion!
Bringing these thoughts to the front of my mind gave me the courage I needed to stare boldly at my problem.
Perhaps today your struggle is with infertility. There are days when the waves are crashing hard and you are being tossed in the white water of big medical words, needles and injections, timed intercourse, everything in your life being on a schedule, secret tears that no one sees fall, and you feel stuck in a cycle that is just totally overwhelming. Today I extend my hand and ask you to join me on my cliff to show you a new place that can help you with a new perspective.
Up here this new view invites you to explore the idea of reaching out for help where you are treated as an individual and not a number. It stretches you to consider getting on a plane in a pandemic and combining IVF treatment with a holiday as the best thing you could do to increase your chances of success! The panoramic view encourages you to step away from everyday life and give yourself a break with a clinic that looks at every detail of your individual case to get you the family you desire. Whether you are standing on the beach or up on the cliff, your solution can be the same in the trusted hands of Barbados Fertility Centre.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I’m going to keep this nugget of wisdom close by as we enter the 14th month of living in this pandemic.
So what does that glass of water do with today today’s thoughts. Absolutely nothing. Just drink your water. It’s good for you.