It was Mother’s Day, and as I walked through the door of the central London restaurant, the Manager pushed a bunch of daffodils into my hand, and he said, “Mother?”
…and, feeling very startled and put on the spot, I said, “No” - and I handed them back.
I then proceeded to point out to him the women in my group who are mothers, and he handed each one of them a bunch of flowers, which were laid on the table between us, as we took our places for a special celebratory birthday meal.
If you’re childless not by choice you’ll recognise the potential for how very upsetting this situation could be! And I have to admit, it did have an impact on me, for the first quarter of an hour.
I’ve had twelve miscarriages and no children, and although I’m usually very happy and peaceful about being childless, occasionally certain situations do still upset me.
However, I was able to put this unfortunate beginning to our meal behind me, and still enjoy the company and the special occasion.
And I wanted to share with you the steps and practises which I’ve taken over the years, which have made this possible for me, and to let you know that you can use these too, if you would like to.
I’m a therapist and I help people all around the world who’ve had miscarriages - or who are childless not by choice - to be happier and to live more peaceful and enjoyable lives. And in the course of this work I’ve identified six steps which can be very helpful.
I’ve used them myself for a long time, and I now teach them to the people that I support too, and they’re really powerful.
And it’s a testimony to how effective they are that I was even able to contemplate going into a central London restaurant on Mother’s Day – because that’s not how most “childless not by choice” people would choose to spend that particular day!
So I would like to touch on the different steps here, and to tell you how each one contributed to my emotional equanimity and resilience, in this particular scenario - because you could have this emotional freedom and support too.
Steps ONE and TWO
The focus of these two steps is very much about taking kind and gentle care of emotional events and feelings from the past (although they can be used for events which are happening in the present too.)
Step ONE involves releasing any painful emotions from any upsetting or traumatic memories. People don’t commonly know that this is possible, but using EFT “tapping” and TAT, it’s entirely possible to take these kinds of painful emotions away from our memories.
My last miscarriage was when I was thirty-nine, and I’m now beginning to approach fifty, and in those intervening years I would say I have totally completed Step ONE from the 6 Step Plan.
In other words, there are now no longer any memories from my twelve miscarriages which cause me any kind of pain, when I think about them. My mind can rest on any of those incidences, and it feels OK that they happened (- they’re not pleasant memories, but they don’t hurt me at all, anymore.)
Step TWO involves facilitating any grieving which it would be helpful to do. And again, I think I have done a great deal of this, over the years. And the effects of doing both Steps ONE and TWO are that I now have neutral feelings about the distressing events which happened in my past.
I’m no longer embodying the pain and distress of all those miscarriages, and that definitely makes it easier to contemplate going into a busy restaurant full of mothers and their children, on Mother’s Day.
Step THREE involves changing any limiting and disempowering beliefs you have about being childless. For most of us, this can be a work in progress, but again, “tapping” and TAT can really make this possible, and it really is quite straight forwards.
I think I’ve changed a lot of the beliefs which used to make me unhappy, and the fact that I was peaceful before I went into the restaurant suggests that there weren’t many disempowering beliefs hanging around at this point (and that can be a big help.)
Steps FOUR and FIVE
Steps FOUR and FIVE really came into their own, on this occasion, and I’m so grateful that I know about them!
Step FOUR is about being able to deal with upsetting and “triggering” situations. I think we can agree that my entrance into the restaurant definitely falls into this category!
Step FIVE is about taking regular action, to help us to feel emotionally balanced on a day to day basis. (In my case, I regularly use EFT “tapping” and TAT, which are both very effective self-help tools.)
And because I’m so familiar with these, I was able to take care of my shocked and upset emotions as soon as they appeared (using these self-help tools) without too much difficulty. I “tapped” on my hands, below the table, until I no longer felt like crying, and I kept going until I felt much more peaceful again.
We can deal with upsetting and emotionally “triggering” situations in three ways
…before, during and after they happen.
There have been many occasions in the past when I’ve felt isolated, upset and left out (not to say invalid, and feeling like a failure too!) when I’ve been the only woman there without children.
I have “tapped” on all of these occasions (usually straight after they happen) and so the memories of these events no longer hurt me, and consequently I don’t dread future events as much as I would if I hadn’t done this.
And I also “tap” in preparation, before I go to this kind of social gathering, and this has the effect of calming down any fears and anxieties about how it’s going to go, and strengthening and fortifying my sense that all is well, and that I will be able to cope with it with equanimity.
As I mentioned, I also tapped whilst I was there, too (on my hands, under the table.) And I also tapped afterwards, on the train on the way home, to take care of the remaining upset, which had accumulated over the many hours of being in central London amidst all the hype and focus of Mother’s Day.
Step SIX is about creating and inventing how you would like your life to be. This is the backdrop for how I live my life now, and I spend my time most days in ways which I find enjoyable and fulfilling for me.
But without also having taken away the pain and the grief from my miscarriages in the past, and without being able to deal with upsetting and “triggering” events as they happen on a day to day basis, I don’t think I would feel anything like as happy and peaceful as I do, and I’m so grateful that I have this knowledge and these tools to help me, any time I need them.
A recipe for living a happy and peaceful life
We can’t control what life throws at us, and some of it can be distressing, and difficult to cope with emotionally. But we can arm ourselves with tools which can help us to deal with it all as it happens. We can ease and clear the pain, trauma and grief from what’s happened in the past.
And we can change the way we feel about what’s happening in the present, and what we think and believe is possible about how things could be for us in the future.
Thank you for reading this, and I’m wishing you all the very best with whatever it is you’re dealing with in your life at the moment.
Take care, and I’m sending you lots of love,
~ Rosalind xxx