I am not my thoughts. It’s a phrase I say to myself to keep myself on track to live a better life. And it’s a phrase that can help women who are childless-not-by-choice to move through the painful, negative thoughts they have about themselves and their situation. Let me tell you why I say ‘I am not my thoughts,’ to myself.
Thoughts about being childless-not-by-choice
About a decade ago, when I was 48, and after 23 years of trying to start a family, including years of pills, operations (5), IVF attempts (4), nearly losing my life due to an undetected ectopic at 12 weeks (my life was saved twice on the operating table), and a lot more… I realized that it was my thoughts about my childlessness that were hurting me, rather than the situation itself.
That’s because thoughts become emotions, emotions lead to action or inaction, and action or inaction leads to the life I live now, and where I go from here.
Realizing I am not my thoughts
My thoughts weren’t hurting me. I was hurting myself. By realizing that I am not my thoughts, and not getting caught up with them as much, the awful feelings calmed down and I began to feel freer and view life more positively.
Remembering ‘I am not my thoughts’ helps in virtually all situations, not just dealing with the fallout of being childless-not-by-choice. It was a learning curve, or rather an ‘unlearning curve’ that completely changed the course of my life. Because with a calm mind I had the energy to study various mind therapies and healing modalities that took my level of happiness far higher than ever before.
Life around you changes
When you decide to change how you view things, the things around you change too. Giving up the ‘attachment’ to your thoughts frees you to explore new ways of being. And, I believe, there’s an intelligence behind what is concrete in our world, beyond what we experience through our five senses. A universal energy that, once we let go of the stronghold of our thoughts, supports us in all manner of ways on our healing journey and our life beyond being childless-not-by-choice.
But first, we need to stop ourselves stepping aboard the negative ‘thought train’ that takes us nowhere we wish to be.
How do we stop negative thoughts?
Begin by deciding to notice your thoughts. Become the witness to your own mind. Observe the ‘stories’ that you make up about the world and who you are in relation to it and the people in it.
We don’t ‘think’ about a situation. We think about the ‘thought’ we’ve made up about the situation. Michael Neill – life coach and bestselling author
In other words, we create a ‘story’ around what we think about. But it’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed. And that’s when everything else changes for the better.
When you ‘notice’ a thought come up, refuse to get caught up with it. ‘Oh, I notice the thought that I’m useless because I don’t have children has popped up again. So what?’
By noticing the thought and refusing to engage with it any further, you’ll find your thinking begins to change.
Train your subconscious mind
Another way to deal with such thoughts is to halt them before they can take hold. Just mentally say ‘Stop – not helpful!’ each time the bubble of the thought begins to rise to the surface. This will train your mind to stop the mindless negative chatter. It’s as if your subconscious says ‘Oh, okay then, I’ll stop doing that.’ And, eventually, it does.
Moving from being caught up in your ‘stinking thinking,’ to a position of witnessing your thoughts and directing your subconscious to nip them in the bud, you move into a more aware state – the state of consciousness -where you learn greater insight and awareness about the world around you.
The state of consciousness
In the state of consciousness, where you’re not stuck in your ruminations but can simply observe your own being, you’ll find it easier to engage with life, with less stress, more ease and the ability to look at fulfilling alternatives to the motherhood that never came to be.
Observe your own being and you’ll move towards your wellbeing. Ruthy Baker
Yup, I’m sure there will be those who believe this is impossible, the pain of being childless-not-by-choice can’t be overcome, and that you’re doomed to feel bad for the rest of your life, and that to say anything else is complete nonsense. Or, worse still, it’s all a tad ‘woo-woo.’
You can overcome the ’emotional charge’ of childlessness
But I’ve been through a shitstorm when it comes to childlessness, and I’m here to tell you that being childless-not-by-choice matters to me not one jot now. I no longer care about the fact I don’t have kids. It is what it is. I can’t change that fact and do not feel any emotional charge when anyone mentions it.
Nor do I feel any pangs of jealousy when I see pregnant women, or babies in their pushchairs, out in the street. Baby showers, pregnancy announcements, or ‘thrilled to be a grandma’ stories don’t affect me in the slightest.
And that’s not because I never really cared about being childless, or never cared enough about it. Believe me, I used to feel absolutely distraught knowing I’d never have a family of my own. I thought that I didn’t belong anywhere because I wasn’t a ‘yummy mummy,’ and a whole lot of other crap beliefs about myself.
But that’s the point, isn’t it? The thoughts I had were just thoughts. They were never the truth. I just thought they were.
I am not my thoughts…
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And there’s more…
Here are some resources to help you to move your life forward…
Take a look at this video from my YouTube channel. It’s bad enough dealing with your own thoughts about being childless, without other people putting their two-pennies worth in. Learn this quick and easy EFT Tapping technique to calm down and feel better within yourself. Please like, share and subscribe to be kept up-to-date with my latest vlogs, videos and content. Click on the link below:
I produce individually tailored and recorded guided meditations and hypnosis audios, and use wonderful music by Rob Hulford, who I’m a huge fan of. His music is incredibly relaxing and perfect as background music as you use EFT tapping. Check out Rob Hulford’s music here. Click on the link: https://youtu.be/9aKqGAYpQ-g
Check out the work of mindset coach Michael Neill. His books are a great way to help you dig your way out of negative thinking patterns, especially about being childless-not-by-choice. In this ground-breaking new book, bestselling author Michael Neill shares an extraordinary new understanding of how life works that turns traditional psychology on its head. This revolutionary approach is built around three simple principles that explain where our feelings come from and how our experience of life can transform for the better in a matter of moments. Buy this book! Click on the link below: The Inside-Out Revolution: The Only Thing You Need to Know to Change Your Life Forever – Michael Neill:
You’ll find this book by Jody Day an incredible read from a woman who has been there. Personally, I think this is the best book written for the childless-not-by-choice woman. It takes a three-pronged approach: personal, political, and practical, and it will help you to navigate the emotional ups-and-downs that you’ll face. Buy this book! Click on the link below: Rocking the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfiling Life Without Children – Jody Day:
Want to read more blogs? Take a look at this: Do You Fear Being Old and Childless? (ruthybaker.com)
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My YouTube channel (Ruthy Baker) has a number of vlogs, videos and guided meditations. Please feel free to subscribe to be kept up-to-date with the latest content. Click on the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDpnnFWbjvE
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© Ruthy Baker 2020