Mantra (noun): A statement or slogan repeated frequently
Sometimes you just need a new mantra, maybe even a few, as the old ones wear thin.
You may recall that we’re having ongoing building work to our home: we are now entering week 32 of what was supposed to be a 13 week build. All anyone can say to encourage us is:
“It’ll all be worth it in the end”
They’re definitely right, it will be, but every time someone says it, I always reply: “I need a new mantra, that one just isn’t cutting it anymore!”
It’s a mantra that could arguably apply to a fertility ‘journey’. Maybe, maybe not. It’s personally not one that works for me. A baby after loss, does not nullify the loss. But if you’re going through medical investigation after investigation, perhaps it’s a phrase that does help carry you through that phase of the process. But in this situation, where there’s generally so little control, I can try to control the mantras I’m telling myself. And these are the ones I’ve found, that I like.
1) Keep The Faith
I don’t even need to know who or what I’m keeping the faith in. I just find it upbeat and encouraging. A colleague said it to me once, way back in 2014, and I liked it. Simple, effective.
When, this year, he heard about Summer dying and responded with his condolences, I thanked him and said “years ago, you told me to keep the faith, and I intend to do that still”.
It’s all very much semantics: I don’t have hope, yet I can have faith in the unknown. I don’t need to know why that is the case, but it helps, so that’s that.
2) You’ve Got This
Again, for someone so literal, I really don’t know what it is that I’ve supposedly ‘got’, but I like this phrase. In fact, I love it when people say this, that vote of confidence! I love to say it to people too, it’s the perfect cheerleading chant. It’s perhaps the idea of faux control I like, regardless, it puts me in the frame of mind for a positive mental attitude. Again, this is a phrase that’s been taken from a supportive work environment, that transcends into ‘real life’.
3) Feel All The Feels
This is a new one that’s definitely not come from my colleagues! I’ve come up with it myself. It’s basically what I’ve learnt this year: whatever you’re feeling, just go with it. Rage? Embrace it. Despair? Explore it. Sadness? Welcome it. Numb? Sit with it. Feel ALL the feels. Don’t minimise or try to rationalise or explain any of it, for it is ALL grief, disguised, trying to fool you and me by wrapping itself up in another name.
If you’ve got any other short mantras or affirmations which sometimes help you get through the day, I’d love to hear them. We’re never too old to find new words which resonate.
Don’t have one? Feeling sad about that? Don’t worry, feel all the feels. Keep the faith (you’ll find one), because you’ve definitely got this!
P.S. If you’ve not seen the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston film “Just Go With It” – definitely watch it! James and I have an irrational love for the film. We discovered it whilst on honeymoon and most house guests have been forced to watch it ever since.
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