"We are the silver lining in any and every dark cloud we could ever find. There is no need to go looking for the light when you bring it with you." ~ Tyler Knott Gregson
The past few days have been hard. The shock of the presidential election results combined with election results from other races has made clear that we are a deeply divided nation. It has also shown how out of touch both political establishments and the media are with the silent majority that voted as well as those who chose not to vote (this lowest in 20 yrs). Adding to all of this is the fighting. Either through the protests or people screaming into the online world about who is worse and why they are right with their choices. We are a grieving nation, waffling between denial, anger and sadness.
Slowly the call for unity has been becoming heard. The reality is these attacks aren't going to unite us has started to sink in. And we are a country that desperately needs to be united; finding peace in compromise and recognizing that none of us approaches anything from the same point of view.
The question many are asking is "what now?"
So simple and yet revealing a road forward that is very complex.
Grey woke me at 4 am on November 9th with the news about Trump winning the race. Lying in bed, I immediately felt the familiar burning tingle that comes with grief. Over those morning hours, we both cycled between the numb, the sadness and the anger. The next day we would throw in schemes of bargaining. But like with miscarriage and loss, we knew deeply that there was no going back. Despite picking apart all that had gone terribly wrong, the reality is that one can't undo the damage of the brick through the window. Like with infertility, the scars are going to be too deep.
So in addition to asking "what now?", a mission has emerged. Embracing that call to unity has also come the call to promote the change and values we want to see. Starting within our family and those we love, but expanding outward unapologetically through a manner that embraces love and empathy. Already Grey has been better at this, reaching out to loved ones and dear friends through emails and texts, letting them know we are thinking of them and will stand by them. I've been slower with adding my voice as my mind has been racing and foggy (all due to grief). Still it needs to be done. The factor I've been considering is how do I start.
This morning while the Beats were eating breakfast, they excitedly pointed out all the tiny rainbows that filled the living room due to prism I had attached to the window. And in that moment as they played with those rainbows, it dawned on me: I need to start by finding the slivers of hope. The silver linings
Three weeks ago was my 5th blogoversary. When I started this blog in the fall of 2011, I naively believed that to be happy in life required finding one, solitary silver lining to the trauma that was a recent diagnosis and losing my family. I believed that a baby would help heal the wounds, helping me find my way back to being whole. Going through the first part of 2012, I held onto that belief even after our first loss. It wasn't until my second loss, the one that broke my heart into a million pieces, that I began to rethink this definition. In my grief, I began to see how wounded and battered I already was coming into this journey, but now the facade I had generated in an attempt to cover those flaws had been stripped away. And so as Grey and I began to explore adoption, recovered from the failure of our 3rd FET and focus on healing ourselves and our marriage, did I begin to see that the silver lining wasn't singular and nor was it a person in the form of a baby. And it wasn't something external, created only from perfection and one defined version of beauty.
This idea expanded even more following a post by Keiko Zoll where she wrote about being grateful for her infertility. Published just I was starting Lupron for my final FET, I remember being shocked at first from reading that anyone could be grateful for this life-changing disease. At the time, this post was a hard one for me. Whereas other post-infertility posts, like this one from Tertia, certainly rang true, the whole idea of being grateful for the heartache, the losses, the pain and the rage seemed a bit over the top.
Yet these posts stayed with me. Making me think more and more about my own journey, not only through infertility but life in general. It stayed with me through my pregnancy, a difficult delivery, time in the NICU and through the past few years as I've navigated my way through learning how to parent and a major move. And now again with this election.
In a weird way, as terrible as infertility is, I've been finding many many reasons to be grateful for that journey into the land of being the worse case-scenario. There was so much needless pain and suffering that came, along with isolation and separation. And yet, without having traveled this path, spending my time in the trenches, I would not have learned some of the most valuable lessons that have radically changed me on so many levels: personally, professionally and even spiritually.
In short, though originally I was looking solely for one silver lining, instead I've found (and continue to find) many.
And I think that even though the worlds seems like a dark and scary place, those slivers of light are still shining through. In some ways, far more intensely than ever.
So how does one begin, especially when all seems so hard and painful? Maybe it starts with emails of love and unity. Maybe it starts with mobilizing those around you at the local government level. But maybe it also starts with finding that reason to smile again. Finding those tiny bits of wonder that exist in the world. Because once we find our inner light and give it permission to shine into the world, the rest can come. Finding those silver linings despite a trauma allows us to build for what we want in this world.
And there's no better time to start than now.