I was editing the “About Me” section, and it dawned on me that I really don’t want this to be an infertility blog.  Or maybe the better way to say it is that I don’t want this to be just an infertility blog.  My hope is that this is a space where I can, relatively anonymously, write out some thoughts and feelings on all sorts of things, one which just happens to be infertility.  I am so much more than my infertility.  Infertility does not define me. 

Great.  Now that’s off of my chest.

I was very moved by the passing of Emilie, who wrote at lemmondrops.  Her last article is so profound and beautiful, that I want to bookmark it to read again and again.  Her description, and ultimate realization of the difference between “joy” and “happiness” is such a wondrous thing, and something that I think few persons ever have the wisdom to recognize.  Unfortunately I believe I tend to seek happiness, rather than joy, and thus my feelings and thoughts are tossed about and can change so quickly and drastically based on my surrounding circumstances.  Which ultimately, as Emilie notes, means that I am trying to take control, and not giving myself, my challenges, my unmet expectations, my shortcomings, my fears over to God.  I’m far from letting these go, I think, but the reminder of what I should be–what I need to be–and the peace and wisdom Emilie possessed even when facing her death, is enough to make me see my own struggles quite differently. 

Thank you Emilie, for your life and your words.  I wish I had known you. 

From Rachel Naomi Remen’s “Kitchen Table Wisdom,” referenced in Emilie’s article:

From such people I have learned a new definition of the word ‘joy.’ I had thought joy to be rather synonymous with happiness, but it seems now to be far less vulnerable than happiness. Joy seems to be a part of an unconditional will to live, not holding back because life may not meet our preferences and expectations. Joy seems to be a function of the willingness to accept the whole, and to show up to meet with whatever is there. It has a kind of invincibility that attachment to any particular outcome would deny us. Rather than the warrior who fights toward a specific outcome and therefore is haunted by the specter of failure and disappointment, it is the lover drunk with the opportunity to love despite the possibility of love, the player for whom playing has become more important than winning or losing.

The willingness to win or lose moves us out of an adversarial relationship to life and into a powerful kind of openness. From such a position, we can make a greater commitment to life. Not only pleasant life, or comfortable life, or our idea of life, but all life. Joy seems more closely related to aliveness than to happiness.

Yes.  God, please help me to have joy.  I want to be fully alive.