So I tried not to mention fertility when I wrote that last post on humility and self-confidence, but you all had to know that it was lurking back there somewhere. Its always lurking back there somewhere.
I had some really good suggestions and comments from people but the one that struck me was the one from Leila. She said:
I think that TRUE humility (as opposed to false humility) goes hand-in-hand with self-confidence. If one is truly humble (meaning, one knows his place in the world and his place with God), then there is great confidence going forward. There is little chance that the truly humble would think that their talents and gifts, etc. came from anyone but God. So, they can be confident, because they can take credit for nothing. It’s all God’s doing, and God’s gifts.
I think there-in lies the problem. I often wonder if I’m alone in this, but I’ve realized that my fertility (or lack thereof) has really taken a toll on my confidence more recently. When I converted to Catholicism, I finally gained that confidence that I had previously been lacking through my faith. I understood the greater plan for life, our purpose for being here, what happens when we die, and had an incredible peace about life. However, trials in life test your faith and this is a big trial. If faith is tested, confidence will shake too.
Going first to the obvious, to put it bluntly, I can’t perform a seemingly normal function that is the basis for the continuation of life. For whatever reason, its become apparent that I’m “not good” at having children. This makes me feel like less of woman. Less female. To someone who already had body image insecurities (who doesn’t?), that maybe I didn’t look as “feminine” as others to begin with, the fact that my body isn’t cooperating in the reproductive realm seems to really seal the deal that somehow I’m less female. That really messes with your confidence.
Of course, one could argue that it doesn’t take one female to make a baby but that three are involved. So then together, my husband, God, and I are not good at creating children, so I shouldn’t take it so personally, but I’ve found that coming to that conclusion is only possible after first pondering my own lack of femininity. In other words, this still has an effect on my confidence and who I am, whether I want it to or not. Kind of like a automatic reflex.
If one is truly humble (meaning, one knows his place in the world and his place with God), then there is great confidence going forward.
I think that’s where the dichotomy lies. In realizing my sub-fertility over this past year, I’ve truly questioned my “place in this world” and with God. Who will I be if not a mother? Its not something I had considered. It was something I had taken for granted would just happen. Even though I thought I had no plans for my life, the semblance of what was there has been replaced with a giant question mark. Of course I can have no humility OR confidence because I have had the foundation for who I will be severely shaken. I do not know my place in this world. Also, part of me doesn’t want to accept that God gave this to me, after all, why would He? That would be too cruel. What if its something I’m doing. If I could just eat healthier, do more yoga, pray more, love my husband more, stop being so resentful, then maybe I would get pregnant.
The key to having confidence in my current situation (and hand-in-hand, humility) is to truly accept that God gave me this trial of sub-fertility purposefully, even if I don’t understand why.