The Compassionate Self in IVF

Updated: Jul 12

'Compassion is about connection and reciprocity, flowing cyclically inward and outward.' [1]

For a long time, I thought of compassion was external to me. For many years, compassion was a quality that would come from me towards another. However, the trauma of failed (or rather non-viable) IVF cycles uncovered the fact that I wasn't self-compassionate. I was self-less to others, but not always to myself. Most evidently I was not compassionate towards myself when I needed the most compassion and care. Can you relate this? Often life gets busy and in times of difficulty, we can struggle to go inwards and get really get curious about ourselves and what we need to heal. I can't give you a prescription for self-compassion. I believe we are all uniquely beautiful beings that have uniquely beautiful needs. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for self-love and self-care. I will share this use your imagination to get compassionate with yourself. Get curious about what love inwards looks like and feels like for you. Here are some ways I am self-compassionate.

Judgement free thoughts. I don't judge my thoughts as good or bad, instead, I use my child-like curiosity to explore these thoughts. I ask myself questions like "why is this thought coming up for me now?", "how does it serve me?", "is it relevant or anything of value?", "can I accept this thought or not?", "how would I feel without this thought?", "is it a problem or just a fact?" A "Grounding" list. This list includes the people that I love spending time with, places I adore, the activities and experiences that light me up. I make a conscious effort to incorporate more of what is on that list into my everyday life. Nature for nurture. I often go down to the bay and dip my toes in the ocean, I walk in the parks, I listen to the birds, I look up at the sky. Nature is nurture and the ultimate act of compassion is letting her love you!

Expressing feelings. I express how I feel openly in a safe space with people that I trust and that understand me. I cry it out if I need to...I let it out to let it go..I try not to hold anything in. Stillness and breath. This can be known as meditation or simply stilling yourself. I find meditation connects me, calms and clarifies so much for me. A restful soul. I purposely slow down to recharge and re-calibrate. I read books, watch a Netflix/Stan, I potter around, I garden, I bake, I dance around like an idiot, I draw, I do yoga, I fold paper cranes, I take naps. So what will you do today to be more loving and compassionate to yourself? Much love and compassion, Kit xx Join the Together We Wait Community and receive support in IVF by connecting with other women in IVF.

Reference [1] de Zulueta, Paquita C. “Developing compassionate leadership in health care: an integrative review.”Journal of healthcare leadership, vol. 8 1-10. 18 Dec. 2015, doi:10.2147/JHL.S93724


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