June 17, 2015

Grief Support and Counseling

They say that the inseparable bond between a mother and her child begins at conception, but I know from my own past experiences that this bond forms long before. I have had six miscarriages. In recent years, each moment leading up to Mother’s Day would agonizingly tear at my heart. I so desperately wanted to be a mother, to have a family, to receive a Mother’s Day card; the ache in my heart was unbearable. I hid the searing pain of my sadness behind a protective wall of staid composure and a hopeless acceptance in the will of God. Not even my husband knew the depth of my longing. In our mutual grief, there was an inexpressible loneliness and silence that made any attempt at a shared journey nearly impossible. I had read books by Barry Neil Kaufman and been on the Option Institute’s mailing list for years. I finally found myself at The Option Institute participating in a program called Optimal Self-Trust. To my shock and eventual gratitude, the program exposed my wounded heart and paved a path to true healing! I had originally come to learn how to trust myself in my work as a grief counselor and find new ways to help others find a way to heal their hearts. Instead, I learned that I had not really healed my sorrows at all, but merely suppressed a longing to be a mother, rationalizing why mine was an acceptable situation.

I suddenly understood that being or not being a mother did not make me more or less of a person. Only my beliefs have this power. My new beliefs have released me to live my life as an expansive soul, galvanized by my mission to make my dream of motherhood a reality.

I now know that every time anyone makes a judgment, he or she experiences a debilitating contraction of the soul – I had absolutely been living with a contracted soul, fearful of reaching for what I really wanted. My own judgments (‘I’m too old,’ ‘I don’t have the right,’ ‘If I fail again, I will die’) had sealed my fate, making a seventh attempt at having a child a daunting, fearful and next-to-impossible prospect.

This Mother’s Day, I did receive a card – from my husband – who, of his own volition, has likewise made a shift in consciousness. To my amazement, he asked if I would like to try having another baby – this from a man who, a year ago, refused to discuss such a notion. My life has changed! To The Option Institute and to Bears, I say a profound thank you!

Olivia Israel, Grief Counselor, California

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