A very wise man by the name of Mahatma Gandhi once said, “To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.” I used to pride myself on my ability to abide by this quote, delivering honesty in all forms even when it’s hard, and doing my best to master my fears of this world, but I feel that now, more than ever, I have failed to live by what I so fully believe in.
I have been dishonest, friends.
My dishonesty hasn’t come in the form of untrue words escaping my lips, but in my refusal to face a fear after preaching so many times to myself and others that you must tackle your anxieties if you wish to conquer them, thus not living by what I so vehemently believe in.
It is programmed into human nature that all people have trepidation and uneasiness inspired by certain things or ideas, unique to each individual. I am no exception.
A little over a month ago, I had a conversation with a very dear friend about how he cannot be afraid to love someone because of his past. He told me that it’s not his past but himself that stops him from this, and although I could tell he was being transparent about his feelings, I still found myself wondering what is it about himself that he so afraid of embracing? And it is that conversation that I find myself reflecting on over and over while trying to control my fears.
But what is it that I’m so scared of?
I’m afraid of never falling completely and irrevocably in love.
I’m afraid of never achieving anything worthwhile.
I’m afraid that I waited too long to go to college.
I’m afraid that I won’t finish college.
I’m afraid my grandfather won’t spend another Thanksgiving with us.
I’m afraid of the future, mostly for the world, but for my country as well.
I’m afraid of so many things, but most of all…I’m afraid of not sharing the life growing inside of me and missing out on every ounce of love I could possibly give my child.
Six months ago, when my first child so unexpectedly left the safety of my womb, I was devastated. Even more so to think I’d never get another chance to because a mother to a living, breathing child, instead of only a mother to an angel. I’ve known now for a month of the life growing inside of me, my second child, and everything I’ve ever been afraid of cannot come close to the fear that this pregnancy will end the same way.
I told myself I would wait until we passed the first trimester, the real “danger zone”, and into the second to share the news of this pregnancy with the world only because I couldn’t possibly imagine living through the sympathies and the discomfort that surrounds miscarriage from other people again. Not because I’m not grateful and appreciative of every “I’m sorry” and prayer and well-wish given to me the first time, but because having to explain over and over that you’re no longer pregnant is a nightmare that is impossible to wake up from.
And so this fear, this anxiety of a second miscarriage, has been hovering over me, preventing me from sharing this beautiful gift of life with the world, and it has become a controlling factor in my daily life. A life that should be once again filled with joy and anxiousness for the future.
Over and over, I find myself reflecting back to that conversation with my friend, and to the quote by Gandhi. I don’t know if this baby will be able to join me in my arms or will live the entirety of its life in my womb, but that fear will no longer stop me from sharing this with you and all the love this baby could receive. I believe in this life growing inside of me, I believe in love, and I believe that although you can’t control what happens to you, you can control how you react. My friends, I’m tired of being dishonest. So this is me, living by what I believe in.