More To Life
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Stuck in a negative mindset

I am hoping someone out there in a similar situation may be able to provide some guidance for me.

My wife and I tried to have kids for about 3 or 4 years before going through 3 unsuccessful rounds of IVF a few year ago and being told that our infertility was unexplained.

Around that time we pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that our journey had ended and we wouldn't be parents. This hit us very hard but we both figured that this would get better over time and we would stop worrying about it. In some respects this is true, as I now rarely picture myself as a dad, however what has lingered is a very regular anxiousness that I don't have a purpose in life and will leave no legacy.

I keep telling myself not to worry about it, just try and enjoy life and chill out about it. Problem is it's easier said then done. What i think is that as we are all basically just animals, like all other creatures on this planet, we have the inbuilt purpose to procreate and the pass on our genes. People who are parents probably never ask themselves these big life questions on purpose and legacy as they are basically answered for them.

I have also came to the conclusion that I'll probably never answer these big questions and I should invest my energies into a way to stop worrying about it so much, problem is I don't know how. I want to get back to being a happy positive person as I don't like the somewhat bitter negative person that I am becoming.

Has anyone in a similar situation got any tips on how they got past this mindset that they are lacking a life purpose to a point where they are happier and more relaxed again?

I would very much appreciate any views on this.

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My husband and I also have been through a very similar infertility story and I have had exactly the same conversations with my self. I don't have a perfect answer at the moment.

I don't have a faith sometimes I wish I did as I think it would be easier. However what I do believe is that we are more than just our genetics. That perhaps if we had children our relationship would have suffered. That now we can travel, do what ever we want when we want (once we have paid off the massive IVF debt!).

If we are all just basicly animals we might as well have fun doing things before we die.

If we have money we can leave it to a worthy cause...save endangered houses, put someone through university, buy a donkey.

These are the things I try to remind my self on the days when it all feels that there isn't much point to things.

I am also completing a Msc and having something else to focus on does help. As well as using relaxation techniques such as exercise, yoga and mindfulness. Counselling has also been useful.

I don't think there is any right or wrong way to deal with childlessness.

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Hi,

Thanks for spending some time responding to my post.

It sounds like you have a sensible approach by reminding yourself of all of the things you can do to help others and also enjoy yourselves. I do help a few charities myself for causes that I believe in but is something I do not really remind myself of very often.

I should try and do some more of what you are doing and more proactively think of ways to consciously remind myself of good things I have. Maybe then I can try and flip back into positivity.

Some say gratitude journals work. All sounds a bit hokey to me but I guess there’s no harm in trying.

Thanks for your opinion.

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No worries. I think you have to find what works for you we are all different.

I hate some of the label's they use for these things. However sometimes writting a couple of positive things down does help focus in on the here and now. I spent along time waiting for things to be better...a bit like tomorrow never comes...you can get stuck.

Hope you find something that works for you.

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It's an interesting question and one we all battle with at one point or another on our journey I think. The thing is although it feels like our sense of purpose is dependant on having children it doesn't work that way. It pre-supposes that everyone who has children have a sense of purpose for their life. Many of them don't. Likewise there are people without children who have a strong sense of purpose. The truth is nothing external makes us feel anything. 100% of our experience in life comes from the inside, from Thought. I believe we all have a sense of purpose beyond having children. If we live our sense of purpose out through our children it puts a lot of pressure on them and tends to lead to empty nest syndrome.

For me a sense of purpose comes when three things are aligned. You are using your talents (doing something you are good at) whilst doing something you are passionate about to do something about what makes you angry in life. It's an alignment of values, capabilities and behaviours within you.

When we think our human experience is caused by something outside of us e.g. 'I am upset because my boss shouted at me' we look for external solutions to internal problems (how we feel about ourselves/life). Nothing has the power to make use feel anything. The boss shouting at us doesn't make us feel anything, it's out thinking about it creates our experience of it.

There is nothing wrong with wanting a baby or anything in life but it's about knowing this is a want, a desire, and not a need, a prerequisite for any psychological experience. Of course it can give great joy, but that passes, like buying a new car or something, because we go back to our habitual thinking about ourselves and life which creates are habitual experience in life.

I've personally found this approach to exploring purpose helpful:

dropbox.com/s/xmrardb6il4rr...

As for stopping to worry I would love to hear how you find this talk I did on mindset and peace of mind:

dropbox.com/s/mc7lmwj8kpun5...

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Hi Russell,

Many thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.

It’s very interesting what you’ve pointed out about our psyche being the root cause of our experience.

Maybe I should take the 2 pronged approach and try to find a sense of purpose as well As stopping worrying about it.

I will try both links with interest

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