Impatience and Infertility

Impatience is virtually universal when our deepest longings are thwarted.  And longing for a baby generates a particular agony because of the extended period of time that it can take until the baby quest is resolved.

The following is a lovely story, synopsized from the book Stories for the Third Ear by Lee Wallace.  This little metaphor may serve to settle the pressure that you may be putting on yourself in an attempt to barge through to parenthood.

You have a right to feel impatient but you have a choice not to.  Read this story and take a deep breath.  The following two links will help you maintain the tranquility of a breath in which a generous inhalation is followed by a slow exhale in which you really let go and let down.

Here’s the story:

Once upon a time there was a little girl who walked past a flower store.  She looked inside and there she saw a basket of what looked like dried onions.  She asked the storekeeper why he had dead onions in the basket.  “Oh, they’re not onions and they’re not dead … they are Narcissus bulbs.”  Because the little girl knew the story of Narcissus, the storekeeper decided to give her a bulb.

“These bulbs need special treatment” he said. “You must put this bulb in sandy earth with water around it and leave it in a dark closet until you see a small green shoot coming out from the top, as well as roots from the bottom.”

The little girl did what the shopkeeper suggested and peeked into the closet every day to see if something had happened.  Every day she looked, but for many days nothing changed at all.  She remembered the shopkeeper telling her to be patient and wait until the bulb was ready to go into the light because it would not grow if it was moved too soon, before it was ready.  But the little girl became very impatient thinking, “This little plant is never going to do anything in the dark.”  Again she thought about what the storekeeper said and thought, “I’ll wait a little longer … just a few more days…”  But her heart grew heavier and heavier thinking that nothing could grow in the dark.  Everyone knows that you need light and sunshine to grow.

The little girl grew sadder and more doubting every day that she waited.  Then one day she opened the closet door and to her joy, she saw a little green shoot and roots!  How beautiful it was and how miraculous it seemed.  Finally!!  Her heart filled with love and joy. She had remembered to be patient and keep the plant in the dark until it had grown a root system and a sturdy green shoot.  Now that the Narcissus plant was ready, the little girl planted it outside where it could bask in the sunshine.  The daylight worked its magic and one day, the lovely plant bloomed with lovely and fragrant flowers.

The little girl learned an important lesson: It was important to be patient because both darkness and light have a purpose.

About the Author:

Helen Adrienne, LCSW general psychotherapist, clinical hypnotherapist, and practitioner of mind/body therapy with a specialty in infertility. New York City