I tend to think of myself as being a generally positive thinker. I try to keep the best outcome as a focal point while staying mindfully aware of the worst which hovers in the peripheral. My head usually swims in starry optimism while my feet are grounded on steadfast and unwavering realism. I don’t feel as if I’m being negative, but I do feel like I’m waist-deep in realism instead of merely standing on its firm foundation. We have a very real chance that this upcoming cycle will not result in a take-home baby at its conclusion. It’s hard to stare a statistic like "you have a 25% chance of live birth with Mia’s eggs" in the face and "positively" ignore the implications of the remaining 75%.
Last night Mia and I had a long discussion about The Secret. She’s currently reading it and I read it about a year ago merely to see what all the hype was about. She was eager to get my take on the book’s principles and it proved to be an enlightening conversation about where each of our mental states are as we head into the thick of this cycle. I can take some principles from the book and leave most of the others, because much of it sounds like sensationalist hogwash. I agree that visualizing the things you want to achieve and trying to stay positive can be good for the soul and can help keep one focused and on track. However, I don’t buy into the concept that even a shred of negativity can be a barrier between you and that which you most desire. You just can’t happy-sunshine-rainbow think your way into some things. I don’t like the fact that the book places the blame for unrealized dreams squarely on the shoulders of the dreamers: "You didn’t get pregnant/have a healthy baby/deliver full-term? Well, my dear, you simply didn’t think positively enough, so it’s all your fault." Bullshit. Think positively? Yes – I’ll at least try to in each challenging situation that I face. But I refuse to feel guilted into accepting the blame for poor results merely because I wasn’t 100% committed to my positivity.
Mia also agrees with that line of thought, but I get the sense that she is not as firm as I am on the bullshit factor of The Secret. I’ve always followed some Secret-like ideas as just a basic part of my personality – I usually try to picture the things that I want and imagine what it will be like to reach those goals. Sometimes, though, it’s easier on the heart and mind to put idealism and perfectly pure optimism to rest and focus more on the realism of a given situation. Idealistically, Frank would never suffer from any effects of his MS and we’ll live happily ever after. Realistically, it’s more acceptable to believe that we’ll still live happily ever after, but with a chance of wheelchairs and walkers someday being a part of our daily routine. The subtle expectation is already there so I will not be quite as shattered if and when that comes to pass (I hope).
Mia is envisioning idyllic scenes of she and Urs going on hikes and long walks with a baby in tow, carried in a backpack-style carrier. The baby is an even blend of the two of them with dirty blonde hair and sparkling eyes. I can’t get past envisioning a positive pregnancy test, and even that image is a bit fuzzy around the edges. Is this negativity? I honestly don’t want to feed negativity into this process. Yesterday a friend encouraged me to think more positively and I had to stop and think because I didn’t (and don’t) view my mindset as such.
If realism is viewed as a sliding scale on which optimism is on one extreme and pessimism is on the other, at what point does positive thinking give way to negative?