Dolphins and Infertility Awareness Week

This week was Infertility Awareness Week.  I spent most of the week out of the country which was perfect for me this year!  As I have mentioned ad nauseaum, emotions have been high recently.  One question I often hear or see from people who do not deal with infertility is "what should I say if someone tells me they're infertile?"  Truth is I don't know what to say (I do however have lots of thoughts on what NOT to say).  For me personally my favorite response was last year when I told a brand new friend.  We were in my room when I all of a sudden blurted it out.  She looked at me for second then sat down and cried with me.  When we were all out of tears we got up and went out for ice cream.  It was such a comforting experience for me.

This week I had another slightly different comforting experience.  I had an opportunity to spend some one on one time with a dolphin.  I knew going in that dolphins were extremely intelligent both cognitively and emotionally; however, that did not prepare me for my experience.  As I faced the dolphin I stared into his eyes and saw an immense sadness.  (Which caused me to immediately regret my decision to pay a fortune for this experience worried that the animals were mistreated and unhappy.)  After several minutes of petting and a quick ride I came face to face once again with him and became transfixed on the sadness that I saw.  All of a sudden the dolphin snapped its head forward smashing its mouth into my face.  Everyone around me started laughing and before I knew it I was laughing too.  I looked one more time at the dolphin and this time I saw delight and it was in that moment I realized that he had been mirroring my emotions.  Gently leading me out of the darkness into the light.  He had sat with me in my pain.  Made me feel known.  And only then after acknowledging my darkness did he point out the light.

As a single person I think its often hard to figure out if and who to share our pain with.  I am coming to realize though that sharing is imperative.  The longer I try to carry the pain alone the darker and heavier the pain becomes.  When I allow others (God, humans, or animals) to share in my pain its power over me weakens and everything is lighter.

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