February 2, 2023

Pinoy Trekker

Pinoy Trekker – We go anywhere

How letting go of control opened me up to limitless living

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” ~Richard Bach

I’ve always wanted to start a family.

As a child, I took great care of my dolls and fell head over heels in love with my college friend. He knelt before me with a ring and said, “I want you to be the mother of our children.” I passed out as we walked down the altar at the tender age of twenty-two, confident that I was fit for life. I had the husband and I would have the family.

I entered our marriage with the expectation and security of certainty. We had vowed to be together for life, so I believed that was the truth.

But I had another love besides my husband.

I fell in love with the performance.

After a childhood of art classes, I was accepted into the inaugural year of the BFA Musical Theater Program at Penn State University. Soaking up every minute, I graduated with summer jobs already booked and plans to move to New York City with my new husband and immerse myself in my career.

Starting a family could wait. Broadway called.

Except that I bumped into a ceiling. Although I’ve consistently worked professionally, Broadway eluded me. With the exception of two Broadway shows that closed before I could get to them, if I were invited to a second or third audition, I would choke and never make it further.

I was a real triple threat, strong in my singing, dancing and acting, but I didn’t know how to deal with the loud and critical voice in my head. When I had to do my best in those big moments, the criticism became deafening and my voice broke or I spontaneously “forgot” which leg to step on while dancing. In those moments it was like all my training went out the window.

Over time I lost confidence. I’ve worked at literally every level except Broadway. I’ve worked regionally and off-Broadway, done national tours and commercials, and auditioned again and again hoping my break would come.

And then I found myself, at the age of thirty-seven, staring into my husband’s eyes as he said to me, ‘I don’t think I love you any more. I think I don’t want to get married anymore. I don’t think I want to have children.”

The security and certainty I had clung to in my twenties went up in smoke. I lost my marriage and the ability to raise the family I had wanted for the past fifteen years.

I felt a great urgency in the face of my divorce. It has spurred me to heal myself emotionally, spiritually and mentally from my heartbreak and seek the right support to guide me as a single woman. I’ve worked with love coaches and therapists and joined women’s groups to help me make sense of how to find a life partner.

And then, four and a half years later, I had a first date with a kind, blue-eyed man who took me to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and gently opened an umbrella over my head as it began to rain. In all the dates I’ve been on, I’ve never felt like this, and we quickly fell in love.

Before becoming exclusive with him, I asked him how he felt about starting a family and was thrilled when he shared that it was his greatest wish as well. A year and a half later we got married and started trying to conceive naturally.

Raising a family was now. There was no more waiting. I had the husband and the security. Certainty had returned to my life.

Nothing had happened except after a year of trying. So we decided to do IVF as I had my eggs frozen after my divorce for that very reason. We followed all the steps and I was confident that this would work. By the number of eggs fertilized I figured we would have two attempts and I was totally open to twins. But on the day of the transfer, only one egg was ready and the other three became unusable.

The pressure was unbearable. I had migraine headaches from the synthetic hormones and was afraid it wouldn’t work. Which it didn’t.

I swore that I was done with drugs and that our family would be either through natural causes or through adoption.

A year later I was staring at a positive pregnancy test.

My husband and I were incredibly dizzy and started reading children’s stories to the growing life inside me.

Raising a family was now. There was no more waiting.

Except just before my eleventh week, I was staring at an ultrasound with no heartbeat. The white light that had fluttered so wildly at seven weeks was now a static white dot.

As we kept trying, my heart was broken. Nothing happened, so we entered the adoption process.

Within two months we were matched with a birth mother and I cried when we got the call. The birth mother had just entered her second trimester, so we had to wait several months.

Now we can prepare! I immersed myself in podcasts, books, and workshops, learning everything I could about adoption, being a trauma-informed parent, and what products best align with our values. I created a registration and we both wanted to take time off from work.

Everything was set.

Starting our family was now. There was no more waiting.

And then, a month before the baby was due, the birth mother changed her mind. In adoption, they call it a disorder, and that’s what it felt like.

I re-experienced each pillar of my journey. To prefer Broadway to family. The divorce. The failed IVF. The miscarriage. And now the disruption. I wasn’t just mourning the recent loss; I grieved for decades for a desire that had burned in my body.

I thought it was the end of the world. end of certainty.

I felt completely disoriented. I had planned maternity leave from my company and an elaborate schedule for my upcoming book launch about adoption. I had a nursery filled with a stroller, changing table, clothes and a glider. I had thought of everything.

I planned everything because I wanted to believe it would happen. I wanted to believe there was no more waiting. I wanted to believe in certainty.

I pulled out an oracle card from Alana Fairchild that said, “This comes with a special guide for you. More love is pouring towards you like a great cosmic tsunami. You will struggle with this blessing to the extent that you will try to hold on to what was. So not. Let go. You might get a little water in your nose, but you can’t think of anything you can’t handle. Instead, you have no idea what’s going on. Oh how the tsunami will take you to your divine destiny!”

So I did something new. I gave up. I gave up all my plans.

I started coaching my clients again. We have become active again with the adoption agency. I have resumed my book marketing duties.

But none of this had any certainty or definitive timeline. After decades of knowing the exact day and time things were going to happen, I accepted not knowing.

I embraced the wait. Because there seemed to be nothing else to do.

It felt like a part of me was dying, the part that my family planned with such wildness and certainty.

In my grief, I flipped to the Oracle deck manual and saw the Robert Brach quote. As soon as I read it I started crying from the resonance.

How I had tried to remain the caterpillar.

The caterpillar of certainty. The caterpillar of the timelines. The caterpillar of planning.

But the caterpillar could not transform with these values. It had to be washed up by the waves of love and eventually enter the cocoon to grow into a sacred butterfly.

Robert’s words speak of that profound moment when we realize the way we live our lives isn’t working anymore. If we want to grow, we must let go of our attachments, especially our attachments to certainty.

Because the truth is that our greatest power lies in the acceptance of not knowing.

When you “don’t know,” you are actually opening yourself up to a limitless life, one guided by divine timing, rather than believing what your ego wants to think is “right.”

What if experiencing the same thing over and over again is actually a divine pat on the back to try something new?

What if disorientation and ignorance of when your desire will arrive is the softly spun silk that surrounds your most vital soul?

For me, the tsunami washed me ashore with holy wisdom. Holding on to a timeline was indeed a deep relief. It had been so exhausting and exhausting going through the cycle of trying to control every aspect of starting my family.

I had built a Castle of Certainty out of brick and stone, only to find that it was actually sand. And when the waves broke I saw it was never meant to last. It should always be washed away.

Now I open myself to something much more powerful than certainty. I open myself to trust.

I don’t know when my family is coming. I have no idea how my desire will manifest. Perhaps my life did indeed work out beautifully, creating a divine path that I may not have “planned” but one that triggered a vital inner transformation.

One that gave me the opportunity to take my life in a new direction. And with that I can let go of the futile crawling on the ground as a caterpillar. Now I can just open my wings and fly.

Now I can just receive.

About Nikol Rogers

Nikol Rogers is a speaker, author, and empowerment coach who helps people regain their confidence, expand their perfect audience, and bring their fearless vision to life. She has taught her ZenRed method worldwide, helping her clients become a more confident version of themselves and align with their true purpose through her signature course, Powerful Presence. Her work can be found at NikolRogers.com and @Nikol_Rogers.

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