Living with Infertility: One Woman’s Story (Rabbi Nivin Testimonial)
This September 4th, my teacher, life coach Rabbi Aryeh Nivin will be starting a new Personal Development Chabura. I highly recommend this life-altering Chabura to every JewishMOM reading this. For me, the Chabura has improved my life DRAMATICALLY in so many ways.
This year, for the first time ever, there will be two chabura options: the full-weekly Chabura (for only $5!) and the mini-monthly chabura (for only $1) for the entire 4-week Elul session. Every JewishMOM.com reader who signs up for this nearly free session will automatically enter the raffle to win a free 12-week course registration (worth $165). This means that you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by trying this out.
I cannot tell you how many Emails I’ve received over the years from JewishMOMs thanking me for telling them about this phenomenal course. Who knows, maybe in a few months you’ll be sending me an Email like that too;)
Visit www.newchabura.com to learn more. You can also call (646) 863-4123 (US) or 02-580-6406 (Israel), or email email@example.com for more information.
Read one mother’s story about how Rabbi Nivin’s Chabura enabled her to cope with a very difficult life challenge: infertility…
I’ve always really only wanted two things from life: a happy marriage and to be a good mother to lots of healthy happy children, and help them grow up spiritually and emotionally whole and well. Literally, that was it! Nothing complicated, out-of-the-box, or exotic. I never wanted to be a tzadekkes or a rebbetzin, an academic or a professional. My aspirations were simple. Just to have a normal, happy, simple family with values.
For whatever reason, while for many women I knew this came relatively easily, not so for me. When I was young people always told me I’d be the first of my friends to get married. But then I wasn’t… and my family couldn’t understand it. I enjoyed great success in other endeavors and was able to do a lot of good in other ways. I enjoyed good health B”H and was able to learn Torah and grow as a person.
Finally, after 13 years of thinking of and praying to get married (and dating and heartbreak!), I met my husband. But then I just couldn’t get pregnant. All the doctors I have seen say my test results predict excellent fertility… and yet…here we are. Waiting. Dealing with this particular challenge has been very difficult for me. People who don’t know what I went through assume I chose not marry earlier and that I am choosing not to have children. They keep pushing me to “have children before it’s too late”. How I wish I could!
I have been so puzzled by these difficulties. I’m only trying to do Hashem’s will – doesn’t He want me to have children? But it hasn’t happened. And there seemed (to me) to be no reason for that.
I tried to find answers to why this is happening to me. The rabbis I spoke to in the past empathized but couldn’t give me anything more. Some of the sources I found said to do teshuva on specific areas, which I tried to do, but whatever new resolutions I made or new observances I took on did nothing to change the reality of my situation.
It was very frustrating and I often felt trapped, unable to move on with my life, to finally be like almost all the other women I know. And to fulfill my dreams of being a mother, raising a happy family.
But since I joined the Chabura, much of this pain has become easier to bear. I have been able to move forward in what I believe is my avodat Hashem regardless of the situation.
I’ve gained clarity about my tikkun (the thing I need to fix up about myself). I know I am a people-pleaser and when people judge me or think less of me (which happens quite often) I can easily crumble and despair. But I’m learning that it’s what Hashem thinks of me that counts, not what other people say or think. I’m also learning to set appropriate boundaries with people, which I feel is another part of my tikkun.
I’ve also realized that while my dreams of motherhood have not materialized yet, I can still create a happy home and family with my wonderful husband. My husband is a person who I feel has great potential but needs a lot of love and encouragement from me to realize it. Therefore I have made major changes to my work schedule so that I could spend more time investing in him and in my home, making it an inviting place to be. I started reading Torah books on the home and on marriage and trying to apply what I’ve learned. Baruch Hashem my marriage is harmonious and happy. All of this inspires me enormously and gives me vitality every day.
Thanks to R’ Nivin’s Dissolving Negativity tool, I have been able to keep a respectful loving distance from people who put too much pressure on us to have children or who will put me or my husband down. I am able to work on taking appropriate action lovingly.
I learned from R’ Nivin not to have expectations, that life is not supposed to be calm and easy. That was a total paradigm shift for me, having absorbed the Western notion that things should be easy and the vague feeling that if they are not something is wrong with me (and Hashem must hate me, whatever I do). Now I can see my difficulties more as something everyone goes through in their own way and as an end in themselves, rather than just something to get through to get to live “the real life”.
Daily introspection helps me make decisions that I feel reflect what I really want (my vision of a happy family) rather than what “I’m-just-doing-now-in-the-meanwhile-while-I’m-waiting”. I work fewer hours in a different area that is better suited to me. I am able to worry less about socializing and being popular with other women, and instead try to find truly like-minded friends (my soul family). I don’t do much community work but prioritize time with my husband and doing my job well, something that is more suited to my introverted nature (R’ Nivin also teaches us to be authentic to who we are). None of this came about quickly, all these decisions were a result of daily verbal introspection about what I want to manifest in my life and what my priorities are, based on my next step in avodat Hashem.
My life is not a success by community standards. My husband is not a rabbi, we don’t have kids, a big house or a fancy car. But I’m not looking for that kind of success now, or for a “happy ending”. Instead I’ve learned to take pleasure in taking my next step in avodat Hashem, here and now. I’ve learned to have my aspirations without the expectations. Above all I feel I have become more successful in my true avodat Hashem, rather than just trying to look good on the outside. This is the real measure of what counts and is nothing short of a miracle for me. Also, when, b’ezrat Hashem, we do finally have children, I trust I can be a better mother to them this way as well. Hopefully I will be more able to focus on who they are rather than on how much outside admiration they can earn me through public accomplishments.
I am so grateful for Hashem’s incredible chessed that He has allowed me to learn all this wonderful Torah and be part of this Chabura. Every tool and every concept I’ve learned has helped me shape my life into what it is now – a place I could never have dreamed of without the Chabura.
Visit www.newchabura.com to learn more about Rabbi Nivin’s Personal Development Chabura. You can also call (646) 863-4123 (US) or 02-580-6406 (Israel), or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.