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Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 3)

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor

[Click for Part 1 and Part 2]

The bandage torn
From new flesh
Releases wails
The wound still
Imbibes air
The scab hides
deep repair
Let it rest. Wait
In time the scar
Records a fate

I learned that healing is a deep process. We may heal a physical wound, but to become whole, we need to heal emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. We need to dig into the old grout of our deep being. Moreover, we must trust help is available.

Body & Soul

My physical issues with DES were resolved, but I faced a reckoning with my soul. Certainly, studies show that DES contributes to the development of tumors. Still, did my dismay and fear help spawn illness? Does healing stop when the bandage is removed?

During my hospital stay after my hysterectomy, I felt a powerful, strong, warm, reassuring energy around me that I had never experienced before. A few months later, I decided to try a Reiki session with a Reiki Master I knew. (Reiki is a Japanese hands-on healing therapy that balances the flow of vital life force – Ki, Chi, or Prana – in the body). During the session, I felt the same energy force spiraling around me as I had in the hospital after my surgery. I perceived several hands on me in many places on my body. The warmth of the swirling energy even returned off and on for several days.

I truly believed the source of this energy was divine. Because this experience was so profound, I decided to get Reiki training. Over the course of two years, I became a Reiki master and have since treated and trained a number of people.

I credit not only my Reiki training but also my martial arts training for my healing, because Tai Chi Chuan and other internal martial arts work with Chi. By improving the flow of energy in my body through breathing and gentle movements, I believe I have bolstered my immune system and alleviated my emotional/spiritual turmoil. Because of going deep inside myself to heal from the effects of DES and depression, I believe I am a different person on both the cellular and DNA levels.

A Healing Journey

Healing takes not only awareness and intention, but also time and a lot of patience, for it demands deep work with our identity. Remaining in a victim state can become an addiction. Habitual thinking is difficult to break and can promote labeling that teaches people how to treat us. We can easily allow illness to define us. As I said earlier, labels provide people a classification system for determining roles and expectations, so my saying “I am a DES Daughter” and “I am childless” can pigeon-hole me and even trap me in this identity. My healing involved refocusing my life story by dropping labels that restrict and no longer serve my spirit.

Throughout this process, I have strived to love myself and forgive others for the harm I perceived. The depression resulted partly from my taking the situation personally, which contributed to my feelings of low self-worth. I came to understand that anger, fear, worry, and grief cause stress, which contributes to all illness.

However, love and forgiveness heal the shattered heart.

Oh, Child,
How you hold your form.
Soul of infant stars
Ready to go nova.
Bud of tree
Rooting in familiar soil
Infusing wisdom.
Hatchling of hope,
Fledging of wing,
Seeking flight to All.
Leaf, spring green,
Uncurling for air
With perfect fingers.
Pure soul,
Chaste stream,
How you feed life,
How you inspire love.
May you breathe in Light.
May you be Light.

Author Bio


Barbara Leonhard is a writer, poet, and blogger at Extraordinary Sunshine Weaver. Her podcast Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul explores universal themes such as Grief, Kindness, and Presence. She taught writing for many years at the University of Missouri and is the author of Discoveries in Academic Writing. She is also a regular contributor to Free Verse, and Go Dog Go Café.

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7 replies »

  1. I read about this subject in Brene Brown’s book, And I Thought It Was Just Me, about developing shame resilience in the face of adversities that have often been used to shame women. Superb book.

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