Want to Be a Better Friend? Learn to Chart Your Fertility

I had hoped that Fertility Awareness would make me a better wife, but I didn’t even dream of the ways it would make me a better friend.Check out three of the ways learning about your body will help you cherish your pals!
Openness

Fertility Awareness is teaching me to be a more open friend in the same way that it taught me to be a more open wife.  Thanks to Fertility Awareness, I can talk to my husband about anything without feeling embarrassed.  (Daily chats about bodily functions will give you that gift whether you wanted it or not…)  Learning to be more open with Nick gives me the courage to be more open with my friends.  Because Fertility Awareness is shockingly counter-cultural and intensely personal, talking about it can be very intimidating.   I’ve learned to follow my husband’s example by being a trusted place for my friends.  Opening up about my journey with Fertility Awareness with my friends shows them that I am a safe place.  It’s a privilege to hold and protect their thoughts and questions about their bodies in the same way that Nick holds and protects mine.  It’s that perfect circle of self-giving: when I open up, it shows my friends that they can open up, which in turn, leads me to open up even more.  Isn’t the very nature of friendship a place where we know that we are loved and not alone?

Intentionality

Fertility Awareness is teaching me to to be a more intentional friend.  For obvious reasons, Fertility Awareness forces you to find ways to show you care in less than ideal circumstances.  As a result, I have learned how to be more intentional, not only with my husband, but also with my friends.  Maintaining friendships across the years is not easy. We cannot always spend time with our friends the way we desire, especially when friends move away or fall into different routines.  Just as I’ve learned to perform small gestures to let my husband know I’m thinking of him, I’ve learned the importance of reaching out to my friends.  Even simple texts or the occasional card can go a long way to “fill someone’s cup.”  Never underestimate the power of an encouraging word.  Here’s a special shout-out to those who encourage me in my unconventional lifestyle and nontraditional career despite our differences of opinion, exemplifying the true freedom that accompanies authentic friendship.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Curiosity

Fertility Awareness is teaching me to be a more curious friend.  Ok, so full disclosure here: maybe I didn’t develop this quality for the most noble of reasons; I began asking my friends more questions about themselves because I was afraid of them asking me about my new career path as a Fertility Awareness advocate.  (Explaining to your former law school classmates why you write counter-cultural articles about women’s health instead of practicing law isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world.)  Thankfully, I’m no longer afraid (see the “openness” section above), but my strengthened curiosity remains.  I’m so grateful for the amazing things I’ve learned about my friends since I’ve started asking more questions.  It’s a privilege to hear about their adventures, dreams, and struggles.  Curiosity has drawn me out of myself and empowered me to be more focused on the other.  Isn’t this what authentic relationships are all about? Thank you, Fertility Awareness, for helping me focus, not only on my beloved husband, but also on my beloved friends.  

Voila! The Perfect Friend?

Please know that I am by no means suggesting that I am a model friend; believe me, I have a long way to go.  (Sometimes I wonder if I even have friends in the first place….that’s normal, right?) This article is simply to help shine a little light on the power of Fertility Awareness and yet another reason why it’s #notjustfamilyplanning.

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