In the movie Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter says to Alice –“You used to be much more muchier, you lost your Muchness.” and Alice embarks on a journey to find her Muchness.
Can you relate? I’m assuming just about everyone reading can. I heard that line about a year and a half after my twins died and it honestly changed my life. Suddenly, I had a word for that…. that ‘thing’ – that indescribable ‘thing’ that lives inside of us as children but so often seems to disappear as we enter adulthood. And if your Muchness hasn’t fully disappeared by adulthood, well, babyloss and infertility will certainly do their damnedest to knock whatever’s left right out of your system.
I had, without a doubt, lost my Muchness. I’d started losing it years earlier, after college. I lost a little when a business I started in my early 20’s failed as I hit my late 20’s. I lost a little more when I realized the world wasn’t waiting on the edge of their seats to see what I did next. I lost yet more when I found myself in a long-term relationship that wasn’t right for me and broke my self-confidence. And then, babyloss, and whatever amount of Muchness was left inside me seemed to pack up it’s bags and bid me adieu.
I was no longer a hospitable host for my Muchness. It was off to go find itself a place to stay that appreciated it. Someone younger, thinner, happier. Someone without dead babies. Someone who wasn’t trapped in darkness and sorrow.
At least that’s it felt like.
What I didn’t really grasp before hearing the word is that My Muchness is, and will always be, MINE. Yes, it’s true I’d become an inhospitable host, but the fact is MY Muchness CAN’T leave me, even if it wants to.
What it can do and had done was retract. It had curled up, little by little, into a tiny ball of darkness, and taken shelter deep inside of me.
Once I realized that “it” had a name and that it was still there – still within my reach and still very much a part of me – it became my job, as a human being, as a wife, as a mom and most importantly, as a babyloss mom, to find it and bring it back to the surface of ME. And that is the journey I am now on. To live a life that honors my Muchness. To own my gifts, my joys and my talents and share them with others. To recognize that purpose is the gift my twins gave me.
Listen to me: We All Have Muchness. Each of us is born with a specialness, a uniqueness that lives inside of us and us alone. Exploring your Muchness will lead you down the path to discovering your purpose and the depths of your strength. Never compare your Muchness to the Muchness of others and never assume that your Muchness has the potential to disappear. It doesn’t. No matter how sad or angry or filled with darkness and grief your days feel, your Muchness is still, and will always be, a little light inside you. Those things that sparked you as a child, they are still there. The humor that you were blessed with, though it sometimes feels like it’s entirely disappeared, it hasn’t. The talents and quirks that make you you, those things don’t belong to anyone else. Always remember that your Muchness is waiting patiently, dormant inside you until you’re ready to re-explore it.
You will never again be who your were pre-loss or pre-infertility. That is a fact. But there is no rule that says you must now live in shadows. Seek out the sunlight, and then match it’s brightness from the inside.