Dahlias and Dogwoods and Other Happy Thoughts

parenthood resources Sep 13, 2016

When you’re locked in the middle of an indecision loop trying to decide if you want to be a mom or live a childfree life, my guess is you experience frustration. You’re stuck! Something just doesn’t feel right. Imagine how your brain must feel. Terrible! And it stands to reason that a hurting brain doesn’t function as well as a happy brain. If you are experiencing any negative feelings because you can’t decide what to do, the first step is to change your focus of attention to a subject that’s pleasurable. For me, I can always count on Dahlias, especially the red ones, and Dogwood trees in full bloom. When these images cross my mind, inevitably I smile.

If you center on self-blame, uncertainty, fear, you descend into a state of anguish; however, when your mind operates from an agreeable state, you have more internal resources. Negative feelings interfere with our ability to use creative strategies when facing perplexing issues: our mind concentrates on the pain rather than the confidence that allows us to solve problems. But a comfortable mind promotes clear thinking, therefore stimulating a freer flow of ideas — and ideas get us closer to resolution. It may not be Dahlias or Dogwoods for you, but I know there are some sunny images that will help you move from anxiety to relief.

Say to yourself: “I don’t know what I want to do. But it’s okay that I don’t know, and it’s not my fault that I don’t know.” Continually repeat that thought until you experience the truth about it and begin to feel some easing from the despair.

Now you’re ready to remember a time in your life when you knew what you wanted. It could be something as trivial as ordering your favorite dish in a restaurant or choosing the color of your shoes for the day. It could be something significant like choosing a career, a car or a home. What’s important here is for you to remember what it felt like to know what you wanted. How did that feel? Continue to remember that feeling of confirmation, that moment when you found your own truth, when you knew exactly what you wanted.


This exercise may seem like it has nothing to do with making a decision about choosing between motherhood and a childfree life; however, it helps ground you back to a time of knowing and feeling positive. You are more likely to have clarity when it originates from a sense of wellbeing. Dahlias and Dogwoods are so much more inviting than the mire of frustration.