Happy Birthday To Me!
I love my birthday but it hasn’t always been that way. Throwing a party for myself is something I’ve avoided. I don’t want it, don’t want the attention, it’s silly, useless and indulgent. I’m perfectly capable of planning a party to celebrate the birthday of my son, but when it comes to celebrating the birth of me…forget it!
I mean, imagine, throwing a birthday party for yourself and inviting all your friends and just celebrating YOU! You could have invitations, balloons, cake, dancing, singing and have everyone bring you presents. I’m going to take a guess that some people LOVE this thought, and not in a self-indulgent way, but in a healthy…“of course, why wouldn’t I celebrate myself”, kind of way. I’m not one of those people, or at least I haven’t been for most of my life.
And when I say “those people” I mean the ones that have a healthy connection to the logic of having a relationship with yourself the people who understand there actually is a “self” that is worthy of celebration, not just a “self” that is put aside to get shit done or that can be ignored and mistaken as a pillar of silent “strength”. No! A self that is the same self that existed when you were born, when you turned 3, 7, 10, 15, 21…the same self that you see in children, that’s the self worth celebrating. That’s the self that at some point in my life, I stopped celebrating. Thank god for women and children!
But I decided some years ago that I didn’t want that anymore. The birth of my son cut right through my hard, calculating, action driven shell and remembered to me the beauty and innocence of my own humanity, my own softness and at once it was crystal clear that not only did I want something different for my son, but I understood that that meant wanting something different for myself. What was it that I wanted? Simply put, a world of peace. I remembered it was more important than any work, any job, any fun, any friends any thing…I remembered from all the events of my life, that a world of peace was what I wanted for most for my new boy.
So, “What does it all mean, basil?”
Well it means wishing and hoping and wanting isn’t enough, unfortunately. It means if I truly want a peaceful world for my son I must be willing to look at where peace comes from.
Where does peace come from?
If I know where it comes from then, like a seed or the potential of a seed, I can prepare the ground, perhaps nurture the seed, tend the seedling and do what is necessary to grow it. If I know where it comes from…If I don’t know where it comes from, it will be impossible for me to grow peace.
So back to my BIRTHDAY!
After all what really is a birthday celebration but a celebration of your unique, personal, precious self. And what does it mean if I don’t celebrate this precious self? What if I don’t even recognize I have a precious self? Ooooh, I don’t think that’s good. I don’t think that’s good for a peaceful world for my son. And so I’m learning to recognize this part of me. Not in an indulgent, me, me, me, type of way (although sometimes it may feel like that), but in the same way that I would recognize my son, or a child, as precious. Celebrating begins to become more natural once recognition starts to happen.
And every birthday since I began this journey almost 8 years ago, I get to see how much has changed from the previous year, I get to experience a part of me that has long been neglected and forgotten, I get to celebrate that part of me, nurture it and continue on until the next birthday marks another measuring point.
I’m starting to understand where peace comes from. Happy Birthday to me!