Sunday, September 2, 2012

Birthday Shadows

Here is what I love about birthdays…they resurrect buried feelings from childhood. Here is what I hate about birthdays…they resurrect buried feelings from childhood.

I don’t know how to escape it nor do I really want to but I recognize that the day one is born and how that is celebrated in one’s family of origin is a day that as kids we personalize and interpret, making it mean something about ourselves and the world. It’s as if we are imprinted with this (usually incorrect) message and now when birthdays roll around it is activated.

How we respond to that activation is a matter of awareness and choice.

Some people minimize birthdays or even ignore them.”It’s no big deal”, they say.
Others are sensitive and hyper alert, making meaning of every interaction. (Yes that would be me)
There is a stigma in being sensitive; it’s often called high maintenance while downplaying the celebration is held as a sign of humility.

Neither is true.

Birthdays ARE important AND offer great opportunities to go deeper into oneself. They are not calling to be minimized OR maximized. They are calling one to awareness, to enter and feel one's shadow. Certainly that is the loudest invitation that I am hearing.

It used to be only a whisper, “what people say or do means nothing about you” and yet the little one in me would feel alone and yearn for a different story, a story filled with good company that accepts her.

Today I am happy to say she has good company that will never let her down or judge her or leave her alone again.


 As long as I allow the feelings to arise and can accept and love this part of myself I find I open softly into the present moment and can open to life. Celebrating oneself to me means accepting all parts of oneself, dark and light, wounded and awake. This life is not about getting rid of aspects we don’t like or judging them. It IS about loving them so the unhealed aspects of self can grow up and transform into an experience of wholeness.

I have a friend who is just beginning her journey of getting to recognize that the hurt part of her is quite young and is calling for a response, not from the world or lovers or family, but from herself. This young aspect yearns for recognition, gentleness, unconditional love and acceptance. Sadly we look to the world searching for those things from other people. That is such a set up. One will always be disappointed because that void in us can only be filled with the light that is already in us. This setup, which I call Divine is meant to invite the knowledge that there is a part of us always whole and perfect and nothing we do can ever change that. We are invited to identify and act as this radiant essence as it enters the darkness.

 I love watching her shift and learn to nurture what she yearns for from without…internally. Her process reminds me to do the same. It reminds me that we ARE ALL THE SAME. The human condition is universal.  Spirit in a human body with all our human frailties.

I am not big on “oh I have learned that and I am done”. As long as I am in a human body I will continue learning, healing, being with all parts of me and having the courage to reveal the most tender and vulnerable. That really is the hardest part. As long as theses parts remain in the dark, hidden from view, the message is you are not worth knowing or being seen.

As soon as I feel, accept and reveal them I am saying yes… I have this part and it is not who I truly am. All of me is acceptable, even the part that feels unacceptable.

And with that level of authenticity I am able to give fully. What better time to be a gift than on one’s birthday. What better time to honor others by receiving their gifts of love. Letting love in is often much scarier than giving it, at least I feel that for myself.

 So today I choose to open to love, within and without.  As cliché as it sounds love IS a choice. And love calls for giving and receiving at the same time

Ok universe…bring it on!!  I am off to generate mischief!

Still branded by Love,

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