This year I had the birthday that I have worked for and knew I deserved for years, it was perfect. A new energy has taken hold of my life and I know that I am captain of this ship. No more expectations of waiting for others to make me happy, for life to unfold seamlessly with no bumps and for my voice to be heard when for years it was silent. I truly believe that once you make the commitment to live your best life, especially during those moments (and this for me took years) that are really hard and seemingly immune to change that shifts will happen. For years I placed my happiness on the wish that other people will show up for me, that they will create a special day for me. I am reminded that a year ago I started to write my story, I wrote about my birthday from the urging of my therapist....no one has seen this but my therapist and today in the honor of my voice I am sharing it here, I can see in just a year's time how the tone of my voice and writing has changed but I think it is important to always see your healing path and share it with those on similar paths, it is not always inspiring, neat or nice. From those bumps, places of anger (which I am realizing was even bigger for me last year than I had realized in the moment) comes a place of determination for healing and change. Last year my father sent me an email for my birthday at almost 11pm the night of my birthday and I was really torn up over it I tried to use my writing to express what I was feeling......
My birthday means so many things to me, I will begin with the positives as I have worked hard to let positive replace negatives. I like to make a really big deal about my birthday and by big deal I mean like every year is a big year, like fireworks, party and lots of people that love me surrounding me big deal. My yoga teacher says why wouldn't you celebrate the day you chose to take birth and come into this life....listening to that little gem gave me the freedom to not feeling guilty or self-indulgent, selfish in celebrating me. After all she is right if you cannot celebrate yourself in totality of who you truly are then how can you lead a fulfilling, happy and peaceful life? So I choose on my birthday to make a big fuss over yours truly and all those that judge me or do not support me are very simply not invited to the party! This celebration of myself has been a massive work in progress one that I still struggle with on other days of the year but for my birthday I have come to a point where I can for that day celebrate myself, be happy and be free, sort of.
My birthday was a clear celebration of me from the time I was born until age 9, my Mom made my birthday a national holiday. The best part is that I very clearly remember not even asking for a specific theme, party idea or gift she just knew me I think better than I knew myself and created perfection every August 1st. I will admit that for years I did think I was fantasizing my childhood since I lost my mother to cancer at age 9 and to me my Mom was perfect. I was unsure if my memories where reality as I was told frequently that my memories were false perceptions, a fierce tool my step-mother later used in my life to create the insecure, not worthy, shell of my true self that truly believed she as well as her birthday was not important or special. Reflecting on my birthdays they were actually quite simple, my favorite breakfast made for me in the morning and then a party with friends and family in the afternoon usually in the backyard with sprinklers.
The best part in my younger years a cake my mother would make (she was very Martha Stewart) a Barbie, with a real doll, her dress made from cake and frosting oh how I loved those cakes, again so special so me and she knew it. Later years my Mom would save the Barbie for my present as I got older because I loved to play with dolls well past 9 years old but was embarrassed in front of my friends to have a doll cake...instead she created a ice cream sundae dessert station with vanilla, banana and strawberry ice cream from our local ice cream parlor with loads of toppings and whipped cream with the one gleaming detail of no chocolate anything allowed because I to this day do not like chocolate! I loved that detail, it is my party and it is a celebration of me so there is no compromise to others because of something I do not like, this would become another thing I struggle with later in my life. Those warm summer days at home, with those that loved me, celebrated me with a few of my favorite things thrown in were days of pure bliss of feeling loved, supported and a encouragement of I was perfect exactly where I was.
From the age of 10 until about 30 my birthdays became a dreaded day of disappointment, cruelty and neglect. My father was engaged to be married my 10th birthday, less than one year after my mother passed the woman whom would become my step-mom had already dug in and started the what I like to call the erasure of my previous life without her in it. She made it very clear that herself and her son from a previous relationship was now the center of the universe in our house, myself and my 3 younger siblings were the orphan annie's that should be grateful someone was willing to take on my poor widowed father with 4 kids under the age of 9.
There were definite angels along the way those years to give me glimpses of my old self which is what gnawed at me to work towards recapturing those wonderful birthdays, that wonderful sense of myself but it was a up Mount Everest battle, one that I refused to give up on. I want to be specific and let you know that the feelings I describe came solely from my inability to see good and the gifts in front of me. I take responsibility in letting others take my power, my light to stuff my soul into a closet and not let it even peek out. With that said I know that the paths my life has taken has been for a reason, to learn the lessons this lifetime has to offer me. I know now that those around me did what they were capable of in their lives, on their own paths and I thank them for creating the person I am today and I wish them love and freedom from their suffering.
The big gap in the writing is my ah ha moment in re-reading this piece today. It was the anger coming up, the feelings of guilt in dis-respecting my Father and Step-mother as well as the refusal to put blame on my Father, the wish that he really cared and it was really just my Step-mother's fault. It was the physical loss of my voice (I literally stopped writing and couldn't go further), the last paragraph shows my good girl coping mechanism coming out and my practice of taking accountability for my life. I wanted to forgive, I wanted to heal and not repeat family patterns with my kids but I was still holding others feelings at a higher priority than my own. I silenced my voice and held onto my pain, my old story. I remember last summer my yoga teacher saying that you have to say what you want out loud, the universe has to hear you. I related this to the idea of vision boards, of making a collage of pictures and words of exactly what you want to cultivate in your life from material to physical and mental well being. A holistic billboard of your dreams, the actual board has always been a bit daunting to me so instead I just started to write and say the things I wanted aloud. Top on my list is peace, health, happiness and freedom from suffering. Ok I will be honest things like being flash-mobbed, a beach house, meeting Michael Buble, publishing a book and financial freedom are on there as well (all very important things as well, life is a balance!)
In the last year I have spent more time out of my comfort zone, letting my voice out and be heard in groups of my peers. Checking in everyday to see if my daily actions are in-line with my mental vision board. If they were not I worked harder, especially when it was gut-wrentching because that is where I started noticing the most positive change coming from. It takes me a long time and a trillion tons of patience to make changes, recently I have begun to see some fruits from my labor in both my emotional state as well as a few indulgent items from my vision board. I was flash mobbed by a group of my clients this year (yes it was AWESOME!) I have had the most unbelievable flow of positive energy and universal signs in response to my writing, even with out the praise I get from external sources, internally I feel all the pieces of the puzzle clicking into place as well as an overwhelming sense of peace and well-being while I am in the action of writing. Here is the BIG INDULGENT ONE....last week while writing my bio for my new website (coming very soon!!) I took a "mental break" and entered probably my 100th contest to get Michael Buble tickets with the certainty that one day I would meet him and this time actually WON!!!! This Friday I will be front and center in NYC watching him perform on the Today Show!!!!! I have had so many supporting signs pointing to starting my new business venture as well as writing my story, as I continue to rendezvous with faith, I start to see my net appear.
My Father didn't even send an email this year for my birthday and although it was in my mind all day when and if he would call and acknowledge me I kept breathing the thought away and re-focusing on the beautiful gifts in front of me. I was so spoiled by my husband and girls, my amazing friends (many of whom I consider my new family) and by my openness to realizing my worthiness, surrendering the desire to have someone else make my day special. I cultivated the love for myself, the people I choose to surround myself with and the confidence to use my voice. I was heard, I was smothered with love and I had an amazing birthday. Next year I hope I read this blog post and see even more growth, that maybe the thought of when and if he will call will not at all take away an ounce of my peace. Speak your truth, speak your dreams and live in your happiness, serve yourself so you can better serve others. Have confidence in you, your gifts and share them with the world. I wish for everyone to embrace their birthdays, celebrate your life and surround yourself with those that love and celebrate your soul.
~Many of you have expressed that you have shared comments on the blog....I am so sorry to say that I have not received them due to some issues on Blogspot. As of September I will be shifting the blog to my new website on Wordpress....I will leave details on this site as I make the transition and hoping you will transition over with me!! In the meantime please send any of your beautiful thoughts to me via email firstname.lastname@example.org
With love and gratitude~