So, today is my birthday. I don’t say this so that you will wish me happy birthday or anything – I mean, I won’t reject a nicely said happy birthday or any gifts you might wish to bestow (I love LUSH, Audible gift certificates, or really any kind of gift card 😉 ) but by all means, do not think this is me seeking gifts and favors (oh yeah, and I love Anthropologie and H&M, just in case you were wondering … ).
JK, dear friends and readers, jk. I actually wanted to write today to share with you my experiences over the last couple of days and what I have come to learn about gratitude and love. So, remember me discussing my singleness last post? Well, it’s rearing its ugly head again, so get ready! Actually, it will pop up again tomorrow in a different post but I promise both will be worth it – maybe – sort of – oh, whatever, you can decide that.
Well … so …. yesterday the self-pity train showed up and decided to park itself in my heart and not leave; to make matters worse it brought it’s friends ‘comparison’ and ‘relentless weeping’.
Relentless weeping is a friend of self-pity and when the two of them get together, watch out. It was madness, quite literally. I was sad. I thought of my 33 years and where I wanted my life to be and once again realized I wasn’t anywhere near that bulls eye. I thought about last year’s birthday that I ended up spending solo because plans fell through and I hated every second. I wanted for once to have my own little family and know that because of that I wouldn’t have to find something to do and someone to do it with. I wanted to wake up to a chorus of happy birthdays from little voices that were my own children; I wanted to just not be alone.
I cried all day. It was nutso – seriously. I’m pretty sure at one point, while sitting in the dark on the couch watching Lifetime movies I saw a glimpse of some balloons and cake that the main character ended up getting from her crazy ex-husband stalker after her new boyfriend kidnapped her adopted child and bursting into tears thinking, “at least she has an ex-husband to bring her cake.”
I know. Yikes – both the Lifetime movie and the relentless weeping.
My mom called later that day and I’m pretty sure through muffled tears she heard me say that I didn’t want to do anything. I called her back later to repent and relented to just some cake, because hello? Cake. But still, the dark feelings wouldn’t leave.
I woke up this morning and decided I needed to figure out why I couldn’t stop crying and get my act together. I went for a walk and tried to look at what was really going on and I found some things that helped me. I realized I had people in my life that wanted to show me love but I didn’t want to let it in because I felt like it would be “second-class love”, it would be pity. I had this weird idea in my head that unless I had found that companion love and felt the parental love that I long for so much, everything else was second tier. I looked at genuine expressions of kindness and love for me as pity. I realized how wrong I was and also how very ungrateful I was acting towards the things in my life that are amazing.
There is nothing more ugly than an ungrateful heart and I saw mine in full bloom. The sadness at my ingratitude grew as I began to have individuals in my life reach out to me in love – through Facebook, text messages, and calls. When I stopped looking at their offerings as pity and saw them for what they were – genuine love and care, my heart felt lighter.
No, I didn’t have a husband and children to greet me with love as I woke up on my birthday, but I did have my best friend send me a text message to tell me that she loves me and wished she could be with me. I did have a hundred friends take two seconds and send me a Facebook wish and their words mattered to me. I did have other friends call and send me messages that express gratitude that I’m alive and in the world. I did have some family and a few friends come to eat cake with me tonight and express their love through showing up. I did have my mom bring a gift from a dear friend and neighbor that ended up being a quilt that this friend made for me – what?! Who makes ME a quilt? This amazing friend did.
So, no, my life isn’t everything that I want it to be but it is still beautiful and full of people who love me, if I will let them. I am grateful for the lesson I learned today and for the love that was given to me. I let it in and it was beautiful.
Birthdays are new beginnings; they are a time to reevaluate where we are and decide what we want and how we will get there. I want happiness, I want love for myself and others and I believe it will start with me being grateful for all that I have right now, in this very moment, at 10:08pm on a beautiful Sunday night that happens to be my 33 year of life.
I am grateful to all who show love for me as well as others around them.
I like the part of myself that I is seeking to overcome the trials in my life.
I wish for a new year of challenge, growth, blessings, and adventure for myself and all those who also find themselves wading through the challenges of life – even if those challenges are sometimes self-pity, comparison, and relentless weeping …