It's my birthday today and I woke up feeling a bit sorry for myself. I am pretty sure others experience the same feelings, especially the older we get. I had a script running in my head that was reminding me another year has passed and what have I accomplished--pretty much nothing when it comes to worldly measures.
I didn't get a promotion.
I didn't get married.
I didn't pay off a ton of debt.
I didn't buy a house.
But, is "I didn't" really what matters?
As I lay in my bed, I reminded myself I have a choice. I can dwell on the worldly "I didn'ts" (by worldly I mean how culture measures success) OR I can shift my thinking towards what did happen this year.
I grew into a more compassionate person through grieving the loss of my uncle, who was like a dad to me.
I gathered the courage to have a photo shoot for my website.
I took the GINORMOUS and VERY SCARY step of declaring a niche with my coaching practice and putting my story out into the world.
I became a more loving person through dogged commitment when the boys are struggling with growing into men of integrity, emotional intelligence, and empathy.
I grew quieter and more thoughtful through daily meditation, and hey, meditation is a new practice for me!
As I listed all that has happened, my energy shifted and I rose to meet the day with a sense of excitement. What does God have waiting for me today?
You see, when my parents decided I was not worthy to be their daughter anymore, my birthday became one of the darkest days each year. I would start each birthday thinking, "Not even my own parents want me," and that never lead anywhere good. As I continue to seek healing and support around that, the sting of their rejection lessens each year, but the pattern of wondering about my own worthiness of love and belonging still remains. If I measure my life by cultural standards, it simply doesn't measure up. But, if I measure my life by my deeply held conviction that every human being matters and we are ALL worthy of love and belonging, well, then my life is pretty amazing and I have more love and belonging than I ever thought possible.
Today, I am grateful for the loving cards and gifts the boys and their parents started my day with. I am grateful for the thoughtful texts and FB posts that began pouring in early this morning. I am grateful for all my amazing girlfriends who have committed to making this a fantastic birthday week with long chats over many meals together. My life may not look like most people's and that is okay because it is full of the richness of growth, love, and abundance.