Growing up in a family of seven kids, it was tough to get enough attention sometimes. Being third oldest meant that I just had to suck it up and accept that most of the time, I had to be my own cheerleader.
But on our birthday, that was our day, our own special day, where we got to choose what we would eat for breakfast and have for our own special dinner. We got to choose our own cake and ice cream and even were allowed to have soda pop for dinner, a rare treat! Because there were so many of us, we rarely had birthday parties with friends over; it was usually just a family celebration. But being born the day after Valentine's Day meant that usually my birthday got lumped in with that holiday, so I rare ever got to celebrate my birthday on my day.
As I grew up, this became increasingly important to me. I was tired of boyfriends squishing Valentine's Day in with my birthday, and began demanding that they forget about Valentine's Day all together, and just concentrate on doing something special for MY day!! What about me?! All that unhealed childhood stuff would flood out, every single year.
This year, I threw myself a party (on my birthday i might add), and it was wonderful. I had a few close girlfriends over for dinner. I cooked and they provided dessert. It was fun, and I enjoyed myself. But I wasn't able to avoid the painful memories that always get triggered for me around my birthday.
It's inevitable that I go back and start looking at my life: where I am now, what I've done since my last birthday, the changes I've made, the healing and awareness I've achieved....It's also inevitable that some feelings of competition come up for me. I start judging myself and comparing where I am to where my friends are at and what they've accomplished with their lives. And when I measure myself up against others, I always come up short. My positive attitude and feeling of joy at all I've accomplished goes right out the window. Oh dear.... here we go again!
I woke up this morning with the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" (Wilson/Asher) in my head. I love this song!
"I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
Ill make you so sure about it
God only knows what I'd be without you"
When I wake up with a song in my mind, there's usually a lesson there that has come to me while my conscious mind is relaxing, and the subconscious has a chance to get a word in.
I was mystified at first, but as I sat and sang the song to myself, and asked Spirit for clarity, it slowly dawned on me. All the competition I've been creating for myself this last week was really a cry from my soul for love and acceptance of myself, exactly where I am today, at this moment. I'm not like anyone else on the face of this planet, and my inevitable comparisons of my life with my friends, measuring where I am against where they are is a sign that I need to love myself a little bit more than I've been doing.
It's normal to feel "less than" when we put our own life up against other peoples' lives. But as a unique spark of Divine Light, we all grow, change, learn and expand in different ways. Just like the flowers around us. No flower pops up the same as any other flower in the garden, even if they're the same species. There's no judgement from God or the earth or sun; it's just the way it is. Every single thing in nature is unique, us included.
Learning to love one's self, exactly as you are in present time, is the key to being happy, no matter what your life circumstances are. I've always been a "late bloomer". I've always come to things in my own time, and my own way, and it should be no surprise to me then that where I am in life right now is right for me, just as where my friends and family are right now is right for them. As long as there are stars above me, I'll make myself so proud of me....God only knows where I'd be without me.....
I had to laugh as I typed those last few lines. It's totally true. I'm here to express my own unique take on living, being, expressing, creating, exploring and sharing. I can only do it the way that makes sense to me, not how anyone else does it. Just like in childhood, I have to be my own best cheerleader, because everyone else is busy with their own lives.
I get to practice knowing that how I create and what I do won't be like anyone else, and that's ok too. So what if I'm just figuring it all out now? There's no rule that mandates we have our shit together before we turn 50. We get it together when the timing is right for us, no sooner, no later, and certainly not in a way that anyone else would do it.
I hope my little ah-ha moment around my birthday is helpful to you. Look where you may be frustrated with your self for not accomplishing more. Where are you going into competition with friends or family? Let that be your mirror that it's time to back off, and start loving and accepting yourself a little bit more. Start being your own cheerleader! And don't forget to laugh; laughter makes it all a little bit more bearable.