My 46th birthday was 2 days ago.
I cried a little. Ok, a lot actually.
I have had this love/hate relationship with my birthday for the past several years. Here’s how the big day usually unfolds.
I wake up so excited. I don’t think giddy is overstating it.
“It’s my birthday today! WHHHHEEEE!! It’s my day, the day I get to celebrate myself and hear from all my friends with birthday wishes. I can’t wait”.
That’s the conversation in my head in the morning.
Fast forward a few hours, as I obsessively stare at my phone, waiting for the texts and Facebook messages to pour in. A few do.
Enter new dialogue in my head.
“Well, I’m sure people are busy. They are at work and will reach out later tonight”.
Fast forward to that evening. I have received a smattering of Happy Birthdays.
While there is part of me that feels grateful for those people who reached out, I have always felt lonely, disappointed and deflated by the end of my birthday. Like someone popped a pin in my Birthday balloon and I hear the big WOOOOSSSSH of air being released as it flattens.
Pre-bed convo in my head “I should just be grateful for my small circle of friends and family who did connect with me. It’s just a day. Maybe I’m making too big a deal out of it. It really is kind of greedy for me to want all this attention on my special day”
And with a heavy, resigned sigh, I roll over and go to sleep.
Every year, I wait and hope people will notice it’s my birthday and remember to celebrate me.
Fast forward to this year, 2 days ago. I woke up with the same giddiness, which was soon replaced with the reality of how this day usually goes.
I crumpled in a chair in the corner of my bedroom. I sssooooo did not want this birthday to turn out the same way. As I stared out the window, I heard a very loud, persistent thought – The growth is in the ask.
Now, I tell my clients this ALL. THE. TIME. In fact, if I had to pick a theme for this sessions this week, that would be it. Ask. Put it out there. Show up in your own life.
Oh, yeah. There’s that. I hate it when I’m right.
So I made a decision to be vulnerable and ask for what I wanted from my family and friends. I posted the following on my Facebook page:
Today is my 46th birthday.
Every year I wait and hope people will notice and remember.I tell myself that it’s just a day and it’s no big deal. But the truth is I love my Birthday and I want it celebrated in a big, sassy way.
But you all can’t know that unless I tell you.
So my birthday gift to myself is to be vulnerable and let you all know how much it would mean to me to receive birthday wishes from you.
It would touch me deeply. I want to be celebrated.
My brain was telling me I could not ask for this. What would people think of me? Who am I to be so self- important? What if I put this out there and nobody responds?
My soul said DO IT! And by now, I ( mostly) listen to her.
With a trembling finger, I hit publish and sent my request out to the Universe. I held my breath. And then the most amazing things happened.
A friend left flowers on my doorstep that she and her children handpicked in honor of my day. She told me how happy she was to celebrate me. And how glad she was I was honest about what I wanted so she could give it to me.
Birthday wishes flooded me. And they were not just the usual happy birthday sentiments. They were these gorgeous, heartfelt notes about how much I mean to people and how they see me as luminous, beautiful and bad ass.
They told me how they were celebrating the fact that I was born, that I had been created because their lives had been so touched by me.
And every time someone reached out to me, I wept. I received their love and devotion deep in my heart. Each message was like a salve to the part of me that can still feel invisible and unseen.
But the tears were also about me receiving the love I had shown myself.
By taking the risk to ask for what I really wanted instead of hoping it would happen, I became important to myself.
I gave myself the powerful message that I matter. My heart matters. My desires matter. My truth matters.
With the push of a Facebook button, I saw myself. My deepest need became visible to me. As a result, it mattered much less if other people saw me or not.
But see me they did. And by the end of the day, I felt full. Nourished. And so loved.
So that’s how it works, my friends. See yourself. Take yourself seriously. Let your heart want what it wants. Feel the depth of your desires.
Then take the risk. Make the ask. That’s where the juice is.
And even though it’s not technically still my birthday, I’d love a birthday wish from you too!