Today, I commemorate another year of life that has been gifted to me by my Creator.
Photo by American Heritage Chocolate - @americanheritagechocolate
Recently, someone I care about emphasised her strong dislike for having her birthday acknowledged, much less celebrated. She also expressed how she doesn’t make a big deal of other people’s date of birth. It left me feeling sad and frankly got me contemplating birthdays in a deep way. The older I get the more I try not to have high expectations from people on my birthday, but rather let God surprise me with his sweet gestures.
If you know me well at all you know that I believe there are deeper things going on inside of us than what tends to come to the surface. When we straight up say, “I don’t know why, "whether the person doesn’t want to explain the reason behind their thoughts because they truly don’t know or just don’t want to, every single one of us can do the hard work of examining our reasons and motivations. As humans we can hold so tight to our pride instead of humbling ourselves in allowing our hearts to open. Open to what? Open to learning about ourselves and others. Open to not stay stuck in our ways. Open to do things that we don’t care for but do out of love for others. But forcing people to do the hard work of examining themselves has poor results. They must want that for themselves.
This past weekend I asked my sister Natalie if I was selfish for loving my birthday and wanting to celebrate it each year. The truth is I like to feel special. Who doesn’t? I knew she would be honest with me. She assured me that I wasn’t. “Raquel, it would be one thing if you only cared about your birthday but didn’t celebrate other people’s birthdays. But you equally love throwing parties for others, buying them gifts, and declaring your love for them.” It’s true. I love all birthdays not just my own. This past weekend was a good example of that. My sweet family celebrated my birthday Saturday evening and then Sunday afternoon I spent time happily buying birthday gifts for family friends and attending one of their parties. I simply can’t comprehend why you wouldn’t want to celebrate the life of a person that means something to you. Life is precious and days aren’t guaranteed to us so why wouldn’t we rejoice that God has given them another day, another year of this fragile life? Why wouldn’t you desire to go out of your way to make someone feel valued on the day that marked God breathing life into them?
Photo by Leon - @myleon
And why wouldn’t you reflect or thank God for gifting you with another year around the sun? I realize that some people are not flashy people and dread attention, but there’s a difference between keeping things low key and not making a big fuss versus being anti birthdays. Every single one of us is worth celebrating. After losing a beloved aunt this past year, I believe this more than ever.
Let’s celebrate life, love, people and the good things that happen to us. Let’s do things that are outside of our comfort zone or scare us. Let’s lay down our pride and the way we’ve always done things to try new things. Let’s be vulnerable and honest with our lives, not just brush things off, but do the internal hard work. Let’s tell and show people how much they mean to us over and over again before it’s too late. Let’s eat cake and not weigh ourselves on the scale. And let’s not swim in false guilt for wanting our lives to be celebrated (I’m talking to myself here). 😊
Photo by Visual Stories - @micheleile
Happy birthday to all of the amazing human beings born on October 19th. You know who you are.
And thank you God for this wonderful life you have blessed me with.
All my love,