Birthdays (mine) bring out the crazy in me. And, when I say crazy I don’t mean the good crazy. I pick fights with my husband, I withdraw from social activities– especially if they’re celebrating someone elses birthday, I feel sorry for myself and I cry over everything. Everything.
My birthday was Monday, December 2nd. Sunday, as I was locked in my office with Pandora blaring, tears rolling and looking around to see what I could break (because I needed to break something) it hit me. Why I was upset. I had blamed it on dealing with “sick” in our house for the last 5 weeks, a husband that doesn’t listen or help out enough (always my go to when I’m mad) and boredom. But the true cause of my emotions is what I make birthdays mean, for others and myself.
I always try to do special things for those I care about on their birthdays. I want them to know important they are to me and that they are loved. But in doing this I also want and expect the same in return, but I don’t express that to anyone. I just anticipate and doubt and fear and then become an emotion ball of crazy. I make it mean so many things and mostly that I’m not important enough for those I love to make me feel special on this day.
Sunday, once I realized the shitty thought I shared on FaceBook that birthdays bring out my crazy, because social media is part of my outlet. I also shared with my husband where my hurt feelings and anger were coming from. It wasn’t easy but in order for me to work through this story of not being important enough and it being other people’s responsibility for how I feel I needed to. I needed to say it and hear how silly it sounds because the truth of the matter is that this is an internal job. And, at this time of year I get so in my head I forget to look inside and to see all that is there on the outside as well.
When I shared on FaceBook and with my husband what I received back was…
- Confirmation that I’m not the only person who feels this way around my birthday.
- Acknowledgment of my feelings, wants and needs from husband.
- So much love and kindness.
- A reflection of my statement… “I hear you saying that you make the birthday mean so many things, including ‘I’m not important enough for those I love to make me feel special on this day.’ What is the root of this storyline? Can you trace back to the moment where you felt ‘not important enough’ for the first time, and ask that little girl what she needs from you now? And, last, how can you make yourself feel important and special and loved every day?”
These four things, while they seem so simple in number format were the best birthday gifts I’ve ever received. I still cried off and on all day (and probably will all week) but I also became present and allowed all of the birthday wishes to really be felt. To acknowledge that I do love and I am loved and I know that every day, one day of the year doesn’t make it mean any more or any less.
The work I have to do now is to answer the question, “how can you make yourself feel important and special and loved every day?”
Happy Birthday to me and Happy Birthday to you. Every. Day.