Living on my Birthday

I don't know where the last two weeks have gone.  I think I've been recovering from a pretty intense season (I was applying to PhD programs) and went about it the way I usually do:  with extreme focus at the expense of treating myself well (like remembering to eat three meals a day, dance, and do other things for my emotional and physical well-being). So I've been coming off of something and coming out of some cloud I've been intentionally in somehow.  In this 'coming off of' season, I was able to do one thing:  celebrate myself on my birthday, a discipline I have practiced over the past handful of years. 

While in the past, I'll take off work and do things I love, this birthday, I found I was already doing that--so I kept with my regular day:  dance and then visit my hospice patient. I was proud of myself for still going to the class since I hadn't been in months (due to the 'extreme focus') but it was great simply because I went. In the evening, I wanted to eat dinner with my family-in-law at one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco, and to my delight most everyone was able to make it.  (I was thrilled to make thank you envelopes out of the dinner menu as well.)

IMG_7110

IMG_7114

That cocktailed with 'birthday week' where days before and after were sprinkled with notes, cards, gifts, and calls, I could see the love I often have a hard time feeling.  I wouldn't say I felt loved, but at least I could see it. {And at times, at least I experienced touches of it, like when my dad made his annual, inaugural call to launch this 'birthday week' of mine or when my mom phoned and shared a gift she thought of getting me and wanted to see if I'd like it.}

IMG_7121

The pinnacle of the celebration and actual day, however, was in the middle where I adhered to my other desire: going down into the UnderWorld. I went and the first half of our gathering, tears came out of me like springs of water. I was feeling unloved and the years of feeling that and the confusion surrounding that caused the springs to flow-- I was saturated.  And tears continued to trickle out from all the places tears can come out. Like wells of water beneath and the springs just seeping out of the ground at a steady rate. There was real Life. Life acknowledged and Life felt.  I was able to hear and listen to others' experiences with the God of their understanding. The Spiritual Force Infusing All of Life whether we acknowledge it or not.

I began to reflect on all the ways I have encountered my God.  All the moments from a young preschooler through high school to college through to post-college to present.  It all sort of passed by me.  The steady seeping turned into an unwavering weeping.

Not because I wasn't loved but because I was Loved.  He was always there Loving me and wooing me.  My spirit communing with his.  This was Memory. The Springs of Life welled up faster and quicker and flowed down my face. What a gift of Memory and Life given to me by My Love! I dwelt in it for the remaining part of my day and held it close as I went into the rainy evening, being celebrated by myself and others.