I have been celebrating my birthday for almost a week, it is something I started on my 40th birthday a few years back. I acknowledge my age with a yearly house party where a generous number of friends from all walks of life join me to a night of fun. I have been told that my friend base is as eclectic as the decor throughout my house and I absolutely love embracing all kinds of personalities, it allows me to grow, to learn and be who I am- different! This year it was tough for me to muster up excitement, I was in a funk and not sure why. Maybe it was that I recently went through a break up, or that I have not had a significant other for the past 3 birthdays, or that I am starting to see my age and hate seeing the physical changes with the loss of my vanity. Whatever the case, from the party over the past weekend to my actual birthday yesterday, I just wanted it to pass so I could put it behind me.
I awoke yesterday (my birthday-day) thinking I would feel extremely lonely with my family being so far away and with out any plans of a private celebration. To my pleasant surprise when I checked my email I was confronted with hundreds of Facebook birthday wishes. By the end of the day I counted some 226 wishes from people I knew and some I didn’t. It reminded me that we live in a very different place these days and I was extremely humbled that so many people would take the time to acknowledge me over the course of a day. I replied to every single FB wish because I wanted each person to know how much their simple wish meant to me. You would think with that number of birthday wishes I would be happy for the day but I was extremely hurt and disappointed over the one “wish” that I did not receive. I checked my email and my phone at 11:49 PM and faced the reality that it was not going to happen. Earlier in the evening, I brought attention to my disappointment with a few girlfriends who seemed surprised that I would even expect anything due to the apparent circumstances of the relationship. I went to bed feeling a little sad and confused.
My mom called this morning and I mentioned my disappointment to her, she too was surprised in me but as mom always does she offered her wisdom in a way that resonated. She said that she knew no matter what I went through the goodness in me would always remember the good in this other person and dismiss the downfalls which is the reason I am no longer included in that persons life. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t acknowledged with even the simplest wish of “Happy Birthday”, I thought that I had been important enough in that persons life for them to want to acknowledge me on this day, after all I would have done it for them without even thinking twice. Mom said in the simplest of ways, as moms do… “you would Sheri because that is who you are and you need to realize that the people you deserve in your life are people who think in that same way.” In that moment it was as if I had been hit in the head with a brick of knowledge. I realized my biggest gift “seeing good in others” might be holding me back from finding what I want in my life because I was not allowing myself to see the entire picture.
You could take the meanest person in the world, put them before me and I could find something good in that person. I have never been one to avoid a friendship because of the clothes someone wears, where they came from, what color their skin is or how much money they make…or don’t make. I see the good in others because I believe we all have that in us. I have wondered if it is a curse to think this way because it makes me an easy target for being taken advantage of due to my ability to trust. What I am learning is that often those great qualities I see in a person become overshadowed by the faults. I have to allow myself to accept the disappointment in the bad even with the good rather than blindly staying focused on only what I want to see “the good.” Most importantly I need work on my sensitivity from others actions, or lack of, by not allowing them to affect me so deeply. When someone does not think in the same caring and kind way as I would, I need to accept it and move on, after all…it is not required. Is this making sense?
I pondered all morning that my ability to see the good in people is a wonderful thing to have. Seeing people in a non judgmental way allows me to be kind and to see the beauty in our differences. It also brought to mind that I need to acknowledge my choices with what is best for me and accept that with good or bad I have a choice to let the relationship go if it is not healthy for me. This includes a friendship, a family member, a romantic partner or even a business partner. There is never a reason for me to just settle. My desire to live a healthy life in alignment to what I need to be happy relies on these personal decisions as long as I am acting with integrity. Seeing goodness in others is not a bad thing but allowing those good things to overshadow the negative is where I need to be honest with myself in evaluating my choices. I cant expect someone to be what I want if that is not who they are even if they first appear to be “that”.
Wow, I allowed an entire day to pass, in disappointment, because I let one non existent birthday wish over shadow 226 good wishes. STUPID, shame on me!
I am at a place in my life where I feel kindness and love is what I can afford to give most and it is in an endless supply. I can allow myself to trust, to see goodness in others but I can’t loose sight in what might be read in between the lines, I always have a choice. I must make decisions that are best for me, they can always be made in a kind way but at that point I have to accept the outcome and move on. In the end I believe that the lives I touch through just being me will be more meaningful because I was honest with others and with myself.
Sending love out to you all…thank you for reading!