Who is she? Where does she come from? Why does she rear her ugly head every year?
Birthdays are supposed to be fun, right? Not for me and I know I’m not alone. Every year I want to stay in bed and cry. One year I actually did.
On December 31st I woke like any other day but this morning I didn’t reach for my phone. Instead I reached for Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and Her Flowers. I opened to a page at random and read the poem.
i do not weep
because i’m unhappy
i weep because i have everything
yet i am unhappy
Wow, it hit me like a slap in the face. It was my birthday, I could do anything I wanted today. It was a day that celebrated me. I woke unhappy, already knowing that my birthday would not live up to what I make it to be in my head. And then I read this. It’s true, I have so much, so much to be grateful for. I have a wonderful husband who loves me, my so not perfect, at times CRAZY me. What am I saying, I’m freaking nuts and he still puts up with me and loves me so much. I have two amazing children, some would say that I have lucked out having one girl and one boy. We have had the best experience living abroad. We have a house with a backyard. Cars. We have found jobs that we really enjoy. Some would say I have everything.
But here I am on my birthday pissed off and bitchy because I already have in my head that it’s not going to be what I want. That morning I decided to watch the sunrise that at the beach. Something that I truly enjoy but I was pissed because i couldn’t watch it with my husband because he had to stay home with the kids. I got my free birthday Starbucks but yet I was still sad that no one was with me. I went to a yoga class, it was exactly what I needed, but I was still sad that no one came with me. When I got my presents they weren’t wrapped in a beautiful way. They weren’t what I had wanted. We didn’t go out to dinner because it was new years eve and too expensive and the kids wouldn’t behave. So I was pissed about that.
I was the typical spoiled brat on the inside and I’m sure it spilled out on the outside. What am I teaching my kids? I know I’m not the only one that does this on their birthday but on that a day I felt like I was. I’m not going to blame society for putting the ideas of perfect birthdays into my head. I’m not going to blame my husband for not being able to read my mind. Moving forward I want to be content on my birthday and I’m not going to wait around until next year to make this happen. I have been investigating santosha and bringing more of yoga off my mat and into my everyday life. Santosha is one of the Niyamas, which is part of the 8 limbs of yoga. The 8 limbs of yoga are kinda like guidelines to a path of a meaningful and purposeful life. So, santosha is contentment, contentment with what is, no matter what it is.
So this is what I’m going to try:
-I’m going to acknowledge what my mind has said is happening and I’m going to sort out the emotion in it and find what is actually happening.
-I’m going to remove all judgements that I placed on it.
-From that actual fact I’m going to find some appreciation in it.
-I’m going to ask why questions about the appreciation that I find in the moment.
(I can’t take credit for all of this plan because I remember when I was going through a really rough time in my life. I was blaming myself, and placing judgments on my actions. My sister told me, “it is what it is, it’s not good it’s not bad it just is.” I was a bit shocked that she could just look at my situation as so factual. Thanks sister, love ya)
I will report back to you guys about how it has gone for me and hopefully I will have a new outlook on my birthday next year.
Photo credit: Instagram katieo5o4