Birthdays

by Shannon Everest, Brunswick Heads, Australia, Beautiful woman, Mother and extraordinaire in many fields….

When I was growing up, the one day in the year that I was celebrated in my family was on my birthday. That day was all about me and I felt special. I received gifts, had parties, there was a cake made especially for me – the type I liked. People even sang directly to me and about me! Now that was something I didn’t get often. This was not something I desperately craved but when I got it, it was a strong feeling of ‘yeah, this feels right, this is how it always should be. This feels natural!’ When others celebrated me, I felt confirmed.

And I loved other people’s birthdays too: it felt right to celebrate my family and friends on their birthdays. I didn’t have a sense of jealousy at this time about celebrating others or felt concerned that I wasn’t getting gifts or attention focussed on me. It felt so amazing seeing someone light up on their birthday because that day was all about them. So to celebrate my loved ones on their birthdays was a confirmation for me of what felt natural. 

I just loved birthdays! And what I loved about them, whether it was mine or someone else’s, was that this was the most normal, natural thing – to be in celebration of ourselves, and each other. It was so normal to me, so what were all the other days I was living?

If there is one day, the world over, that we can give ourselves permission to celebrate ourselves – it is on our birthdays. But for anyone who takes this opportunity to celebrate themselves, it’s quite a depressing thing the next day to not have that again. I have noticed sometimes, when I speak with people about their birthday, that it can be depressing, an anticlimax, like it didn’t happen the way they wanted it to. What I have noticed is that we have often already learnt that in the past – it hurts to go from a day of amazingness to the next day of ‘not that’.  So better to play it safe and not go there in the first place.

But it just doesn’t make sense! What I have also realised through having children and taking time consistently, daily, momentarily to celebrate them, is that the natural thing for them will be to grow up and celebrate themselves. Because through making it normal and natural and through making it something that doesn’t happen just on their birthdays, they get to feel they are worth celebrating just for being them. When you have experienced what that is like as a child, you don’t grow up wanting it or expecting it to come from outside. You grow up and it feels normal to be this way with yourself because the natural feeling was already confirmed in you. It then is a natural way of being with others, reminding them how amazing they are.

This is HUGE. It means that we can claim any day, every day, anytime to start celebrating ourselves. We don’t need to wait until our birthday, because it just doesn’t make sense to have 1 day of joy and 364 other days of ‘not joy’.

The problem is that when we save the celebration of ourselves for just one day in the year, it’s usually got to be a pretty big event to make up for all of those aforementioned 364 days: we then condition ourselves to expect a big party, lots of people around, stimulation, yummy food, big outings and therefore lose the essence of the celebration of ourselves…. we miss what is at the very heart of celebrating. We miss celebrating all of the simple things, all the beautiful things we see and feel and connect to with others – the magical moments that happen with our children or out on a walk in nature, or even when we are shopping and meet eyes with someone.

When I was a child, the truth was I wanted to celebrate myself and others every single day. It wasn’t until I attended a presentation by Universal Medicine and was asked the question: “Do I celebrate myself as a woman when I have a bath?” that I began to wake up to life again. My answer was no, that part of me that naturally felt that way had gone to sleep. I had grown up and become a partner, a mother of two children, and was not looking after myself properly, let alone celebrating myself. I had given up on that being normal and natural because the world around me reflected that it wasn’t normal, even though I could and can feel that in the heart of every person is that natural feeling to want to celebrate who we are and to celebrate each other, but life gets in the way.

So, I had stopped celebrating me and would only do that on my birthday. I started looking back at everything I felt as a child and how I had since then let so much come in the way of what I naturally felt. I started celebrating me. The simple truths expressed by Universal Medicine have re-kindled the natural childhood feelings of joy that I am now bringing into my life – in a celebration.

432 thoughts on “Birthdays

  1. Growing up with my siblings we had a special rule on our birthdays and it was that we were not allowed to hit the birthday girl. This rule came in due to jealously directed at the one who was getting all the attention and presents. Maybe if we were celebrated every day equally, this jealousy would not have been part of our existence.

  2. Thank you Shannon I love this. I have had times where I have felt a daily sense of celebration of myself and others and there is a light and joy in myself during these times. Then life, as you say gets in the way, hurts come in, expectations aren’t met and I can feel down on myself and others. This has been such a beautiful reminder of how life can be, thank you.

  3. I agree, having that one day in a year makes up for the other 364 is kind of a hard thing. I think celebrating ourselves is a great way to have it in a way we feel is most honouring of us, otherwise it can be easy to be disappointed.

  4. We’ve made celebration into something it is not, with its focus on the outer. Then we miss the opportunity to feel the simplicity and the naturalness of confirming ourselves from within, the connection we can have with who we truly are.

  5. It is true we should celebrate us but I remember well the time when I did not know what it meant, or I would only celebrate achievements. The road to true celebration of oneself is the one of connection and self love, so we get to feel who we are from within and then celebration will be as natural as you felt it to be as a child Sharon.

    1. That’s so true Carolien, we mostly celebrate achievements and milestones, we have forgotten how to value our innate qualities and celebrate people for who they are not what they have done.

  6. You cannot feel the beauty of being confirmed unless you have a feeling of self-worth running in your body. Not everybody has this and that is why not everybody is at ease with these kinds of occasions.

    1. True Eduardo, I used to find it very hard to take a compliment or an expression of appreciation and so it is not something that just magically appears. It asks of us to work on our relationship with ourselves and to accept by feeling from our bodies who we truly are, free from the images that have kept us locked in lack of self-worth or even self-loathing.

  7. Truly celebrating ourselves and another is an expression outwards from deep within us, whereas birthday celebrations usually involve trying to celebrate us from the outside in. This can only ever be short lived as it is limited to twenty four hours and doesn’t confirm us and our divine qualities which are who we are, day in and day out.

  8. Is that the day or the person we are celebrating – is the question that comes to me. It seems that we are good at keeping the formality and create a tradition/pattern, but leave its essence behind.

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