It’s my mom’s birthday today. Happy Birthday Mom! Love you!
It’s mine next week.
I don’t tell you this so you will shower me with presents or birthday wishes (although that would be lovely). I tell you this because it has me thinking.
People say, “What do you want for your birthday?” This is a tough one. On one hand, there are things I want. I want world peace and I want everyone to know God and feel His love. I want no more bullying and I want no more loneliness (mine or others). I also want the entire Lululemon store….seriously, the entire store.
But here’s the thing…I was taught not to ask for things. It’s rude. I was taught that a gift is a gift and if someone wants to give it to you, it is your job to accept it graciously. You do not expect gifts and if you do not receive a gift, you do not whine or cry or complain.
Now something has gone really wrong in the generational translation (is that even a real term?) of this gift giving/accepting business because my kids ask, beg, expect, and sometimes whine and cry. Every Christmas I have to threaten a bag of coal to the next ungrateful child that sheds a tear.
I want to change this in my family and it’s frustrating because I feel powerless to do so. And when I feel powerless, I know that is a challenge for me to actually embrace my power. If I do not feel it or see it, I need to find it or create it because saying or thinking you are powerless is “utter crap”, according to Jillian Michaels.
When we do that, we are making ourselves into victims and we are not victims. Or, as my friend says, “Homey don’t play that.”
So, I am harnessing my power to create what I want in my life. I am going to ask for what I want. Here goes.
I want the gift of presence. I don’t want presents. I want presence. Get it?
First, I want to be present in my life. We’ve talked about this before but really, it bears repeating. I want to seize the moment. I want to seize the day. I want to Carpe Diem!!!
And I want you to gift me with your presence. Yes, you. Some of you I don’t know but I feel like I do from the love you send in emails and messages. Just when I’m wondering if anyone is reading or if I’m just practicing therapy on myself online, I get one of those “God hugs” from a reader, usually in the form of an email or a comment reminding me that we are in this together. It keeps me going.
For people I see in real life, I also want your presence. That means I need you. We need each other. I need smiles and hugs and pats on the back. I admit it again, I need words of affirmation. I long for real conversation and authentic exchanges. I went out with a friend the other night and she said, “Oh, I’m so glad to go out with you, I don’t have to be fake”. We laughed and I said, “I know, thank God, right?” I want every person in my life to be that person I don’t have to be fake with. I want that to be a given. Is that too much to ask?
I don’t think it is but here’s the catch. If I want the gift of presence, I have to give the gift of presence. On the surface, I have to put down the phone and walk away from Pinterest. I have to stop, chill, take a load off and just be with my peeps. Just be. On the inside, I need to put away my agenda, my bitterness, my grudges, my hurt feelings, my judgment, my distraction, my anxiety, whatever it is…I have to let it go and just be. I have to listen as I would like to be listened to. I have to connect.
I’m not perfect and I’ll need to be reminded which is why it’s a good thing that this is in writing.
Here’s my promise to you. I will be there for you. I will be authentic on this blog. I will tell the truth. I will do my best to create a community rooted in love and honesty and acceptance. I will write with presence.
And for the people I see in life, I will strive to be present for you and I will ask you to do the same for me. (Incidentally, I really hope in this new year to turn some of you that I don’t know yet into people I “see in real life”…I’ve got some really fun plans for us all to “Carpe the Hell out of the Diem” together!)
As birthdays go, 43 isn’t anything special. But with this new promise, I hope it will be.
I am so looking forward to all the presence!
©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved