Times arise in everyone’s life where they sit back and thank the lucky stars for where they are today. As I celebrate a birthday this weekend, on a weekend that ignites a wide array of emotions inside, I have to stop and give thanks to those who have led me to this life of paradise.
Two years ago on my birthday, my Nana sent me an email that I recently recovered. I read this note and beam with gratitude for the love expressed in these few sentences:
I appreciate you more than you will ever realize. You are a lovable, strong granddaughter. Please rest and do the things which you enjoy and join me in knowing that we have a Supreme Power looking over you!
I finished a book this week that a good friend and I added to our self-help book club: “The Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. This book may be a game-changer as I found myself highlighting passage after passage. I only wish I had discovered this book a decade ago.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine...”
You must love yourself before you can expect others to love you. You cannot downplay your strengths with fear that others will be inhibited. You cannot hide your weaknesses with fear that others will be judgmental. You must do the things that make you happy and then love will follow.
I will spend this Memorial Day birthday weekend staring at the water in my backyard while doing all the things that make me happy and content: reading, creating and designing photo books, crafting a gift for a friend, and reflecting on the many joys I have had this past year.
I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for the love and support of my family and friends. Knowing that next week I will be on the beach with all the amazing (I wish there was a stronger word for amazing) friends in my life who have lifted me up and loved me unconditionally over the years has me jumping inside with excitement. I now realize that continually surrounding myself with love has led me to this life of paradise.
When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach so
She ran away in her sleep
and dreamed of paradise
Every time she closed her eyes.