Time Marches On
So today is my Birthday…and it’s a milestone marker. Not one of them we as a collective think of in a pleasant way. I have always struggled with my birthday, and with birthday’s in general.
Perhaps it is linked to a very early birthday when I at the tender age of six thought I could demonstrate to my little guests that my dog, TinkerBell could fly…he was a dachshund. I can assure you when I gently lofted him off a small retaining wall he did not fly, he broke both of his front legs. At that moment not only did I hurt my beloved dog I caused a huge uproar at the party, upset and confused the heck out of my mother, and created a story never to be forgotten surrounding a trauma on my birthday.
I really thought he could fly, why else was he named after a well known fairy?
And just like that the day of my birth forever sealed within a container of shame. We all carry moments such as these. Seemingly small, often in childhood, moments when something went awry. When we out of our naiveté, or confusion, or anxiety, or whatever human instinct was in charge; we make a choice that sticks in our psyches forever.
Part of the work becomes to ferret these moments out to see and acknowledge them. We then with honor and compassion need to forgive ourselves. Even if no one else does, we need to forgive ourselves completely. Otherwise the trauma remains held in the mind and body. Little traumas or big, they all get held fast within the story of our lives unless we consciously take action to seek them out and remove them.
So my birthday. Part of the story or agreement I have made with myself is they are no big deal. A lot of fuss over a day which happens for everyone who is born. I have had a few I enjoyed when I turned 30 and friends gave me a surprise party and I was truly surprised.
When I turned fifty and had a huge party for myself with the help of my friends, but really all the rest have been a disappointment or a difficult day to get through. I have soothed myself by dreaming of cultures (such as many tribes in Africa) who do not mark or acknowledge birthdays. These cultures actually do not know how old they are. There is some freedom in that to be sure.
Our culture places a great deal of baggage on how many years you have passed the sun. A great deal of heavy and worn out baggage which does nothing to feed our hearts and souls. Quite the opposite we can be dragged down and filled with dread or anxiety, big expectations and fears, all around a number.
Well my number is now 60. An impossible number to relate to when I was six and thought little dogs could fly. I am told I don’t look it, and I certainly don’t feel it however, I know it. Entering yet another stage I can honor all the thousands of moments big and small, beautiful and horrible which have brought me to this day. Time, as an illusionary and human made construct, marches on. I am here, I love and forgive myself and without a doubt I intend to fly.