Some years ago, after the divorce and the therapy and the learning to live on my own, taking care of my young son by myself, I came across a birthday card while shopping for someone else. The card's message spoke to me so forcefully I purchased the card to keep for myself, even though money was quite tight then.
Today, while organizing and tidying around the house I came across that message to myself, and reading it again was like opening a time capsule from a different era. Yet the message has turned out to be timeless and relevant even now. Here it is:
Today, you are a little wiser, truer to yourself,
and more confident and comfortable
than you were the year before.
You are stronger and deeper on the inside because of
the experiences life has given you,
and softer around the edges because of
the things you have let go of along the way.
You are clearer about your dreams and your purpose,
and richer because of the laughter, love,
and friendship you have shared.
And the gifts you have gathered just make you
all the more beautiful.
Happy Birthday - you have so much to celebrate.
Of course, it isn't my birthday, and when I bought it for myself in the first place it wasn't my birthday either. Then again, everyday that I live in a more healthy way, more aware of who I am, more awake to the possibilities of life around me, and able to change and grow in spite of fear, is a new day, a rebirth and new life. For it is in remaining stuck in old behaviors, beliefs, habits, and thoughts which keep us from experiencing all that the universe can offer.
So now it's time to put the card away in a new place, where I can come across it again in a few years, relive the progress of the past and see where I am in the present.