Thursday, August 16, 2018

...being seen (a birthday blog for 2018)

Welcome to my birthday blog for 2018.

Birthdays always find me even more reflective than I usually am, and this one is no exception. I’m 53 today.

I’m sure at least one of you gasped at the casual admission of my age. Some well-meaning person was bound to, certain that some things are better left undiscussed.

Me, I want to discuss it, along with all the other subjects that are taboo, like religion and politics.

I don’t want to waste another moment on anything superficial or unimportant, and age is important, because a) tomorrow is not guaranteed, b) I’ve acquired a little wisdom in my 53 years, and c) I forgot what “c” was, because…perimenopause.

Most of us spend a majority of our lives hiding, either from ourselves, or hiding ourselves, period. God forbid someone should see who we really are, or God forbid we should see who we really are.

We go to great lengths not to be vulnerable, when, in fact, our vulnerability is the key to intimacy. And intimacy is the key to all the best relationships, even those between us and the world, and especially that relationship we have with ourselves.

If we can’t be forthright about what matters to us, what pains us, shocks us, scares us, and yes, delights us, then how can we know the greatest joy and our highest potential?

I get it. To believe the daily barrage of news horror stories is to know this world can be harsh and judgmental. But then again, who’s the antidote for that? We are.

I’ve been thinking a lot about who and what I want to be in this next new year of my life, and the answer I’ve come up with is “seen.” Seen, no matter how much that scares me. Seen, whether or not my views differ from yours. Seen, at the depths of my being. Seen, before this moment passes. Seen, for what I stand for. Seen, with all my best qualities and shortcomings. Seen, for whatever gifts I have that can be of service to someone else. Seen, because the hour is late and this world needs to see the people who believe in the prevailing and predominant power of love. Seen, as the one who will stand up for those who don't have a voice. Seen, amid the chaos that this world so often feels like.

When I look at the people in my life, I weep with joy and gratitude for the depth and beauty of my relationships. And there isn’t one person I cherish who hasn’t seen me in my darker moments and reveled with me in my lighter ones.

If you’d like to give me a gift for my birthday this year, let me see you. Let me know you. Stand with me in support of those who are marginalized, persecuted, or defeated. Hear me when I say that we are all of equal value, the CEO, the Congressman, the immigrant, the welfare mom. We are all made from the same stuff and come from the same creator. We owe ourselves a good look in the mirror, we owe our neighbors a helping hand, and we owe the world the gift of our showing up, fully.

If you want to give me a present, let me see you. And I will do the same.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my birthday with me…