Since my last birthday, which was only 2 days ago, I realized a few things...
1) You can’t expect others to make you happy. Other people/things can make you smile, bring you joy from time to time. But only YOU can make yourself happy. This aha moment hit me when I saw a video of Wil Smith last night talking about a conversation he had with his wife Jada.
2) If you fill a jar with ping pong balls, would you say it is full? If you add beads, does it become full then? If you add sand, is it really, totally full? If you add beer, wouldn’t that make it full? The jar is supposed to represent your life and everything you put into it. The balls represent your relationships. The beads represent things that matter a lot to you like your job or your home. The sand represents everything else including your possessions. If you fill the jar with sand or beads first, you won’t have any room for your ping pong balls. At the end of the day, no matter how full you think your jar is, there is always a little room for beer. The lesson? Put the people that matter most in your life first. Everything else can wait. Yes, even the beer. Watched a video about the whole jar thing this morning. Blew my mind.
3) “It’s not about you.” We spend most, if not all, of our days with ourselves that sometimes we tend to forget that we are not the center of the universe. I consider myself fair and logical, but I do feel like my melancholy is mostly rooted in the idea of people not getting me, people not giving me the time of day, people not seeing me. I know I deserve the same or even greater than the love I send out into the world. But I realized that the world doesn’t really owe me that love. It doesn’t owe me anything really. The world has bigger problems to deal with than little old me. So, it really isn’t JUST about me. That was the painfully harsh yet necessary truth I learned while watching Irreplaceable You on Netflix last night.
4) Kindness, above all. I feel that loving comes easily to humans. We find something in common with someone and instantly there’s a connection. A field of shared experiences has just been created and we build walls around that, trying to preserve it every way we can. But love, truly, is so much more. Should BE much more. And kindness, mindfulness, selflessness are at the core of it. When you’re stuck in traffic and a car is making a signal to get in front of you, let them. When someone does something good, acknowledge them. When your kid looks at you while you’re on your phone, stop what you’re doing for a moment and smile at them. By doing these things, we’re not selling out, we’re not being pushovers, we’re not devaluing our own time. We’re making time. For kindness. And it fills holes in your heart you’ve never imagined could be patched up again.
5) Everything you ever want, everything you ever need, is here right in front of you...These are the last lines of The Greatest Showman. My husband, daughter and I caught the sing-along version of the movie on the night of my birthday. I’ve seen it 3 times before, but never the sing-along. The whole movie rocked me to my core. Every. Single. Time. But on that particular night, when those last lines were being played and the words were shown on the screen, the floodgates that were my tears just opened and I started nodding along. Big sigh. Of relief this time.
I asked God for a sign on my birthday. He sure gave me plenty.