Wednesday, May 7, 2014

day of birth

Someone at my birthday party offered to take my seemingly dead plant and revive it. I was sure it was a goner and was delighted to give her the responsibility. She forgot to take it with, so I went to retrieve it to give to her later and I saw a few green leaves and decided to try to save it myself. Already it is flourishing after I pulled the old dead blossoms off. It feels symbolic of this day.
I was born on this day. Ten years ago I fulfilled a life dream and was in Venice Italy celebrating. I have managed to fulfill a number of life dreams with one or two big ones eluding me. I tend to think they will never happen and they seem to be going no where fast. I wonder why I think like that when so many long held dreams have come to fruition. Just saying...
So here is my big realization as of yesterday. I spent the first half of my life chasing pleasure of all sorts.  My anxiety was so crippling, I saw pleasure as the antidote. To some of my friends, my nickname was the dancin' hanson. I chased pleasure wherever I could find it, travel, food, wine, relationships, clothes, jewelry, dancing, beauty. I enjoyed it yet it soon became clear it left me with a gaping emptiness. So the second half of my life so far, I swung in the opposite direction and focused on the spiritual side of being a spiritual being having a human experience. Spirituality became everything to me over the years, a balm for a life with continued anxiety, fear, great sensitivity, feeling like I didn't belong. Now I must say this had better results and has lead to much greater peace and serenity. Yet just yesterday I saw how I'd thrown the baby out with the bath water. Meaning, I really discounted the human side of the equation, putting pleasure in the unspiritual and thus somehow suspect category. Reading Jennifer Posada's post the other day woke me up to my lost art of pleasure. Sure over the years I've done a ton for enjoyment yet I was subtly judging it as unworthy at the same time, keeping my eyes glued to the sky waiting for divine stardust to lift me to the clouds. ENOUGH of that, what a waste of the human experience. Yesterday I delighted in the steam arising from my hot tea, the red cardinal (or whatever bird it is) perched in my planter (and there again now literally as I type), the sound of the wind, the light at sunset painting my yard in magnetic color. All so simple, all so pleasurable, all things I had discounted for too long.
The other radical shift is the gratitude and non attachment I feel this birthday. For too long I straightjacketed friends and relatives with my incessant need to have them prove their love for me by indulging me on my birthday. I see ever more clearly how I pressured and even guilt tripped people years ago to manipulate them into meeting my bottomless need for external love. It was never enough, never quite right but I was sure if so and so would just do this one thing, the certainty I was loved would flood me. This year I have received some phone calls, Skype, emails, Facebook wishes, gifts, cards and my overwhelming feeling is gratitude and appreciation. With one exception when I was again caught in the web of my neediness, I am so appreciative of what I am being given rather than focused on what I have not been given. What a bloody relief. It has never been clearer to me how expectations create suffering and allowing creates joy and gratitude  Darlings, I have no clue if what I mean is obvious in my words. All I can say is thank the heavens for this inner freedom. I still get caught in the web of my desires yet for the most part I can allow them without the NEED for their fulfillment. I delight when they are and smile when they are not fulfilled. The taste of freedom turns out to be the greatest gift of all.

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