Some of you might be aware that August is the birthday month of, ahem, yours truly. And some of you may also be aware that I officially claim the entire month as cause for celebration. This basically means that I need no other reason, other than it being August, to do all kinds of fun, crazy, self-indulgent, special, memorable things.
It's not like I go crazy about it...well, maybe just a little. But I have found over the years that this mindset helps me embrace myself and love myself and slowly but surely I've started to believe I actually am worth it. Not that I am worth special treatment, or better than any other person. But I am a valuable person, just because I was created by God and placed on this planet. And that has been kind of a hard lesson for me to absorb. I've gotten hung up in the past in finding my value in success, achievement, looks, wit, intellect, parenting skills, admiration from others, religion...you name it and I've probably looked there to find worth.
In the past I've focused a lot on the problem that I'm just not good enough...and now I realize that I'm right. I'm not good enough, and it's okay! Because my value isn't going to come from mastering anything or being a certain way or inspiring any reaction from others. It's very freeing.
So I have a few plans up my sleeve for my birthday month. It all starts with a super exciting weekend full of friends and family. It even spills over into September because of a joint birthday trip with one of my favorite people. Her birthday is in October, so we decided to split the difference.
I'm feeling very thankful today. I'm thankful for all 36 of my years, even the dark hard times, because they have led me to the place I stand today. If I hadn't experienced so much failure or brokenness, I would have probably just kept thinking I could somehow make myself into an acceptable person. For me failure leads to two paths. A path of defensiveness, blame, feeling like a victim, or refusing to acknowledge there's a problem...or a path of accepting my human-ness and realizing that anything good that possibly shines through in me is only because of God and not because of my efforts.
Sometimes I still choose the first path, but more and more I find myself on the second.
Happy Birthday to me.