Happy Birthday Little Bird
Today is my 38th birthday. I feel like a little bird, cracking out of its shell; all frail with feathers still wet.
I've spent my life in this shell, pecking at it from the inside. At times I gave up pecking; I believed it when the world told me "You aren't meant to get out."
Worse than that, being told that there was no shell. Those are the times I nearly died in there.
But something, a deep faith emanating from my little bird soul, told me to keep pecking. I've been trying to grow stronger all my life, strong enough to break that shell. It was so frustrating! I experienced so much emotional pain from my struggle to create an opening.
I finally have though. I can't say that it was specifically today, but in the last three months leading up to this birthday for sure.
I set boundaries. I decided to stop accepting the things that didn't contribute to my well-being. I decided to let go of managing my relationships. I started writing again. I started reading voraciously again (self-help, psychology, health, autobiographies) and watching documentaries. I started seeing a new therapist. I let go of many things and thoughts that weren't serving me, and I decided to choose differently.
And I could literally weep as I write this (I have tears in my eyes) because for the first time in my life, after trying and failing, there is a crack in the shell; I made a hole and I'm getting out.
Out of what? The Matrix, my mind, the things that have kept me trapped. I'm touching and tasting emotional freedom. It isn't there all the time. But it's there more often than not.
"In the last stage, the lion gives way to the child, to an original innocence. This is the Child of the Spirit for whom all things are new. For this divine child there is wonder, ease, and a playful heart. The child is at home in the reality of the present, able to enjoy, to respond, to forgive and to share the blessings of being alive."
- Martha Beck, Leaving the Saints
I feel that childlike joy within me regularly now; when I look at a leaf, at the sky, at another person, at my food, at my limbs, at life. I am in awe and wonder of life. I am grateful to be here.
That gratitude in itself is something that moves me to tears.
I've tried to end my life more than once, so to have gone from the blackness of that despair to being in a state of awe and wonder at the experience of being alive, well, there are no words.
I bow to the eternal: I bow to God, this Universe, this magic.
As long as space endures,
And as long as sentient beings exist,
May I also abide,
That I may heal with my heart
The miseries of the world.
I can imagine talking to the Light about this before I was born... "That!" I would have said. "That prayer - that's the description of the job I want!"
I figure the Light would have said, "Hang on there, kid, I gotta tell you, the training for that one is a bitch."
Then I'd have said, "Who cares? Sign me up!..."
- Martha Beck, Leaving the Saints
That I may heal with my heart, the miseries of the world.
But worth it now, looking back because...I may heal with my heart, the miseries of the world.
That is my purpose on this planet. It's why I'm here. It's why I've suffered. It's why I didn't step off the balcony ledges I've been on.
I received a message from a friend this morning:
My dearest Jasmin, thank you for all the bravery and charisma you have shared with me. You’re an inspiration and I’m so thankful to know someone like you. In case you don’t realize how we your admirers see you... You’re a strong, funny, smart, inspiring, loving, understanding, open minded, caring, welcoming and beautiful soul. When I think of you I can’t help but be a better version of myself. Happy birthday gorgeous!!! I’m so thankful you were born !!! XoxoxoxoxoxxoThat message touched me deeply because when I read it, (specifically the highlighted part) I thought "YEAHHHH!!! I'm doing my PURPOSE!!! I'm doing it, I'm doing it, I'm doing it! I'm FINALLY DOING IT!!"
I felt delirious JOY.
The suffering was worth it because I'm becoming a person who inspires others to be their best selves. That is my job / purpose / calling / raison d'être / dharma.
So on my 38th birthday, I'm finally stepping into that, although I'm not fully there yet. My baby bird self just broke out of the shell; my feathers still need to dry out and I need to grow big and strong.
But my purpose here on earth? It can only be depicted throughout the image of the Phoenix rising out of the ashes. Because that little bird isn't going to stay little. I am stepping into the fullness of my being in order to make my way through life as the peaceful warrior I was created to be.
My soul has been shattered repeatedly on this life's journey. But instead of crying over the broken pieces, with guidance from the eternal, I've filled the cracks with gold.
The Japanese art of Kintsugi (the art of precious scars) is based on the belief that an item which has been broken and repaired has more value and is unique precisely because of this damage; that the scars are what should be exhibited.
(I think that means I have a very shiny soul.)
I sometimes think I don't matter. I know I'm not the only one who gives in to that kind of self-doubt.
But I do matter.
We all MATTER.
We were all created for a purpose, and we are all here to fulfill that purpose.
And what I can say for sure about what that purpose is: that we may each reach out and touch the edges of the depth and breadths of our soul's possibility to express divine love in whatever way we are able to speak that love; through written and spoken words, through parenting, through art, through being a good neighbour, through caring for an animal, through caring for the planet.
There are no limits to the ways in which the true love we are all born from can be expressed.
Happy birthday little bird.
May you grow strong and fly higher than you ever imagined.
Will you all come fly with me too?