Birthdays can be so hard when you are feeling the pain of a “death.” Now death can come in many ways and have many faces. Death can be the loss of a loved one, a mother or someone close, such as a grandparent, child, or spouse. Death can be a move to a new town or a job transition, as well as our own feelings of mortality. When we have a “shift” in the season of our life, a lot of emotions can flood in, and we can experience some pretty interesting thoughts! Birthdays just seem to be one of those shifts that may stir up some portions of grief in our spirits.
So, with that being said, September is my birthday month. I always find it hard not to reflect on the “could have beens” and “what if’s”, bad habit I know, BUT I do it. I allow a little space for this process, and then I move into the “how I’ve been blessed over the year” thoughts and let these flow in and take over.
When I do this ritual of passing into a new birth year, I also tend to go through some of my writings from the past, and I found this one particular excerpt very relevant to my process even now, so I thought I’d share it with you…The date was mid 2010 and I was still in my grief of a failed 19 year marriage, feeling the effects of many other losses, and I still wasn’t sure how I was going to fit into my new life as I grew older, so I wrote:
As I was sitting in my proper little cubicle at work, I was lamenting the fact that, “IF I was 25 yrs. old and IF cage fighting was the rage as it is now, I would be a cage fighter!”
Then I remembered that the last time I visited my eye doctor for my “getting older glasses,” I was told that my retina was detaching from the back of my eye, due to fluctuations in my blood pressure. Now, based on the past few years of my life, being a single mom of three teenagers, dating a man with three more teenagers, dealing with ex-spouses, working a full time job, a part time job, maintaining a home, wondering how bills would be paid and frequently watching cage-fighting, WHY in the world would “they” say I have fluctuations in my blood pressure?!?!?!? Feeling my age at that point, I began a time of reflection.
I began asking myself, “Why this fascination with two grown men, beating on each other, ending in a “choke-out” for one of them, and then as they both can barely stand they offer each other a handshake? Why do I find this appealing!?” The answer came quickly.
Cage-Fighting is an all out, controlled chaos. When I watch this sport, I can feel all the pent-up emotions being released. My adrenalin begins flowing, as well as the emotions of admiration for the fighters, as they are able to control the chaos in the ring. That, my friend, is something I feel I lack – an ability to control my life right now. These men can strike and yet pull back, fall and yet get up, get “choked-out,” but offer a shaky hand to their opponent at match end.
This may be “reaching” BUT, I feel a good cage-fight is very applicable to life. Just consider this. Under extreme circumstances, when we feel like the chaos has overcome us, we are able to strike and yet pull back, fall and yet get up quickly, and “choke-out” the noise of our turmoil, foes and troubles, all in the end to shake and or grab the hands of those whom offer support. Even though I will never be a true cage-fighter, much to my dismay, maybe I can learn by watching and apply what I can to my life. Also, it’s still fun to watch…Blood pressure UP ↑ Blood pressure Down ↓.
To pull this all together, birthdays can be hard when they trigger a loss pattern. However, what we do with this process is what’s important. We can choose to find the humor in our “fight” through what life deals us, as I did with my cage-fighting phase, and equally important is our willingness to reach deep into what we can learn from the simple situations to the hard ones.
My prayer is that birthdays and transitions will trigger our growth into whom we truly were created be.
“What we do in life echoes in eternity” ~ Maximus – The Gladiator