I’m a year older; I turned 39 this past week. I love my birthday so I made sure I celebrated it the way I wanted it. I like that about getting older. I’m so much bolder in knowing what works for me and what doesn’t.
I know this because turning 39 was easy, fun and soulful. I love all the real people in my life; my family, friends, co-workers and even just the people I see out and about in my neighborhood that all wished me a happy birthday. Loving my people and valuing these relationships are what made my birthday kick ass. Seriously.
On my birthday I talked to my coach for a bit…it wasn’t a coaching call…it was a birthday hello. I told her how much she means to me and she told me yummy stuff too but what took me by surprise was that she told me how much she admires how easily I love people. I am quick to say, I love you. I never thought of that as being something admirable. In fact some people seem turned off by it. Like dripping in love is similar to the overly optimistic and somewhat blinding ray of sunshine that can be too bright for some people.
I guess I just really love loving people. Maybe I’m sick of the hatred, the jealously, the divisiveness that I see and have experienced. Or perhaps it is just that as I grow older I have fallen in love more and more with the beauty of relating to people and the power of Love. Why not start with loving someone and go from there? Why not assume love and kindness?
These are the birthday blessings of Love that I witnessed for myself this week:
My husband, kids, my wonderful family of parents, sister, cousins, in-laws. I love them all. Some I choose to be in relationship with, mostly I’m simply blessed with them. We tell each other, I love you, always!
I love my work family. Last week I was dealing with a tough negotiation and I called one of my team members for help. I’m supposed to be the fearless leader. I’m supposed to have all the answers. But I don’t. That’s stupid. I got the best support and when I got off the phone I felt a huge rush of gratitude. I love everyone on our team. And I tell them that (okay not every day but they all have heard it more than once). When I first did it a couple of years ago I was kind of freaked out about it but it was important to me. I knew I loved them so why was I scared to tell them? A long time ago my co-worker’s son died in a car crash. That morning, before he got that horrific call, we talked business as always and that afternoon we cried together and told each other we loved each other. In a second everything changed. All of a sudden it was easy to say I love you. As I grew into my leadership role on our team I knew I wanted that kind of love without the tragedy.
I love my Mama Tribe. I’m friends with some of my kid’s parents and what I love most is that we tell it the way it is. Yes we have great kids and we are blessed. But we all admit that we are also blessed with the challenges of saying the same thing over and over again (and turning into the old lady green monster), the whining, and the dirty socks ON the dining room table (you get the picture). Our kids are not perfect but more importantly, I am not a perfect mom. Yes, I yell sometimes and then wish I wouldn’t have. Thankfully I have a mama tribe that loves me no matter what.
I love all of the friends in my life. The friends that come out and dance with me like we are 22 years old again. I love my friends that will meet for a two hour lunch to talk strategically about our business community and the racial disparities that need to change. I love my friends that give me healing energy work, bring me homemade granola, and send their badass unicorns across the country when I’m having a bad day. I love my friends that bring wine and nail holes in my wall to hang my paintings. My friends support me when I’m nervous and give me permission to puke in their purse if I need to. I tell them I love them. I love the waiter at Luigi’s that is so awesome. I love the trainers at the gym. I love all the teachers that my kids have ever had. I love my attorney (seriously).
I might accidentally tell you I love you before it is ‘normal’ to do so. I have done this when getting off the phone with clients. Like when I totally didn’t mean it but I called someone ‘hon’ and said, ‘love you’ as I hung up. Opps. That kind of sucked. But it would have been weirder to call back and say I didn’t mean it. Perhaps I’ll tell you that I love you even if I don’t know you very well. I bet I do love you. Something about you anyway.
I have all these amazing friends and we know we love each other for who we are so there is no bullshit. There is no comparing or competing or cutting each other down. We lift each other up.
We genuinely lift each other up.
I hold the space for her to be okay with herself. She holds the space for me to be me and not feel judged.
I grow stronger when I surround myself with real people, real friends. For me to feel safe being me, being bold, I have to have all these people in my life that love me for who I am.
The secret is that I love me first. Every year I love me more. Sometimes I annoy myself (impatient Sara…yes, so annoying) and I get frustrated with myself. Sometimes I am too demanding and critical of myself. I know this. I know this all very well. And I still love myself. I make lists of what I love about myself because it is easy to forget. When I’m not in love with myself it is harder to be in love with everyone else (I can pretend but it’s fake).
When I love myself I have more fun. I am more comfortable in my skin, in my world. When I love myself it is much easier to love others. And as I grow older I realize that I want more of that…of the drippy, gooey LOVE. If you come over and there is a note on my bathroom mirror that says – I LOVE YOU – don’t wonder if I wrote it for myself. Be sure to know that it is true…I do love YOU. And I am loving me too.