It’s My Birthday, So Here’s What I’ve Learned About Living.

It’s my birthday today. I haven’t liked my birthday for many years. It has nothing to do with getting older. It’s much more esoteric than that.

It has to much more to do with self-doubt and guilt.

Occasionally, I still give up something for Lent. One year, I gave up guilt and it was the most freeing and spiritual thing that I think I’ve ever done.

I know that many of my readers have no religion, so perhaps this is post will be irrelevant to you, but I hope that you will meaning in the heart of it.

I don’t think god wants us to feel guilt. Guilt is pointless. It’s a waste of our energy.

We are meant to be productive and creative beings. Guilt cripples that.

So does self-doubt.

Many years ago, I was extremely prolific with my creativity. I wrote constantly. I blogged, I kept a journal, I wrote lengthy letters to my friends who lived in other states and countries. My life was filled with art. I created without a thought to how it would be received. I didn’t care.

Creation is a spiritual exercise for me. No one else belongs in the middle of that.

And this is where I think so many of us go wrong. We put other people in the middle of our creative experiences. I see it all of the time with my friends who are riddled with anxiety.

They are afraid someone will tell them that they shouldn’t have said/written/drawn/danced/LIVED.

I’ve been told all of those things. I’ve been told I shouldn’t have lived. I’ve been told that everything about me was wrong.

Words like that will cripple anyone but they are especially crippling when you already feel wrong because you have a rebel body.

When your authentic self is told by everyone else that it doesn’t have a right to exist, you hide. You cave. You stop creating.

You stop existing.

Everyone is going to have an opinion about who you are and how you should exist.

You cannot live within those barriers. Those barriers that make you question everything you want to say and do.

Those barriers are just illusions. They aren’t real and they don’t belong inside your creative spiritual process.

Spirituality is personal. Creation is personal. Living is personal.

To me, they are all the same.

When I was very sick many years ago, my friends did not support me. All of my doctors told me that I needed new friends. I couldn’t see it at the time, because I would have rather believed that the problem was me, than my friends. I wanted to believe in the people that I loved.

We all do a version of this when we are afraid to be authentic. We afraid our authenticity will cost us the people that we love. And maybe it will. But being your authentic self will never cost you the people that truly love you.

Living, creating and being authentic might shed untrue love but can only bring genuine love to you.

This is something that I used to know but that I’ve spent countless years forgetting. And that is why I haven’t liked my birthday for so very long. I didn’t want to celebrate someone who was to inadequate to connect, someone who had no right to connect.

But I realize now that no one else has the right to tell me that. No one else belongs inside my creativity or my authenticity.

So to my many friends who struggle with these same fears and this same disconnect, remember that the disconnection is an illusion.

There is no one and nothing standing between you and your right to create. 

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