A week or so ago, I posted the following comment on my Professional Facebook page, along with an article/blog that was titled “It’s Not About You”:
I have a reminder on my phone that pops up every morning that says “It’s not about you Patti!” Reminds me to look for the opportunity to learn the lesson, rather than complain about what someone else is/is not doing.
The blog was about realizing that another person’s anger, silence or some other “less than loving behavior” is about that person’s growth (or lack of), not about those of us witnessing or bearing the brunt of their pain. I know this at a deep enough level that I am usually pretty good at allowing the other person to have their own experience without piggy-backing onto it. To me (and what I think the blog I re-posted was saying) is that the spiritual being that I am doesn’t need to look for reasons to be offended or upset. That’s the ego’s job, and (s)he works pretty hard at trying to get me to bite.
But this week, as we prepare for a weekend away, I found myself indulging my ego. It’s my birthday weekend. And it’s a BIG one. I turn 65 on February 20. I’ve looked forward to this birthday for a long time, for financial reasons (think Medicare vs expensive insurance premiums with high deductible), and because I kid myself into thinking I MIGHT be able to slow the practice down a little in the near future.
But while I’m looking forward to the weekend away, part of the reason for the trip is a very personal and not so happy situation in our lives right now. And I have no control over much of it. I also am going to have to take some work with me, and some other things to study.
That got me to thinking about other “milestone” birthdays I’ve had. My 21st was spent on a bus full of my husband’s students going to some school function. My 30th was spent working at a phone company that I hated working for. My 40th was spent at Family Day at my daughter’s treatment program. And my 60th was spent moving helping family members move as they pulled their lives back together.
So just as I was thinking through all these, guess what popped up on my phone. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, PATTI!
And I pulled myself back to the moment, found my center and remembered why I’m here: to experience it all and to face it with love. I also remembered some of my other birthdays. In 65 years, I’ve had a few, and many of them have been wonderful and full of love and family and friends. On top of that, I remembered what I tell clients all day, every day.
It’s only upsetting if I allow it to be upsetting. I have the choice to make it a crappy birthday or a fun one.