Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Happy Birthday to Me

Monday, October 20, 2014
Posted By: 
Jodi Salata

It’s my birthday this week. Many people dread their birthday. They feel they are getting old and they don’t like the reminder. Not me. I understand that each and every day is a gift. A gift to marvel and appreciate. You see there is no guarantee that we will live to be old. Something we know all too well. It’s not written in the stars that each person is supposed to live to be 90, 75 or even 10. When we believe otherwise we are not only lying to ourselves, we are causing ourselves pain. If we can realize that this moment is a gift, a precious gift that many are denied, we will live in a different way.

If you know me at all you know I love to celebrate my birthday, so much so that I declare October my birthday. I don’t want a day. I want a month!! I have also told those that I come across that don’t like to celebrate their birthday that I will gladly take it off their hands and celebrate it like it’s mine. You see, all of life is perceptual. You can focus on what you’ve lost or are losing, or you can focus on what you have and are gaining. The effort is the same.

I heard Pastor Rob Bell speak this weekend. He had a friend who lost her fiancé in an accident. She immediately called for Rob, sat him down and asked “Why? Why did this happen?” He said, “I don’t know why that happened to you but I know you are here.” Wow! This hit me profoundly.

Losing the love of your life is earth shattering and devastating. The pain you endure can feel almost unbearable, but it can also be an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to rebuild your life, a second chance, an opportunity to figure out who you really are now and what truly matters. The gift of loss taught me that so much of my energy was focused on things that didn’t matter. I didn’t even really know who I was. No amount of tears or wishing could change what had happened but I could set my life in a new direction, a life of meaning and purpose.

Today I’m doing things I never believed would be possible. I found purpose and passion in my new profession of life coaching. I am in school pursuing a degree in psychology to expand on that. I am more my authentic self than ever. I have realized my strength, my wisdom and my appetite to seek and learn.

I am not saying that life with ever be without pain because there will be pain but suffering is a choice. What we do with that pain is a choice. Will it propel me into great things or will I cling to the circumstance and suffer?

Time is going to pass no matter what. We are all going to die one day. Life is just a journey on your way Home. As Mary Oliver said, “Tell me what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I don’t know why this has happened to you but I do know that you are here and that is a gift if you choose to make it so.

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