Sneak Peak from my soon to be released book, Finding the Gift: Daily Meditations for Mindfulness
October 6 Courage to Be Fully Alive
Today is a special day for a very special man in my life. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) We are going to make a big deal out of it! Did you ever hear someone tell you, “Stop making such a big deal about that!” Or, “Settle down now, and stop acting like a child.” As a society, we’ve even said that to our children, when acting like a child is the most age-appropriate thing to do. (I’m not discounting the need for discipline, this is just an observation of our language).
All too often our spirits are conformed to fit into society, into school, into church, even into our own families. Our behavior is regulated so much that we may think it’s not okay to jump for joy and act crazy. To cry when we feel sad. Or to laugh out loud when something’s funny. We are encouraged to wear our quiet little masks and politely die a slow, numbing death. We are hardly living, as opposed to celebrating the full spectrum of the human existence. It’s called a spectrum, which indicates that life is meant to be lived in a range of experiences, not as a safe, uniform spot somewhere in the midst of conformity and oppression. We need all of it to feel alive! Highs and lows. Loud and quiet. Fast and Slow. Celebration and grief.
A pastor once gave a sermon on how we’ve all but stripped the masculinity out of our sons and made them … nice. So we have compliant men who are afraid to take risks, make decisions and boldly be who they were created to be. And then we criticize them for it, and wonder what happened to the real men in the world? My husband is a huge fan of Wild at Heart by John Eldredge, who says, “Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.” Referring to himself, Eldredge says, “I wasn’t mean; I wasn’t evil. I was nice. And let me tell you, a hesitant man is the last thing in the world a woman needs. She needs a lover and a warrior, not a Really Nice Guy.”
Just for today, stop being so nice and politically correct, and demanding the same from everyone else. Let’s be unashamedly ALIVE, whatever that looks like today. For us, that means a big celebration. We are going to sing really loud and probably do a few Happy Dances. We are all alive, aren’t we? That alone is reason to celebrate. Let’s make today something worth remembering.
My husband’s family never made a big deal out of birthdays, unless it was his parents’ birthdays. After we married, they often didn’t even call him on his birthday, which upset me. I was raised that birthdays ARE a big deal. So, I threw him his first birthday party, ever, when he was 25! He was so touched and I have made a big deal about his birthday and my daughters birthdays every single year since.
Now he gets that celebrations of life (Of any kind) are important, as is every single person on the planet. It’s a miracle that any of us are here, and there should be immense joy in celebrating the people you love. Happy birthday to your special man. 🙂
I totally agree with your pastor, too. There are times when not just men but women need to speak out and be heard. It’s not a good idea to be nice 100% of the time, unless you want to be a doormat.
Pat, you’ve given your husband and family a wonderful gift of tradition and celebration! Life is so short and our spirits love to celebrate. In my soon-to-be-released book, Finding the Gift: Daily Meditations for Mindfulness, be sure and check out the entry for October 10, “Fall’s Gifts,” which talks even more about our need for celebrating—not just the big days, but the smaller victories as well. Thank you so much for sharing your “gift” with me and the FTG community today! I hope to hear from you again soon. Angela
Okay, I’m going to jump for joy right now! Thanks, this was a great reminder to let it all out sometimes.