I like to make a big deal of milestone birthdays, don’t you? I remember exiting my twenties – I literally packed up and left behind years of awkwardness about who I was and stepped into a decade of freedom and fearlessness (more about this in another post). What I didn’t realise then was that my thirties was just the preview to the coming episodes of what was ahead.
My 40th birthday was a big deal because it felt like the birthday that truly marked my place on the earth – I had made it up Mount Everest (my 30s) and now that I was 40 I could erect my flag. Of course, at this point I had no clue that my 40s would actually be the mountain and my 30s was just a light jog around said mountain, anyhoo ... I celebrated with a handful of loved ones in a private dining room at a Central London hotel. I wore a fabulous dress and my beautifully manicured locs were piled exquisitely on my head. The room where all my guests were seated around a large dining table was beautifully decorated . Everything was perfect - and I was grateful for all the effort made - yet I remember leaving that evening feeling empty.
For my 50th birthday another celebration was held in my honour to welcome in my Jubilee Birthday. It was on a typical Spring afternoon in sunny California and a day that one of my friends said felt like it was my wedding day. In some ways I did feel like a bride. For a start, as soon as I entered the party a tiara was ceremoniously placed on my head, my dress was white and I was led into the garden where all my friends were waiting for me to make my entrance. My party was organised by four of my closest friends. They knew I wanted a soiree where guests would feel fabulous. They also knew I did not want a single nacho to be dipped and that bubbles should not stop flowing until the last guest had worn themselves out on the dance floor! I left this celebration bursting with the love poured into me. As I was reflecting on this it hit me - how I felt after my 40th had NOTHING to do with the friends that sat with me at that dinner table or the venue - it was me, more specifically, it was my heart. I had a defective heart - a heart affected by so much disappointment and misuse that it could not hold the love that was being poured into it and like a cracked jug, everything just seeped out. It didn’t matter how much was being poured in, it would inevitably leak out, leaving me feeling empty and disappointed.
I have been on an extensive heart journey these last four years and I have to tell you it’s been hard workand painful addressing wounds that disfigured my heart and distorted my perception of love. For years I carried the weight of disappointment (yet another blog post) and guilt that I just didn’t have any room for love. But now I can say that my heart is now capable of containing the love that is being poured into it and that’s definitely worth celebrating every day, don’t you think?