“To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.” Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
Today is my birthday. I am now 42 years old. Wow! How did that happen?? Feels like it was just yesterday when I was an awkward 14 year old, trying to find my path in life. Now I’m helping my own 14 year old daughter navigate her path in life. Again, I say wow!!
Some people hate their birthdays. It’s a reminder of how fast time flies and how old they’re getting. I don’t see it like that. I use my birthday as a reminder of the incredible life I lived and that I’m privileged to live another year! Wow! Just wow!!
Over the last few months, I feel like I have lost my voice. I haven’t been able to write or blog, I lost my confidence, I wasn’t sure who I was, an injuring has prevented me from running and I felt like I was just shutting down. I didn’t go into a depression (Thank God!), but I just seemed numb. I even wrote a blog about it back in April. You can read it here. However, I am using today as a reminder that I do have a voice – an important voice. God has given me experiences in my life, not to hurt me, but to use me. So today, on my birthday, I am finding my voice…again. 🙂 I may be only one voice, but it’s one voice of many.
There’s a thing going around Facebook right now…5 Days of Gratitude. You get nominated to post three things you are grateful for, for five days in a row. So over the past five days I’ve been posting what I’m a grateful for, and have found it an incredible reminder of the blessed life I’m living. I think it’s help bring my voice back. This is what I posted:
5 Days of Gratitude
3. My three kids – who amaze me everyday with their awesome unique personalities. I am honoured to be their mom.
3. Friends – I can’t name everyone individually, but I am forever grateful for a community of incredible friends that surround our family with love and support.
2. The Orillia community – Seriously, the community of Orillia rocks! From arts, to culture, to events, to social services, to everything in between, we are blessed to live in such a vibrant, engaged community.
3. The sun – It’s just plain gorgeous.
2. My job – Love the people I work with and helping create a church where people can explore their faith in a nonjudgmental, comfortable environment.
3. My car – Ok, not feeling too grateful at the moment due to thousands of dollars work that needs to be done. Ugh. BUT I am grateful that we even have two cars and a motorcycle and that Kevin can drive his bike on a sunny day and I can take his car.I especially feel grateful for my house, job and vehicles when there are so many people in our community and around the world that have none. We may not be “rich”, but we are definitely rich!!
Today I’m just plain grateful to be alive. And here’s why:
2. Grateful for my experience with depression: Yes, it’s true. I can now truly understand with love and compassion what others are going through, without judgement or stigma.
3. Depression has given me a voice for others that suffer. For years, I was ashamed and embarrassed. I suffered alone. Now, I want to speak for those that aren’t ready to speak themselves. You are not alone! You are loved, wanted and needed. You do have a purpose in this life. I will do what little I can to end the stigma, so you too can feel free to ask for help. I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again…depression sucks! But I am grateful for every experience in my life (the good and the bad) I will use to them to help others. (2 Cor 1:3-4)
The 5 Days of Gratitude was a wonderful exercise to remind me that I have so much to be grateful for. Today I will celebrate my 42 years of life, and be excited about what the next ___ years will bring.
Happy Birthday to me!! 🙂
Have you ever lost your voice? How did you find it again? Will you be challenged to post your gratitude for five days in a row?