You Can't Give What You Don't Have

Love can compel you to do crazy things and live without a lot. But first you must love yourself!

My parents always made a big occasion out of my birthday. They would rent venues, have food catered, hire a live band and the whole shabang. Maybe it was an excuse for them to party because I must have been sleeping through it at the age of five. As an adult I in turn made a big fuss about EVERY birthday, placing unrealistic expectations on those around me to also make a fuss. It was selfish and self-centered. 

This year, in an attempt to slay the ego, I WANTED TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT. I wondered what it would be like to intentionally celebrate one's birthday alone in public. How would I feel in a fancy restaurant when the staff start to wondering why this dolled up girl is celebrating alone? Does she not have any friends or family? What emotions would overcome when the waiter asks, "just one setting?"

I've been on a journey of self-acceptance, realizing self-worth and a lot of solitude with God in the past few years. I LEARNED THAT YOU CANNOT TRULY LOVE OTHER PEOPLE IF YOU CAN'T FIRST LOVE YOURSELF. Even if you want to LOVE OTHERS, how can you give any one something you don't have?

We can beat ourselves up with thoughts of not doing enough or trying too hard for every shortcoming in and out of our control. Years of self-criticism can leave us running on fumes, depleted of vigor and love for others because we don't have the will to love ourselves. 

In light of this realization, I wanted to be the first person to celebrate me, to say hey girl "you're not that bad." I showed up to a nice Italian Restaurant and asked for a private room for a party of ONE! Ordered up fatty goodness on the menu and journaled while I ate, mostly to thank God for all He has blessed me with in the past year. Dinner was uncomfortable at first. The experience caused me to wrestle with self-worth based on other people's perception of how occasions like birthdays should be celebrated. After grappling with my ego for the first 15 minutes, I got over the stigma of celebrating alone and quiet confidence arose. The beauty of who I AM was able to pierce through the rubble of doubt and insecurity. In that moment, I accepted the person I have to spend everyday with: ME. My heart became full and I'm ready to GIVE because I HAVE. You would be surprised at how much more you can give to others when your heart is filled with love for yourself.