Happy Birthday to me. I have to say it. I wonder if anyone will know? It will feel weird to not get the phone calls, see the messages. Hear the voices of the ones I love. It’s strange. So many of the ones I deeply love and care about are here. In fact, I’m sitting across from two of my favorites as I type this. But I don’t think one of them knows it’s my birthday. Many of these people know me more intimately than many who know that February 21st is the day I was born. (Or those who happened to catch the notice on FB.) They’ve seen me at my worst (especially these two.) Yet it’s likely that not one of them will offer me the ego satisfaction of being recognized on “my day.”

So what does that say about birthdays? Do they really matter? Or are birthdays simply the one day it’s acceptable to acknowledge our deep desire to be recognized? To let the ego get its fill? The one day it’s okay to indulge in LOOK AT ME! I MATTER. Love me. I’m worthy of it. Because I was born. And this is true. I am worthy of love. But not just today. So I turn my attention away from the ego gratification of this day and begin to contemplate a more selfless approach to today. MY day. So I give it up.

I give up this day to the Divine. I surrender my ego and get out of the way. Today is not MY day. It’s YOUR day. It was the day you brought me into this world as I know it and right now, only you know the reason. I’m still trying to figure it out. So I will listen, because it’s really my only choice. And whether I hear the answer today or another day this week, month or even three months, I have faith that you will tell me what I need to hear. And when I need to hear it.

I may have heard it this morning. At 5:30am in the shrine. I’m pretty sure I resisted. It was too early for that. I pushed back. Teach. Between the door creaks, the barking dogs and other ferrel animal callings foreign to me until I arrived here in Khujarho. It may not be the answer I wanted to hear. But I will do my best to stay clear and open.

It is my birthday after all. That is my gift to myself. More shrine time.