A theory about birthdays
A gentle note: In this email I mention the loss of a baby and talk about birth.
I have a theory around birthdays and I’m curious if you may have experienced it in any way. There’s an energy I have come to call The Birthday Portal, where each year around our birthday some of us can experience an energy that potentially echoes the energy of our own birth and the life or even themes we chose to incarnate into. For some it comes in the days leading up and for others it’s just on the day itself. For some it’s pretty subtle and for others it can be more significant lasting for days.
What I’m talking about is not about getting older, it’s more about re-circling back around the energy of your birth. For so many decades I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I felt such big and complex feelings every year in the lead up to and around my birthday. On the one hand I was so excited, and at the same time I felt a grief I could not label that was so deep and all encompassing that it would stop me receiving the celebration.
When my son was a few days old, my mum made a fleeting comment about the days after my birth that felt like a key had just been given to me. Discovering this bit of information felt like finding a part of me that had been frozen and lost for so long.
She said that on the September day I was born on, the hospital was over capacity. This meant that my mum and I were put in a corridor and then tiny room with another mother who had just unexpectedly lost her baby and was deep in the throes of grief. My mum felt so terrible for her and desperately tried to keep me quiet, as every time I cried it would no doubt trigger the loss of her baby, both physically and emotionally. As the flowers and balloons and celebrating family and friends kept rolling in, my mum felt so bad for how this grieving mum must have been feeling and tried to downplay the celebration.
This tiny piece of information that came out of my mum’s mouth as a passing comment landed deeply in my body. Suddenly I understood why as a child I was so obsessed with death and the process of grief. Why in my teenage years I began reading psychology textbooks on the grieving process like I was at university. And why since the age of sixteen I had formed such deep relationships with women, sometimes four times my age, who had tragically lost a child. I would visit them after school and in university and listen to them describe their grief for hours on end. It was as if my life had been for some reason woven with theirs. Decades on, I now wonder, did all of this come from a blueprint set up in the first moments and days after my birth? And if I knew about this would it have helped me understand myself and my path a little more clearly?
I wonder, do the moments of and around our birth cause an imprint within some of us? Of course like all things in life there are many ways to look at it. Perhaps all of it is chosen from the perspective of the soul. Perhaps even the most difficult of experiences are the stone which our greatest gifts are chiselled from.
One of the things I love most about being a mum is creating new rituals that we do as a family. Although you don’t need to be a parent to do them. One ritual we do now is on each of our birthdays we tell the story of our birth.
Yesterday my son turned three and it was the first birthday he has been properly speaking for. He woke up and I had created a birthday altar for him and we gathered around it and told him the story of his birth.
For someone who never sits still and is not much of a cuddler, he was absolutely captivated. As if a deeper part of him was being seen. Now the rest of the day was a bit of a rushed and very very intense, just like his birth. But for this precious moment around the breakfast table, time seemed to stretch. As I tucked him into bed he asked me if it was my birthday too. I said it wasn’t but he was adamant that it was both of our birthdays. And now writing this, I see that it was.
I wonder if the details of our birth and the early days of our life have an imprint on us and the life we chose to incarnate into. Perhaps regardless of the circumstances they are perfect for what our soul came here to do. And through acknowledging them we can understand ourselves and our path a little bit more.
P.S. I’ll be going live on Instagram and Facebook on October 27th, sharing a 20 minute download called Spiritual Practice for Busy Parents, although you don’t need to be a parent to listen to it. If you feel called, I’d love to see you there! You can add it to your calendar here.