Hello Friends, Last month, my Darling stumped me with “So…what do you want for your birthday?”.
In a tone suggesting, “Please don’t make me think about it.”, my knee-jerk response was “I don’t know”.
Asked by some, “What do you want for your birthday?”, I might say: “Nothing, really”, name something they’d enjoy getting me, OR roll the dice and share the truth-and wind up with a “gift” indicative of not being heard or valued.
I set out to create a list of items that appealed to me at a core level. I shared my list with Greg along with THE Rules (He welcomed both). Gifting Rules: “For any gifty occasion, please stick to the list. If on some random whim, you wish to buy me something expressive of who you are, feel free to save that for one of the 360+ days to express yourself in that way. Please do not use my birthday as an occasion to give in this familiar way. I find it upsetting”. Perhaps one day I will feel differently. He was 100% un-phased, charmed in fact, by this and in total agreement about the nature of these occasions.
My wanting and feeling were equally unwelcome in both my family and marriage- treated as burdensome defects of character. With Greg, expression of individual and collective wanting, needing, and feeling strengthens our connection, rather than weakening it. In this mutual and intentional vulnerability we thrive and expand and do not call on each other to contract.
Thank you, Oh Sweet Man, for wanting to know and celebrate me in ways that leave me feeling seen, heard, loved, celebrated. These are the gifts of life. When I receive gifts– I also recieve a message.