Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Birthday: The Morning After

This is what I wrote in my very first post about the purpose of having a blog: "It's about looking at the origin of our being...who/what we were actually created for and what characteristics all of us share.  For example, my heart is made up of need for beauty, for truth, justice, love and belonging, etc.  Without these, a part of me feels dried up, empty or unsatisfied.  And so, this blog is going to be experiences, musings, sharings based on where I saw the needs of my heart explode and start asking again."

Now, it's with great humility that I admit that not all of these moments that really made my heart explode are ones that give you the warm fuzzies.  In fact, some experiences are just down right ugly BUT in what I am about to share I started asking/evaluating again that question, "What am I truly made for?"  THIS makes the event "blog-worthy."

Hands down, my birthday should have completely fulfilled me.  I had quality time with friends and family doing things that I LOVE (eating, dancing, singing, etc.).  People made special sacrifices to be with me like being uncomfortable line dancing because they didn't know the steps or leaving their baby with a sitter for the first time.  My sister and other college friends travelled long distances to see my face on my birthday.  And for this, my heart really, really swells with a deep sense of gratitude and knowledge that I could never repay the goodness that was done for me those days.

Then enter the mistake of getting swept up in the party for myself--people are happy to buy me drinks and I'm happy to take them--and before you know it, I have lost the meaning of why I'm with friends and family in the first place and what this means for the big picture of my life.  I got selfish and for those events of a few hours--and the poor witness I was to my friends--I am very ashamed.

I didn't TRULY thank those around me for being with me.  I missed valuable conversation and moments.  I was a mess of a person and had to live with myself the morning after...scandalized that someone (me) who is so involved with the Catholic Church, a teacher, a leader in the community could be such an IDIOT.

But, being Catholic is the coolest thing to be because there are graces offered to us all the time when we choose to accept them.  Although it was really difficult to do because I was still so embarrassed by my behavior, I went to Confession the next night and found God's infinite love and mercy again and a hope to begin again.  I've apologized to certain friends and am really trying to abolish this myth that just because it's your "birthday" you are allowed to do anything you feel like.

The truth is that sometimes doing anything we feel like does not lead to ultimate happiness.  In my experiences, I have found that the times when I am most selfless and simple are the times that I am happiest. The opportunity for simplicity and selflessness was there on my birthday night. (because the presence of alcohol and dancing are not the problem--I am the problem!)

So, I get up and move on because I can't erase my past.  Instead, I seek conversion ever more fully wanting to understand more who is this "Christ" who says that NOTHING will fulfill you except Him.  I was pointed again in my inner longing to something beyond myself and even what my friends can provide for me.  My moral life stems from this love for Christ in the people and situations around me.  So, I need an increase in knowledge that Christ is really here and that He really does save my nothingness.  So, in my love for Him, I do the right thing.  Our greatest falls might in fact be the greatest opportunities for conversion.  I'm already seeing my change of heart in just the past few days.  I'm curious to see where it takes me!