A couple of years ago I did the eulogy for my 101 year old Grandpa's funeral service. Afterward, a woman approached me, introduced herself, and told me that she was one of the nurses who stood with my dad while he watched me being born. I had the umbilical cord wrapped multiple times around my neck and my mother agreed that students could watch my complicated birth as a learning exercise. She remembers that as she lay on the table, she could see a group of students watching, taking notes on their clipboards in the viewing rafters above. She described it all as a bit surreal. After giving birth myself twice, I can only imagine.
What this woman told me (I never even caught her name) was that once I was delivered into this world alive and well, she will never forget the look on my father's face. He was in awe. And she remembers that she said to him, "it almost makes you believe there's a god, doesn't it?"
Now this was interesting. Growing up my father was a self-proclaimed atheist. My father an atheist, my mother a catholic church-going, choir-singing Christian--made room for much exploration about the meaning of life on my part. For the bulk of my time here on Earth, I leaned toward my father's bent, focused on attaining knowledge, hard facts, scientific principles, and for the most part subscribed to the ideology that "seeing is believing."
Within the past few years, I have had an awakening of sorts. One that has moved me out of the "seeing is believing" mindset and into the "believing is seeing" paradigm. This has been a bit shocking to those around me, and quite frankly, to myself as well. And yet the trust that I have been able to cultivate in this mysterious thing we call life has freed me to activate the biggest, strongest, fiercest and most loving aspects of myself and choose to live from that place. And when I put that internal stake in the ground, the external environment must respond.
They say that your birth experience can be a metaphor for how you live out your life. Well, if that is true, then on this pinnacle birthday point in my life, 40 years today, I am once again choosing to be on stage and serve as a learning exercise.
Plus…I’m gonna be dead, ashes scattered within the next 61 years (if I follow my grandpa’s lead) so why not choose to live from “my big self” place right now?
Thank you to my parents for allowing me a life filled with duality and questioning. And thank you to that woman who approached me on the day of my grandfather's funeral. I will likely never know who you were or see you again, but you were one of the many, many serendipitous connections that have kept me going on this path to becoming truly free. Onward!