First off, thank you to everyone who made my birthday so special this week.
I have received a lot of love in the last few days, thanks to people using the internet for good, instead of evil. I ate a remarkable amount of cake, spent the day with people I love, and fell asleep on the couch. It was a better-than-average Wednesday.
My brother and I generally don’t exchange gifts for birthdays, because he lives in Chicago, and I am here. He’s older than me by a few years and our birthdays are only 5 days apart, meaning we spent a few years sharing birthday parties, which sort of worked out. I was a very jealous child, and somewhere, there is a photo of us, with my brother opening a gift by the pool. I am standing next to him, in my ill-fitting bathing suit with my arms crossed, giving him the fiercest side-eye to ever cross the face of a nine year old. Relative maturity hit later on in life for me.
He sent me a nice note for my birthday a few days ago, and broke our usual, no-gift pattern. He had donated to The Compassion Collective in my name, one of my sister-in-law’s favorite organizations. They work with kids all over, but mostly focus on families affected by refugee issues and homeless youth in the US. I had heard about them before through the Elizabeth Gilbert/Brene Brown/Cheryl Strayed-love-power team, but I wasn’t fully aware of what they are doing.
After going through the website more, I’m so in. The people behind it are some of my favorites, including the human heart with legs, Glennon Doyle Melton, of Momastery. They collect the money using their reach and network, and then work alongside the pros to make sure the money is going to all the right places.
I encourage you to look at what they are doing, it is truly wonderful. This gift was unexpected, and so appreciated. It’s a reminder to me of what is important, and how to lean in to the feelings, and not shut down just to keep your own heart safe. Read more about them, because they can say it better than I can.
“Because love is not Either/Or. Love is AND/BOTH.”