How do we achieve the “happy” in our birthday? Here is a practice that helps me.
Start from the beginning of your life and trace your entire earthly existence up to the present. In your reflections, try to consciously see the guidance of God in your life. How it meticulously operated in and through every experience, through sorrow and joy, in order to lead you onward and inwardly mature you. Find patterns of how this guidance worked. Enter into this.
Next, turn toward your fellowman. Try to see how every friendship, family member, coworker, and everyone you have crossed paths with have benefited you in some way, and given you valuable lessons indispensable for your inner growth. Do not just focus on the “good”, but observe the even the most difficult relationships by trying to recognize how they gave you something special. Even if it is bitter friction that exposed the contents of your heart, thus showing what still needs refinement and what still holds you back on your path of inner maturation.
Finally, connect the guidance from God in life events with the help you received through your neighbor in different relationships and circumstances. Try to recognize how everyone and everything, the good and tumultuous, was part of that guidance from above meant to help you.
It is the deep inner feeling accompanying the recognition of the connections that blesses this day and marks it as special. The recognition of the Divine guidance for yourself in all things is where the “happiness” of this day lies. It is through this reflection I wish you a “happy birthday”. A birthday of thanksgiving to God, for the grace of allowing you to live and achive happiness.
~Ikenna Q Ezealah