Today is my birthday.

My birthday is usually a sacred day to me. One of quiet reflection for the year just passed, and of hopeful intention and planning for the one that lies ahead. This year will be no exception, of course, and circumstance has provided an extra catalyst for that purpose.

Early this morning I posted something witty (at least I thought so) on Facebook:

Today is my birthday.

Instead of leaving kind messages or donating to a worthy cause on my behalf, please just send presents. I’d like an iPad. Or a girlfriend.

The message got plenty of response. Some laughed because they also thought I was witty, but other responses were on the “girlfriend” issue. Some were surprised that “a guy like me” didn’t have a girlfriend (whatever that means). Some were plain curious as to why, a very kind bunch offered to help fill the position (thank you ladies [and gentlemen]), and then another group seemed skeptical – almost accusatory – as if there were something wrong with me for not having a girlfriend.

So, Do I Have a Problem?

Plenty, of course. A post to detail all of my flaws and faults would take up more space & time than even Einstein could calculate. But, to be fair, isn’t that the way it is with everyone?

It’s not a question of whether we have baggage or not, but more a matter of how well we carry our baggage.

We all have our issues, but having issues doesn’t stop us from having a girlfriend, boyfriend, hamster, goldfish or even a parking space. Apart from a recent & minor case of “trust-issue-itis” I’d like to think that I carry my baggage well. I’ve made it a priority to do the work necessary to, as Paulo Coelho would admonish, to “not let my wounds turn me into someone I’m not.

In fact, not having a girlfriend for the last year has been a huge sign of success. I’ve been mastering my current “homework assignment from the Universe” to say no to the ones who are not the one. (Reading this post will help explain the rest of what I’m going to say)

This homework assignment has been an insightful one. Difficult, at times, to go on dates and say “you are a beautiful, amazing, wonderful woman and would make a great life partner…. for someone else.” Difficult, but necessary. I’ve learned that just because I get along really well with – or am attracted to – someone, that it doesn’t mean they are the puzzle piece I’m looking for.

During the summer I posted this:

People have been asking me about my dating life lately, so here’s the update.

I’ve met someone special.

He is a tall, handsome, kind Canadian man. I’ve become quite attached to him and the feelings of appreciation for his goodness grow stronger every day. It is safe to say that I’m in love.

His name is Joseph.

I intend on seeing him exclusively until I find something comparable in a female version.

While slightly humorous, it’s also accurate to where I’ve been for a while.

In this past year I’ve met countless amazing people and went on a zillion first dates (a couple 2nd dates, and even one 3rd date) and have had a lot of great experiences. Many times, if I were only listening to how I felt in my heart at that moment, I may have landed myself a girlfriend. But, I’ve learned that the “inner whisper” speaks to both our minds as well as our hearts. Finding this harmony between the head and the heart is where true spiritual alignment begins, and when miracles can begin. (Yes, perhaps some might even consider me finding a girlfriend a miracle…)

But in the process of saying “no” more times that I ever expected I would, something beautiful has happened: I have gained some perspective on this puzzle called life. While I was steadfastly saying “no”, I was also quietly putting many of other puzzle pieces together… And, as with any puzzle, the more pieces you put in place, the more obvious it becomes which piece you need to fill the space that remains.

As saying “no” has become easier, it has also become incredibly clear what the “yes” piece will look like. I know who she is, and she’s amazing. She’s worth the wait…