Finding the path through celebrating what is and what you’ve done rather than what you’ve lost and what you are not. This is something I’ve known forever on an intellectual level. I’ve always known that in order to be successful or to move forward, you need to make peace with where you are, figure out where you’re going and then figure out a way to close the gap. But I never took stock of my present location as something worthy of celebrating. It was still too easy to look at how far still remained to go. And if I’m totally honest, a lot of the teaching from my childhood about celebrating achievement still rang in my head: it’s arrogant to celebrate an achievement.
I never realized the disservice and the detriment I caused myself by NOT appreciating what I had done. I chalked everything up to luck or coincidence or good timing and never took stock of what I was actually able to achieve. I never appreciated the effort I put in. I never appreciated my role in it or my ability to discern the gift I had been given and what it took to execute and achieve. I looked at all the losses and ignored the gain. That was a bit of my undoing because I lost touch with those abilities for a while and I took for granted that I would always be able to do it.
Celebrating accomplishments isn’t about ego—it’s about connection. It’s about honoring who we are and our connection to our purpose and the universe. It’s about recognizing the divine in us because it removes the element of chance and puts faith and belief at the center. Even if they are our accomplishments, they are only so through that connection we have with the universe and source. So the truth is, celebration isn’t about us at all. It’s about respecting that relationship we have with something so much greater than us. There is no ego, only appreciation and presence. If we get stuck on an accomplishment, that is ego. If we define who we are by that accomplishment, that is ego. If we demand any accolades, that is ego. But enjoying the reward of the effort with an understanding that it was our place, that is divine.
So I’m learning to take time each day not only to feel gratitude, but to reconnect with that source. To remember what I did. To look at what I passed through in order to get where I am. I’m looking at what I did do rather than what I didn’t. The change in perspective is drastic. Suddenly there is life where I felt a barrenness. There is hope to achieve something else where there was obligation and overwhelm before. There is pride and appreciation for the experiences instead of petulance over what didn’t happen. There is an appreciation for my humanity rather than berating my imperfection. This is life-changing. Celebrate the connection and the faith rather than mourn it. Enjoy the opportunities and accept them with gratitude. Fulfill the purpose and keep moving. Celebrate each step you can because joy is the creator of more opportunity.