Here's a challenge that you might think sounds easy but can be quiet a button pusher: For 24 hours, make yourself the center of a one person celebration. Every cup of coffee you buy is a reward for being awesome. Every set of stairs you climb, every work task you complete, every meal you prepare is a feat worthy of a moment you pause, look around and say, "Yes, I did that, nobody did that for me, and I'm fucking awesome for it." Everything you do, no matter how small, is going to end with, "My name is Melissa and just by being me and showing up for life, I deserve a freakin' parade." (And of course you'd change Melissa to your name.)
I decided to do this because I have a hard time celebrating myself. As someone who spent a long time in the dumps of "I hate myself," and feeling my life was a worthless vacuum going nowhere, this was a hard move for me to make. I feel good about myself now. I think positive thoughts. I surround myself with people who support me but are also honest with me. But... to celebrate myself and my life? That makes me uncomfortable. And that holds me back. Big time.
So from 1:30 PM today until 1:30 PM tomorrow I'm celebrating myself. I am declaring myself worthy of being celebrated. And I'm going to push through the discomfort of everything this brings up. There's already gunk and tar coming up, and I just started. The fear of being arrogant. The fear someone will step in and say, "Actually, you're not awesome, you're not worthy of being celebrated." The fear of losing perspective and suddenly feeling I'm better than others (which shows how irrational fears can be - see the previous, countering fear for proof).
And maybe the biggest fear of all: If I celebrate myself, so will others, and then I'll be seen.
The desire to hide is an ongoing thing I'm working through. I tend to declare myself ready, show up, and then tremble with fear and run to the shadows as soon as I gather others around me. But hey, it's okay. Because the thing is, if I never showed up at all, if I always waited for the perfect moment, guess what? I'd always be waiting. I would never have to 1.) acknowledge I like to hide 2.) do anything about it or 3.) look at where these feelings come from.
So here's a little list of things I want to celebrate about my life so far. As I prepare to write this my fear that I'm going to seem totally arrogant and wanting only to brag is rearing it's ugly head. But damn it, I'm done with that. I must write it and push through the discomfort.
I hope you start your own 24 hours of self-celebration, and if you do, comment or message me so I can come over and celebrate you!!! Also, keep in mind this is my list, based on my life, and what you want to celebrate is personal to you. Only you know where you started, and so only you get to declare what's worthy of all your praises.
* You don't have to read this list, but please read my check-in at the end, where I share briefly what this brought up in me.
Okay, so I just finished my list and I'm back for a little check-in. Despite listing some pretty cool things, I don't feel so great right now. I feel a little down. My energy is not soaring and I'm not popping confetti bottles in my honor right now.
I'm thinking about the things that aren't on the list that I feel should be. So I wrote screenplays - but I haven't sold one yet. How can I celebrate them if they're still unsold? And so I was in a few triathlons. So what? That was over a decade ago and I'm not in a fraction of the shape I was in then, so I can't celebrate that. And I certainly can't celebrate the fact that I lived in Buenos Aires. I didn't learn Spanish like I'd hoped and I was a nervous wreck most of the time about the novel I was writing...
Mixed in with it all is that awesome, overarching belief, "You can't celebrate your life because you've made too many mistakes! TOO MANY! No amount of achievement, travel, or goal completion will make up for the ways you fucked up."
That's a doozy.
This is why this can be such a button pusher. All those countering beliefs that pull you down, they're going to come up. But the thing is, whether you let them come up or not, whether you acknowledge them or not, they're there, sabotaging your life. I'm feeling pretty done with those sneaky little bastards, so I'm going to say, "Come on up. All of you, get up here, let's get this over with. Here's the deal: I see you. And I hear you. But I refuse to be defined by you. I refuse to be ruled by you. I refuse to give my power to you." Boom! Take that countering beliefs.
I'll come back tomorrow and let you know how my 24 hours of self-celebration ended. I'm hoping with some balloons and a bottle of champagne, but I have to be honest, I have no idea what this is going to lead to. Whatever it is, I'm ready and I'm willing, because nobody puts Baby in a corner.