Friday, October 22, 2010

I Celebrate Me

I am not the same person I was a year ago. Of course, I am. But yet I'm not. I embarked on a fabulous journey of excavation and introspection, quieting and forward action. I've unearthed many insights, from the seemingly slight to the profound. One tidbit I learned is this: most of my life, I've searched for, and expected, validation from eternal sources. When I accomplished something, I looked for grades, raises, flowers, praise and/or presents from others. I think this is partly societal. But I can't blame it all on our ever-powerful society because I believe it is also just inherently me.

So, outwardly I looked. Seeking accolades from my parents, teachers, friends, bosses, boyfriends, strangers walking down the street. I placed the fulcrum of my happiness under the lever of other's unpredictable cadences. Understandable, I guess, but in retrospect, not very smart. Not really smart at all.

One random smack or capricious whim could easily crumble me.

When I accomplished something, or reached a big goal, I looked to others to celebrate me. Not too surprisingly, looking for validation in exterior places littered my life with many disappointments. And ultimately left me empty. Because I so busily looked (and looked and looked and looked) for acclaim, I forgot to look within.

So. With careful recalibration and awareness, I stopped. I now rejoice and celebrate my wins and successes. If others
want to join in (and bring presents), I'm certainly not going to stop them. But I own the celebration. It's critical for me...and I've realized, critical for my children. I want their compasses to encourage inward celebratory introspection rather than outward validation.

Recently, I met a huge goal of mine. So, after much mental high-fiving and giddy excitement, I drove myself to the store. I walked (maybe even strutted) into the jewelry department and located
the necklace. The one I've coveted. Simplistically gorgeous, perfectly commemorating my success.

I bought that necklace. I wear it proudly. Everyday. It will forever remind me of my accomplishment. And, it will act as a talisman of this truth: that looking frantically for things outside ignores the wealth and bounty within...and leaves me with. out. anything.

Every accolade I want and need comes from within.

3 comments:

Law Momma said...

amen, lovely! And congrats on your big accomplishment and your new necklace. This is a fantastic and oh-so-true post.

Christine said...

Denise I am speechless. Speechless because the sincerity and truth of your words, but also because it feels as though you may be in my head. This I know so deeply, so truly. Your words have touched me more than I can easily express. Thank you my friend.
xo

Aging Mommy said...

I have never looked particularly for external affirmations and interestingly I see the same tendencies in my daughter. However, at the same time I have often failed to acknowledge or celebrate my own accomplishments. All kudos to you for seeking within and finding that affirmation of yourself. I hope you continue to wear that necklace with pride.