I’m proud of you. Sometime last year I gave myself permission to be proud of people’s accomplishments even if I had no hand in them. Being proud of someone feels to me like an extension of love. It feels uplifting from my heart and like a recognition of what they’ve been through to achieve what they have. It feels sparkly, almost effervescent. It feels like a celebration.
I’m proud of J for growing up and getting clean.
I’m proud of A for following her own inner compass, even when people around her try to pull her in different directions.
I’m proud of C for reaching out when she needed help to work through her grief.
I’m proud of D for being a lifelong learner and taking on challenges even when he didn’t have to.
I’m proud of J. O. for going deep in her work of healing herself enough to become a mother which she always wanted.
I’m proud of M for facing a challenging life circumstance with calm equanimity.
I’m proud of N for learning how to let people love her.
I’m proud of S for facing generational pain.
I’m proud of I for answering her growing daughter's questions with honesty and diplomacy.
I'm proud of R for waking up one morning and changing his entire life.
And so many more. I could fill pages.
Some definitions of pride:
"A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired."
"A reasonable and justifiable feeling of being worthwhile: self-respect. 2: a feeling of being better than others. 3: a sense of pleasure that comes from some act or possession. Parents take pride in their children's progress. 4: someone or something that makes someone proud -' That car is my pride and joy.'"
When I was growing up, I equated pride with being egoic. Since then I realized that what was really going on was that I had poor self-esteem and wasn't good at accepting compliments.
And excessive pride to the point of arrogance and not being open to other people's perspectives doesn't seem like the best idea. But a healthy pride in yourself and others in recognition of meaningful achievements and milestones? That feels good and empowering. And right now, with so many unknowns in the larger world that we have little to no control over and are being told about constantly, acknowledgment and recognition of each other helps. So many people I know and come into contact with through my work, are doing their best. Their best to move through confusing times, to take care of themselves and grow into better versions of themselves, to take care of their bodies and minds.
I am proud of all of you. I see you. I see all the small ways you try and succeed and fail and try again. We could make a different choice and not try, but somehow we wake up, we get out of bed, and live another day. Some days it feels easy and delightful, and other days it feels like we barely make it through the day. This is totally normal. It never fails to astound me how vast and variable the experience of being human is, even just in one body, one life, much less all of the variety that is in existence.
And so I ask you gently to notice your achievements, be they tiny or immense, and feel into the fact that you did them.