This was a year for celebrations and a big year for my family. It was my 40th birthday, my dad’s 70th birthday and my sister’s 45th. So I started thinking about how to celebrate all of this around half a year ago.
I think it’s important to celebrate, but many years, while I’d focus on celebrating other’s birthdays, by the time my own came around, I didn’t have time or energy to do something special.
It was weird because I’ve always felt deeply that life is not worth living if we do not take time to celebrate each other. Celebration is a time to pause and express gratitude for the life we have, for the year that passed, and to welcome the next year. It’s a time for getting together with friends and family, having a good time, creating memories. It’s especially important when we are all “so busy.”
While I believed all of that, I somehow did nothing about my own birthday celebration.
The last couple of years I’ve preached about how when we make something a priority, it becomes a reality. To walk the talk, this year I actually made my Birthday celebration one of my top priorities. It wasn’t just about a party (though there was a huge party) it was also about learning to celebrate myself exactly how I was. It was about feeling grateful for every bit of myself, the good and the bad.
Before I was able to celebrate, I had to confront some of my personal beliefs. When I started thinking about my celebration in a big way, I started feeling uncomfortable, like somehow I wasn’t worthy. Like I didn’t deserve it. I worked with my therapist to understand why I felt unworthy and luckily she helped me move to a place where I realized that all of my old beliefs are not true for me now.
As one of my cousins, Olesia, who is getting her MA in Psychology said: “There is no one path to happiness, every person is creating her/his life. As many people as many paths”.
The biggest discovery that came from my celebration process was when I finally accepted and celebrated all of me. It was about celebrating my space even though I didn’t have a loft in Manhattan. It was about celebrating my relationships even though I wasn’t married.
With this realization came liberation. I could just be me, who I am now. Not who I will become or who I could be. With liberation came excitement about the future.
Many people have said this before, with the wisdom of age also comes a lightness of being and doors of possibilities that open even wider.
Go deep and find a way to Celebrate you.
Image design credit @Olya Tsikhanchuk