Oct
15

Are You Celebrating Enough?

By

Someone I have followed for years confessed in an email that 2021 was a very tough year for her, and one of the things that suffered was that she quit showing up the way she was used to doing. She was holding back. Mostly out of fear—fear of judgment.

Since she wasn’t used to holding back, she didn’t feel like herself. She set the goal to get her mojo back, hired some coaches to help her, and is now meeting her goal.

That got me to thinking. I think the past two and a half years have been difficult for all of us. Not only was there the pandemic and the host of problems it unleashed on all of us, but no doubt a lot of your own personal issues either came back in a new way, or were exacerbated by the Emotional Inflammation from all that’s going on around us.

I know that was true for me. But here’s the thing that I realized when I read my friend’s email: I kept showing up.

Despite a broken foot, settling my mother’s estate over a prolonged 17 months of pure hell that ended in tragedy . . . despite some other very challenging situations, I kept showing up for my family, myself, my friends, my clients, and you, my dear readers.

I feel very good about that. I’m celebrating that!

And you know what? It motivates me to continue.

The challenges, if anything, have gotten more demanding. And given at least one of the challenges, it’s very likely not going to get better.

But I’m determined to keep showing up. I’m trusting that God will continue to give me strength. I’m looking at how far I’ve come, and refusing to be pulled down by negativity.

Oh, I cry sometimes. In fact, I cry a lot. I rage at times (best way: scream into a pillow in a room by myself). That’s all part of “showing up”–allowing myself to authentically feel my feelings, and get all the way through the stress cycle. (You have to get it out of your body through some kind of physical means.) Those of us with Childhood Emotional Neglect need to learn this.

It’s a messy business, this trying to heal and transform. But don’t let it get you down. Look for the things you can celebrate, and really let yourself feel good about the progress you’ve made.

Even if no one else notices.

Even if it seems small in comparison to what others may be posting on social media. Whatever feels like a positive for you is something to revel in and expand.

Our brains are wired to look for and dwell on the negative. This is especially true if you’ve grown up with any kind of trauma. We need to consciously counteract that negative bias.

It’s not just about “positive thinking.” It’s about rewiring your nervous system toward the positive truth.

It’s about choosing what to focus on.

One practice that helps me a lot with this is to jot down at the end of the day the things that felt like “gifts” to me. I see and receive them not as random good things that happened to me, but as gifts from a good God. I let myself be thankful and really celebrate that God loves me enough to do that thing for me.

Sometimes these gifts can feel very personal. An example from my friend was how she found the PERFECT dress and shoes to wear for her daughter’s wedding, at a very affordable price. (I went to that wedding and she looked SMASHING!)

The gifts could be little things or big things. Common things like a sunny autumn day, or very personalized gifts, such as my friend’s wedding outfit.

This practice of keeping track of the gifts pulled me out of a post-partem depression after my daughter was born. I started recording the gifts, and eventually they became my book, Abundant Gifts. You can download a free copy of my Abundant Gifts Journal here, if you want to record your own gifts.

Recording the gifts of the day, celebrating them as from the hand of a generous, good God, has slowly transformed my experience of life. I admit, there were times when I let this practice go. But then I would remember, and re-return, pick up my old journal, and celebrate what God and I have been doing in my life. I look for more, and I record them, and I fully receive them in celebration.

What can you celebrate today? (Write it down or you’ll forget!) Keeping track and feeling how good it feels will keep you going in that same positive trajectory.

And if you feel so inclined, share it as a comment below so we too can celebrate YOU!

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