Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I'm Proud

The other day I was in the checkout line at the grocery store with my daughter.  While we were waiting, I spontaneously hugged and kissed her and said, "I'm proud of you, Babygirl!"

The woman in line in front of us turned around with a jerk of her head and stared at us for a moment.  She scrunched up her eyebrows and blinked at us a few times, before turning back around and shaking her head.

It caused me to wonder what I had done that was so noteworthy and unusual.  If I had said, "I love you!" to my daughter, I wonder if she would have had the same reaction.  On the other extreme, if I had scolded or berated my child, would she have noticed?  This woman's opinion does not change how I feel about my daughter, nor does it make me regret my actions.  But it does make me think.

I suppose it is unusual to hear someone spontaneously say they are proud of you, with nothing to prompt it.  Just as we say that love is unconditional, my child does not have to perform to have my love, does she have to perform for to have my pride?  I should think that being 6-years-old and learning to navigate through life is a big enough challenge, worthy of the pride of her mother!  I am proud of her spirit, her stubbornness, her quick wit, phenomenal memory, and her desire for harmony and justice.

My husband is a source of pride for me.  He works so hard at his job, and he has been working even harder at finding his true self.  This man is funny, kind, gentle, innately musical, creative and incredibly clever.  I am proud that he is my partner through life, I am proud of his achievements, I am proud of his struggles and I am proud of the father that he is.

My son is a crazy little boy.  Being 4-years-old is not an easy task, especially when it feels like every other person in your life is bigger and bossier than you.  He has the silliest sense of humor, and knows no fear (except when faced with a dog of any size).  I am so proud of who he is learning to become.

How proud am I of me?  When is the last time I looked in the mirror and said, "Hey girl, I'm proud to be you" ?  I am proud of many of my accomplishments, but am I proud of me?  Can I hold my head up high and say, "I am worthy of pride"?  I have been working for a long time to see and love the beauty that exists around me, and I have realized lately that there is a beauty in personal pride from within.

I know I struggle with it.  All I have to do is look at my personal care routine.  I do the bare minimum, taking daily showers and whatnot.  But I can't tell you the last time I did more than simply brush my hair, or wore makeup without a very specific reason.  Every time I try to start a new self-care regimen, I manage to blow it aside in a matter of weeks, sometimes days.  

I'm a generous and beautiful person, with a loyal and loving heart.  Being a good wife, mother and daughter are all things that are very important to me.  I feed my family healthy meals every day, I pay my bills on time, I do a good job at work and I am fairly decent at crafts.  There is a lot about me that I can take pride in, if I can see past my expansive waistline, limp hair and short temper.  

My friend once posted a picture of herself with her hand up with the words, "I'm imperfect and I'm enough" on the palm.  Pride of self is a beautiful thing.  I deserve to feel proud of me, not just of what I have done, but of who I am.  This idea is still a developing thought.   I haven't quite figured out how I am going to incorporate these ideas into my life, but I figure that simply putting it out there is a good first step.

I DESERVE to feel pride in who I am
I DO NOT deserve to be crushed by shame

I DESERVE to understand that I am worthy of pride
I DO NOT deserve to hide behind a lack of a self care regimen

I DESERVE a thumbs up
I DO NOT deserve a thumbs down!

I DESERVE a smile in the mirror
I DO NOT deserve to focus on my imperfections.

I am a work in progress.  The tiny flame of pride is there.  The spark of potential is in there somewhere.  I need to feed it and baby it a bit for it to grow into a full flame.  I have a goal:  To learn to become as proud of myself as I deserve to be, and then maybe more.

I deserve BEAUTY in my life!