Reverb12: Celebrating Myself

How are you going to celebrate yourself this festive season?

The truth is I probably don’t celebrate myself as much as one should. I don’t mean the corny, Hallmark Channel type of self-celebration either. (Though that is harmless, even if not for me.) I mean the concept of honoring my own uniqueness by allowing it to be known and shared with those around me. I imagine celebrating myself would also include a great deal of inward appreciation for what I am.

I have aspects of myself for which I am grateful, and of which I am proud. Specifically my high level of skill as both a writer and an actor. Then there are aspects of me that I am not proud of. Aspects of me that require at least improvement and at most elimination. Over the years I’ve dedicated quite a bit of energy and time into reflection and reconstruction of those aspects of myself. I will admit to mixed results. I am much improved over my self from years ago in ways and in other ways I remain the same despite the efforts at change.

Therein lies the difficulty with celebrating oneself. That crucial delicate balance between loving oneself as is, and seeking to always be better than one used to be. Can one celebrate oneself totally while trying to change certain aspects of their lives and personality? Yes, I suppose they can. It’s just a balance I still struggle with. As though celebrating the good aspects of myself, or celebrating myself as a whole will endorse those aspects of me I’d like to change.

Which of course it will not. We can have friends and even spouses that posses certain weaknesses with which we have issues, and yet love the entire person no less. Let that be a lesson for our view of ourselves, that we may celebrate who we are even as we seek to improve who we are. We just need to be careful not to become so enamored with who we are as to lose all motivation to improve and evolve.

However, like any high wire balancing act it’s possible to fall in the opposite direction. The open space through which we can tumble on the other side of the wire is a constant state of self-correcting. A daily routine consisting of analysis and overzealous self-discipline. A place where we are never satisfied with our progress and punish ourselves accordingly. This is no more useful to us than narcissism.

Yet the prompt is about celebrating and not berating myself, and believe it or not, I’m getting to that. I just wanted to address that balance first. I’m a thorough sort, after all.

Just as many people allow their diets to be suspended during the holiday season, I think it is wise for all of us, not just me, to celebrate ourselves during this festive season by accepting our weaknesses and less desirable traits for what they are without trying to correct them. To simply be, for good and bad, productive and unproductive, forward and backward. To enjoy the examination of ourselves, but not use it as a means to remold ourselves. That’s a lot of work, and it’s probably more difficult to celebrate the holidays whilst we try to improve ourselves all the time. They will be plenty of time for it in the New year.

There are limits of course. Those addicted to drugs must not let the holidays put off their rehabilitation. If our flaws are doing harm to other people, or threatening our own lives than we have gone beyond merely accepting what we are. We are then dealing with illness or injury, and I don’t intend to suggest such things be ignored during the holidays of course.

Reverb is actually one way I am participating in this self-celebration. As with last year the prompts encourage me not only to write more, but to think more. To present to the world an assessment of who I am, what my world is like, and how I would like to change both as time goes on. It’s an ongoing assessment  but one that during this blogging experience I shall do a bit more openly with the public.

I’m also going to try to immerse myself more in the worlds of my strengths. Writing and theatre. I actually try to do this all year round of course. Follow the bliss and that kind of thing. But so many other worries and anxieties have invaded my mind lately that I don’t think either is getting all of the mental and spiritual energy it deserves  I hope to correct that a bit during this festive season. (Though I am not in a Christmas play this year.)


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