I was going through our family’s photos on iPhoto today and came to a profound conclusion. We must have gone digital using iPhoto in 2002 so I spent a good hour or more going through these snapshots of my life and the people I love most.
The photos showed all the vacations we’ve taken, people we’ve hung out with, various hairstyles, and all the stages of my son from infancy to Little League baseball player. The photos showed the remodel of the 1923 cottage we completed in 2006 which is now our home. We even have pictures of our moving day from our old house to this one. I have pictures of the beginnings of my Spiritual Sweet Spot business from several years ago. I have photos of my wonderful dog, Indy, whom we had to send to heaven in February this year.
It was great to take a trip down memory lane but the thing I came away with from viewing these photos today was how proud I was. Yes. I am proud of my life. I am proud of what I’ve achieved.
I’m proud of my marriage and that I still love my husband and consider him my best friend. I’m proud of our son and the environment and guidance we’ve given him to grow into who he is today. I’m proud of our house and how we resurrected it into a happy, stylish yet comfortable home. I’m proud of our vacations. I’m proud of the choices we’ve made.
I’m proud of our investment in an 1891 Victorian house that we got historically designated so it will be preserved for a long time to come. I’m proud of our food choices in eating healthy, organic food that I prepare slowly (instead of fast food). I’m proud that our family comes first. I’m proud that we all try to take care of each other the best we can. I’m proud that we try every day to live joy in our little family.
If I were to look down from heaven (wherever and whatever that is), I’d be proud of what I’ve done so far. I’ve never had that realization before. I always looked at my life before and thought to myself that I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t successful enough. I didn’t have enough on my résumé to be proud of. I wasn’t thin enough, rich enough, famous enough and so on. What would people in high school think about what I’d accomplished? I was feeling regret and sadness and disappointment for not having the outward appearances that I thought others or the world expected of me and equated with success.
I feel like I’ve turned a corner now. No matter what, I’ve lived a darn good life that I can be proud of. I’ve loved and loved hard with my entire being. I’ve cared too much. I’ve tried to be true to myself while honoring the paths of others. I perfected being imperfect. I worked hard and played well. I rested when I was tired. I said I was sorry when I was. I tried to live in integrity. I tried to grab joy whenever possible. I tried often to give a hug or a kind word. I tried to live in tune with mother earth.
The truth of it all is that I accept myself just the way that I am. I accept my life as successful because I’m happy. I am truly happy. I am loved. I have great people to love. I love how I spend my time. I will attempt to hold on to this feeling and remember that the world’s opinions of me mean nothing.
My wish is that you will join me in looking over your life. What do your photos reveal? Have you grown? Have you loved? Have you cried? Have you tried to live the best life you can? Have you been good to others? Have you been good to yourself? Can you open up to be proud of your life too? Maybe you already are. If so, I’m glad. I just got here myself.
I’m happy to say I am proud of me and the life I’ve led. I would say that this is all that matters except for one last thing—what will I be proud of next?