This week has been a significant week, one that has invited me to examine the words “congratulations”, “celebration”, and “accomplishment.” I have both taken and passed my board exam, and graduated from my massage therapy program. I’ve received numerous, sincere congratulations, which has offered reflection on both celebration and accomplishment. I feel that, for myself, neither finishing a program, nor passing a test, merit celebration or a sense of accomplishment. And so I’ve felt a bit party-pooper-ish, when people have congratulated me this week, when my gut reaction has been mostly “meh”, a feeling completely not in keeping with the spirit in which the congratulations were offered.
When I was in my teens, I wanted to be someone who found things to celebrate all the time. My decision-making led me to a state where, instead, I didn’t celebrate much of anything at all. The last several years have been a journey back to where I want to go, and this idea of celebration is part of that. So, as I sat today for my meditation practice, I allowed myself to pursue inquiry, rather than stillness.
I asked myself: If doing these things are not, in my mind, worthy of celebration, what things are?
I experienced the most unexpected rush of emotion, for a few moments. And then, without words, I knew my answer. But I can’t share it with you, without words, so here it is, wrapped in words: For me, what is worthy of celebration is the decision to begin. My trial, my ordeal, was (and is) one of attachment to ideas – mostly about financial security but also about sustainability and risk taking and about having enough and about control vs trust – ideas that ring their vibrations down to my very core of learned existence. Taking on these ideas that have caused me suffering is worthy of celebration. This, so far, is what I consider to be my accomplishment.
And from a practical social perspective, I suppose completing a program and passing a test represents that. Those are certainly easier, more conventional things to talk about than the emotional tug-of-war that isn’t quite yet over in my mind. And just because it isn’t over doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate where I am. So, no more “meh.” A little WHOO-HOO is due.