The last few months of my life have been filled with weddings, showers, birthdays, graduations and more. Seriously, there has been so much to celebrate recently that I’ve lost track of how many parties I’ve been to. And while, I am super thankful for the wonderful family and friends I have to celebrate life with, I’m also a bit concerned.
Here’s why. All this celebrating brought to the surface some parts of me that I’m not particularly proud of. Specifically, I’m a bit controlling and cynical. Meaning, I can get pretty bent out of shape when things aren’t done the way I think they should be done. The end result is that instead of celebrating with my family and friends, I’m secretly thinking about how the party would be better if I were consulted. And here is where it gets really sad: I end up missing out on millions of beautiful moments because I’m in my head rearranging the room or reshaping the guest list.
About a month ago I was talking to a friend about being controlling and cynical. I didn’t exactly describe myself this way. I was just venting about how an upcoming celebration “needed” my expert opinion. In reality, it didn’t. I was being controlling and cynical. Thankfully my friend saw what I was struggling with and said: “Can’t you just enjoy the party as it is?”
My friend’s question shifted something in my soul. “Why not?” I thought, “What is there to lose by simply enjoying myself?”
After all, my cynicism wasn’t adding anything to these celebrations. Instead it was stealing joy from me and me from others.
Since my friend asked this question, I’ve been practicing enjoying parties. Meaning, instead of trying to control or critique, I’ve helped when needed and when I’m not I’ve decided to just have fun. This practice has alleviated a lot of stress. Letting go of my cynicism has freed me up to encourage others and deepen relationships. Simply put, I’m actually making memories instead making judgments.
During this process I’ve discovered that most parties are not about me. A few will be and I can plan those but the rest I can let be what they are – parties - bright spots in a somewhat dark world.