In Celebration of Progress

The other day, I found myself idly looking at myself in the right-side car mirror while my friend cruised down the road on one beautiful evening. The day had been filled with joy and laughter – the kind that only true friendship can produce. By this time of the evening, I had removed my makeup, threw on an old t-shirt, and replaced my black and yellow head wrap with a black baseball cap that read, “sips coffee.” There was nothing spectacular about the look I was proudly sporting.

Yet, as I stared at the woman in the mirror, I said to myself, “wow, I’m really beautiful.” Now, let me clarify…this is not a moment of conceit. Please understand…it hasn’t always been this way. I haven’t always believed what my family had always told me – that I am beautiful. Actually, it wasn’t until my junior year of undergrad that I actually started declaring it and believing it.

But this day, I looked at myself. I was makeup free, but I still saw beauty. My hair was looking crazy underneath my hat and yet, I still saw beauty. My outfit was lounge attire and yet, I still saw beauty.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are still days when I don’t like my body. There are days when the tattoo on my inner left arm appears to be too huge and distracting. And there are days when my short buzz cut hair style fails to give me life and I feel as though I look like an unattractive little boy. So, there’s still work to do as it pertains to reprogramming what I understand beauty to be. But this…this mirror experience…this is progress. 

See, I think often times we wait until we get to our end goal to celebrate our accomplishments. We wait until we lose the weight and never acknowledge the fact that we have gone to the gym consistently and have made changes to our eating habits. We wait until we are debt free and never acknowledge the fact that we’ve become more disciplined in our spending habits. We even wait until we actually think we’ve achieved our “glow up” without acknowledging the fact that we’ve learned to affirm ourselves without waiting for the affirmation of other people!

And while all of our end goals tend to be great things to aspire to, I think it is equally as important to learn to celebrate the progress. Progress is important because it is an indicator that although we are not where we want to be, we are absolutely not where we used to be. Progress means that we are on our way to our goal. Progress proves that we are capable and creative. And, progress also shows us that anything is possible. So, while we journey to reach our respective goals, let us learn to celebrate our progress on the journey.

Remember, you may not be where you want to be YET, but thank God you are not where you used to be! Trust God…with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Peace and Blessings to you!

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