Celebrating Yourself: 3 Empowering Life Lessons in Perspective, Guilt, & Boundaries

Boudoir Photography

boudoir photographer steff posed in red leather dress and brown leather motorcycle jacket. celebrating yourself.

When was the last time you were taking the time celebrating yourself? This weekend I had a very worthwhile reason that I needed to take the time celebrating me. I celebrated another trip around the sun for me. I’ve reached 42 years of life officially.

Most days I love spending my time behind the boudoir lens. Shooting a variety of people that come to me, sharing their outward beauty with me. Let’s also not forget that what everybody defines as beauty can differ between people entirely. Although I always take the time to celebrate myself, I a big believer in celebrating yourself.

I am a massive advocate for being selfish and this week I wanted to share with you some life lessons I have learned while aging as gracefully as can be despite everything life has thrown at me. These lessons have allowed me to truly cultivate filling up my own cup first before everybody and being able to also use that energy to allow me to help ignite the flames for my friends, family, clients, and colleagues too. 

Celebrating Yourself Can Mean Keeping Promises to Yourself

I firmly believe that you have got to keep the promises you make to yourself. Whether it’s to take more time out of your day for yourself, treating yourself to a fun shopping trip, or just booking yourself a self-empowering boudoir photoshoot, you should keep the promises you make to yourself regularly. Celebrating yourself should be a necessity for everybody. So, what do I mean by that? Trusting people can be really really hard if not completely impossible when you can’t even trust yourself. It needs to be something you do every single day consistently without pausing.

Building and cultivating the trust you have with yourself is so key. This is because in your relationships throughout your life some people will break your trust. Therefore, if you can identify and know how to handle it better because you trust yourself to make the right decisions, then you can adjust your expectations accordingly. Trust is something that we think we have half to earn from other people, but we should innately have it in ourselves, and not enough of us do.

celebrating yourself. steff posing in leather read dress for her birthday

Remove Guilt and Set Firm Boundaries

Along with trusting and celebrating yourself, I feel strongly that the word guilt should not have a place or space in your life when you trust yourself fully. I think our self-doubt or self-guilt can be one of the worst things to drive negative energy into our lives. As a kid, my mother did her absolute best to take care of herself. Yet she never gave herself any time either.

Many times she worked multiple jobs and at times we did not have a vehicle for her to get to those jobs. She did her best with what we had and it always seemed like there was no room left for her. I know without a shadow of a doubt that living like that wore her body out really fast. She was never able to care for her health needs. Unfortunately, I had to watch her lose her battle with her health after a lifetime of never taking proper care of herself.

Guilt and over giving can create a lot of health problems mentally which can manifest through physically. Many of us often fail to acknowledge the one thing we always hear, yet seem to ignore, as we take off on a flight. “You need to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help somebody else put on theirs. Seeing my mother struggle throughout her life and then spend most of it overgiving to others and not her stuff is why we need to pay more attention to our own needs. We need to remove that self guilt from our vocabulary and set firmer boundaries to ensure that we are able and capable to help or care for others successfully. 

Celebrating Yourself Shows You It’s Okay to be Selfish

Celebrating yourself is not just celebrating one time our of the year or once a week. Celebrating yourself pushes you to put yourself back in the drivers seat. Being more selfish is not just all about me. It’s about taking the time out of my schedule to ensure my needs and wants are being met for me. Although my mother was more of an over giving person in her life, she always used to tell me “I don’t do guilt.” And that statement is embedded into everything that I am today.

The way I view it is this… If I am taking care of myself and keeping my promises to myself, then you can’t make me feel guilty. In fact, if somebody tries to make me feel guilty I get a little defensive. Thinking back to earlier, we all need to remember that “I cannot help you put on your oxygen mask if I am already suffocating.”

Guilt from another person is a form of manipulation. Whether or not they think about it that way, it’s still manipulation to me. People who understand the need to be a bit selfish and fill up their own cups first regularly don’t push boundaries or make others feel guilty. I feel guilty for not doing a lot of things all of the time but when it’s from myself, it’s not manipulation. Why? Because I have to keep promises to myself. 

It’s okay to be celebrating yourself, a bit selfish, and put your needs first. Whether you’re a single corporate baddie or a mom like me with kids of her own in their 20s, we all need to give ourselves the space to be “celebrating me” more regularly. It shouldn’t be a requirement but a necessity.