“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”
~ Jane Austen
I woke up this morning thinking about how proud I am of my children. My son came home last night with his official Grade 6 graduation picture and I immediately busted into tears. He told me to close my eyes as he took down the picture frame which holds every 8 x 10 school picture ever taken (including pre-school). Then, with pride, he told me to look on the wall, and there he was, all handsome in his cap, smiling, and holding a 2011/2012 elementary school diploma. William put it right next to his sister’s who is holding her 2008/2009 parchment in her delicate hands. Both my children are shining.
To see how far he has come since the kid who literally used to run away from Kindergarten, who was diagnosed with ADHD, who was bullied at school, who struggled with learning, his self-esteem, studying and math. To look at my daughter, who, didn’t have the struggles he had, but tried very hard to keep up because unfortunately, a lot of my attention was given to Wil and I think she felt the need to grasp at some straws for me to see her too!
I see her more clearly now: full of life, excitement and she has this “no-nonsense” attitude which often grounds me. She loves to be out, to explore, to push the boundaries of the world, always on the edge, yet not so much that she is too far from home, literally, and in her spirit. She does things I would have never done, like longboarding, and riding the “sling-shot” at La Ronde amusement park. Angela is the epitome of youth, and she truly inspires me.
These sudden surges of pride have come up a lot lately. Not only in my children, but in myself. If my children have succeeded this far, it is part and partial due to me! (this is hard for me to write so bear with me)..
Being proud of oneself, is not something I am used to. If you look at many blog posts and self-help books, one doesn’t see many references to “pride”. The terms self-love, self-care, self-esteem are often used..
So what’s wrong with pride?
I began my research and stopped over at the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word pride comes along with ego, self-regard, self-respect, however, the antonyms are humbleness, humility and modesty. Now, in most of the self-help books I have read the latter terms have come up OFTEN. They are something, according to many of the books I have read, that we should strive for. Which leads me to the question:
Is pride a negative or a positive thing to express?
Have we been programmed NOT to toot our own horn ?
For this post, I went through dozens and dozens of quotes on pride, and in fact, they are mostly speaking of “the sort of pride” which often gets us in trouble. We often hear expressions “Her pride got in the way” or “He’s too proud to admit he was wrong”. Ahh.. so that is where it comes from. Pride is often associated with the negative ego, so we don’t talk about it much. Well at least the “negative” connotation. Furthermore, in my research, I googled the words “when it is good to be proud” and to my discovery, many people are asking the question:
“Is it good to feel proud?”
I say YES!! It is important to have pride in yourself, in your children, in your accomplishments. I am at that point now. I am proud of the journey I have taken so far. With all its wondrous moments and bad choices. With all its chaos and moments of joy. With all the drama and times of peace. I have grown to take responsibility for my life and I AM PROUD OF ME!!
So yes, be proud, not proud enough to keep people out of your life, or to never say I am sorry when you’ve hurt someone, but proud of where you are right this moment. RIGHT NOW.. Go look at yourself in the mirror with the pride of a lion!
I am proud of the mother and woman I am, because that, reflects in my children’s eyes, and I am so proud of them!