This seems to be pretty simple advice, but it’s actually pretty hard.
Here’s the part where I admit being human (darn you, Dr. Litt!!)
and not always filled to the brim with joy when other people have good news.
On some level, if we are fully honest, when you hear the good news of others, we might say (only to ourselves of course) you “Wait, wait, don’t I deserve
<Insert your desire here>
Well, maybe, but at this point in time, you don’t have it, so smile and think ahead to the time when you will and feel happy for them now.
What’s the alternative? Being ticked off about their good fortune because it happens to not be your “turn” (no matter how much you might think you are “due”)
Chin up, it will be your turn soon, and wouldn’t you like for people to be happy for you when it is?
My ability to celebrate others has really been tested lately. I have alluded to the past year of struggle for our family including some of our friends. It’s been HARD, (like pull your hair out, spit on your neck, angry at the world, HARD.
and there is no amount of “spin” or “Pollyanna Positvity” that makes it less HARD. I felt like pulling my hair out MOST of the time.
Trust me, I gave it my best shot, and painted it (it being the massive gaping hole of suck combined with a massive “waiting game” all the bright pretty colours I could find and it still sucked.
I think the waiting was the hardest part of all of that.
A word on that here from my good friend and fellow writer, Senator Green.
The wait is longer than we’d like. Longer than we think we can take. It’s a lot of microsurrenders.
I would like to (wary of “tempting the wrath of the whatever from atop the thing” knocking on wood, ((thanks Jeremy))
as I type this) to think we are heading into a period of unparalleled growth and prosperity due to the season we just ended being the polar opposite of that, and that definitely makes it easier to view other people’s good news through that “attitude of gratitude” I constantly coach to my clients, and eventually my daughter.
I think it comes down to this. The difference between envy and jealousy.
A lot of people use these words interchangeably and this is as good a time as any to clear this up.
Envy- means I want what you have.
Jealousy- means not only do I want what you have, I don’t want you to have it.
I do my best to live a life of abundance, always preferring to believe that there is more than enough for everyone, and you having joy does not mean I, or anyone else, has less as a result of your portion.
So, I might envy your good fortune while also expressing happiness that it’s your “turn” but I will NEVER be jealous.
Think About It.