Have you ever been happy for someone? Like really happy? The over the moon kind? Of course you have! I think it’s a pretty safe bet we all have found ourselves in that space. Maybe someone you know just won lotto, or perhaps their adoption is final, maybe they just bought a new car, or were accepted into college. Who knows what the circumstance, but it’s safe to say there’s been a time in our lives where we’ve been over the moon happy for good fortune that’s fallen upon someone else.
What happens, when “that” good fortune, that one… is the one that you wanted? What if it was your college acceptance letter that was sent to someone else? What if it was the prom date that was the you were secretly hoping to be asked? Then what? It wouldn’t surprise me to suspect that you’re suddenly not over the moon happy. I wasn’t. You see a few weeks ago I wrote about my big ol cup of disappointment. Something that I worked pretty darn hard for, well, it wasn’t meant to be. Not for me anyhow. But it was for someone else. And so I’ve been in this place of struggle. Almost with a voodoo doll kind of struggle, and let me tell you — that’s a pretty shitty place to be. And the truth. I know better, and I expect more of myself. But still I’ve been in the voodoo doll zone.
So I did what any pretty smart girl in my situation does. I sought wise counsel. And wise counsel has provided me with some homework and medicine. I hate homework and I hate medicine too. But they’re both necessary, in this case in particular, because what’s at stake is so much greater than my disappointment, my hurt feelings, my wants or needs.
Here’s what I need to learn and it’s a lesson I suspect a great many of us should take a moment and an opportunity to consider. GENUINE happiness for someone else, when it means our happiness is sacrificed. I think in a parental type of place that’s typically a “no brainer.” We often, probably almost always put the needs of our children ahead of our own. With our spouses or significant others, probably pretty easy to do — maybe not as easy as with our children, but it still probably feels fairly natural to us. But take a person that maybe is a casual acquaintance, or better yet, maybe take a person that you don’t even know and put their happiness ahead of your own — ah… there’s a trick yes? For me, and I suspect if you’re being honest with yourself, Yes. So this is a concept that over the next two weeks that I will be adopting, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable with…I’m looking forward to making progress with it. And to the good doctor, thanks to you for having just what I needed with my condition.