My friend Michelle posted a Facebook status that really grabbed my attention last week:
“Let other peoples’ blessings be your blessings. And others’ joys be your joys.”
It really stopped me in my tracks. As one who is constantly trying to reinvent herself and come up with new ways to find happiness, being happy for others seems like it should be a no-brainer. If I’m really honest with myself though, I have to admit that there are days when I take other peoples’ successes as if they are my own failures. Our social media society sets us up to view the best moments of others’ lives and “like” them. But, do we really like them? Or are we secretly envious or beating ourselves up? Why do certain posts get under our skin?
Particularly as a female, I’ve noticed a trend to try to find the worst in another female’s best. Somehow it bonds us, reassuring us that perhaps we are still worth something even if we don’t have what they have or haven’t done what they’ve done. I’ll be the first one to admit I’ve engaged in these conversations. But one thing is fo sho’: This doesn’t actually make us feel good. There’s no real fulfillment in it because we know deep down it’s not helping us grow.
I’ve written before about perspective and choice, because we always have one, and I believe what we focus on will grow and manifest in our lives. If we try to bring others down, ultimately, we are doing just that to ourselves. By reaching out and supporting our friends, family and acquaintances, we are literally saying to the Universe and ourselves- Bring me some of that!
Another key factor in recognizing and celebrating the joys of others is the community we are creating. Who and what we surround ourselves with today will be what determines our tomorrow. If we engage in negative conversation, we are opening the door for more to flow into our own lives. We are training our minds not to look for opportunity, but to look for obstacles. Conversely, by stepping out and telling someone how excited you are for them, how wonderful it is to see them so happy, and so on, you are creating an atmosphere of opportunity and positivity for yourself. I know in my own life, I will always remember the people that have cheered me on along the way with sincerity. And ya know what? I cheer them on, too! It’s an awesome cycle to begin creating.
To break it down simply, it feels better to be nice. Doesn’t it? Now, old habits die hard and I still catch myself thinking or saying things that aren’t doing anyone any good, but hopefully being more aware of it and practicing being a cheerleader for others will someday be the norm.
Who can you cheer on today?