Happiness for others

I have often heard that it is not really possible to be happy for others, mainly because humans are selfish creatures.

However, in my personal experience, that is exactly false. Throughout the years I have had varying doses of life beating me almost to death. Lately, I’ve not been experiencing anything close to that, but I will say it’s been my own personal hell the last several months. Yet, while I’m going through this miserable, exhausting time in my own life, I have so much joy and excitement for the wonderful things that are happening around me. Several of my close friends are having periods of growth and change that are nothing short of amazing. The children in my family and close circle are growing up to be fantastic human beings, which not only makes me happy for them and their parents, but it also gives me hope for the future.

Overall, I am so fortunate and entirely blessed to have a life (albeit a panic-attack-enducing one at times), filled with close people to me experiencing such positive events. I really, honestly, and truly could not be happier… for them. Maybe it’s the ability to compartmentalize that allows me to feel my own sorrows, while at the same time feeling such joy and happiness that my bestie got an insanely lucrative promotion, or that my nephew is starting Kindergarten in a few months, or that my brother snagged himself a great job right after he graduated college. These are really awesome life events and I’m proud to say that these people, with such great elements happening in their lives, are my friends and family.

Being surrounded by happiness and joyful events can sometimes be a double edged sword, however. I cannot say that I’m guiltless in this area myself, but I do what I can to focus on their success rather than my failures. This “zero-sum thinking” is all too common in which we spend more time comparing lives rather than experiencing or changing ones own. This is an important factor for individual happiness. It’s important because if I spent my life comparing myself to those around me (and sometimes complete strangers), I’d never be able to see the good and beautiful things that happen to me on a regular basis. Instead, I’d be eyeballs deep in woe that I do not have this job or that thing…

Suffice to say, I do not spend too much time comparing my life to that of others, because they’re simply not comparable. That’s like comparing the highlights of one to the everyday drudgery of another. Unless you are that person, you cannot know fully their experiences, thoughts, feelings, or internal struggles that go along with outwardly good situations.

In closing I will say that good things are on the horizon for those that are not experiencing good things currently. Without the struggles, we would learn very little and we would appreciate even less.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

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~ by wendemachete on May 7, 2014.

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