It is so easy to be happy for yourself when something good is happening! When life is fabulous, and you are just strolling along and singing a song, and things are going your way…it‘s easy to have joy in your heart. I don‘t think anyone can argue with that.
An interesting thing happens to some people when they are witness to other people‘s happiness and celebrations: they have a hard time being happy for them. I have seen it over and over again. It comes in the form of jealousy, bitterness, and downright hatred. I wonder why this is a fact. Do these people feel that if other people are happy, that there is not enough to go around? Do they feel that if other people are happy, that it takes away from their own happiness?
Have you been guilty of this in your life? I know I have! Can you relate to any of these following scenarios?
Let‘s say, you have been trying to get pregnant for several years with no luck. One day your best friend calls to tell you her good news…what is your initial reaction? Is it honest-to-goodness joy for your friend…or are you bitter and jealous because it wasn‘t you calling her with your good news? What if your neighbor comes home with the car of your dreams? Are you genuinely happy for him or are you pretending to be happy and secretly sulking inside? What about someone else‘s child getting attention for being so cute and smart…are you happy for their parents or are you thinking, “What about my kids?!?!“.
Did you know that there is an unlimited amount of joy and happiness in this world? If you are willing to tap into it, it is there for the taking! I know this is a different concept for many. A lot of people grew up being told and believing that they do not deserve to be happy, or that they have to work really hard to be happy, or that they can‘t be happy unless they have this or that. Do you think you deserve happiness more than other people? When you see other people being happy, does it makes you feel left out or inadequate?
I have come to realize a very interesting fact: The more you are happy for others, the happier you are! If you hold back your feelings of joy for somebody‘s happiness, you are actually taking away from your own joy. You are cutting off the life supply of happiness to yourself. If you can genuinely be happy for someone else, feeling the same level of happiness you would feel if that wonderful thing is happening to you, then you will bring more happiness to yourself! I know it is a total paradigm shift for some of you…but it works and it is true. It is the same concept as this: Whatever your thoughts and emotions are thinking and feeling, that is what you will attract into your life. If you are being grateful and loving, more of those good things will come to you. If you constantly focus on and complain about the negative things in your life, you will get more of those things. Happiness follows happiness! Happiness attracts more happiness! Happy is as Happy does!
When you are not feeling or cannot feel happiness for someone else, then you are being resentful. Being resentful allows you to hold a grudge, which affects YOU! The definition of resentment is: a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury. Resentment of another person‘s good is a barrier to your own growth and change. Don‘t delay your own prosperity and happiness by being resentful or jealous that someone else has more than you. The worst kind of happiness to have for someone is to only be happy for them when their success benefits us!
The Bible tells us over and over to be happy and to be joyful in all circumstances. It does not say to only be happy when everything is going your way. It also does not say to only be happy when things are going well for you but not when things are going well for others. I love Proverbs, as it contains so many great life lessons to live by. Here is a great one on being happy and the effects of not being happy:
Proverbs 15:13 – A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
Take Action: This week and beyond, let‘s make a conscious effort to celebrate in each other‘s happiness and successes. Let‘s be happy for others with the same zest and enthusiasm we want people to have with our milestones and successes. Let‘s have a happy heart and a cheerful face instead of wearing heartache and resentment!