People who are capable of feeling pure, unconditional happiness at someone else’s fortune have clearly reached the ultimate form of self-actualization.
Not to mention, they’re far more evolved than I am.
I’m not saying I’m totally narcissistic and self-absorbed to the point of wanting to make other people’s lives all about me. I’m just saying that I can’t help but want to step back and re-evaluate my life when someone else has achieved something big. And yes sometimes it gets in the way of me being happy for them.
Okay I suck, but hear me out.
I may be clapping and smiling at someone else’s happiness, but inside you best believe I’m trying to keep a lid on resentment. It bubbles over and starts to spill into my everyday thoughts for a few days after and it’s effects are toxic. Not only do I feel horrible for resenting someone else’s achievements or milestones, but I start feeling panicky.
Progress in another person’s life has a funny way of reminding me about the lack thereof in mine. Even when I know that nagging feeling isn’t entirely true, my anxieties push me into this dangerous spiral of thoughts that I just can’t shake. I feel an overwhelming sense of stuck-ness.
It’s like everyone is moving on and moving forward and I’m stuck in place. They’re all leaving me behind, to be forgotten. It’s paralyzing insignificance, but slowly I’m breaking its hold.
In the midst of someone else’s celebration, it’s easy to forget your past accomplishments and those that are to come. So I take a step back for myself and stop to question the rationality of my thoughts: Is it fair that I can’t be totally happy for someone else? Am I a total failure just because my achievements feel stagnant? Can I stop obsessing over myself? Usually I can talk myself back into feeling somewhat celebratory after a mini cognitive behavioural therapy self-session.
But sometimes it’s just not enough.
I used to make fun of positive affirmations because honestly, I thought they looked dumb. But lately I’ve found it’s rather helpful to repeat a certain truth to yourself, especially to keep the toxic thoughts at bay.
I am exactly where I need to be at this moment.