Conversation with a dear friend this weekend over great coffee sparked thoughts about being open minded and happy for other people’s happiness. Something that isn’t too common at present with people tearing others down on social media, devaluing their success and invalidating their hard work. This doesn’t only happen online, it happens in real life too.
I am a big believer the statement “you do you” because only you know what makes you happy.
Over the past few months, I have come to realise that a lot of people want me to be happy the way that they define happiness. Happiness for each person is subjective and defined by several things – our upbringing, life experiences, relationships, adversity and nature versus nurture etc.
We all have our own beliefs and I agree that we are entitled to have our own beliefs. I accept that others have different views and beliefs than mine as they are part of what makes us individual and unique. A lot of the time when others are not on board with whatever it is I am doing that I am happy about, is because they don’t believe that is is right or they think that what I am doing is wrong based on their whole life experience and journey so far. They are projecting their beliefs onto me.
When this happens, I draw on compassion for others because as much as I would like to make everything about myself, I understand that others may not be aware of what they are doing. I remember that what they are saying has nothing to do with me, unless my actions are the opposite of what I have previously said about what I want and who I want to be or I am hurting myself or others through my actions.
It brings me so much joy when I see or know that someone else is happy. All I want for others is for them to be happy and happy people are so beautiful. A friend called me on the weekend to tell me that her friend got engaged two weeks ago and just found out she is pregnant with twins. I was beaming and felt so much happiness for her that I shed a tear with my friend. It was a very moving and empowering moment to know that someone in this world has so much happiness in their life.
I feel that the world would be a better place if more people could set their ego aside and be happy for others who are happy. We are selfish creatures by nature which is why we find it hard to set our ego aside and be happy for someone else when we believe they should be living their life differently. We like it when others are happy for us and it is also empowering when others are happy for you.
To give context, say you have a friend that you are quite close to and they make a new friend who they become close to as well. You may feel jealous, like you’re not good enough or that you are being replaced which are all common enough feelings in these situations. You could either be jealous that your friend has made a new friend and in other words, make the situation about yourself. Or, you could be happy for your friend who now has a new person in their life that is supportive, loving, caring, kind and all the characteristics that we look for in a good friend.
It is very liberating and empowering to be happy for others happiness. Not only empowering for yourself but also empowering for the person who is happy. Congratulating others and being happy for someone gives me such a sense of euphoria and happiness within myself, it feels good to be happy for others.
I encourage you to have an open mind and be happy for others based on what they define as happy, not you. You might even like it.