You feel stuck. They get a promotion. You need a vacation. They book an all-inclusive. You get dumped. They get engaged. You long to be married, to have kids, to build your dream home, and they’re asking you to be their best man, to be Lexie’s Godparent, and to help them move.
Really? Could life pour any more salt on your open wounds?
We’ve all been there more times than we probably care to admit. We know that jealously that rears its ugly head. Try as you might, you just can’t seem to suppress it. You’re happy for them on the outside, but if you were brutally honest with yourself secretly deep down in your heart you’re not all that happy for them on the inside.
You want to be. You have every intention of being sincere, and you muster every last drop of energy to say, “I’m so happy for you,” but let’s call a spade a spade.
The façade is cracked. The sadness of your current circumstances is seeping through your eyes. You’ve lost all inhibitions to stay strong.
So what does one do? Is it possible to have a genuinely smiling face and heart without wanting to launch mental grenades?
Yes it is.
1. See the lessons you are learning.
There’s absolutely no limit to the amount of knowledge you can gain if you stay teachable. Life is the coolest university degree and it pours its limitless wealth of knowledge into those who study it. So go for it! Dissect your circumstances to see what your current challenges can teach you. Take notes! What can it hurt? You’re probably lying awake at night anyway, right?
2. Practice gratitude everyday.
Is that a aliché? Perhaps. But it’s a cliché for a reason.
Focusing on what you do have as opposed to what you don’t is the most perspective-shifting thing you could ever do. It’s a discipline that should really be implemented when life is happy, so that when the hard times hit, the well-engrained habit will altar how you see your bad and cause you to ponder how bad your bad really is. I can think of no better celebratory bash than to host a farewell party for your own pity party.
3. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
You would never be where you are today without having gone through what you’ve gone through. It’s the power of your story. Those tough lessons taught you something valuable, and it’s important to go back from time to time to remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
Walk down the memory lane. Be proud of yourself. Revel in your hard work. Remind yourself of the lessons you have learned so far.
Then allow those memories to serve as your reminder that your present challenges will one day be the future memories you will grow to understand and appreciate.
4. Remember that life recycles its seasons.
One day you’re laughing, the next day you’re crying, some days are easy, some days are hard, years come and years go. It’s the natural ebb and flow of life, there’s no denying that.
But beauty is found in owning the season you are in. Be present, be humble, learn, grow and take comfort in knowing that summer is always right around the corner from winter. For today, for the here and now, embrace not knowing. Embrace imperfection. Embrace uncertainty. Embrace growth. Embrace change.
And you know what’ll happen?
You’ll be too busy growing into a better version of yourself that you won’t even have to think about being happy for other people. You just will be. You’ll be so focused on appreciating your own journey, that you’ll naturally appreciate someone else’s. Your quiet confidence will be hard to deny.