I found David sitting at the top of a stairway, head between his knees, crying his little heart out. In between his sobs and his hiccups, he explained, “It’s hard for someone like me when it’s not my birthday!”
Comparing doesn’t help
It is genuinely easy to get excited about the celebratory events in my friends’ lives. I am truly happy for their good news. And yet…there are times…when I start comparing. (Comparing reminds me of the children’s ditty, “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll eat some worms.” It becomes an all or nothing experience!)
Sometimes, rather than simply enjoying the recognition my friend is receiving, I wonder why I wasn’t smart enough, fast enough, or popular enough, to be recognized. Why does she have a better job? Cleaner home? More vacations? Now granted, my comparisons are usually illogical.
If I let the comparisons start, I’ll eventually whine and whimper to the place where I’ve decided there is nothing to celebrate. I’ve gone from wondering why she was chosen to lead the committee to, “They must not think I can do it.”
Illogical? Yes. Silly? Yes. Real emotions? Yes.
What I’ve learned about celebrating
- These comparisons and my decreased self-esteem usually show up when I’m tired or overwhelmed. Recognize this, and I can usually stop the unhealthy thought process before it takes off.
- I have skills and talents that are uniquely mine. There are things I can do that others cannot.
- Celebration doesn’t require “big deal” events. Am I breathing today? Celebrate. Do I have a home? Celebrate. Do I have at least one friend? Celebrate.
I stop celebrating when my perspective is based on “need.” If I live from a place of abundance, I more easily recognize all the good things in my life; things to celebrate.
It isn’t always going to be my birthday. But one day, it will be. There is always a reason to celebrate.