Am I Honestly Happy for My Friends?

A few days ago, I saw on Facebook that an old friend of mine, “Ashley,” just got engaged to her boyfriend of two years. I was so happy for her. I got engaged in September, and now a friend I had known since I was just 11 years old (she was 9) got engaged just 7 months after me. How exciting! Even though we hadn’t really kept in touch because her family moved back to the States in 2007, we always sent each other messages here and there, or liked a photo every month or two. As I was browsing through their engagement photos, I wondered to myself, “Would I still be happy for her if I wasn’t engaged too?”

And sadly, the answer is probably no. Instead of the excitement I feel for her, I probably would have been jealous. I probably would have sulked. If I was single, I probably would have said something like this: “I can’t believe Ashley is engaged already and I’m still single. She’s two years younger than me! She’s not even 21 yet! She can’t even legally drink where she lives and she’s about to get married? That’s so unfair. That should be me.”

Because I am engaged, I didn’t think like that. I was happy for her…but only because I was happy for myself too.

That is pretty sad.

I want to be happy for people even when I don’t have what they have.

What about when my friends buy themselves a beautiful house, and F and I are still living in our small, basement apartment? Will I be happy for them?

What about when my friends start having babies and F and I have trouble getting pregnant? Will I still be happy for them?

What about when F finds his dream job and I’m still struggling to figure out what I even want to do as a career? Will I still be happy for him?

What about when my anxiety flares up and I realize all my friends with anxiety are dealing with their issues much better than I am? Will I be happy for them?

I know I have to get out of this habit. This habit of only being happy for someone if I already have what they have. If I’m not jealous. If I’m not feeling selfish.

I don’t think I am honestly happy for anyone if I can only be happy for them under these circumstances. Under the circumstance that I am already happy.

Anyway, that’s all for today. Just a thought. Maybe you struggle with this too. Maybe you didn’t even know you struggled with this until now. I didn’t know I did until this morning. And now I’m glad I realized it, so I can start to change.

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