For the past few months I took the seat of silence. It’s one of the most underestimated and powerful positions as it allows you a chance to observe, listen, truly hear and process what otherwise would have been missed in the busy.
Human behavior has always fascinated me and whether it’s words spoken, sentiments revealed through actions or our inner competitive radar which prevents us from being genuinely happy for others (regardless of the words we actually speak), our behavior has always and will forever reveal our true thoughts regarding others as well as ourselves. Consider it a report card of sorts for our own internal battles.
For the under-the-bus-thrower what is the motive behind us making someone else look not that great so that we remain or become the shining star? For the “I’m saying congratulations while clinching my teeth and holding back my tears…because what I really want to say is, “why you, and not me” – What about Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me? What prevents us from separating ourselves from the moment – our desires and our dreams, and being just happy for someone else? Wedding announcements are shared and babies make their grand debut, but before forming our lips to say congratulations our thoughts are fixed on why we were not among the first to know the details.Then comes the double and triple whammy: wedding invites go out – we’re not on the list, trouble is brewing in a camp and we are not consulted, dilemma “the friendship has changed, we’re not that close”, translation: I won’t be privy to their business. Big announcements are made, Promotions are appointed, nosy says: Why didn’t I know before it was announced on Facebook? Another says – and really means it: Congratulations, I couldn’t be happier for you. Let me know if there is anything you need. Yes, we have all been there where something significant happened in a close friends life, and it was not shared with us or we were not invited. This may be harsh, but as a friend of mine says at times: Get.Over.Yourself. and please know that I share that with nothing but love.
One of the most profound things I was reminded of is that people who have a desperate need to win the approval of others should be handled with great caution as they carry with them weighty insecurities that will lead them towards seeking approval at all costs. As a former sugar addict I compare it to my chase after a good piece of freshly baked Guiness Chocolate Cake. Against my better judgement I will eat two slices and against the better judgement of the weighty approval chaser a few ill decisions will be made. Though you will feel better temporarily, that quick fix won’t last and your desire to feel like “you are enough” will need to be fed time and time again and you continue burning bridges in secret forgetting it always ALWAYS comes to light.
I am tempted to say it really is as simple as having a desire to change, but as one who writes mostly for fun who is not a trained medical professional I know no great change happens that easily. There has to be an awareness. An honest internal self-evaluation of your motives, your words and your actions. A desire to live and function from a healthy place and depends greatly on you becoming open to the fact that you are worthy first of your own love and others simply follow suit. Over time and with work you wake up to knowing and believing that you are enough, and the extras become unnecessary. The sense of entitlement to be in the know, be on the list, and the attention once craved is replaced with being fulfilled by simple joys that you couldn’t see before. The need to make someone else look bad then becomes your extended arm helping when needed with no broadcast of what you did.
In the book “Women, Food & God”, the author recommends paying attention to your cravings, but delving even further to find out what emotion is the driving force. I think it is as applicable to food addictions as it is to our behavior. No one can take what is yours from you and the only power being taken is the one you’re freely giving away by investing your thoughts into things that won’t reap a great reward.
So when we find ourselves in a place where we know that we’re reaaaaallllly not too happy with someone else’s great news, threw someone under the bus to “feel better about ourselves”, or noticed that we have become way too pre-occupied with someone else’s life, do a little heart check: What’s the motive? What is the underlying reason I’m in the dumps about someone else’s happiness? What is it about my life that I am not happy about at this precise moment? We all need to check our heart condition from time to time. No time like the present to do a little Spring Cleaning.
’til the next time have just one piece of Chocolate Guiness Cake…