Today I wanted to put some thoughts out there that I can’t get my head around. It’s something I have experienced far more as an adult, and something that I’ve chatted to my sisters about over and over again (because none of us can fathom it). Here it is: ‘People are not always happy for you’. I don’t think that I will ever understand it. It has taken me years (and many conversations) to work out, because for so long – I didn’t believe it was true. Why wouldn’t someone be happy for me? Why would people think I’m competing with them? Or why would people respond in a defensive manner?
As a result, I often won’t share successes, or things I’m pleased about with others, fearing that it could come across as competitive or boastful – neither of which are true. For me, I am genuinely over the moon for people if they have done something brilliant, and I now know that I (naively) assumed that people felt the same way. I know the people I can share these exciting things with (which thankfully includes my entire family), and I know the people I avoid sharing them with…and that’s fine, but isn’t it sad? Sad that people can’t put their own feelings aside to celebrate, support or uplift someone.
The phrase: ‘Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter’, comes to mind whenever I think about this, because this is absolutely true. And I also believe that surely this means we all shine brighter together? Why blow someone’s candle out when you have the opportunity to light it? To me, there is room for everybody’s successes, talents and beauty in the world. Our world has an infinite capacity for positivity, and let’s face it – the world needs more of it.
‘Competitive parenting’ is a phrase I hear thrown about more and more. Something else I don’t understand. Parenting is a far too important to compete with others. The truth is; I’m not really interested in what other people are doing. I’m only interested in how well Jared and I are doing, compared with the parents we know we want to be. I compare myself to my parents, and to parents that seem to ‘get it right’ more often than not. They inspire me, and it would be silly to compare my children to others, when they’re an individual, like no other.
Win is really quite talented at drawing, reading and writing. He’ll never be the world’s fastest runner (ok, I shouldn’t rule it out), he’s not very patient (we’ll blame it on nature not nurture) and he lacks compassion (again, it must be nature), but isn’t it fantastic that he’s good at something? I think so.
So, if you’re near me and you want to tell me how brilliant your child is at something, that you bought the dress I’ve been stalking, that you bought the house I wanted, reached your perfect weight, or you got the job I didn’t…then go ahead, because I’m genuinely happy for you.