Whew! The title was already hard just to type out. I don't know why it is seemingly so hard to casually celebrate others. I have been finding in the last couple weeks that to truly celebrate others it is a deliberate act.
I wish this weren't true. I don't know if its something innate within all of us or a learned trait based on the culture we grow up in. But for me this lack of ability to casually celebrate others is something I want desperately to change. This is why I have made it a deliberate act I do daily; in the hopes that it becomes my habitual action. I feel like I have been getting better. I suppose it is a little like working out. You aren't going to get abs after one workout. You have to stay dedicated and committed to the lifestyle change to actually see the change and then sustain the change.
Alright, I just want to throw a quick disclaimer out there that I am about to completely put myself on blast. I am certainly not ashamed of what I am about to share but I am not proud of it either. However, I am sharing in the hopes that it helps even one person see the error of their ways and thinking and helps them grow to that sustainable change.
Yesterday I got the opportunity to spend a couple hours with my brother and his friend. They are on a "business" trip promoting Daniel Wellington watches via social media. They are very gifted photographers, videographers, and editors!
Ok, now that I have given them some props...because that is what I truly want to do, and beyond doing that this is the state of mind I want to have consistently. I want to build people up; not break them down. Whether in front of their face, or more importantly behind their back. Because nothing is behind God's back. He sees it all. We should be celebrating each other as a way of life. Not just a means to show face....tangent ended...back to my point and calling myself out.
So lets break down why I put "business" trip. You see, when I first saw that my little brother was headed out to New York City I didn't think, "Oh wow! How great! Good for him! He must be doing something big and important." Instead I thought, "How the heck did he even get money to get out to NYC? What goofing off is he up to now?" I truly abhor this thinking. I should be celebrating him and any success that comes his way, big or small.
So why was I somehow rooting against him. Well I could think of a few feelings off the top of my head....jealousy, doubt, skepticism. Ugh!! Such negativity. Although I have noticed that the negative adjectives are so much more plentiful than the positive ones. I keep looking back at the word jealousy. I think this word has ruled far to much of my life. Has it been ruling yours? Think about it. From comparing yourself to others and how they look or what they have or what you don't have. It is so easy to fall into this trap of jealousy.
About 2 years ago now I read the book Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You by Andy Stanley. One of these four emotions he talks about is JEALOUSY!!! He goes on to talk about how the way to combat jealousy is to celebrate. Celebrate others in every way!! It was such a ground breaking concept for me. So I suppose I have been on this celebrating others journey, in the hopes of breaking down jealousy in my life, for about 2 years. I know I have gotten better, but as I said in the beginning of my post I am still a work in progress. I want celebrating to be my steady state. I want it to be my habit in all facets.
After spending some time with my brother, Christian and his friend, Martin, I got the opportunity to know them. We talked about their trip and how they arrived at this point. We talked about goals and dreams. We got the chance to see each other in a real and meaningful way. Suddenly, jealousy was the farthest thing from my mind. Excitement and intrigue became the dominating emotions. All it took was a little communicating and presto.....celebration is casually happening.
But what do we do when that communication can't happen? When you're just on the outside looking in. Now, that's the part I still have to work on. Seeing, not knowing, but still celebrating.
So today I celebrate my little bro and his new adventures, as he establishes himself as a photographer, editor, chaser of life! You got this Christian! I can't wait to see what you create next.
Sidenote: go check out their travels on youtube.com/solmates or on instagram @christianlongnecker @solhaugen
I am a Christ follower, a wife, a mother of 3 boys and was an active duty member of the United States Air Force for 8 1/2 year. I medially retired in December 2018 from the Air Force and I know work as a Fitness and yoga instructor, I run the customer service experience for a local swim school and I am a Doula. I am also working on my Master's in social work.