“Rejoice with those who rejoice.” (Romans 12:15)
Have you ever outwardly congratulated a friend on her accomplishment while inwardly wishing it could have been you instead of her? Have you ever felt like giving up on your dream after seeing another person fulfill it first- and better? Have you ever been so focused on your own success that you missed the opportunity to help a friend achieve her goal? Regrettably, I have experienced all three scenarios, and each one left me feeling guilty, empty, and miserable.
Early this morning, I had the opportunity to fall into that same trap again. Recently, I joined Platform University, and since introducing myself to the community, I have received several welcoming and helpful messages from the other members. One of those people is Sarah, another new member, who just started her blog a week ago. When she read my introduction, she identified with my purpose statement for my blog, as well as some of the struggles I am currently facing. She reached out in the hope that we could connect and collaborate. Curious, I headed over to her blog.
My heart sank as I read her week’s worth of posts. In that short amount of time, she had accomplished what I have only hoped to tap into through my own writing. I immediately felt defeated and worthless. What was the point of my blog, if someone else could share my message better than I could?
I have been struggling, as I hear many writers do, with self-doubt and writer’s block for several weeks now. In listening to an interview with Ray Edwards at the gym this morning, I laughed in relief at the familiar list of roadblocks to this successful copywriter’s productivity: email, organizing my “desk” (I don’t actually have a desk, but I do have a lot of papers and folders), planning out how productive I am going to be, and saying, “I’ll writer later today.” That pretty much sums up my writing time lately, along with redesigning my blog and coming up with a new tagline.
Anyway, to see this newbie blogger achieve what I have spent six months striving for in her first week of writing disheartened me greatly. I felt like giving up altogether and refusing to respond to her request for help. Then, I did something that changed everything for me.
I promoted her blog. Yes, the natural response would be to avoid giving her any recognition at all, but I chose to put her beautiful message out on my own Facebook page for others to be blessed by. That one, small gesture made all the difference. In sharing her post with others, I made the choice to encourage, support, and celebrate her work. And, doing so brought me joy.
Now, when I am tempted to despair or compare because of someone else’s success, I have determined instead to rejoice with them and to share their accomplishment with others. That is a mark of true friendship, I believe, as well as true community. If we are all out there, celebrating each other instead of fending for ourselves, we will find the joy and the success that we desire. When we live our lives generously, we are blessed immeasurably.
Who can you celebrate today? Rejoice with your friend and share her success with others. Start here, in the comments:)
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)