When my husband first became a judge, we were thrilled. When I recorded a message on our answering machine we told people to leave a message for the Judge or the Judge’s wife. We were told not to give our names on our answering machine for safety reasons. Since everyone who had our number knew us, we thought it would be cute. Instead I had a close friend who felt that I was throwing our status in her face every time she called but I didn’t mean for it to seem that way. Our friendship fell apart and I didn’t realize how much until something happened and I confided in her hoping for her support. Instead she told me she was glad I was miserable and that I deserved it for bragging that husband was a judge! I was totally shocked and it put a huge crack in our friendship. In no way did I ever mean to offend anyone by doing that!
Since then I am very cautious about telling anyone what my husband did for fear that others would see it as bragging. When I won any awards or was recognized for anything, I was afraid to feel happy and proud for fear that others would think I was too proud. Now I look back at that and resent that I felt that way. I should have been able to celebrate freely and have friends who understood this too. Maybe it was my fault for not sharing these feelings and let time go by. The only feelings I can control are the ones that belong to me and no one else’s. Since I didn’t do that at the time, I hope to help others see this before it is too late.
When I look back I realized that rather than tearing each other down, we should have been lifting each other up. When my family, friends, and colleagues do something or have something happen in their lives, I should celebrate with them and be proud of them. I should never make them feel embarrassed for a job well done.
I hope when times get stressful, I can put aside any jealousy and envy and lift my friends up. I want to be able to look them in the eye and say, “A job well done!” It doesn’t matter if I have to do this every day, every week, or every month. It is worth the good feeling I get for doing this.
How do you lift others up when times are stressful? Please share.