I read a story, years ago, about a group of tenant farmers waiting for housing. They were living in squalor and occasionally, someone would be rewarded for their hard work and be moved to a better home. Most people were miserable. There was one man who was different. Every time he heard the news that someone was going to be moved up, he was the first person to enthusiastically offer them help in their move. The author of the story said that he knew that this man would someday get better housing himself, which he did.
Being happy when someone else gets what I want is a big spiritual step. There is something powerful at work when we do this. Celebrating the success of another, opens doors for us in ways that we literally cannot imagine. I want to cite you many examples from my personal life where this has happened, but cannot, because I didn’t really know about this powerful tool (ok, that might be a tiny cop-out) or practice it much (more truthful!) until a couple of years ago. The times that I have had the presence of mind to do it (not just give it lip-service but really work on feeling gratitude for the good fortune of another that I myself have been waiting for) have been life-changing.
There is one thing that I can say without hesitation. If someone suddenly gets the very thing that I desire, that thing is close to happening for me too. My attitude will determine which way it turns; toward me or away. When I feel bad that I don’t yet have what I want/need/desire, I am actually repelling it energetically. When I can share in the feeling of happiness and celebration for others, I “own” a tiny piece of their success too, and that sets up something almost like an internal magnet for a similar experience to come to me.
Below is a great story from a collection of writings by Emmet Fox who lived from 1886-1951.
CUT MY OWN THROAT!
“A man came to see me in London in great distress. He had attended some lectures I gave, and wanted advice. He was the owner of a general grocery store in a village in the south of England, and hitherto there had been no competition. Now, one of the big chain stores was opening a branch almost opposite to him in the main street, and he was in a panic.
He said, “How can I compete with them? I am ruined.” I said, “You know the Great Law. You know where your supply comes from. Why be afraid?” He said, “I must do something.”
I said, “Stand in your shop each morning and bless it, by claiming that divine Power works through it for great prosperity and peace for all concerned.” He nodded his head in agreement. I added, “Then look down the street to where they are fitting up the new store, and bless that in the same way.”
“What? Cut my own throat?” he almost screamed.
I explained that what blesses one, blesses all. I told him that he was really hating his competitor (through fear) and that his hatred would destroy him, while blessing the “enemy” was the way to get rid of hate. I finished by saying, “You cannot cut your throat with prayer; you can only improve everything.”
It took some time to persuade him, but at last he got the idea, and when I met him several years later he told me that his business had been better than ever since the chain store appeared; and that it seemed to be getting on well too. This is what Jesus meant when he said, Love your enemies (Luke 6:27).”
13 thoughts on “Being happy for others; Celebrating our interdependence!”
Wow! Thank you, Mary! I am seeing several places in my life where I will put this to practice. And by the way, I am really so happy for you that you found your new vehicle!!:)
This quote from Abraham-Hicks arrived in an email I received recently and I think it speaks about having perpsective when doing this difficult practice of letting go of jelousy and resentment of others. I found it helpful because it feels very counterintuitive to love your enemies, even if it is the shortest route to your heart’s desire.
“When the desire is born, right away you start counting yourselves a failure, because you’ve got this desire that hasn’t been satisfied. Know that you never get it done! And, since you never get it done, it’s time to stop being unhappy about what’s undone, because most of it is undone! You are an eternal being. Most of it is undone! Instead of taking score about what’s been achieved — we want you to start feeling anticipation about what is still to arrive!”
Thanks so much for your post. I am at a point in my life where I am finally realizing this myself. Being an artist for one thing, can seem difficult if you don’t appreciate the success of other artists. It is a choice between being bitter or simply enjoying the process of creating your art and letting that be the reward in itself. It is more of a challenge when you need the income. I am practicing allowing the abundance or income come to me in whatever way the universe sends it and some amazing things have happened due to that letting go. I still need to remind myself everyday, that I am safe and taken care of by All That Is.
Wow, Mary, do I ever need to work on THIS one! Great post today….and really good comments from some of the White Feather Clan.
Very powerful message, thank you.
It is such a powerful notion to grasp – that by letting go of the reins we hold so tightly, we will move into the flow of greater abundance, – trusting, not expecting anything at any particular date. We are taught from children to set goals, and goals are powerful things, but like the Abraham HIcks message (thanks for sharing that Barbara!) tells us, we are ‘undone’, a work in progress, and it’s the progress we need to celebrate. Happy Fourth to All – Garrison Keillor’s poem choice for today seems a lovely complement to Mary’s post. Here it is:
This is what you shall do
by Walt Whitman
“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
“This is what you shall do…” by Walt Whitman, from the preface of Leaves of Grass.
Thank you, Susan. This quote can become an all-encompassing philosophy for anyone! Just lovely.
Thank you to another Susan. I haven’t reread Leaves of Grass in several years. This was a very good day to be reminded. It adds so much to Mary’s powerful post.
In the seven years in which I have lived in my community, I have acquired several “enemies” and these “enemies” have acquired me! As an avid walker I naturally pass by these “enemies” houses nearly every day. Sometimes, more than others, I begin a jugement assessment as I pass these houses, where upon, I am learning to “call my spirit back” from the negative thought (curses). I, instead, send grace, prosperity and blessings upon their houses. This works for me, one walk at a time.
Our thoughts are energy, I think. Your post today says so well, what I’m finding in my choice to “bless your enemies”. Thanks SO much.
Oh yes! I adored the pic of Wonder and his golden little head in the garden greens. Precious.
Wow, Virginia, I read your post three times to let it sink in. Calling one’s spirit back, one walk at a time. Powerful stuff!
There is so much loving kindness and compassion found here on these posts; I was deeply moved by your words, Virginia. As a fellow avid walker, I will be sharing your ‘call to spirit’ when I’m pounding the pavement (or more likely forest paths) in solidarity with your positive energy. Blessings be to you.
Wonderful words! Wish we could all (myself especially) follow this thread. What a powerful place this world would be. I took care of a small child (I still call her my granddaughter) for many years. Her mother had and still has issues with drug dependency. When this child was 13 she was eligible for a scholarship (due to her mother being on welfare) which offered many great perks. It was a “sure thing” she would get it. Came to pass another child got the scholarship. Her mother was irrate, was going to go down to the school and “tell folks off”. This wise child said “No mother, perhaps this child needed this more than I did. Let’s be glad for her.” What wisdom in a child that age! Came to pass that the child did not keep up her grades and lost the scholarship and it reverted back to the dear child that said these wise words. What power we hold when we can truly rejoice in the good fortune of another! I love the wisdom of Mary Muncil and Walt Whitman. We are so very fortunate.
Thats what I needed to hear today, Im really struggling with disapointment and bitterness about how my life has turned out at 51. Working very hard to feel at all greatfull for what I do have instead of envy. Jon K has it right, the view society feeds us for what our lives are supposed to look like is such a crock. Just breeds discontent and unhappiness. Thank you for putting such an opisite spin on my perspective. Much to think about. Happy 4th, living here versus the middle east is sure something Im greatfull for!
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