February, while it may not have brought all we wanted was still a really great month...don't you think? For us it went fast. Complete with swim lessons, playdates, better Mama happenings, and sun. Full of walks, blossoming flowers, and purposeful activity.
May March be as full.
I met a friend last year who, in the short time we've known each other has taught me much. This type of person is interesting. So dynamic and intricate yet down to earth. I commented to her one day that the way in which she is able to be so genuinely happy and joyful for others is truly admirable. You've never seen anything like it. Trust me. She basks in the happiness others are experiencing in their lives, regardless of what is going on in hers. (Don't get me wrong, hers is great...but she has kids and so with that, as with every walk of life there are up and down days.)
I remember we hadn't known each other for any great length of time when I shared with her that referrals had started. In December. Four months ahead of The Proposal timeline.
She stood there and tears welled in her eyes. Not a, wow that's great news or great or, when will you get yours?. This was genuine. Even if she had tried, she couldn't have faked it that quick. And I was blown away.
I recall the moment I found out about the number of referrals in January and thought to myself, I have to call her. (And of course I did.) And the sheer joy in her voice (I am grinning from ear to ear right now, she told me) was almost too much. I could literally feel the excited anticipation oozing through the phone lines.
So I asked her one day what her secret was...is. Because, it's a real gift to be able to be so authentically happy for others. And what she shared struck me and has since led me to purposefully, diligently, and unceasingly try to imitate this quality...in order for it to come as naturally to me as it does to her.
She explained that simply put, we are to rejoice with others. We are to find joy in the joy of others. Because if we don't rejoice then we are missing out. If we do not find elation in the success of our friends, our family, our acquaintances, we are basically being wasteful.
Rejoice with others.
Simple yet profound.
In your loss or a sadness, rejoice.
In your frustration, rejoice.
In your anxiety over unfairness or inequality because "they" have what you want, rejoice.
In your apathy, rejoice.
Rejoice with others and you will in fact find joy.
Perhaps not the way you intended.
Perhaps not tangibly the way you hoped.
Perhaps not how you anticipated.
But you will find joy.
I struggle with this. I find it hard to be genuinely pleased for others when I feel left out. I struggle to be pleased for others when I feel they are being gifted something that should be mine. I work hard. I strive to be helpful, honest, loving, generous. And I am pretty good at being happy for others. But I sincerely lack the quality of genuinely rejoicing with those who rejoice. And I want to be better at it. I'm not fake. I don't "put on" emotion. But I don't fully embrace the success of others to the extent that I should.
And this is a choice, folks. I choose selfishness over joy when I don't fully embrace the opportunity of rejoicing with others.
So as we open the doors to March so, too, I will open the door to genuine rejoicing.
I don't want to miss the opportunity to bless others through their joy. I don't want to miss the chance to smile if the alternative is to sulk.
Here we go.
The goal is rejoicing with others each day.
And March is one of those long months. You know, 31 days and all.
But each day I will seek the opportunity to genuinely, fully rejoice with someone. And, if opportunity doesn't come knocking (you know, on those rainy inside days) I'll seek it out. Maybe it'll be a phone call. Maybe a stop, kneel, and pray kind of moment. Maybe an encouraging email (I'll try to steer from those ones - they just don't seem as personal).
But each and every day in March I will rejoice.
Today I chose to be genuinely, intentionally, joyfully rejoicing with others.
Because it won't hurt me to be a better friend. It won't be a bad thing to set a great example for our kids. It won't harm anyone if I were to actually grow as a person.
Tomorrow, I begin 31 days of rejoicing.