This morning I woke up to a little snow on the ground and birds everywhere.
I also woke up to roughly the fifth engagement announcement on facebook. Two good friends from college got engaged right before Christmas (not to each other!), and the rest of us had secretly been wondering: Okay, what’s the hold-up, guys?
I didn’t realize Christmas was the time to get engaged. I also didn’t realize how horribly some people deal with their own disappointment.
A status popped up recently, and it went something like this: “Stop posting your engagements on facebook. It just reminds me of how alone I am. Thanks.”
What? Was this person seriously asking others to contain their joy because they themselves didn’t share it?
What about the part in the Bible that says: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn,” (Romans 12:15)?
I admit wholeheartedly that I have no problem mourning with those who mourn; this comes naturally, sadness, sympathy, and confusion being things I can understand and empathize with.
But rejoicing with those who rejoice? Isn’t that just as important?
The past two years, I’ve realized what it means to allow yourself to experience life fully. And that means allowing both deep pain and deep joy to be expressed.
I would never say to a friend, “Please, don’t cry anymore. I love you, but I don’t want to hear it.” (This despite my previous post about learning how to deal with other people’s pain.)
So how can we think that asking others to stifle joy is an appropriate response? Does the fact that others have found love and are looking forward to a life of marriage make you any more alone? Lonely? Sad?
Would them being single make you happier?
We are called to love one another. And one way that love is shown is through the sharing of joy.
I know that I won’t be able to keep myself from singing it from the rooftops, when I find someone to walk through life with. I don’t expect anyone else to, either.