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The Real Reason You Can't Be Happy For Her

The Real Reason You Can't Be Happy For Her

What About Your Friends?

An acquaintance and I went for lunch the other day. We did the usual banter and bullshit, and then the convo became a vent session where she shared that she felt she should be further along in her journey. While discussing her pain points, my journey was mentioned as a subtle comparison. Comparison isn't the thief of joy -- it kills the thing.

I did my best to encourage her, share a few resources and remind her that everything isn't as it seems. Building my personal brand has been a long time coming, but I can't be expected to post every missed shot, and all of the failures that led to this moment. When you're looking at the tip of the iceberg, you really have no idea how much of it you don't see.

If we choose to envy our sisters instead of seeing their own successes as inspiration, we all lose.

I identified with my IG friend's current state of mind all too well, before I had the epiphanies that introduced me to purpose. She was in a space of giving too much time and attention to people that didn't believe in her and questioned her abilities. I empathized with her because I know that our feeds, the comments and the smoke and mirrors can blind us to the greatness that lies within, but between you and me - she's really freaking dope. Chances are, you are too.

Here are 3 reasons you feel envy where you should feel inspired:

1. You haven’t discovered your own purpose.

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It can be difficult to hear your bestie gush over her new promotion at work when you've been floating between meaningless desk jobs for the past 12 months. You hear the little voice in your head telling you that you should be happy for her, but the words never come out that way. You purposely scroll past her New Job posts on social media because showing her love would mean that you're only getting further from your own purpose...no? If that sounds a little crazy to you - it should.

Learning to be happy for others in their season of winning can do the complete opposite. The energy you exude while embodying those negative feelings will never attract happiness. Instead of being miserable in a corner, you could see the seed of opportunity and ask her how she got there. As friends are supposed to support each other, she may let you know of an opening you could take advantage of, etc.

Spend time with yourself (an energy cleanse of sorts) and allow yourself to find what it is you truly love. Being upset with others because you haven't tapped into your potential is not the answer. Your purpose isn't always tied to your profession. Your happy could be found teaching art therapy classes at an old folks' home. Whatever it is, your sister's purpose has nothing to do with yours but your attitude towards it may be postponing you finding your own.

2. You have too many people in your ear convincing you that winning is a myth.

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Let's be honest -- you wanted to have a career as a beauty influencer too. Someone along the way got in your ear and convinced you that it was all a lie. Someone you valued shit on your dreams and you accepted their limited perception as truth.

Just because it didn't happen for you doesn't mean it's impossible. Just because it hasn't happened for you YET doesn't mean that it's impossible. When I changed my environments to get close to the winning team, I realized just how small I was actually living. I was able to see that it really was possible to turn one's annual salary into a month's income. I was able to see that one really could travel the world and get paid to do it just by being themselves (amongst other things).

I learned to spend less time with the people that convince me my dreams are too big lest I adopt their paradigms. I've brainwashed myself to believe that winning is the only option. We think/act and operate on the level of our perspective. Be mindful of the perspectives you adopt.

3. You aren’t busy enough with your own life.

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This new Screen Time feature on the iPhone put into perspective how much time I spent on my phone per day on average. Sadly, I must admit to spending five hours on the device itself daily, and half of that is social media. I'm a content creator so I have a legitimate excuse but that's almost 20 hours a week of keeping up with the Joneses. I'm a mommy, have a full-time hairstyling business, am a part-time writer/ghostwriter and STILL somehow find the time to mind other people's business via the gram.

What prevents me from getting caught up in the whirlwind of social media is being present in the activities I enjoy outside of scrolling. When I am with my hair clients, we talk about their new jobs, pregnancies, boyfriend drama, etc. And my phone stays in my hair drawer until I'm done and ready to take pics. When I'm mommy-ing, I get my son in the kitchen for a little entertainment. When I'm writing, my phone is on Airplane mode with an instrumental playlist in the background.

You need to live a life so full that you no longer have the capacity to play the comparison game.

I don't live a reality TV-worthy life but shit, it's mine and I love it. And because I love it, deeply, I can meet another on her best life journey with a genuine, "Yassss, girl yasssss."

Can we make celebrating our sisters even when we're in the trenches our new hashtag goals?

Featured image by Getty Images

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My knee-jerk reaction, of course, comes from years of watching film and TV that have exploited Black trauma onscreen and were created with little (if any) consideration for what could emotionally trigger the Black audience. The 1955 murder of Emmett Till is so heartbreaking and inherently violent; would this film make us live through that violence on screen?

Fortunately, no!

This week, before watching Gina Prince-Bythewood's incredible The Woman King, a featurette for Till played in place of a trailer and it soothed my fears.

"There will be no physical violence against Black people on screen," the film's award-winning director and co-writer Chinonye Chukwu says in the featurette. "I'm not interested in relishing in that kind of physical trauma. We're going to begin and end in a place of joy," she says.

Starring Danielle Deadwyler (whose heartfelt performance on HBO's Station Eleven stole the show) as Mamie, Till is a celebration of Mamie's tireless activism which sparked the civil rights movement that continues today and ultimately culminated in President Biden signing the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act into law just a few months ago in March 2022. "Mamie Till Mobley is a hero," says Alana Mayo, president of Orion Pictures, the production company behind the film. "I'm really, really committed to making movies not just by us, but for us," Mayo says in the featurette.

After a private screening of Till, this week, Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, tweeted that the film was "#Powerful" and "a must see."

Mamie's story of courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy deserves to be told--especially as we continue the fight for civil rights today. Knowing that the Black filmmakers behind the film are centering Black joy and aiming for our empowerment through the film makes a world of difference.

TILLis in theaters October 14.

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