Gratitude and guilt are emotional enemies. So are joy and jealousy. These emotional enemies make playing the game of life difficult to enjoy. They are competitors of one another. These conflicting feelings show up when people who know each other want the same thing, but only one receives it. Take friends applying for the same job. Both desperately want the position. Gratitude and guilt are experienced by the person who is awarded the job. Joy and jealousy are at play for the other person who has learned the position has been filled. They cancel each other out.
The outcome of a game is never known ahead of time. We take our turn at the plate. We round the bases one at a time, maybe two, and keep our fingers crossed for a homerun. The score is hypothetical and based on a scrimmage, so there’s no sense in rooting against each other. We are all on the same team, trying to do our best in life. Each emotion felt deserves to be acknowledged, but not at the risk of residing in a negative head space. Gratitude for how far you make it around shouldn’t be canceled out by personal guilt. Jealousy that consumes joy isn’t helpful either.
Emotions are overwhelming, especially those in opposition to each other. Continue to step up to the plate and take a swing at what life gives you. Even if we never hit the home run we’ve dreamed of, we can still be happy for those who round the bases in one swoop. Be thankful for the game we’ve played. Each position, play, and inning count. Focusing on joy and gratitude instead of jealousy and guilt will keep the emotional enemies off the field. Ignore the nay-sayers in the bleachers; don’t let them in your head.