12.31.2022 – Ahhhh freudenfreude!

Ahhhh freudenfreude!
that bliss that you will feel when
someone else succeeds

I am not much on bucket lists or New Year’s resolutions.

I have to say there is nothing on my ‘list’ that I need to do or just would like to do before I die that would make my life complete.

I am a sinner saved by grace and while I know I need to work out my Salvation with fear and trembling, I also KNOW that when I do die, bold will I approach the throne, confident and wrapped in the gift of that grace.

Not much I can do or see here on earth to improve on that in my back pocket.

As for resolutions, I guess if its worth doing, it worth doing now rather than the an arbitrary state-by-date set by a calendar devised by people a long time ago.

That being said, I admit I enjoyed reading 6 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationships in 2023, By Catherine Pearson.

In the spirit of the New Year and looking ahead (maybe not forward) to the 2023, I pass along Ms. Pearson’s 6 Tips.

  1. Assume people like you.
  2. Don’t underestimate small acts of kindness.
  3. Embrace the power of the casual check-in.
  4. ‘Turn toward’ your partner throughout the day.
  5. Acknowledge the ‘normal marital hatred,’ too.
  6. Cultivate ‘freudenfreude.’

That’s it.

The article does give some background on each tip, but just by themselves, if read introspectively, has just enough words to make the point.

And it’s is that last that really caught my eye.

Cultivate ‘freudenfreude’.

Ms. Pearson writes;

Unlike schadenfreude, when we take pleasure in others’ misfortunes, “freudenfreude” describes the bliss we feel when someone else succeeds — even if it doesn’t involve us.

There are benefits to sharing in someone else’s joy.

It can foster resilience and improve life satisfaction.

Freudenfreude.

I was not aware of the word but maybe I was aware of the feeling.

My sister Mary once wrote of our Mother something like, that our Mom had the gift to enjoy and be proud of other people’s good fortune without being or appearing to be envious.

Freudenfreude.

I think of my Mom at Church.

I remember how people would seek out my Mom to tell her things.

They got a job.

They finished school.

Their child was getting married.

It didn’t matter what.

But what ever it was, my Mom was excited and happy for the news and excited and happy in such a way that whoever was talking to her was pleased that she was excited and happy for them.

I remember a Sunday sermon where the Pastor was preaching on spiritual gifts.

He mentioned the gifts in the Bible like the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy.

Then he mentioned everyday things.

The gifts of song.

Some people can just sing, he said.

The gifts of teaching.

Some people can just teach, he said.

Then he said some people being happy, so happy they can just make you feel good.

Some people, if you just sit next to them, make you feel good.

Then he paused.

Then the Pastor pointed over to the left at my Mom.

“Go sit next to Mrs. Hoffman.”

“FIND OUT HOW SHE DOES THAT!”

Freudenfreude.

At my Mom’s funeral, we all got a chance to say something about our Mom.

My brother Tim demonstrated calling my Mom with good news.

He took out a cell phone and showed how you would punch in her number and say hello when Mom answered and then tell her the good news.

He immediately took the phone from his ear and held it arms length.

And we all laughed.

Because, no matter the good news, Mom would SCREAM OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH and if you didn’t hold the phone away from your ear, you stood a good chance of losing an ear drum.

My Mom felt bliss expressed when someone else succeeded.

Freudenfreude.

My Mom and my 4 youngest kids Lexi, Ellie Dasia and Jack

Seems like there hasn’t been a lot of freudenfreude going around lately.

A lot of schadenfreude in today’s world.

A lot of just plain meanness.

A lot of just plain ugliness.

A of lot of watching other people dealing with meanness and ugliness.

A little Freudenfreude …

The bliss we feel when someone else succeeds — even if it doesn’t involve us.

Ms. Pearson closes with this paragraph.

One easy way to experience more freudenfreude is to check in with your friends and loved ones about their small victories or the bright spots in their day.

Doing so turns you into a “joy spectator” — and gives you an opportunity to see the people around you at their best.

Going into 2023 I plan to engage freudenfreude.

Going into 2023 I want to take advantage of any opportunity to see the people around me at their best.

It can foster resilience and improve life satisfaction.

For both of us.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh freudenfreude!

Happy New Year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s