As ‘able bodied’ people now know, missing out on social activities is challenging. It is especially challenging for those with chronic illness, who miss out, event after event, year after year. It never gets easy.
Now I found a word that I LOVE that helps frame how I see friends enjoying themselves on Facebook especially at Christmas, and into the long term while I live in isolation. “Freudenfreude: joy in others’ Joy”. It is the bliss we feel when someone else succeeds, coming from the German word for ‘Joy’.
YESSSS! I adopt Freudenfreude as a lifestyle, not just a feeling. I embrace others’ joy and really feel it and let it fulfill my soul. If my friends are happy, I feel their joy and bask in it.
It is the opposite of ‘schadenfreude’ which is taking joy in others’ misery, which is my LEAST favourite word. I’ve never understood how online trolls can make joy in creating misery for others. It’s unnecessary. I get the same addictive rush in a positive way when I compliment people online! It builds us both.
So not just this season, but into the long term future I will continue to feel joy in others’ Joy. I encourage you to do the same. Let’s create Joy together!