Wednesday, December 30, 2009


\sha-den-froi-de\n: taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others.

Why am I writing about a German word you ask... well I feel like I may be a victim. I was reading an article in January's issue of Marie Claire with this title. It's the opposite of envy, instead of feeling bad about a friend's successes we feel happy when she fails. When I read this I had an aha moment. There are a few people in my life who have responded to me in a certain tone or expression that translated to something I couldn't quite put my finger on but I knew they weren't exactly sincere. A lot of things trip me up about this. The article explained how celebrities are the most common victims of schadenfreude because when something bad happens to them, it brings them back down to earth and we can all feel better about ourselves. What about me would make these individuals view the loss of Audrey as "bringing me back down to earth?" I am not famous, boastful,extremely hot,rich or anywhere near the top of the ladder. In fact I am quite the ordinary girl who has - in my opinion - experienced her share of misfortunes! Maybe MORE than my share! Some people scoot through life with minor bumps and bruises while I've had internal bleeding!

It makes sense though - with these particular individuals and myself- there has been an underlying competition, over small things really, but it was there none the less. I guess what hurts the most is each of them know me well enough to have been through some of the hardest times in my life with me. I have also seen them through some of theirs.
Here's the thing though, I would NEVER wish this to happen to even my worst enemy(losing a child) but I do find myself waiting for bad things to happen to other people who seem to have it all together. I AM NO BETTER! In fact I believe we are all at our core capable of all kinds of evil. Boy, I could really get off track with that statement... like a good and evil debate but that was not my intention for this post. I'll get to the point. As I realized a few people are standing back - for whatever reason - and feeling a bit better about themselves because I am suffering, I also learned that this my time of opportunity. I have the opportunity to go on grieving as I need to and the opportunity to stop comparing my life with other's. So often now I find myself envying mothers, the mothers who have never lost a child. The one's who are getting irritated with their little boys being rambunctious in a store. The pregnant women who complain because they are 37 weeks pregnant and working full time.

My story is my own, I have had successes and failures and I own them fully. So I cannot focus on what others have or don't have. By God's grace I will not envy and I will not have schadenfreude toward another. I will not concern myself with those individuals I deeply care about who feel better about themselves while watching me suffer. Even though it makes it hard to be real with them, I will forgive and be honest about how I am doing. I will not allow the enemy to ruin my relationships. I will not dwell on what I did to cause schadenfreude toward me or how to fix it- that responsibility lies within those individuals. I will fix my eyes on the Lord and my heart for healing.


  1. Wow, I never heard that before. What an interesting post. I have often thought that women who were pregnant at the same time while I was carrying Jenna felt a sense of safety that I was the one that got dealt the bad card. It hurt and I know what you mean. I think too we are all capable of all sorts of evil. Maybe I have felt this in some other area of my life? Not sure, but it sure is an eye opener.

  2. That last paragaraph. Wow. So inspiring. Applicable for everyone.