I know you have had this syndrome before. If you have a brother or a sister you know all about what I call Post Sibling Birthday Depression. Its symptoms include sulking, slumped shoulders, down-cast countenance, and foot sliding. At least that is how it looks at our house. The symptoms manifest in a sibling who has not had the last birthday.
Okay, how about some plain english (southern that is). Our older child had a birthday party this weekend. It was a good one. Several friends and family members came over and we had ice-cream and cake. Oh, yes, there were some presents to. I think that is what may have started the depression. Little sister felt somewhat left out. Despite getting one or two gifts for herself and having a friend over to play with during the party, she was still not happy.
Why do we do this to ourselves? We see someone getting recognition, an award, or receive a good gift and instead of feeling proud for the receipiant we are jealous. Our thoughts turn inward and we think only of ourself. You can detect this type of attitude in yourself by listening to the thoughts you tell yourself…
- Why doesn’t anyone reward me?
- They really did not deserve that.
- I never get any good gifts.
- I never win anything.
- I wish I could have that too.
- I am not as good as that person.
- No one notices me.
- I don’t have anything nice.
I am sure we could make a longer list but it does no good. This kind of thinking only makes the depression worse. I needed a quick cure for my daughter, so do you.
The cure? Taking a good look at yourself and the blessings you have. The old song “Count your Many Blessings” always comes to my mind.
When upon life’s billows You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged, Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings, Name them one by one
And it will suprise you What the Lord has done.
More at Lyrics.time.
So often we just want more we are not content with what we own. A quick test, would you take one million dollars for everything you have right now? Everything? Your house, your cars, your cat, your dog. Ah, but what about your family? Your children? Your parents? There are times I wish I could teleport my family to some of the places I have visited in my life. We could zip off to a under developed country somewhere and see what it looks like to have nothing.
I am not sure the trip would mean much yet to my children. They are young. But I have no excuse. I am grown up. The author of Hebrews said it this way, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.” Hebrews 13:5 Not so easy to do sometimes.
How about another exercise… Visit a local nursing home. Go volunteer at a food pantry. Do something for someone who may be a little less fortunate as yourself.
How about this from Paul,
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
The key to it all is thanksgiving. Be thankful for all your blessings. Count them one by one.