When I was in second grade I wanted to be in this one particular club led by a girl named Cupcake. Isn't that an unbelievable name? Okay, that wasn't her name, but I chose it because her actual name was every bit as unlikely. The club consisted of Cupcake and two other girls. They all wore pretty clothes, wore ribbons in their hair, had pierced ears, and had been in beauty pageants (Cupcake had won some). I desperately wanted to be a part of this group. I asked my mom if I could be in a beauty pageant and she said "No, absolutely not." I asked if I could get my ears pierced and she said "No, absolutely not." So, when I asked these girls if I could be in their club they also said, "No, absolutely not." And that's how it went the whole year, over and over again. No beauty pageants, no earrings, no club. I cried a lot that year.
In childhood everything is so extreme. You fall down and let out a wailing cry, and you don't care who hears. Someone snatches a ball from you and you tell the teacher, "I had it first! Make him give it back!" And you want to be accepted into tiny exclusive groups led by rotten kids like Cupcake.
Then you grow up and everything gets much more subtle, but it doesn't go away. When you fall down it still hurts, but you probably suffer more quietly, if someone steals your purse you file a report, and from time to time you may find yourself wanting certain people to like you who have decided, for whatever reason, that they do not. It's still tempting to spend a lot of energy on the Cupcakes of the world, isn't it? But it's so much more enjoyable not to.
This week, try not to let the "Cupcakes" in your life steal your joy.