The story starts like this:
It was the winter of 98′ and it was piercing cold. The kind that makes you feel all alone. And Marie looks at me straight in the eyes and very sincerely says: “I’m so envious of you. I wish I could have that kind of friendship and love you have with your man. I envy you. I just wish this would happen to me.”
I was gobsmacked. In awe at her outspoken vulnerability, her authenticity and her confession. She was both sad and joyful. We became very good friends.
Over the years, I developed a curiosity about how envy arises and dissipates within others. And most importantly how they arise and dissipate within me. What triggers them? and why? What to do when they pop up? How to manage those sensations? The burn in the chest. The lump in the throat. The soul that shrinks. The dampening of the spirit. The looser thoughts. If you’re a mere mortal like me you’ve felt this before at some point in your life.
We’re accustomed to think and feel that we’re evil and bad because of feeling jealous and envious. I didn’t want to believe that envy is just here to make me feel bad. There must be something more to it. Some piece of wisdom. So I went on a journey of self discovery and observation. There are many perspectives to this subject, and as always I’m committed to the one that connects us to our truer selves. That allows us to grow. I choose the perspective that best serves us and make us lead a happier, wiser and self loving life.
First, let’s make a clear distinction:
Jealousy occurs when something we already possess (usually a special relationship) is threatened by a third person. It is a reaction to the threat of losing something (usually someone).
Envy, on the other hand, occurs when we feel we lack a desired -attribute, quality, object, circumstance- enjoyed by another person.
Today I’ll focus on envy. And my findings of my expedition to envy-land also involve work done with clients and honest discussions with family and friends.
Looking deeper into it:
The situation where we feel completely envious is a reflection of what we have overlooked. What our heart craves and desires and what we’ve sort of neglected. It’s what you wish to create but haven’t given much planning, time, belief, effort and dedication. It uncovers areas where we were too lazy to do the work. It awakens us to what’s important to us. It could hurt. Like a punch to the chest. A pinch in our heart. When we get over that physical feeling, it’s a powerful tool guide to what matters to us the most. It’s a powerful trigger. An alarm. It pinpoints the area where we’ve forgotten to give our attention and focus so we can do the work towards what our heart desires so we could ‘have that’, ‘be that’, ‘get that’, ‘do that’.
As envy arises, be kind and curious about yourself that’s a great way to access the wisdom.
It will be very tempting to slip into victim mode, of not having enough, not being enough, of the unfortunate circumstances in your life and creatively crafting award-winning excuses. I know you won’t slip into that (let’s forget the past).
Hard truth in the name of self love:
Every body has something that the other doesn’t have. Love yourself as you are. You are enough. You have enough. Do the work, create and build from this abundant, loving and solid place.
Express yourself, don’t repress yourself:
Just like Marie did, share your genuine admiration. Your feelings. This snaps you straight out of envy land and straight into reconnecting with what’s important (it’s like some sort of self-exorcism).
When envy takes over, here are questions to get you back in the zone and be curious about yourself and what matters to you the most:
What do you admire in this person? What do you respect in them? What are qualities in them or skills that you’d love to possess? How are they inspiring to you?
Where have you given up on yourself? (that you are not good enough to…. or you’re not good at….)
What have you neglected lately? (about your dreams, thoughts, feelings, desires, wishes, plans, objectives, goals)
What does your heart wish for? truly. deeply. madly.The uncensored version.
What’s the hard truth you want to admit to yourself?
What’s the hard work you want to do to get you from where you are to where they are. Where is it important for you to give more focus to get to where they are?
What becomes possible when you decide to do the work/ to build/create/magnetise/attract the same into your life?
What is the scariest thing to do?
What’s an advice/tip you could ask this person that will give you inspiration to take you from where you are to where they are?
Take in the questions that resonate with you the most.
So the next time you look at someone’s successful business, breath-taking body, joyful loving family, stunning home, jaw-dropping wise charismatic talented and everything sexy healthy natural amazing zen, incredible mesmerising talent- that you wish you had REMEMBER THIS: Envy is the trail of breadcrumbs to what fulfils you, what makes your heart sing, what your soul longs for.
Follow the trail. Follow it. faithfully. Intensely. Relentlessly.
dum di dum dum di di dum.
P.S A few years later Marie met The One and he was everything she had wished for. To this date, they’re still married. They cultivate love, happiness and humour and created a beautiful little family. In her own words, she shared that she had followed the trail. Dum di dum dum di di dum.
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