I am super grateful that jealousy has never been an issue for me. I define jealousy as, “I want what you have, which in turn, means that I don’t want you to have it”.
I believe that God is unlimited– truly infinite– so it is not a zero-sum game to me; there is plenty to go around. I also do not need to have more than you do, to prove to myself that I am valuable.
Yet on the other hand, a huge challenge of mine, and what I consider my biggest ‘liar’, is envy.
Envy only shows me the shiny objects– it does not show me what comes with it. It shows me the Instagram lifestyle, but it does not show me the pain and the suffering often present behind the scenes.
Recently, I spent time with a person who I know has their struggles, yet they have all the toys: the private plane, the huge boat, the fancy cars, etc. Yet, this person also has tragedy in their family: death, sickness, and animosity amongst family members, to name just a few.
Even knowing this situation intimately, my envy wanted what they had. Certainly, not all they had– just the toys, as I know that I would never want the entire package. I did not want them not to have– I just wanted it too. Yet my mind played tricks on me, and lied to me, and only showed me the shiny object.
How do you deal with envy in your personal life? And for that matter, if you struggle with jealousy, how do you combat it?
Shame and beating yourself up does not help; I tried that for most of my life. What I have found that is beneficial, is simply and kindly reminding myself of what I do have, and what is truly important to me. I also allow myself to want the shiny objects– I just gently remind myself that it would be nice to have them, yet it is not a need, especially at such a high price.
This week, take whatever character defect you struggle with, and find empathy toward yourself. Try and interview the feeling, asking it what it is trying to tell you. Remind yourself that you are a good person who struggles, not– heaven forbid– a bad person who struggles as well.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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