Everyone has been envious of something, or someone, at some point in their life. Whether it’s someone else’s relationships, friendships, or material possessions, there are always people who seem to have it ‘better’ than we do.
Where does envy come from? For me, envy comes from thinking that I don’t have it all; it comes from all the little demons that I deal with, in my ‘self’, every day. I am envious of things that seem important to me, for one reason or another, but are always just out of my reach. I wish I had them, and I envy those who do.
Envy is a very negative emotion. It makes me angry; angry that I don’t have those things and that I’m not like those people. It makes me sad; sad that I can never have those things and sad that I can’t make myself be more like those people. But if I turn envy upside down, it looks different.
- For example, I envy someone’s material possessions. But when I look at my own life and I take inventory of all the beautiful things I have in my possession, I ask myself: Would I give any of them up? No. My possessions are my choice. If I wanted to have different possessions, I could.
- I also envy some people’s popularity. But if I look at my own relationship, they are all deeply important and special to me. I would not change them for anything.
- Lastly, I sometimes find myself jealous of other people’s circumstances in life. But in retrospect, it occurs to me that there is a certain sequence of life events that got them where they are, just as there is a certain sequence of events which lead me to where I am today. If I take a closer look, I find that I would not want their sequence. I have enjoyed mine, learned from mine, and I am continuing to grow within mine. And since I cannot have one without the other, it turns out that my life’s circumstance is just right; just for me.
To get over envy, turn it upside down. Recognize that your choices are your own. You made them knowing that they were what is best for you, in your life, and no one else’s. And remember that just as we are envious of others, you never know who might be envious of you. To others, your life may seem pretty great. And so it should to you, too. Live it — and love it. And the next time you feel envious, turn it upside down.