Swapping Envy

Does the word “envy” make anyone else sick to their stomach? Or feel panicky? Or just think of a big green blob of a monster chasing you down and telling you what to think about everybody else’s situation?

I know what envy feels like to me, but I was curious what other words people associate with envy. Check out some of the top synonyms for envy as found on Thesaurus.com: begrudging, bitterness, hatred, ill will, jealousy, malice, prejudice, resentment, and rival. I don’t know about you, but that is a load of words that I don’t really want to have anything to do with. They all scream some sort of negative energy that would likely only turn into a heavy load of emotional baggage to lug around.

That being said, we are human. I am human. I feel envy more than I care to admit. I feel it about things as small as sitting in a restaurant and thinking, “Ah man, whatever that person ordered looks better than what I decided on,” or as big as being at a party chatting with someone and thinking to myself, “Why can’t my life be as clear cut and successful as this person?” The monster that is envy can eat away at us and make us miserable if we let it.

So, the question for today is: how do you swap envy for joy when other people accomplish things? This can be a hard thing to do, especially if you’re surrounded constantly by people who are competitive in nature. It also probably doesn’t help that we all have little computers in our back pockets that we can take out, scroll through social media, and “conveniently” compare ourselves to other people all from the comfort of our own sofas.

But as I think about this question, I really think the answer boils down to this: being content in your own skin. The value of recognizing that you and I have different gifts and abilities can shift our perspective. This means that we must not shy away from really getting to know ourselves and what we bring to the table. We each have something special to offer this world and that is part of what makes it so beautiful.

Here’s a little example from my own life. I like to write, but my sister is a talented photographer and takes lovely pictures of people. My other sister can arrange flowers into beautiful bouquets in a way some may be able to learn, but she just possesses the “magic” for it. Can you imagine how if you take any of those abilities from any one of us, the world would be altered? That’s incredible to me.

So when envy creeps into my thoughts and maybe my actions, how do I swap it for joy? For me it’s a matter of letting myself really feel that emotion; then stepping back and observing myself feeling that emotion. Then comes the asking why…. WHY am I feeling this way about someone else’s achievements or talents? Don’t I want others to succeed? What’s really the problem here? Once I’ve identified the root of why I am feeling envious, it usually becomes a lot easier to let it go. Once that happens, it becomes easier to push my thoughts toward gratitude. Chances are once I am thankful for people and opportunities in my own life, I will be able to join another person in celebrating the amazing things in their life too.

Thanks for being here this week. Check back Wednesday for an original poem for this month. As always, feel free to click on my dropdown menu and click on “Connect with Me!” I’d love to hear from you. You can also find me on Instagram here: @thelovinghopefulversion or search for my Facebook page “The Loving Hopeful Version” to stay updated on the latest posts. Have a great week!

With gratitude,

Sonja K.

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