Have you ever felt envy towards someone? How did you handle it? Did you conquer it or did it conquer you?
I am no exception to those people who felt envious toward someone. And I suffered a lot from it for years. Let me tell you my own experience about ENVY and how I deal with it. The good and the bad.
Let us start by defining what envy is:
I was a struggling professional and was burdened by responsibilities of taking care of my siblings when both our parents died. “Life is unfair” was a constant thought in me. There are lots of things I wish I had growing up. I wish I was in a different situation just like the other people my age.
And then there came someone who had the life I wanted. Seeing her is a reminder of the things I don’t have and I started to hate her secretly. She is, by the way, in my family circle and as much as I wanted to avoid her, I can’t. I also don’t want any conflicts within the family.
I constantly stalk her on her Social Media accounts. She posted a lot about her achievements and it pains me. I see how she spends time with her parents and it pains me. I see how she was able to travel around the world and it pains me. And then I started to look for the bad things in her. Since we’re family, I definitely am able to know it if I want to.
True enough, I discovered some flaws in her life. It is not at all perfect. I admit, I felt relieved to know it. I thought I would stop there but I didn’t. I tried to convince people that she’s not as perfect as she shows herself in public. I emphasized her flaws discreetly so I won’t look like I am the bad person. Little did I know I was putting myself up to her expense. I wanted to be better than her.
For years… I’d been doing this toxic routine over and over.
Was I happy? Definitely NOT!
I am self-destructing.
My world revolved around her for years. My life was not anymore about me but about her. My goal was relative to hers. I always compare myself to her. The thought of her dominates my entire being. I wanted to bring her down but she ended up achieving more and I was left far behind.
It is sickening. It is frustrating. It is consuming me. I was sad. And, I wanted it to stop. I don’t want to feel it anymore.
I was still in denial that the reason I was unhappy is because of enviousness. I tried to justify that it is all because of all other things… because life is unfair. But who am I justifying it to? I know deep inside that it is the reason. I eventually acknowledged it.
I started to look for ways to overcome envy. I searched the net, read through different blogs and articles. It showed different ways to overcome envy but it all boils down to Lack of Gratitude. I felt envious because I was not at all grateful for the things I have. I only see what is lacking in me that others’ possess. It made me cry a lot in prayers. Why did I come this far?
I was so consumed by the thought of being better than others that I started to become the worst villain in my own story.
Little by little, I started to be grateful for the little things; the food I eat, the air I breathe, the water I drink, the clothes I wear and the mere fact that I am alive. And then I realized I actually have more than what I needed. A lot of reasons to celebrate life and be happy, right?
I still feel envious from time to time. But instead of putting someone down, I tried to improve myself instead. Instead of destroying the person you are envious of, be inspired by them to strive more. Focus on you because that is where you have control. Most importantly, appreciate everything that you have, be it material things or relationship.
“The only way to overcome envy is to be grateful.”