Something made you roll your eyes, hiss a little, and think “they are so extra- ugh?” as you scrolled through the feeds.
Is there someone you feel like you are silently in competition with?
Is there someone you watch and might even take notes from, but you don’t “follow”, “like” or <3 them.
We know that social media has created means to constantly compare that never existed before. And we know that comparing ourselves to someone else’s parts will always insure we (feel like) we are coming up short and can never be enough.
Can we learn something from compassionately examining who and what we envy ?
I’ll share a personal experience that I’ve tucked away and carried around for a while.
Before I became a mama, I’d suck my teeth when people talked about, posted about, wrote about, or shared pictures of their kids. Or I’d pretend to be overly interested. Once, while on a retreat, a sister kept talking about her children . At first I was “so” into it. But it seemed to go on too long. My fake interest turned to pure irritation. I literally said to her
“Girl… I thought you came here to rest and be free of them and all that. Don’t you have something else in your life to talk about” (Yes y’all, I said that to someone). I was so annoyed at her. But was it annoyance? Was it “at” her? I went and sat with my feelings and examined my response. Annoyance gave way to the feeling of a sharp rock in my belly. My heart felt punctured open, 1,000mph wind howled through.
My sitting turned to laying down. I held myself and wrapped deep breaths around my spirit. Then it happened. This feeling was a tunnel to crawl and peer through. A way to both see and humbly touch what I wanted. I wanted children that I would miss on a retreat. I let myself feel all of the inner questioning that I’d “put it off” and then it seemed to be eluding me. I wanted to unroll my yoga mat and have little socks that had been left behind fall out. I wanted to feel and give the depth of love present in that sister’s (and so many mamas) eyes, words, and the way she carried her body and even her purse around.
For many layered reasons, I couldn’t/ wouldn’t admit that longing any other way. And so that thing dressed up like annoyance and strolled in as envy. Only once fully investigated did it reveal a desire that I’d meticulously hidden and covered up beneath other emotions, interests, and even ambitions.
Envy does not feel good and is not “nice”. And yet, it is often a determined and nuisanced teacher. You may be more evolved, and so, you won’t have or need the lessons to come through envy.
but y’all… that was how I realized one of my deepest desires. Through a messy inquiry into who and what I envied & exactly why.
Who do you envy? Are you jealous of someone else’s work? Relationship(s)? Family? Vacation? Why? What does envy feel like in your body? Where do you feel it? What longing or desire might be asking you to take notice through this fiery emotion?
Danielle Laporte says this of jealousy/envy:
“It asks us to give ourselves permission to want what we want… and get our ass in gear.
Envy is often a call to action.”
love+ honor you as much as you can. Then look your envy in the eye. Look at and beneath it. Ask it what it really wants. Be honest.
Ask you what you really want. And
Take your next bold step.