Why You Need to Listen to Your Envy
Why had I signed up for this newsletter? And it was true: it was only a newsletter, and I had voluntarily signed up for it.
So I could give myself a heart-attack and heartache every time her email landed in my inbox?
So I could just grow numb with envy and bite my nails down to the cuticles every time I saw what this woman’s work?
I knew not. So I proceeded. Hating Myself.
Despite the cold sweat and sharp distaste in my mouth, I found the courage to click open. Or rather, I found that I couldn’t BUT click open… like seeing a video of your ex’s vacations on Facebook and not being able to take your eyes off of it even though your heart is thumping right against to your knees…
I began reading the words on the screen. Voraciously. Taking them in one by one by one, whole lines at a time, not having enough of them, clicking through to read more, and then more, and more, and other articles.
What was I doing? When I finally managed to pull myself away, I felt a nauseating mixture of sickness and delight.
Yet it made me sick to my stomach. Who did she think she was?
At first, I was ashamed of it, disgraced, felt I was a bad person.
Secretly, I knew that that’s why I had signed for the newsletter in the first place: to try and show myself that I was better than that, a bigger person, someone who could applaud another writer for their eloquence and skills without jealousy or envy…
Turns out, I couldn’t.
But here’s the plot twist:
Envy’s Not the Enemy.
But are they?
Emotions are just that: E-MO-TIONS.
There are no positive or negative ones. No right or wrong ones you should feel at any given moment.
The word “emotion” means, in Latin, “to move outwards.” Emotions move what happens inside of us, in our innermost self, out so we can perceive those occurrences with our senses and conscious self.
But no emotion is “bad.” Each emotion is simply a signal of what happens inside of us. Deep in our soul.
Ignoring your envy, like I had done, trying to stuff it down somewhere deep inside yourself, buried under tall mounts of hurriedly devoured ice-cream, is definitely a bad reaction.
Listen to your envy.
Envy is trying to tell you something.
When I finally broke out of my self-pitying stupor, I got it:
My envy wasn’t the problem. My envy pointed me towards passion.
“This is the sort of writing that moves your soul! These are the sort of topics that strike a chord deep down in here! Your whole being is screaming out that you should strive towards that!” Envy was shouting at me from the depths of my bowels.
Envy isn’t the enemy. Ignoring it is.
Ignoring your envy out of fear of being a bad person, or out of shame for feeling such a thing towards another colleague or friend or human being, can only be destructive. For you are, in a way, ignoring the cries of your soul.
Don’t fear your envy. Embrace it!
Very few, I’m sure, of those feel the kind of envy I felt for the actual work that goes into it.
Others, I’m sure, envy other things about it—such as its success and popularity, or its large and international audience, things that would never even upset me.
We all want different things. But we often forget or lose sight of what those things are by covering them with the general blanket of “success.” Because ultimately we all want to be successful.
But successful in what? And in what way?
That’s where envy comes in.
Pointing at something another already possesses and that signals success to you (and perhaps only you).
Listen to your envy for it’s a wise and perceptive guide of what goes on inside of you.
What or who do you envy?
And why do you envy that thing or person?
What about it would you like to have and how can you get it?
Let’s dig into your passions!