We’ve all been there… your friend has a huge accomplishment, your co-worker loses those 40 pounds, someone you know goes on a dream trip, a friend’s child excels …… and oh, all those smiley photos on Facebook. Uggh! You want to be happy, but you have a gnawing sense of envy in the pit of your stomach that prevents you from being 100% ecstatic about someone else’s joy.
I have spoken to many people about this “compare to despair” thing. It only seems to create angst and anxiety, yet we seem unable to NOT go there. Well, I used to also compare all the time, until I looked closer to see what exactly was happening. Here’s what I found:
- The idea that other’s have it better, bigger, happier or (fill in the blank) is simply untrue. Underneath, in everyone’s life, there is also another side. We are all human after all.
- I found I felt jealous ONLY when I didn’t feel so good myself. This just highlighted a feeling that was already there. Facebook didn’t do it to me. No-one else can put a feeling in you.
- Jealousy can be a signpoint, not only to how you might be feeling, but also where you would like to grow in your own life. If you want to lose those pounds, do it. If you want to run a marathon, train.
- When we can be happy for others, we are happier ourselves and vice versa. I started being happy no matter what, wallowing in their joy and accomplishments, and even bragging about them to others 😉 It felt really good to be proud of all the amazing people out there. After a while, jealousy loses it’s grip.
Try it. Notice where you feel envious. Is there a gift there for you? Either a signpost to where you might be feeling not enough that needs some self-care or attention, or where you would like to go. Don’t feel bad, embrace it. We’re all human.
Have a great week,