Friday, January 16, 2015

The Wasted Energy Of Envy

IMAGE : MORGUEFILE.COM | The Wasted Energy Of Envy
Envy - noun, plural envies.

1.a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.

Envy. It's perceived to be a pretty ugly trait isn't it? I've always thought that people who waste their time and energy on such an emotion are by definition ungrateful for their lot and have very much a 'glass is half empty' attitude. It's a black and white view which may be partly accurate, but now that I'm in my forties and have experienced a bit of what we call 'life's rich tapestry' (a nice way of saying the crappier bits of life) I'd say it's often a bit more complicated than that for some. Circumstances are usually to blame for a person's envy of another, and although it comes down to their perception of these circumstances, sometimes it's damn hard to see the majestic sunset through the dark forest, even for the most optimistic of us. And I get that.

To be even a little envious of others is hard to admit, and I'm not even sure that it's the correct name for the emotion I've been grappling with lately, but I now know that envy is sometimes more challenging to avoid that I used to think. I'll be quick to add that personally, I'm not a jealous person - I believe there's a difference and it's not to say I'm not truly happy for others who have their health, their friends, a home and financial security, but here's the thing. Lately, I've become a little less accepting of the grievances of others who on paper, have very little to complain about. I've become less understanding of those who spout off about this teacher, or that parent, this or that friend, or the tear in their favourite designer outfit. So I guess envy is a part of these emotions, but it's also perhaps more about a change in perspective on what the definition of a real problem is. Truthfully, the surface stuff doesn't matter long term and more recently I've been better at throwing out the little things that were once considered 'problems'. For several reasons (thanks 2014 - you were an unforgiving minx!) I've been forced to gain perspective on the issues that do not impact in a life or death kind of way. You know the expression -  don't sweat the small stuff. I guess that's one of the many secret lessons we learn as we become responsible adults, experiencing life's rich tapestry and heading into middle age.

While I still feel 28 years old, the fact is that in these grown up adult years, life can indeed be a roller coaster and I've come to realise that the sooner we accept that fact and adopt an attitude to match, the happier we'll be. No one is immune to ups and downs so it really comes down to how we approach and overcome our own challenges and also how we feel about those heading skyward as we plummet downwards at certain times in our life. Mostly, I'm more than happy for you if you're heading skywards but probably not so much if you're complaining on the way up. I guess that the definition of where I'm at.

So my own lessons for 2015 are as follows.  Don't sweat the small stuff and certainly avoid looking at others in comparison. Envy is wasted energy. It will probably turn you into a person you don't want to be, nothing is ever personally gained by the emotion, and we never really know what kind of roller coaster others are on anyway.

1 comment :

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with this! Sweating the small stuff, getting your knickers in a serious knot over little things is easy to do but it's a waste of energy. I suppose the thing with envy is that most people have worked hard to get their success, sure others have been given a lot and haven't had to work for it but what they've missed out on is the stuff that most of us have to slog our way through, it's through this slog we grow!