We’ve all been visited by the little green monster. Envy creeps up on you and you find yourself flooded with emotions; anger, resentment, discontentment…
Envy can be painful, disheartening and destructive. It can arrive laced with blame, and our natural affinity to push those feelings outward and envelope them with anger can sometimes leave relationships irrevocably tarnished. Even in the most innocent and simplistic cases, the resentment and self-doubt boiled up by envy can leave us feeling incomplete and hopeless.
But I’d like to think that if we take this heavy experience as an opportunity to grow, it can also be a powerful tool towards achieving our goals.
When we step back and examine our feelings we can uncover the truth behind the envy monster.
What is the focal point of our envy? What has that other person achieved that we desire? Why did it affect us so deeply?
Sometimes, in the throes of life, we become complacent with our current reality and our dreams take a seat on the back-burner. Even if we’re happy with our surroundings, watching someone live our forgotten dreams can make our heartstrings cry.
Other times, we don’t pursue things simply because of our fear of failure, building walls of excuses – “I’m not good enough”, “it’s too hard”, etc.
But if we are truly passionate about something, we owe it to ourselves to include it in our lives. We shouldn’t let the brick walls stop us from incorporating our passions into our world. And we certainly shouldn’t let the discomfort of envy deny us the opportunity to realize that.
Next time you find yourself wading in the harsh waters of resentment, take a step back and examine your feelings.
Know that envy is a completely natural emotion experienced by all at one time or another. Your heart is trying desperately to speak to you, and it’s incredibly important that you listen. Hiding beneath the surface are, likely, feelings of insecurity, fear, and desire.
Take onus of your feelings as opposed to pushing them outward, tangling them up with anger and damaging relationships. In the end, this kind of behaviour hurts us and those around us more than the discomfort of examining a negative emotion. And, left unresolved, we are likely to revisit the uncomfortable feelings we’ve been avoiding. Now that’s what I’d call counter intuitive!
It can certainly be challenging and anxiety-inducing to truly sit with our negative emotions and examine them.
But all emotions, even negative ones, are important and worthy of examination and understanding. Our emotional health is paramount to our physical health; poor emotional health can lead to a weakened immune system (something us autoimmune disease warriors ought to avoid), anxiety, depression, and more.
Our emotions and our health are truly intertwined. As Health-Esteemies we must learn to love ourselves enough to be mindful of them and to address them. Much like how our bodies are deserving of health supporting foods, our minds are worthy of our love as well.
Todd Kashdan, psychologist, professor and author stated that “(we) view emotions as superpowers that are in our arsenal and available to help us if we understand and appreciate how and when they are useful.” (Source). Your feelings of envy may be trying to guide you towards something you truly desire. You just need to be brave enough to look beneath the surface.
I believe in you.
Health and love,
Thought of the day: All of my emotions are valid and worthy of examination.
Your Health-Esteem Journey Starts Here with a Free Self-Care Planner!
Plus, I’ll send you weekly inspiration and support to help you create your ultimate healthy lifestyle.