Envy. Can it be admiring and for a good cause?
|Translation: Natalya Marycheva|
Let’s now talk about another energy drainer. This one can disguise itself even better than greediness. It has so many forms and masks. It even has an excuse – as there’s no such thing as “admiring greediness”, but “admiring envy” is quite a common term.
Here are some examples of envy:
- Gossiping. When discussing lives of other people we are looking at them as if from above. There’s a bit of pride in doing so. As well as envy. If we care so much about other people lives, then we “know better how it should be”.
- Censure. Not just gossiping but also censuring others, pointing out their mistakes, makes things even worse. We’re losing our good karma and take bad karma of those people. This is what we pay for our envy which in this case can be labeled as “I can see it much better here from above.
- Reading tabloids. Gossiping about celebrities is a very common pastime – reading newspapers and magazines to find out who’s having an affair with whom, who’s getting married, who’s divorcing, etc. Immersion into this stream of events gives the feeling of life to many. A lot of events, a lot of emotions. But it works the same way in terms of karma.
- Attempts to change other people according to your taste. According to Vedas, any kind of disapproval is a form of envy. In any situation, when you wish the person would rather behave some other way, you feel envy. And there are so many more examples.
- Comparing yourself and your beloved ones with others. The biggest theft is comparison. When comparing your husband with other men you steal his strength and your own happiness. When you compare your appearance with fashion models, you steal your own charms and self-confidence, and provoke your husband for infidelity. When comparing your income with that of neighbours’ you steal your possible increase.
- Imitating someone, trying to become someone else is a dead end. Each and every person is one amazing original. It would be so weird if one day Salvador Dali would try imitating Ayvazovsky, and Mozart would compose in Bach manner. Trying to change ourselves in imitation of someone else means to deprive the world of something unique and precious.
- Feeling down when someone feels good. It’s a quite widespread example of envy. Your neighbor has bought a new car, and you feel down as his car is newer. Your friend has got married, and you are still single. This news makes you ill at ease. These feeling can literally drain you.
- Rejoicing when others feel bad. This is also quite an often issue. There’s a joke about a man who once discovered a genie lamp at his backyard. The genie was willing to fulfill any wish of his. But on one condition – whatever the man desires, his neighbor will get it double. Ask or a car – your neighbor will get two. Ask for a house – your neighbor will have two. The man thought for a while… and asked the genie to put one of his eyes out.
Such a wide variety, isn’t it? And some of the feelings are quite tricky to recognize as envy. Many of them we have already got used to, and they became a norm of life. Many are even encouraged by the society.
What’s wrong about it?
Envy is indeed a destructive feeling. The main idea is “Someone has something I don’t have” and many other varieties. If one worries too much about it – they call it vile envy. If not that much, then it’s admiring envy.
What is more, the so cold admiring envy is considered to be quite a normal social phenomenon – “I want it the same way as you”. There’s nothing wrong about it, right? Is it wrong to desire for the same car, house or husband?
Seems like not. Nobody looses anything – my friend’s car remains my friend’s car. It’s just that now there are going to be two cars – and the second one is mine. The only thing we’re losing is our individuality.
God knows better what each and every person is supposed to get. If we keep trying to catch up with others and do everything the same way, we can easily overlook our own happiness. But is this sacrifice really worth it?
There are so many people who want to live like celebrities. They wear the same clothes, have the same lifestyle. But it doesn’t make them celebrities. Neither it makes them happier. And definitely it doesn’t make the world better. Let’s assume that Mary Potter was destined to become a wonderful mother and wife, and instead of this she resolved to become a society lioness. What would change? The world would lose a really good mother and wife. A role model for the daughters. There would be no good and friendly family, who together could change so much in the world. Just because Mary decided that she knows better what’s good for her.
This way we get distracted by the signals of the material world, by the images of other people, by objects and lose the most important – ourselves. In this noise, it can be so difficult to hear the voice of your heart, which could tell us what the real happiness is. We won’t be able to recognize our happy destiny considering it to be not good enough for us. We won’t be able to recognize our special one.
Besides, we will never pursue something we are not destined to get. If Mary is not destined to become famous and successful, how will she feel? She will put enormous efforts to achieve the aim, and still she’ll never gain what she’s longing for. What if she spends all her life chasing the rainbow?
Is envy that harmless?
I must confess here that I’m far from being an angel. I used to compare myself with those girls I thought were more beautiful. I would envy those with nuclear families, the well-to-do ones, those who had siblings, who would go on family vacations.
At times I even find it difficult to remember who I would not envy. I would envy those who would be courted by the boys. Those who would win the contests. Those who would do well at school. There would always be someone better than me…
With the time, it rose to higher levels. I remember being envious to parents of healthy parents when our elder son had a deplorable diagnosis. I felt envy for those who had their own accommodations, a car, friends.
The more I compared my life with others, the more deprived I felt. As if God has not given me enough, didn’t let me have my fair share, punished me, etc.
Then I accidently found out that some people envy me. I’m really grateful to those who sincerely confessed. For me it was really strange – is there really anything to envy? I thought those people had much more than I. And I would myself like to live like them.
And when I realized that people are always not happy with what they are, that they ALWAYS want something better, something different, I breathe a sigh of relief. There is almost no human being who doesn’t think someone has a more exciting life.
I quit checking out the holiday albums of my acquaintances for some time. I knew we couldn’t afford a vacation at that time. I stopped looking through the wedding photos from the position “I would have done it in e different way”.
One day it finally dawned upon me that the personal accounts in the social networks are merely a beautiful image. Smart phrases we are not following. Beautiful pictures of us playing happiness.
Philosophical thoughts. Behind all this beauty and wisdom is often an unhappy woman, who creates an illusion of a good life for others.
And a page with just a couple of photos can belong to a girl who just has no time to create an image. Her life can be full of content, joy and service. She herself can be a model wife and mother.
Along with Vedas I’ve gained some new perception of life. I’ve realized I’m a part of the creation and I should follow my own way to keep this world going around and make it better. It’s my duty, my mission. My top priority in this world is to make my personal contribution.
Even now I sometimes catch myself at talking about and censuring someone’s behavior. And, yes, I do read showbiz news sometimes. It happens that I rejoice at my ill-wishers’ failures. And there are moments when I feel sad that someone is doing something I’m not.
But I’m no more eaten up with these feelings the way I used to be.
And the momne t I stopped comparing my husband with other men our family life turned from a fading flower into a fruitful tree.
Should you provoke envy?
There’s one detail worth mentioning. When you provoke envy in others it sucks your energy the same way. When people see your photos and your success they will feel bad. They will envy you and this can affect your life.
When we upload the wedding and vacation photos, showing off our income and possessions, our children and life, we provoke envy in others. Of course you can not totally avoid it. Because to live a miserable life not to tempt anyone is foolish.
But if you do it purposely, with the intention to show off, to get bonuses, appraisal and attention – you’d better not. If all the energy is aimed only at you and on emphasizing your superiority, don’t do this. It will bring bad emotions to others as well as you.
Share your joy only with those who is able to rejoice. Change the comment under your photo from “Me at Maldives” to “I wish all of you will see this paradise one day”. When breaking the news about your future wedding, wish your single friend to merry soon.
If you intentions are clean and good, be sure you’ll only gain the energy. If you give a lot of kindness to this world, be sure, it will return to you.
Don’t run into another extreme – to live badly so that not to hurt anyone with your happiness. You should look for happiness. The question is whether to brag about it and with whom to share it.
For me Oleg Torsunov is a role model. He’s an extremely modest and humble man. A lot of money, resources and so on flows through his hands. But he carries on his modest and humble lifestyle. And even this provokes envy.
Not without reason envy is considered to be one of the deadly sin. Just imagine how much energy will be released if you start living your own life without looking around.
Living your own life – it sounds incredibly easy, cheerful and free!