Sometimes I get jealous. What for? My manicures routinely last two weeks. I speak foreign languages. Years of begging for a dog landed me one. All in all, not bad.
Seriously though, I have everything I need and a lot of what I want. But the green-eyed monster appears. While it’s clearly illogical, it’s also overpowering.
The predictable remedies for envy and its equally hideous cousin—jealousy—never helped. Saturated in a loopy exuberance I couldn’t share, they almost made it worse. For example, think of your attributes, superpowers and talents the other person doesn’t have! I wish I could add unicorns and Lisa Frank-esque hearts here.
Why bother? If you’re in the right mood, by which I mean a negative, nasty, self-deprecating one, chances are you’ll find more perks to their existence than yours.
Remember, jealousy is a reminder to refocus on you, to get back in your lane! But…you hate your lane right now. That’s why you’re envious.
Feel gratitude for being you! Uh, unless there’s more scientific research happening than I’m aware of, we can only ever be ourselves.
And then I found it:
So often we laser pointer to a sliver of someone’s life—birds never poop on his car, she tans without burning, they have a cute child/house/flowerbed/kitchen table. But really, envy is just another way of sacrificing the bigger picture in favor of zooming in on pine needles under the microscope.
Imagine walking into a dark room with party streamers hanging from the ceiling, a detail you’d forgotten. One brushes your face and you’re terrified, swiping your cheeks and shrieking like a primate for the next five minutes.
That was the impact of this quote: all the unpleasant aspects of that person’s life roared back, like a tsunami of streamer-sparked adrenaline: But she’s an exhausting vegan. And he’s apoplectic with rage at his father. Don’t forget, she’s divorced! Oh yeah, he’s a cross fitter.
On a literal level, I think I whispered, "Oh my God, this works!"
If none of this moved you, and you insist on the perceived perfection of someone’s life, remember your Latin: fronti nulla fides. Place no trust in appearances.
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