Tool For Tuesday: Four Quick Ways to Eliminate Envy.

Envy is a hostile form of self-pity. I didn’t write that but I wish I did. Oops! I just committed my first act of envy and I was only on the second sentence of this blog.

Envy is a hostile form of self-pity. I am repeating that because it is so brilliant. Envy robs us of gratitude, strips us of joy, fills us with negativity and deprives us of good will.

But it’s clearly something that has plagued us since—well, look at Cain and Abel. Cain was envious that God liked Abel’s offerings (first of the flock) rather than his own first fruit of the land. (Apparently, God was not a vegan.) It sounds silly but isn’t all envy about what we perceive someone else has that we don’t?

So how do we stop ourselves from the occasional winds of envy that breeze through our minds?

Here are a few quick tools:

We can remember that we are each given a certain amount of abundance.

For everything there is a season. If something absolutely amazing happens to someone else, we can be reminded that this very same kind of thing can happen to us.

We can focus on what we have and not what we lack. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude keeps our outlook on the up and up.

Oh, and there’s a big difference between having it all and having nothing. We are all somewhere in the middle between perfection, amazing achievements, and worthlessness.

Finally, what are we doing with what we have? What are the steps we can take to get what it is we think we want? We are each given the tools to make our own small dreams come true.

Tool For Tuesday: What we think, so we become. What we feel comes and goes. We can nudge aside envy and focus on the positive things in our lives. 

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
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5 Responses to Tool For Tuesday: Four Quick Ways to Eliminate Envy.

  1. Diana, I’m in the gratitide camp. Thanks for a great post. 🙂

  2. juliabarrett says:

    You are a wise woman. I just think envy is a waste of time. Have better things to do.

  3. Like you, Diana, I think the opening phrase is a keeper: Envy is a hostile form of self-pity.
    Wow!
    I was in fifth grade when a wise student teacher taught us that when we’re critical or gossipy about someone else, if we stop and look closely we’ll see that it all boils down to being jealous or envious of that person for something we wish we had, and we resent them only because we’re feeling bad about ourselves. That was heavy stuff for 10-year-olds!

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