The Envy Monster

MonsterOk, so do you ever hear good news that happened for someone else and instead of thinking, ‘That’s so AWESOME for them’ think, ‘Geez I wish that would happen for me’. Do you know what that is?  It’s the Envy Monster rearing its ugly, nasty, dreadful, terrible head… 

Why, oh why do we do that!?!  We want, want, want.  We might not be lying on the floor and kicking our feet like a little kid anymore, but inside that’s exactly what we are doing.

  • We want to have the body like so and so.
  • We want a house decorated like that one.
  • We want a larger house like theirs.
  • We want kids that behave like those.
  • So-and-so’s family goes here, or does that.
  • We want a pay raise (stay-at-home-mom’s want someone to say they like how their socks were folded or something – any recognition would do).
  • We want to be married if we aren’t. Or if only our spouse would be like so-and-so if we are married.

We want , want, want – see what I mean.  The bar rises higher.  Nothing is ever enough. Regrettably, it’s natural, it just comes with being human; however, it can and should be overcome.   Why is envy a bad thing anyway?  Because it is a pathetic and formed from destructive emotions such as resentment and inadequacy. Nothing is ever gained from envy; however, a great deal can be lost.   It set’s us up for failure on numerous levels. Let’s list a few: Our family or loved ones can never, ever compete with ‘so-and-so’, which means they know from the start they have failed. Why should they try?  They may exert all their time trying to make you happy and gain your admiration, but it’s only shallow affection on those terms.  Generally, they will not even try because there is no chance to come in as a placed winner. In the family, envy can divide and even break family relations to the point of not being able to be together as grown adults.  This is tragic for all involved.

  • When we constantly want newer and better, we are never satisfied.  Consequently the demands we put on our-self and others is unobtainable = persistent unhappiness.
  • If we complain and focus on our body not being perfect, what society deems attractive, or what we envision, how can our children ever see themselves as beautiful!  Their role model has missed the boat completely, is unhappy and setting the example of a life time of misery.
  • To get ahead of others in the workplace, or in society, we insult and are rude, which actually makes others dislike us.
  • Envy clouds your thinking because you start to see only the negative, pessimistic, fearful side of life. The joy is gone and no room for love.  It will almost always affect your health too with anxiety, depression and other issues.
  • Your sweetheart can only take so much of a jealous honey.  Trust is a prime foundation that a relationship is based on and if one person is envious, of everything and everyone, it will eventually be a deal breaker.  A control nut is not a beneficial and contributing partner, but a weight to carry.
  • When acting jealous or envious it can lead to criminal and illegal acts.  That is NO way to live.

The ultimate tragedy stemming from envy is the effect it has on our relationship with God. Why? I believe one of the greatest sins we can commit by commission (on purpose) and omission (accidentally/oversight) is ingratitude.  Gratitude is the antithesis to envy.  How?

  • What we have, we consider enough, so we are satisfied and pleasant to be around. 
  • It is a remarkable change that happens to us when we desire to be sincerely grateful.  Our countenance changes.  We look better, different and nicer to be with.
  • Family and friends want to talk to us because they know they will be appreciated for even a small good or improvement.
  • Our home will be a wonderful place to be because of the feeling there. 
  • Our marriage, our family life, our circle of friends will feel of our affection and sincere concern for their behalf and communication will open and receptive as never before.
  • When we are grateful, we look at the things and blessing we HAVE, not at what we do not have. Then our view, our world – our heart begins to change for the better.
  • We will be grateful for small miracles and blessings to recognizing the angels in our life.
  •  The love in our heart will overflow with peace and joy that we may not have ever felt before.

 The greatest blessing from battling the ENVY MONSTER, and WINNING, is that we have room in our life for God to work His marvelous planHis design, which is far more than we can ever do on our own, is filled with satisfaction, contentment, helping others along the way and pure joy This is my goal.  To LEARN this principle.  To PRACTICE it consciously.  To BECOME a much better person.  I hope you will join me! 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

For More On This Topic:

 A Mother’s Shadow‘ a novel by Carrie Groneman

 AMS Cover Small

Gratitude Journal

All Gloves ARE Beautiful

It’s All Good

You ARE Beautiful

 

Comments

  1. I definitely know this feeling and think it is a normal human reaction, but like you try very hard to fight against it and let God in to indeed not let this emotion take hold or win.

  2. Carrie,

    Over the years, especially in my younger, years I struggles with this poor pitiful me syndrome. As I have gotten older and have a better relationship with God, I have been able to work on this issue. Now, I truly wish others the best. I also try hard to bless others.

    I know God loves me and he has blessed and will continue to bless me too.

    Many many blessings to you,
    Diane

  3. I’m fortunate that envy is not something I struggle with….however, I am guilty of wishing that my home was much cleaner. I can be a bit of a neat freak and like having everything in its place but it’s difficult because I don’t have time to clean for hours and I don’t want to put unrealistic expectations on the rest of the family. Everyone has their chores so that’s not the problem…I guess the problem is I want to be able to eat off the floor lol jk.

    You are so correct about envy leading to crime. It all starts as a thought….which becomes continous and even obsessive until it produces a negative action. Cyber bullying, stalking, assault and battery and sometimes death are the outcome. Controlling our thoughts is key to living a happy, healthy life. It’s not always easy…but most battles aren’t. We just gotta be willing to put in the work!

  4. When I think of envy my mind goes to some of the things you mentioned . Bigger ,, better,, more,, bigger,, better,, more !
    So if you could instantly have those desired things but had to take ALL of whatever else is in that person’s life , would you still want the bigger,, better,, more ,, that came with the package deal ??
    Be careful what you wish for !!!

  5. This reminded me of Sister Burton’s talk: “When we seek to complete rather than compete, it is so much easier to cheer each other on!”

  6. This is such a great post and reminder. I loved the statement: “gratitude is the antithesis to envy.” It’s so true. It’s nearly impossible to be envious while being *truly* thankful for what we have. Being envious is kind of like telling God: “What You have given me isn’t good enough.” When in reality what He has given us is not only good enough, it’s perfect! He has already given us everything. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Great post! The only thing I let the envy monster do is push me to better myself. I don’t envy things (anymore), I envy the characteristics and skills I’m lacking and there’s nothing wrong wanting to be a better person. We are so happy you linked up with us at Thursday Favorite Things.

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