To live without comparison is to remove a tremendous burden. Jiddu Krishnamurti
Do you ever have a weekend that makes you wish you were at work? Last weekend was one of those weekends. There was expensive car trouble, running my kids around, and an emotional visit with my parents.
On Monday morning, I woke up earlier than usual, ready to put the weekend behind me. The week was a blank slate and I was going to crush it.
Instead of jumping out of bed, I grabbed my phone and made a huge mistake… I went on Facebook.
I scrolled through the Monday morning quotes and the events of my friends weekends, and all of a sudden, my scrolling came to a screeching halt. My brother in law had posted that he and my sister were heading to Italy in June.
The Green Eyed Monster
I literally burst into tears. The green-eyed monster took over my whole body and could not see anything that was good in my life. I started to drown in jealousy and could not breathe. Then I felt ashamed that I could not be happy for my sister and her family.
Honestly, I do not think of myself as a jealous person. I thought the feeling was going to pass. However, it did not pass and I needed a life preserver to save me from drowning.
What is Jealousy?
Personally, jealousy is an emotion that invokes negativity. When I hear that word, it sparks a feeling of insecurity and selfishness. Thank goodness, it occurs occasionally. Jealousy has the power to take the joy out of any accomplishment you may have. It can cause tension between the best of friends and the closest of families.
Envy, according to Alain de Botton comes from the fact we can relate to someone who has something we desire. They could be in the same age group, socio economic group, and occupation. When there is someone who that you look up to but are not in the same “league,” you might up to look to them but do not experience knife like pangs of jealousy.
In my case, my sister and I are similar. We are two and a half years apart, we are both married moms, and are in the same socio economic range. However, when I look at Gwyneth Paltrow, yes, I would love to have my own lifestyle blog like goop. In reality, I know I do not have the connections and assets to take my website to the level of goop, but I do not seethe with jealousy when I come across Ms. Paltrow’s name.
An Attitude of Gratitude
I always tell my children, there will always be someone with more than us; more money, a bigger house, a nicer car, etc. However, there will always be many people with much less, than we have.
The best way to combat envy is practicing a ritual of Gratitude. Like most people, I am very good at practicing gratitude when things are going well.
However, when my depression is in high gear, am overwhelmed, and sad is when I have to dig deep. As a result of powering through the act of gratitude my perception changes and feel lighter.
This morning for example; I wrote down five things I was thankful for. The result? I smiled more, I found joy in my students, and my friend and I started planning a trip to Spain in 2020.
Do you practice gratitude on a daily basis? How does this practice help you?