Do you ever feel like you are not good enough?
Do you scroll through facebook and see other people living happy, successful lives? Doing and having stuff that you wish you had? Sometimes it seems like everyone else has got it all sorted – life is so easy and fun – and you are the only one struggling?
It leaves you with a yucky feeling in your gut, doesn’t it? You feel discouraged and demotivated. And lonely. You look around and your life/home/relationships/body seem lacking and ordinary.
What am I doing wrong? You ask yourself.
I have definitely experienced this. Not just in the past but sometimes on a daily basis.
Scrolling through facebook and absorbing pictures and stories by the bucketload of friends, and friends of friends, enjoying overseas holidays, happy families, beautiful homes, and newly trim bodies. Sometimes I am inspired but often I can come away feeling slightly off and weird. And not in a good way.
I have thought a lot about this. Why is this so?
Now I know what it is. It’s envy.
The definition of envy is: a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
When we see something that we want or would like (even secretly) for ourselves but we don’t rise up to celebrate it and claim it, we feel envious.
Envy is labelled as one of those negative emotions. To be fair, it doesn’t feel great when you experience envy but instead of feeling ashamed or shunning it, envy is something to be embraced.
Let me explain.
We feel envy when we long for something that someone else has.
The reason it feels so bad is because deep down we know those same things are possible for us but we don’t let ourselves go there.
Envy is the gap between what we deep down know is true or possible for us and where we let ourselves go.
We don’t let ourselves believe that those same good things are possible for us. Or if they are possible, there is some reason preventing us from experiencing them.
We buy into the theory that there is only a certain amount of resources including money, goodness, love and joy and others are getting more than their fair share. And we are missing out.
We blame others or circumstances for not allowing us to be who we want to be or have the lives we want to have. So we don’t celebrate other’s success fully and deeply. We feel envious.
What is really causing us pain is that some part of us knows that joy, freedom, beauty and peace is our true nature but we are refusing to claim it for ourselves.
The pain we feel is self-inflicted. We suspect that too, and then we feel worse about ourselves and so the cycle continues.
We feel bad for feeling bad. We shrink and avoid standing in our own light.
Some part of us is secretly relieved, if not downright happy, when others don’t do so well because it makes us feel better about not standing in our own light and claiming our own power.
The feeling of envy diminishes.
But this is not the way to freedom or wholeness. When we don’t stand in our own light we do feel disconnected. Because we are disconnected from our own limitless source. Our own inner light. Our divinity.
The thing is, you know who you really are. Deep down you know you are enough. You know you are worthy, simply because you exist. You know there is plenty of good stuff to go around. There is unlimited love. Unlimited joy. Unlimited creativity.
Your true nature is pure clarity, joy, contentment. There is a solid beam of love inside you.
But when you look outside yourself and decide that others are better or more worthy or successful than you – you do feel bad. When you feel like you have to do more, try harder, have a tidier house, be more organised, stop feeling depressed to be considered good enough – you will feel bad. As you should.
Because it goes against the truth of what you know deeply in the quiet of your soul. In your bones. In the cells of your body.
That you are a perfectly lovable, divine, creative field of consciousness. As is every other person on the planet. There is nothing you need to prove. There are no lessons to learn.
The thing to remember is you are not wrong or bad for feeling envy.
Envy is a natural human reaction when you see someone else’s good fortune but refuse to allow yourself to feel good for them because you don’t believe you can have the same.
The feeling of envy is a pointer to your joy and inspiration.
Envy calls you to rise up and claim the things you desire.
When you can’t or won’t heed that call, you feel pain.
Ultimately every human being desires connection, love, joy, self-expression, acceptance. There is no shortage of any of these. You can have as much as you like! It’s an all you can eat buffet! No-one can take your share.
Take notice of the things that cause you to feel envy. Be curious and observe. Sit with the feeling of envy. Don’t be ashamed and shove it down or gloss over it with a fake smile. Don’t buy into it either and gossip and bitch. Just observe it as if from afar. Envy is simply an emotion in your body. ‘Energy in motion’ as they say. Envy is leading you somewhere important. Go there with compassion and curiosity.
You can have a life you love. Right here, right now. Embrace it all. The depression, the mess, the anxiety, the noise, the beauty, the cracks, the variety, the differences, the tears, the laughter.
When it comes to yucky or difficult feelings, I often think of the classic children’s book ‘We’re Going On a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.
“We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we have to go through it”
On the other side of envy is inspiration, delight, generosity, satisfaction, open heartedness and joy.
When you let yourself be truly and genuinely happy for other’s good fortune you are saying yes to the same good fortune for yourself.
It is safe to feel negative emotions like envy.
It is safe to be happy for others.
It is safe to look forward to having the same things for yourself.
It is safe for others to receive wonderful things and for you to feel inspired and delighted by them.
It is safe for you to receive wonderful things. There is enough to go around.
It is safe to believe in the goodness of people.
It is safe to believe everything is going to be OK.