Envy is, in my own opinion, my least attractive characteristic.  I’m aware of it, I’m working on it, I’m praying about it, but it’s there and it’s not going away any time soon.  If I know you,  I’m jealous of you in some capacity.  Depend on it.

The envy of things is the more hateful side of the jealousy coin.  Fortunately, it’s also easier to manage: I might momentarily wish I had a house like yours, or a car, or an iPhone, but I quickly remind myself that I’m glad you have nice things– you’re my friend, and certainly I’m not lacking for anything — even if I were, it’s hardly because you have something cool.

The real internal battle starts when I’m jealous of who you are.  You are smart, quick on your feet, outgoing, and self-possessed — things I wish I were.  I envy the way you discipline your children so calmly, or so proactively that they don’t need it at all.  I’m jealous of your fashion sense, your ability to make time for friends and family without seeming stressed, your certainty in your career or calling.

I think the reason it’s so much harder to fight this kind of envy is that it’s positive, in a sense.  Admiring you can be good for me; I can learn from you.  If I could leave it there, as I can with the jealousy of your stuff, it’d be fine.  I haven’t yet learned to do that.  The things I like about you correspond to things I don’t like about myself, and it’s far too easy to make the jump from there to “therefore I am screwing up.”

You don’t need to tell me how unhelpful that is.  I know.  I know I’d get ahead faster if I could take honest stock of what’s good about myself and build on it.  Like I said, I’m working on it.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll take it as a compliment: I want to grow up to be just like you.


About Grape

I've got the world's best kids and husband. Great house, steady job. I'm living the American dream. The trick is to appreciate it. I'm working on that part.
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4 Responses to Jealousy

  1. Laura O says:

    Wow, it is like you read my mind.

  2. missmunchy says:

    that was interesting to read…I had to keep reminding myself you didn’t write it “to me” haha =) But the way you wrote it…I had to remind myself OTHERS were reading! haha

    the gorgeous thing is that with your persistence in Christ…this WILL change!
    I am a LIVING testimony of that!

  3. Donna says:

    wow, u r good! I love how you can express yourself by writing…I am jealous of you!! 🙂 Thanks for the very honest post and sheading some light on the dark places in my heart and mind. BTW-thanks for your continued support and encouragement…..even though we are only internet pals! I am pretty sure you rock and don’t give yourself enough credit!!

  4. Last Boomer says:

    Spot on as always. I thought someone “like me” experienced those things, but it never occurred to me that someone “like you” (with as much talent and insight and ability as you) could ever feel the same way.

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