I swear I don’t know what the Universe is doing with me at the moment, but I’m getting a big ol’ lesson about envy. Even my computer is called Envy! Look….I’m not even joking!!
The signposts are THERE!! From my favourite vlogger, https://www.inthefrow.com/to my sister, it’s all about envy and the Maldives right now!
Lately, I have been feeling so low, because life just hasn’t turned out the way I planned it! It all went horribly wrong for me a long time ago, and I’ve never really got back to where I want to be, and in all honestly I’ve experienced a lot of envy along the way. Envy is a very powerful emotion, but it’s different to jealousy. Jealousy is about fear of loss, where as envy is about wanting to HAVE. People often use the wrong word here, ‘I love your shoes/bag/car (insert your own ‘must have!), I’m so jealous.’ When actually what they’re really talking about is a desire to possess said item, so it’s envy not jealousy. Whereas,’ I’m so jealous when my boyfriend talks to THAT girl’, describes a fear of loss, of boyfriend!
Last night I couldn’t sleep, and when I’d given up tossing and turning I watched my favourite vlogger/blogger instead, and her vlog has inspired this post. So, thank you Victoria McGrath for THAT! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWMmezSB1r8 Watch it and WEEP!!!
I confess to being more than a little envious of Victoria in the Maldives, in said vlog. So it started me thinking about what envy is. It IS closely linked with jealousy, in that it can make you do bad things, but it’s different to the jealous lover who might kill the boyfriend/girlfriend talking to their man/girl. It might make you kill to make something yours but that’s a desire to have, not a fear of loss. Envy can even make you resent the other person for having something you want, it’s a powerful and interesting emotion, but when you have it in check, you can feel envy, acknowledge the feeling, and be pleased for the person who has what you would like to have, you CAN still be pleased for someone whilst wishing you had the same thing for yourself.
Victoria has it all, she’s young and beautiful, rich and independent, has a figure to die for, is effortlessly slim so she can even eat what she wants! And also comes from a very loving family. BUT she has worked incredibly hard for what she has, and still works incredibly hard for it, her achievements were not handed to her on a silver platter. She is very driven but has never lost her sense of self. She’s still that Mancunian girl, but a more sophisticated version of her, always striving to be the very best version of herself, whilst still holding on to her values of being kind, and gracious and sweet. I like her a lot. Even on her holiday she worked, and spent 2 hours writing a piece for her fashion column in ‘Glamour’ magazine.
After I turned my light out to try to get back to sleep again, I used my envy in such a positive way. Rather than stew over the fact that I will never be able to go to that exact same spot in the Maldives, and eat myself up with envy, instead I took myself there in my mind, and I swam in the ocean, and I went to their villa which was on stilts in the water with glass panels in the floor, like a window straight into the ocean, and a veranda which circled the building. In my mind, I walked on the white sand, and it soothed me just ‘being’ there.
After that I was able to be grateful for all that I DO have. And even if I will never see the Maldives, I am still allowed to dream and take myself there for free! And who knows, maybe I’ll strike it lucky one day and I will be able to experience it all for real. Victoria deserves what she has though, she is a grafter. It’s easy to be envious and forget that, AND she has to cope with a lot of hate mail and seething envy from people who cannot be happy for her, they direct their envy in the most negative way by being viciously unkind to her, envious of her lifestyle, her looks, her clothes, and not appreciating what it took for her to achieve all that. They are NOT managing their emotions.
For myself, I’m only just beginning to link envy with a sense of entitlement, I want it so I’m having it. So, I buy the shoes or the bag or the theatre tickets, I pay for the hotel room or the meal in a restaurant I can’t afford, because I want it, therefore I will HAVE it. But I am the one left with the debt! So, for me, it’s not just about managing my emotions, it’s about CHALLENGING them and channelling them. In those moments when I feel envious, instead of an instant ‘click to buy’ to quiet the envy with instant gratification I need to do something creative instead, or something which fulfils me. Boredom is often about anger. I am angry because I feel unfulfilled, therefore…challenge and channel!. Supressed and internalised anger can turn into depression, and then you’re in a funk. Easier said than done, but if that boredom/anger is redirected in a positive way the emotion is managed and not internalised, then you feel better and can move on from it…until the next time! But that’s ok, because every time this happens you are growing inside, and your sense of self is developing with your own self awareness, creating genuine self confidence every time you self-fulfil. Even the lovely Victoria, when she writes a blog post or a column, or works on a vlog, is not just creating for her far and wide audience, she is also creating for herself, because that’s where it starts, if we fulfil ourselves we have more to give with positive channelling, and sharing the gifts we have, whatever they may be.
Foot note: Just got over my Maldives envy with Victoria when watching her amazing vlog last night, then met my sister for lunch today. Conversation went something like this:
My sister: Hi Penny, how was your holiday? (I’ve just got back from visiting my daughter in L.A)
Me: Oh it was wonderful, so nice to be warm out there.
My sister: Yeah, I know what you mean, G and I are going to the Maldives in June for our 25th Wedding Anniversary, I can’t wait.
I MEAN YOU COULDN’T EVEN MAKE THAT UP, COULD YOU?!! One more time!!!! I’m off again!! In my MIND!!!