The Way To Relating, Part 3: Envy Versus Jealousy


The Way To Relating, Part 3:  Envy Versus Jealousy
Recognize when your envy turns to jealousy.

Welcome to the third of a series of five articles in discussion of the natural and unnatural emotions. My recent articles examined sadness and anger. This article will analyze the natural emotion of envy and its fixed counterpart jealousy. Envy is a beautiful emotion. It arises naturally in all of us the minute we see something in someone else that we admire. The stunning thing about being human is there are always people we will observe that we feel possess some trait that we do not. This is the start of inspiration. When we see something we like in another we become inspired to posses that trait ourselves.

I hold the belief we are all capable of being everything we envy in the other. We can start by studying the person, the trait they possess and work on possessing it within ourselves. Because we are all unique we will express this new trait with a slightly different twist, but nonetheless we can possess it. We can emulate or practice what we see until it becomes our own natural state of being. It takes time, commitment and effort to make such changes. This is where most fall short. We can get locked into the perception that “they already possess that trait, so it is theirs” No one human being has ownership over any one trait or combination of traits. They are not built on quotas or limits. All things are all open to all of us. Envy leads to inspiration and inspiration leads to transformation. As we transform, we expand ourselves and we enter into the endless process of becoming a newer and newer form of who we already are. Expansion, liberation and endless creation.


For instance, I admire people who do not take no for an answer. To me they seem fearless. If they get a ‘no’ they seem to be inspired into an instant state of creativity. The brainstorming begins as they search for another way to get to their desired goal. Having envy for this trait in others, helps to give me a picture or a blueprint for how to not take no for an answer myself. Practicing this type of creativity and not allowing another to determine my fate has helped me to go beyond many personal boundaries in my own life. It is an on-going practice and continues to improve my life in every way. I realize that being a good rule-follower only made me a good rule-follower but not a maverick. I am much more interested in being maverick.

I search targets that seem fearless to me and I study and emulate these peopleL through my own idea of them. It is inspiring. The key, I have learned, is in working through the emotions that someone else has the ability to tell you that something about you or your life is absolute. If someone told me no I accepted it as truth and lived under that limit. I have found when I decide I do not want the limit all kinds of fears can surface. Can I do something even though I have been told I cannot? Can I be something even though I have been told I have not? Is this a limit I have to follow? If I don’t follow it what will happen? It is those fears which I have to examine and get through. I live by facing the fears and doing what I need to do. I have learned how fear can either stunt or inspire creativity. It all depends on how it is used.

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