A considerable amount of time passed between writing these two poems, yet, they seem to belong together. They remind me of valuable lessons about jealousy and how reality may substantially differ from appearances.
During a period of extreme unhappiness, it was surprising to have people making statements to me wishing they had my life. If they had been aware of my struggles, discontent, and inner sadness, such statements would never have been made. While wondering how anyone could be envious of my life, recognition of the dangers of my own jealousies emerged.
It is easy to look at someone who appears successful or happy and want parts of that person’s life for our own. However, no one lives a life free of challenge and we rarely see the whole of a person’s life. Knowing the sacrifices necessary to achieve the point of envy may make it less appealing. Also, ongoing and future struggle must be considered.
Taking what someone else has requires the whole package be taken – good and bad. Fortunately though, we can change individual parts of ourselves. We can draw inspiration from successful people, modeling the behavior and actions of those we admire to better ourselves. But we must use observations of others to build on the greatness we already have. Envy will achieve just the opposite.
If it isn’t already obvious, these are lessons I am still learning.