We are exploring here the Five Natural Emotions: Grief, Anger, Envy, Fear, and Love. These emotions are tools, gifts given to us by God with which to build a better life. In the last two weeks we looked at Grief and Anger. Today, an exploration of Envy.
Envy is a natural emotion. It is the emotion that makes a five-year-old wish he could reach the doorknob the way his sister can — or ride that bike.
Envy is the natural emotion that makes you want to do it again; to try harder; to continue striving until you succeed. It is very healthy to be envious, very natural. It is the part within us that tells us there is more within us, that we can do as good as the next guy, in our own way, with our own best expression, using our own unique talents and abilities.
When children are allowed to express their envy, they bring a very healthy attitude about it to their adult years, and therefore usually move through their envy very quickly, doing something about it (such as learning how to do what they are envious of another for being able to do — or, developing another skill or ability that is more natural to them, and in which they can take pride) and therefore using envy as a springboard to accomplishment.
Virtually everybody who has been a major success in life can tell you of someone they envied when they were younger, who was doing the same or nearly the same thing. These were their role models. These were people they looked up to. That feeling of looking up to someone who is doing or being something that we would like to do or be is called envy.
Parents often misunderstand that natural feeling of envy when they see it in their children. Instead of teaching their children to play off of that energy, making use of it to produce achievement in their own lives, some parents actually tell their children to stop feeling that way; that it "isn't nice," that they have plenty to be grateful for and they should be satisfied with that, etc., etc.
Children who are made to feel that envy is not okay, that it is wrong to express it, that they shouldn't even experience it, will have a difficult time appropriately dealing with envy as adults — their own envy of another, or, interestingly, even another's envy of them.
Envy that is continually repressed becomes jealousy, a very unnatural emotion. People have killed because of jealousy. Wars have started, nations have fallen.
Never, therefore, deny envy...or tell someone else to. Especially a child. Envy is quite natural, quite normal, and enormously useful when understood and managed, when used profitably and expressed as achievement.
Love and Hugs,
© 2019 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.