Go Where Your Envy Takes You
“Envy is wanting what someone else has.” ~ WebMD
This photo is perfect for what I’d love to share with you! If you ever feel a twinge of envy seeing this gorgeous waterfall which you haven’t visited yet, this is where you feel most alive! Go visit that waterfall! Jot it down in your to-do list and take any small step towards it if this feels impossible right now.
My parents, especially my mom, raised me with the belief that I shouldn’t impose on others too much, so I learned not to have any preferences. It must have been overwhelming for them to look after me during the little time they spent at home after work. So I guess it’s much easier to take care of kids without any strong preferences.
The other piece to this puzzle is that I’m highly sensitive and very aware of what others’ preferences are. Their wants and needs felt much louder than mine, so I’d usually sway towards their desires. I’ve never really bothered to find out what I love or explore what I might love.
Does this sound like you too?
Joyful Work Is Still Work
For the past two years, this unconscious pattern of not having any preferences and desires was starting to rear its ugly head. It was always hiding at the edge of my consciousness all these years, and now I know — I couldn’t feel joy because I didn’t know what I desired in life. My only strong desire was to be useful to someone. It was extremely unhealthy banking my happiness solely on how others value my value to them.
Working as an intuitive healer and taking care of my kids makes me feel valued and needed. Even when I see these activities as joyful work, it is still considered work to me. It is work that is focused on service to others, and mostly based on how they express their appreciation.
I needed to explore what makes me happy, which is not dependent on making others happy first.
Enter Envy — My Savior!
“When you see that a friend has published a novel, note what you wish for. Do you want to write a novel? Are you envying his accomplishment or the attention he is receiving?”
~Rochelle Melander, from the book — Level Up: Quests to Master Mindset, Overcome Procrastination and Increase Productivity
When I saw my dance friend and new mom dressing up and dancing hard in dance classes, new exciting brain synapses fired slowly but surely in my mind:
Oh man, I can never look and dance like her.
Wait! Isn’t that the Envy thing?!
Ooh! So I really want to dance?
I wanna perform!
Hmm…isn’t that super tiring?
My kids can’t do without me.
I don’t want to overburden my husband. He’s the one working full-time.
Wait, I work full-time looking after our kids too!
It dawned on me that I’ve never discussed my desire to take dance classes with my husband. It came out more like a passive-aggressive, resentful remark more than a serious request for understanding and support. Once I claimed responsibility for my own happiness, it became easier to navigate my way there.
Turning Envy to Empathy
Instead of sulking in a corner envying my dance friend, I shyly joined her. As my envy turned to clarity and empathy, it felt easier to enjoy the dance class with her. I now cheer for her whenever I watch her videos. I stopped feeling like we belong in two different worlds and felt grateful for our common passion instead.
Now I can say I truly have a life, ha! It’s such a novel idea to me, especially after being a mom for so long, that I can hold onto my dance. I share a lot more of my story in reclaiming myself through dance in this essay:
Go Where Your Envy Takes You
After this interesting episode in learning from Envy, she became more of a friend than an enemy. Whenever I get triggered by how successful, confident, or fulfilled someone seems, it gets easier to pause and be curious about what exactly I wish that I have more of.
I go to where my envy takes me while discovering and releasing more invisible walls I’ve caged myself within.
If you’ve been feeling lost and confused about what you truly want in life, try learning from Envy. She’s got lots to teach you through those mesmerizing green eyes.