Learning To Rejoice With Another’s Good Fortune

Let age, not envy, draw wrinkles on thy cheeks. Thomas Browne, English author

My mother would have been 102 today. She’s been dead for sixty-seven years. A friend of mine recently lost her mother—she was 102. I’ll attend her funeral on Saturday and celebrate her long and well-lived life. 

Do I resent my friend for having her mother all these years? Absolutely not! I’m thrilled that this is how life worked out for her and her mother. And yet, so often I read posts from motherless daughters who are resentful of others who still have mothers. If this is your attitude, I challenge you to dig deep and look for the roots of this feeling. Do you wish others pain because you have pain? 

From my experience, this attitude is more common in our society than one might realize—not just with some motherless daughters. Social media only adds to the FOMO (fear of missing out) attitude or envy about another person’s good fortune. We’re all sisters in this life—I beg you to find a way to rejoice with each other as well as expressing empathy for those who are hurting.  

Affirmation: I rejoice in the good fortune of others.

Coaching question: If you’re a motherless daughter, what do you feel when you see a daughter having a good time with her mother? Feelings, of course, are neither good or bad, but if you throw negative energy onto another—that’s something to take a look at. What can you do to shift your attitude?  

Winnifred Martyn Horn – 8/18/1919 – 5/24/1954

Is the Stress You’re Feeling Actually Envy?

Envy is an unconscious defense mechanism against a threat to our self-esteem. Kristin Neff, PhD, co-author of The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook

Since, according to Dr. Neff, envy is unconscious, it can be difficult to detect. Envy frequently masquerades as stress, sadness, anger, jealousy, or resentment. 

Envy is different from jealously which typically involves a fear that someone will take something from us. Envy is coveting something that belongs to someone else. Social media is a fertile breeding ground for envy which, if left unchecked, can be a destructive force. 

Here are a few tips to help you keep envy from stealing your joy.

—Name the feeling. Unmask envy and call it what it is. When you can name it you can tame it. Dig under the masquerading feelings to see if envy is hiding there.

—Stop comparing. Whether you’re feeling bad about yourself, or good about yourself at someone else’s expense, you need to learn that your worthiness comes from being you. 

—Envy comes from the desire to be loved. Learn to show compassion to yourself. Delight in who you are and what you’ve accomplished rather than what remains to be done.

Affirmation: I will love myself out of envy.

Coaching questions: What causes you to feel envious? What will you do to move away from a mentality of scarcity into one of abundance and rejoice with the joys of others knowing that joy is possible for you too? 

Beware of the Crabs In Your Life

The highest treason a crab can commit is to make a leap for the rim of the bucket. Steven Pressfield, American author

Did you know that when crabs are trapped in a bucket one could easily escape but its efforts will be undermined by the others ensuring the group’s collective demise? I learned this from my pastor yesterday. Great metaphor for “If I can’t have it, neither can you.” 

If you are a member of a group that attempts to reduce your self-confidence when you achieve success beyond the group out of envy, resentment, spite, or competitive feelings—get out! Sometimes this sabotage is subtle but you’ll feel it in your gut if you’re paying attention. You deserve all you can achieve. You deserve to be your best self. Don’t let anyone pull you back into the bucket.

Affirmation: I deserve to be my best self.

Coaching questions: Have you noticed the lack of support from the people around you? Are they sabotaging your success? If so, get out of that bucket. Have you ever pulled someone down because of your own envy or resentment? Think about it.