Duchess Digest: Ending Envy

By Jill Brown

envyGreen has always been my favorite color. It’s the featured color of my birthstone (emerald), my favorite cocktail ring (peridot), my livelihood (cash!), my peace of mind (nature) and my favorite surprise gift (flowers). It’s a great way to act consciously (as in “go green” and save our planet!) and it is also the color of self-respect and well being. It’s the color of my text message app on my i-Phone and the hue of many of my favorite foods (avocados, spinach and cucumber).

However, with all those great meanings for green, there is another slightly more sinister association with this color; envy. You know the saying, “Green with envy,” right? Well it’s taken from the idea that those who are a little sick can look a little green in the face. We all have seen someone unhealthy and there does seem to be a green or yellow tint to their skin (just look at anyone with sea sickness!). And that’s exactly why people have said “green with envy,” over the ages. Because envy is a sickness that disconnects us from our loved ones, our own goals and our true selves.

So what to do? You’ve been envious before; we all have. What do you do when you really truly want to be happy for your girlfriend who is getting married, or your partner who just got a huge promotion, or your sister who is about to leave on a trip to Europe? Envy can be especially confusing when it strikes you in relation to the ones you love the most. You are so happy for them; you just want a little for yourself too! Is that so wrong?

Envy (as one blog I looked at put it) is the antonym of content. So the best way to release envy and to truly embrace an authentic joy for the blessed around you is to take a few of the following tips to heart and to practice!

  • If envy is the antonym of content or bliss – take a moment to identify exactly what parts of your envy are surfacing. If it’s your friend getting married, why is that making you envious? Is it because of the commitment? The companionship? The attention? Be honest, but get to the root of what is really making you feel disconnected from your own peace of mind over your loved one’s success.
  • Next, try walking a mile in the other person’s shoes. How long have they wanted or been working toward and for their opportunity that is happening for them? Odds are good they’ve been putting in some blood, sweat and tears for this experience to be coming to them. Why not see it as an affirmation that your dreams will come true too! If your friend or partner has wanted this dream and it’s happening for them – it will happen for you too! Celebrate in their joy and success authentically and fully!
  • When in doubt; communicate! It’s okay to kindly and authentically tell your loved one that you’re struggling a little. Explain to them how much you love them, and you much you support them, but that you’re feeling a little envious. Be honest and ask them for advice or tips on how they got to where they are. Perhaps their insights will be the inspiration you need to reach your dreams as well. Talking about it always makes that energy between you and the other party more positively charged. Approach them in love and in kindness but ask for how they did it and see if they don’t share the love right back with you!

Finally, try journaling alone but instead of stewing on your envy – try looking for real ways to turn it around. If you did step one above, you know exactly why you’re feeling envious. Is it the trip to Fiji you want? The promotion at work? Or perhaps the loving committed partner? Identify what you want and then on the top of a fresh page in the journal write “How I can . . .” and finish the sentence with what you want. Then start brainstorming ALL the ways you can reach your blissful outcome. If it’s the trip, how can you accomplish it? One idea could be to set aside 10% of every paycheck toward the dream trip. What about taking on a part time job for four to six months to raise the funds? Maybe you could sell some unused, quality items around the house on Craigslist to start your fund? Is there a way your job would send you? There is always a WAY where there is WILL. Remember, persistence overcomes resistance. When you learn to celebrate the success of others and overcome envy, your own joy will be waiting!

–Jill Brown


Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based life coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: www.theduchessequation.com

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