We all want what we can’t have.
Last weekend, a friend invited a few of us to her home in Florida for the Easter break. We took the 9 hour road trip by full force. We arrived, wasted no time, dropped our bags and headed to the beach. The Florida heat was something else! (Although being from the UK means I have a pretty low standard).
I mentioned how lucky she was to grow up by the beach. In return, she told me how lucky I was to live in the UK because of the easy access to nearby countries. The conversation was a back and fourth of aspects of where we each grew up that we wish we could have experienced. The conclusion was that we all want what we can’t have because we fail to see the value in what’s right in front of us. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think too deep about the conversation but after a number of things that I have seen circulating social media lately, it did become something I stopped to think about.
Here are some thoughts on envy and what I’ve learnt to move past it:
Envy pushes you to crave the presence of something solely because you are experiencing the absence of it.
This is a thought that me and a friend have been thinking about. I wonder how life would be if I wired myself to appreciate the presence of something solely because I have experienced the presence of it. Then I thought to experience the presence of something I have to be present. Which sounds so simple, however in reality has me like:
Whilst reading a book called Replenish, I realised that one of the main reasons that I often find myself not being present and wanting things that others have is because of noise. In the book it says: “There was a time when silence was normal and a lot of racket disturbed us. But today, noise is the normal fare, and silence, strange as it may seem, has become the real disturbance”
Whether it be friends, family or the internet, there are so many things that create so much noise (not always bad) in my life. They can easily take me out of the present and catapult me into the future (wanting what I don’t have) or into the past (wanting what I didn’t have). Being away from home has definitely helped me decrease the noise but there is still work to be done!
Envy says, “the things that God has given you aren’t good enough”.
Me: Do better
(jk he never leaves us or forsakes us)
But on a real note – I’ve noticed that the times where I’m looking towards what others have in their hands, I am neglecting what is in mine. And for the times where I haven’t neglected what is in my hand but simply don’t like it, I’ve found it is just a case of me not knowing what to do with what I’ve been given.
When I was first learning how to play the piano, I was frustrated by how terrible I sounded. I had to focus on my teaching and my consistency, both things that I’ve learnt to hold on to. When it comes to what God has entrusted me with, I feel that in order to understand the full usefulness I have to focus on:
- Teachings – (the bible, preaches, people or whatever other motivational sources).
- Consistency in building my relationship with God.
Envy does not take into account that we all project particular images of our lives.
Social media is the biggest culprit for this (but after reading everything that has gone on in the past week, this is something that I think many people have realised). It’s a place where you feel as close as you could ever feel, yet are actually as far removed as you could imagine. I learnt that if I separate my inner world from my outer world, then I’m sure others do the same. Pitching myself up against a projection (the presentation of an image on a surface) does not make any sense.
These are just some of the things that have helped me to understand focusing my own purpose. And I hope something triggers a thought for you to do the same.