We live in a world where everyone's lives are pretty much on display, thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. I grant that one can choose how much they share, so we are never getting the whole picture of others' lives, and we're likely seeing primarily the positive things that people want the world to know about. Still, it's pretty easy to look at someone else's latest profile picture or cheerful update and feel envious. (And I definitely mean envious, not jealous. They're synonyms, but the connotations aren't quite the same. For me at least, jealousy is often resentful and bitter, whereas envy is a state of discontentment. You can be happy for someone and envious at the same time.)
So what's a girl to do when she realizes her tragic flaw is envy?
At times, envy is a bit of a first-world problem. I know I am very fortunate - I have a roof over my head; I have a refrigerator full of food; I can go to college; and I have overflowing bookshelves.
At the same time, though, I'm stuck at home for the summer, whereas my friends are traveling across the country and around the world and having adventures. My friends are in relationships, and I've never been asked on a date. I'm struggling every day to create stories, and writing is supposed to be my best talent (I'm majoring in it, after all). My articles on here never get the most likes or shares (I managed to get in the top two for a short time a couple weeks ago, but that's been it). It's all so discouraging, but I have to realize envy gets me nowhere.
Wallowing in the self-pity that envy causes wastes time. Envy, at least for me, causes tunnel vision where all I can focus on are the negatives - how I'm not good enough, how I'll be forever alone, how empty my bank account is, or how desperate I am to travel and have adventures. I'm half optimist, half pessimist, and my pessimistic side rears its ugly head in this state of tunnel vision. Plus, I turn into quite the complainer, and I don't know how any of my friends put up with that. And I can't neglect that tunnel vision causes me to forget the things that really matter.
I wish I had a step-by-step solution to share with y'all, but I don't. I'm still figuring out how to deal with envy myself. It helps that I have a few friends who get me to take a step back and realize my thoughts aren't healthy. They give me new perspective on my problems. So people who aren't afraid to be honest with you are always good when fighting envy. It also helps to think about everything you do have.
Envy isn't healthy. Proverbs 14:30 says, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Don't let covetousness and jealousy consume you. They'll turn you into a cynical person no one wants to be around. When the green-eyed monster drops by, don't let it stay long. In fact, don't even let it in the door.