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Envy is Ignorance

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A few days ago, I was looking through an old journal and came across notes from one of the talks given at my spiritual center.

The senior minister, who also happens to be my favorite, had given this particular talk and shared the following gem from Ralph Waldo Emerson…

Envy is ignorance.

It hit me like a ton of bricks, because for me, those three words take away a whole lot of mental anguish.

Some people argue envy is useful, because it can be productive, energetic, inspiring, motivating.

Envy is not a useful motivator for me.  It just makes me feel worse.

It’s easy to get caught up in other people’s lives and what they have, comparing their job/partner/home/car/body to your own.  Sometimes knowing what else is out there can be helpful, it can make you work towards things you want or never knew you wanted.

Other times, what’s more useful is to relax into yourself, to take a step back from the world and focus on your own journey.  Focus on what you want out of this life, not on what others already have or what you don’t.

Envy disregards your innate gifts and abilities.

Envy diminishes what you do have and shows a lack of respect for the blessings already in your life.

Envy assumes that someone else has it better, when the truth is you don’t really know what’s going on for that person.  It’s easy to make assumptions from the outside, but every person contains within them their own universe and their own battles.

For some reason, reading this quote prompted me to pick up Wayne Dyer’s The Power of Intention, and re-read it for the third time, paying particular attention to the concept of higher vibrations and thought forms.

Higher thoughts are the ones that rise above the pettiness, the drama, the muck of lower energy thought forms.  They carry a higher vibration or frequency.  These are the thoughts that don’t wallow in lack, they’re the ones that create abundance, in all respects.

Envy is not a higher thought form.  In fact, I’d argue that envy is one of the lowest vibrational thoughts you can have, because it tells the universe you can’t move beyond accepting your life as it is.

This isn’t about resignation or blame or complacency.  This is about recognition and a willingness, no matter how hard it might be, to start thinking in a new way and to allow yourself to open up to new things that could come your way.

If you don’t clear out space for new things to come, you won’t have room for them when they do.

So the next time you’re tempted to be jealous or upset that someone else has something you want, acknowledge that feeling and elevate yourself to a deeper awareness that you too have the power to create what it is you desire.

Envy is ignorance and ignorance is not always bliss. 

Rise above.

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Davida @ The Healthy Maven April 17, 2014, 7:33 am

    Great post, lovely! I think there’s a fine line between envy and inspiration that is far too easy to cross in either direction. I don’t think envy (wanting or feeling deserving of what someone else has that you don’t) is productive, but I do think feeling inspired by what someone else has done for themselves (and also recognizing the work they put into it) can be a powerful motivator in a good way. I think remembering that we are all different and have our paths to follow helps to keep me on track and not get derailed by what other people have that I want!
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas w/ Tahini & Za’atarMy Profile

  • Danielle April 17, 2014, 8:53 am

    I love your posts. They make me feel so normal and content. And the first thing I thought when I read, “Envy is ignorance,” was “Ignorance is not always bliss.” I am also not motivated by envy. I can admire someone for their strength, etc, but I certainly do not envy anyone. People really only show others what they want them to see, so you never know what’s going on behind the scenes.

  • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats April 17, 2014, 11:28 pm

    Love this concept. So wise and so true. Envy is something that you can get too caught up in if you let yourself but its true what they say the grass is always greener. So what you may be feeling envious of so often seems better than what it actually is too.

    Hope your having a nice week <3
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted…Happy EasterMy Profile

  • Corinne April 23, 2014, 12:26 am

    “Envy diminishes what you do have and shows a lack of respect for the blessings already in your life.” So true, and just what I needed to read. Truly thank you

    • Alex April 23, 2014, 8:07 pm

      <3 So glad that I could help a little, Corinne!

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