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ENVY - The crowning emblem of our scarcity

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wherever there is envy in our lives, there is a place where we believe that we do not have enough, or worse, are not ourselves enough.


Envy is the serpent's tongue. It bites us and holds on, poisoning every part it touches. For many, the whole career game is based on envy, and all the traditional metaphors for getting ahead are tied in with it. Artists and career spiritualists are not immune. How often do we hear the tinge of envy in our critique of another's work or another's teaching? As long as envy holds sway in our hearts, we cannot function in a free capacity, For envy is based on a sense of poverty and nonacceptance of ourselves.

This does not mean that we arm ourselves with goodness and go out to vanquish the enemy of negative emotion. That only leaves us with a humble and frustrated ego. Like any other so-called negative emotion, envy begs for care and investigation. And as we trace it down to its roots, we see our hidden hopes as delicate flowers that have been stepped on and damaged. We find things that we always wanted to do but never did, and ways in which we always wanted to be but never allowed ourselves to be.

Here's another thought:

The places where we cringe are our personal edges. They are the doors we have never been quite able to walk through, although we have always known they are there waiting for us. The edge is the place where we get tied up in knots in the presence of another person, where we panic at the prospect of turning on the light even when the darkness feels overwhelming.

In order to establish life work that will support our fullness, we need to challenge this place, to walk through this door and others like it, even if we start by just sticking our big toes in the water.

~Rick Jarow


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