Comparison and Discontent

Recently, I admitted to myself that I have an on going struggle with jealousy.

I have been harboring this feeling in my heart when I see what others have, or seem to have, or what they have done, look like, etc.When I finally addressed this, within myself, I began to feel a release.It was not unlike feeling a sensation of nausea or a headache slowly subsiding.It was still close by but it wasn’t crushing me anymore.It fact, until I faced up to this jealousy thing, I had no idea how much it was weighing me down.
To covet means to yearn for, crave, or desire to possess. “ Thou shall not covet “ is one of the Ten Commandments.I would venture to say that is not viewed with the same severity as a commandment like “Thou shall not kill“ and it is often overlooked or misunderstood.For one thing, it is an internal act where as “Thou shall not steal“, for example, is an outward action.We tend to think that if we can’t see it, it isn’t happening. It doesn’t count.For another, we live in a society that applauds, encourages, and strives to create envy.Where would advertisers be without the constant message of, ”You want this don’t you? Shouldn’t we want what others have? Aren’t we entitled?”

The passage from Exodus states the following, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Upon reading this, I realized, in essence, this was not just about wanting certain goods.It was about desiring what belongs to someone else.That endless comparison of what they have verses what you have.

I was beginning to see a bigger message to all of this.It is wrong to desire someone else’s LIFE.

Damn, mic drop moment….

Here all this time, I had been desiring to live out someone else’s life and destiny and not fully embracing my own.Once caught a glimpse of this, it became easier to be happy for others in their and good fortune.Yes, I still want “things“ whether they be material objects, relationships, achievements, or opportunities but I want them to be fully mine.I don’t want what is mine to in anyway to detract from what belongs rightfully to someone else.

There is a common, underlying, belief in scarcity in our culture.This belief is rooted in the idea that there isn’t enough to go around.We must complete with others in order to get our needs met.” Dog eat dog ” as they say…

Is this true?

Who benefits from this way of thinking?

I like to think that we all have a unique contribution to the world.I also like to think that comparison doesn’t have to be adversarial and discontent can be a doorway to a deeper conversation with ourselves.

What do I truly want and how can I make it, truly, my very own?

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