Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Envy and Aliveness

Photo by Nancy Bauer, OSB
Maybe some of you rarely find yourself being jealous of others.  But for those of us who occasionally succumb to it, we may be missing an invitation to let our envy teach us something.  According to Kristi Nelson, Executive Director of A Network for Grateful Living, “Envy is painful if we leave it as unexamined covetousness.”
When our internal reserves are too depleted to “look within” for a remedy for our feelings of jealousy, we sometimes need to look outside ourselves.  We can scan the lives of those around us that inspire us and notice why we admire them. Noticing what triggers our admiration can reveal to us what we feel is lacking in our current lives and how we might choose to rediscover and foster our latent longings and belongings. Though this exploration can be an unusual and humbling process, we can actually let the roots of our envy become our guide to rediscovering what makes us feel alive and connected again. 
The choice to do this envy-exploration can potentially nudge us into remembering and naming our latent longings and belongings and recall many things that have stirred our souls. It can even alert us to simple and enlivening choices we can again begin to make.  Many of us have found that God’s face is often recognized in persons who regularly follow their authentic longings and delights.  Eventually you might even hear yourself whispering, “Alive again, alive again, Thank God I’m alive again”.

Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB

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