Envy is a comparative emotion. I cannot have envy without comparing myself to someone else and coming up short. They have something I perceive as better than what I have. Described by Psychology Today:
Envy has to do with feeling unhappy about the success of someone else, or about what they have and, at the same time, secretly feeling inferior yourself.https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intense-emotions-and-strong-feelings/201103/envy-the-emotion-kept-secret
I see myself as less than. Bummer. I often see myself as less than. Perhaps I feel it more often than I thought. I believe that envy is at the root of "Keeping up with the Jones." If the neighbor buys a new car then I have to buy a new car to keep up the appearance that we are equal. Sadly, this can be detrimental to the person that is envious.
I am fortunate that when my counselor taught me to connect with emotions he taught me two powerful concepts. Emotions are temporary and I can change them. Yup, read that right. Some people will argue that they love some person the same but I will argue back that through experience that love will change either deepening or waning depending on the experiences I have with that person. So back to the feeling envy.
I decided to evaluate what it was that I was envious of. My daughter had something at her house that I would like to have at my house. Did it cost a lot of money? No. Is it something I could attain? Yes. So what is the problem? Oh bummer, I saw myself as deficient for not having my house in order like hers is. I was comparing myself and seeing myself as inadequate. The negativity of envy is to feel adequate a person may wish that the other person loses what they have to make things fair. Or even sadder they may gossip or put down the other person to build themselves up. So not going down that path.
What to do? I admire my daughter. I like what she did with part of her house. I am capable and smart and able to create for myself my own space. There is no need for envy because the only thing I am lacking is putting my priorities in such away to be able to create the same space. Nothing is stopping me, except me.
I believe the Bible. Another scripture I need to remember is Love thy neighbor, as Thyself. I am neglecting my needs. I don't need to compare myself. If I like what she did, I can do it too. She is my inspiration to do what I wanted to do for myself. Her success does not threaten or stop me from my success. I don't need to compare. I believe the deadly sin part of envy is a person that is envious is eaten up by feeling inadequate instead of using the emotion as a motivation to change they justify putting down, hating, or being glad someone else fails. I believe the antidote for envy is loving myself and seeing myself as a good caring person that deserves a place of peace in my home. I can turn it outward and treating others with kindness and service. Acceptance and gratitude also inoculate me from envy.
Maybe I need to take a before and after picture of the space I want to create.....maybe.