Dear Envy, What are you saying?

I used to try and smash out any ‘sinful tendency’ the moment I detect it, and that often meant that I squashed any emotion that seemed less than virtuous. I would try to “pray them away”, often asking God to set me free from my weaknesses and to rescue me from temptation.

But the more I squash these emotions the stronger they would come back. I would try to stop being envious, greedy, lustful, vain, judgmental, and the more I find myself having to deal with these emotions again, the more discouraged I became. Until one day, in response to yet another plea from me to rescue me from some negative “sinful” emotion, I felt God ask me, “Instead of being so afraid of your feelings, why don’t you listen to what they have to say to you?”

The more I squash these emotions the stronger they would come back. I would try to stop being envious, greedy, lustful, vain, judgmental, and the more I find myself having to deal with these emotions again, the more discouraged I became.

I was taken aback, but I started to learn the uncomfortable but blessed practice of listening to my anger, my lust, my greed, my envy. Instead of instinctively exiling the parts of myself that felt those emotions, I learned to sit with my impatience, my lack of compassion. I withhold judgment, remain still and bring my whole self with all these difficult feelings into God’s presence and I LISTEN deeply to them in silence as God holds me. It is incredible how much my emotions reveal to me when I learn to sit and listen to them.

I withhold judgment, remain still and bring my whole self with all these difficult feelings into God’s presence and I LISTEN deeply to them in silence as God holds me.

Recently, I experienced a familiar painful pang of envy when I saw how well someone else was doing. I could feel my heart and gut squeeze and my breath catch in bitterness. Then almost immediately I could feel self-condemnation beginning to form for this ungenerous pang of envy. Fortunately, I noticed it and held back my judgment. Instead, I stepped away from what I was doing, sat down with my envy, quietened my mind, and listened. What is my envy saying to me? That’s when I realised that what appeared to be envy was really FEAR.

Whenever I see someone else who has been given much of something I value, something in me cries out, “What will be left for ME?” If I see abundance in another person’s life, it can lead me to feel that they are chosen and I am not. That God loves and favours them – and has forgotten me. A dark thought begins to form that it is because I am not good enough to be chosen, and that I must try harder and hustle more to receive the love I yearn.

I stepped away from what I was doing, sat down with my envy and listened. What is my envy saying to me? That’s when I realised that what appeared to be envy was really FEAR.

As I continued to listen with my soul and sit with the fear that was unfolding within me, divine grace was given and I recognised the lie. I remembered that what I needed is to hear and be soaked in the Truth of God’s love for me.

I anchored myself again by listening to the voice who calls me ‘Beloved’ too. I turned my heart to the one who calls me Chosen. I gazed upon the Gaze that delights in me just as I am. For I am enough and I am given more than enough for what I need. There is abundance I cannot dream of that comes uniquely for me too. I need not fear that there will not be enough for me because in our Father’s household there is more than enough for all who hunger and thirst!

I turned my heart to the one who calls me Chosen. I gazed upon the Gaze that delights in me just as I am. For I am enough and I am given more than enough for what I need.

What I thought was ENVY was actually FEAR. And once I recognised fear, I knew the antidote to fear is LOVE. When I softened myself to become available to receive LOVE, I found that my fear had dissipated, and that my envy has been replaced with heartfelt joy for God’s generosity to others. I could celebrate their success in all sincerity.

I have begun to learn how to “love the enemy” within me and found that even that which seems threatening can become an ally when I face what I fear with God. I have found a softer, more compassionate way to accompany myself in the interior journey. Have you?

And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.

– Rom 8:28

Related Podcast Episode:

This episode is the second half of a two-part conversation I have with experienced soul guide and spiritual companion Edwina Yeow . We discuss what it means to become a safe space for ourselves.

How hospitable are you to yourself? Does your inner self feel safe to reveal itself to you? Are you able to believe that all your emotions – even anger, hurt, envy, and other ‘negative’ feelings come bearing a gift for you?

1 Comment

  1. Thank you.

    On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 8:22 AM Journey of the Heart wrote:

    > animann posted: ” I used to try and smash out any ‘sinful tendency’ the > moment I detect it, and that often meant that I squashed any emotion that > seemed less than virtuous. I would try to “pray them away”, often asking > God to set me free from my weaknesses and to resc” >

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