The source of the green-eyed monster
I added a new friend on Facebook; a friend from my past that I hadn’t connected with in a while. I looked through her pictures and albums, taking my time to see her life portrayed in pictures. While looking at her life in review, I got bit by the monster. You know the one… the big ugly one with green eyes that brings misery with it to anyone it bites.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I like my friend. She is perfect in every way. Let me tell you all the ways…. she is absolutely gorgeous, thin with perfect hair. Her kids could be models for The Gap or Hollister. She lives in a beautiful house; money isn’t a struggle and they take wonderful vacations to exotic places like Hawaii and Mexico. She is a stay at home mom who has the ability to do it all and to do it effortlessly. Oh, and did I say that she’s thin and beautiful? (Yes, it bears repeating…)
While I am happy with her accomplishments; her successes brought out all my inadequacies. Ten minutes ago I was quite content with my life. Now I see all the things that I don’t have that she does. I don’t like this feeling. The monster not only brought jealousy with it but a whole host of other sins with it: discontentment, greed, envy, and unhappiness. Catching a glimpse of my reflection in the computer screen, I’m troubled by the look in my eyes and the frown on my face.
I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do. I struggle with these feelings all afternoon and confess my guilt to my husband who assures me that I am just as wonderful (while chuckling!). Later that night, God checks my heart… He makes me pause and reflect on my life. And while I wrestle with this little episode of jealousy, I know that it is wrong; it is wrong of me to be unhappy with where I am at in my life. I, too, have successes and accomplishments. While they may not be as glamorous or as beautiful as hers, they are worthwhile nonetheless. God opened my eyes to see that when I make the blessings in my life seem insignificant or less than someone else’s; that it really robs God of the good things that He has done for me.
I have great health, financial security, great kids and a loving and faithful husband. I have dear friends, a wonderful church family, a great small-town community and my faith that gets me through my daily journey. What more could I truly want? To want anything more than what I already have seems greedy and vain. I may not have exactly what she has, but I have all that I could want (okay, except the thin and perfect hair part!) in this lifetime.
After this little jealousy episode, I see that I’m struggling with some of the same things my 17-year-old daughter struggles with. She also, wants what so many of the other kids have. She is so convinced that everybody else has nicer clothes, better shoes, etc. I find it ironic that I tell her those things don’t matter when sometimes they do. We both want to fit in and be accepted by everybody else and that what other people think of us really matters more than it should.
I am reminded of my MANY blessings and I cannot help but have renewed joy, peace and increased faith … And most of all, I can be content with what I have while also being happy for the blessings that my friend has.