This was my reply to a blog post by Mary Muncil of White Feather Farm. I decided to cut and paste it to my own blog. This is what I wrote: on May 31, 2012 at 4:24 p05 | ReplyMary Rita Scott
I too get sick of the constant “power of positive thinking mantra”. Yes, it often works and can be soothing. But it is more useful to me to know how to handle the negative thougths. One of the more useful things that I read over the years was an article in a magazine, “Make Envy Your Friend”.
The article explained that when you notice yourself envying someone for something instead of turning that feeling against yourself…as if you don’t deserve whatever it is they have, or you’re just not good enough…use the energy of your envy as a guide, a marker for where you want to go, or what you want to have for yourself. But here’s the key: then do what you can do, to get it or achieve it (hopefully by dint of your own talent and hard work – NOT – by stealing it or killing the other person to get it). That last parenthetical remark is my own editorial comment.
Here is a very concrete simple example: I was envying a friend who had lovely professionally done nails. I had naturally good nails inherited from my mother, but I never polished them or went to the nail salon. This was around the same time I had read the article on how to make envy your friend. So I took my hands to a nail salon and paid the big bucks to have them done everyother week, just like my friend, Sharon.
I no longer envied Sharon’s nails because now they (or a reasonable fact simile) were sitting on my own hands. But after three months, I realized that the whole process was just not worth my time and money. And that even though my nails looked as good as Sharon’s, she was still her and I was still me (less $25. a throw for my nail appointment).
And another thing, Sharon herself once said to me on the topic of envy, “Just remember, whenever you envy anyone and think you’d like to change places, you have to take their bad along with their good”.
Mary Rita Scott, Upstate, NY
P.S. On my fridge, the poem “Anyway” says: If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway!