The healing power of envy

22/02/2013 at 11:17 am | Posted in Healing, Inspiration, Uncategorized | 12 Comments
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BAFTAsEarlier this month I was lucky enough to tread the red carpet at the BAFTAs – the British version of the Oscars. I was there simply because my partner was invited. However much I like to think of myself as immune to star-spotting, I am not. It was huge fun to share a rain-soaked red carpet with George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Dame Helen Mirren and Marion Cottillard, among many others. It was fun when guests grabbed a spare BAFTA trophy and we posed for the camera. And sharing the photographs afterwards was all part of the pleasure.

A week later, I was sitting in my Wiltshire studio, facilitating a meditation group. We were focusing on the theme of forgiveness. After half an hour of silence, we swapped notes. A writer friend in the group, Claire, said something endearing. “I found it very hard to focus on forgiveness at the beginning of the meditation, because I just kept thinking how envious I was of Suzanne for going to the BAFTAs,” she confessed.

Everyone in the group laughed – it was a sweetly funny moment. But afterwards, it got me thinking.

The truth is, Claire and I are alike. Whenever I hear of someone’s good fortune, there is often some envy mixed up with delight. I am happy for them, of course. But there can also be a sense of being left out, like not receiving an invitation to a friend’s party.

Envy is said to be one of the Seven Deadly Sins; it’s an emotion we’re traditionally not supposed to feel. But we do feel it, so there must be some purpose to it. What purpose does envy serve?

After the meditation session, I decided to watch out for my next experience of envy, to see what I might learn. I didn’t have long to wait: it arrived with the morning post. Among the envelopes there was a programme for the upcoming Mind Body Spirit Festival in London. My eyes went straight to the workshops, and straight to the names of the facilitators. And then, I felt stirrings of envy.

The envy could only mean one thing: I would like to run a workshop at a large event like the Mind Body Spirit festival. But mixed up with the envy were stomach-churning feelings of inadequacy and fear. There was a mouse-like element to the fear that seemed to be saying in a firm yet squeaky voice: “It’s safer to stay at home.”

The wisdom of envy

I focused in on the envy again. And deep within its energy I found these words: “Remember who you are.” And then I realised that the spiritual purpose of envy is to help us to stay on our own unique path. That path does, for sure, take us out of our comfort zone. It may be a hard path, and the only way we can do it is one step at a time. I realised that envy was telling me to quit dreaming and start doing what was required – one step at a time.

It occurred to me that many of the speakers at the Mind Body Spirit Festival workshops have written books on their subject – some of my envy lay in that direction. I am indeed in the process of writing one, on the brand of intuitive meditation that I share with others – but progress is slow. And then I realised that I need to schedule regular, daily time to my project. It’s the only way I will complete it.

In a few weeks’ time I’m doing a talk on intuitive meditation in a local town. Someone has mentioned another great local group I might get in touch with. Each small step leads to the next. With the divine help of envy, I’m starting to follow my bliss.

Now it’s your turn. What do you, perhaps, feel envy about, and what might envy’s message be for you?



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  1. Hello Suzanne, after reading your blog on envy, I realized I too am guilty. All the things I would like to do that others manage so easily, my stomach flutters at the thought, can I really do it.


    • Hello Diane, thank you for the lovely honesty of your comment. The truth is, as you know and I know, you can really do it. You can!


  2. Hi Suzanne, I think we all experience this from time to time. Only this week I felt envy of a healing lecturer who attended our weekly parish coffee morning. Not only was she so good at explaining and advising on her healing skills – and this is where my envy came in — she was so confident, slim, radiant with a warm glowing face and smile (she reminded me so much of you) and I just had to tell her that I wanted to look like that. Bless her, she said “I would” and she is actually coming to see me on Wednesday. Wish me well. With your loving inspiration and hers, I should be well on the way!! Love and Blessings xx


    • Oh, good luck on Wednesday, Barbara. It sounds like an enriching time. I do believe that those we meet are mirrors to ourselves. So the qualities you admire in the healing lecturer are also, already, in you. Meeting her will help those qualities to shine in you. You are beautiful! x x


      • Thank you Suzanne for your lovely comments and Best Wishes. I will let you know how I get on on Wednesday – I am really looking forward to it. I feel more confident already. Love and hugs xxxx


  3. An important lesson that we can take the positive from something negative. I’ve been envious of some other blogs. It helped me to work harder on my own.


    • I totally agree with you, Steve. Envy can be a fantastic tutor, encouraging us to put in that extra effort.


  4. Great post. Envy is one of the most basic of all emotions. It shows up very early in the human development, and persists beyond the death! I am trying to acknowledge it and use it positively. Very helpful post and discussion.


    • How interesting, what you say, Yatin, about envy having such a very long life cycle. This makes me feel even more strongly that it serves an educative purpose.


  5. Re my Wednesday healing session Suzanne with Michelle – it went down very well.
    According to Michelle I seem to be very responsive to the energy and I do agree with this. I can feel ‘the heat’ or can feel ‘the cold’ on any painful parts. Strange things seem to be happening with my body which I am accepting (almost) with a positive attitude. Have enjoyed reading all the comments above on ‘Envy’ – most interesting. Love and blessings to all.


  6. I believe there are two sides to envy – one is when we are not living to our full potential and not loving and valuing ourselves enough and envy shows us where we should aim as you discovered Suzanne – the other is when we are being deliberately excluded by someone who needs us to be envious of them to feed their hungry ego and needs us to feel inferior to prop up their fragile sense of self-worth – we only feel that envy when we aren’t truly valuing ourselves – if a close friend has good luck or success and has always been generous and loving towards us and never competitive then I don’t think there is room for envy – envy comes when we have doubts about someone’s true feelings towards us and their good fortune reveals our underlying misgivings.


    • Been reading through all of these again Suzanne – have to say – you are such a brilliant writer and such a wonderful inspiration – thank you. xxxx


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