My cousin explained to me the other day that there is a difference between jealousy and envy. He’s right.
To be envious means to covet what someone has or enjoys. To be jealous is to be anxious that you will be replaced in the affection of someone you love or desire.
Kate and I made a confession to each other when we started sharing our writing. We each believed the other’s writing was so much better than our own.
Kate was worried that her pieces were too frothy and lightweight compared to mine and I worried that mine were too dark, angst-ridden and preachy. This was the envy bit. The jealousy bit was the fear we both had that despite our two distinct voices being part of what we believe is a strength of The Ripenists, our wonderful readers would prefer one of us to the other – both of us of course thought it would be the other. So we have here a collective case of jenvy!
Anne: So here’s the dark, angst-ridden and preachy take…
Given our primal wiring as social animals needing acceptance and connection to continue being part of the tribe and surviving – these concerns are not only normal but to be expected. The abundance challenge here for both of us is to have the courage to continue writing from and exploring our own distinctive voices in the belief that a) we both have something of value to offer and b) that each of our voices will speak to others.
I suspect this is also a lesson in becoming more okay with the belief that we don’t have to, nor can we, please all of the people all of the time. The important thing is to find a way for each of us to both please ourselves and add value to the world.
It is perhaps too purist to suggest that we each do that simply by being ourselves – because let’s be honest, there are bits of ourselves that aren’t that appealing and why should others have to put up with too much of our poor behaviour?
However, by offering up the best of what we have to offer we have to continue to believe that we are both fulfilling our purpose and at some level, no matter how seemingly insignificant, making a dent in the universe even if we are not now, nor ever, aware of what that dent is.
Creative expression of who we are is the ultimate act of faith. And I still read Kate’s writing with jenvy 😉
Kate: Isn’t she brilliant? After considerable reflection, I take back my jenvy. I’m not jealous because I firmly believe in freedom of choice and expression, abundance and sharing wisdom wherever it is helpful. The more we get to experience Anne’s insightful thoughts, the more all we Ripenists will benefit.
I am however undoubtedly envious of her articulate, prolific way with words!
Where does Jenvy show up in your life?
Tell us how you handle it here.