Report From PIA – July 14
It might seem silly to all of you, but today I felt a streak of pure, soul-robbing envy as I went online to look at the radar images of the weather. The storms that have moved up the east coast for the past 24 hours have, by in large, passed east of the Cape, dumping quite a bit of moisture in other parts of Massachusetts but not, sadly, on my garden.
I was green with envy as surely as my garden is becoming brown from drought.
There are very good reasons that the 9th commandment, Thou shall not covet thy neighbors wife, speaks to the subject of jealousy, and it has nothing to do with wanting to have sex with another person’s spouse. Even given no biblical background or interest, anyone who has felt down-to-the-bone resentful of someone else, or of what others have, knows what I’m talking about. Jealousy is all consuming.
I can think of at least three times that envy has stripped me down to my most greedy, jealous self. I remember a couple of GWA garden tours when I was barely able to appreciate the properties we were visiting because I was so filled with desire to have something comparable.
This sums up the problem with envy: it is so overwhelming that it renders us unable to appreciate what we do have. Even if we own very little, envy blocks our very ability to be who we are. It prevents us from connecting with our essence, spirit and relationship with God.
Think about that for a minute. An emotion that is so powerful that it can obstruct our bond with who we truly are! And how tragic that this commanding barricade comes not from the outside, but from within ourselves.
Equally sad is the realization that many of us who feel envious are actually overwhelmingly blessed.
A step backward, and a huge dose of gratitude, is the antidote to jealousy but this takes recognition and effort. First we must grasp what is happening and refuse to get swept along with such powerful emotions. Secondly, we need to work to place our focus on being appreciative for what we do have.
Finally, we need to be willing to work toward what we want, and to use our abilities to build a life that is satisfying. Envy kills our sense of power, and therefore our capacity to move forward.
I cannot make more rain, but I can water newly placed plants, and mulch those that are established in order to keep moisture in the soil.. I can pull the weeds that sap my garden soil of needed rainfall.
I can be resolved to see my gardens through the lens of gratitude, and not from a perspective that notices only what is lacking.