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Why I’d Rather Be Envious Than Jealous

Jacks Smack 09172023

You know those social media posts that start with “I was today years old when I learned… x”? 

Well, I am here to confess that happened to me this week with something that I had so ingrained in my psyche and vernacular that the discovery shook my core. For years I bandied the jealous word like it was candy. I cannot recall how many times I have commented “jelly” or “jealous” on friend’s social media shares of vacations, new cars, cool clothes, and more. I was today years old when I discovered that I was miscommunicating the whole time. Turns out, I was envious, not jealous.

Jealousy Get’s All The Attention:

maybe it’s the charming companionship it keeps with peanut butter or the luxurious insides of a powdered donut?”

Why is it that jealousy, with its whimsical nickname “jelly,” seems to get all the attention? Perhaps it’s because jealousy hasn’t earned a spot on the notorious list of the Seven Deadly Sins. Or maybe it’s the charming companionship it keeps with peanut butter or the luxurious insides of a powdered donut? Envy, however, has somehow landed itself in the hot seat, rubbing elbows with the likes of lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, anger, and pride.

As someone who fancies herself fairly educated, I’d like to think I once knew the distinction. After all, words are my playground, my domain as a writer. Yet, it took the dulcet tones of Brene Brown’s Atlas of the Heart on Audible to unveil this hidden truth.

Envy, you see, is a class act. It’s a desire to possess what someone else has, but not at the expense of prying it away from them. It’s the grown-up version of wanting without taking, a refined appreciation for the treasures others have amassed.

Jealousy, on the other hand, is the restless guardian of possessions, a fear that something rightfully yours is slipping through your fingers. It’s the cry of a child unwilling to share their toys, the panicked scramble to protect what’s yours, come hell or high water.

Envy Drives Change:

Sure, jealousy has its moments, its wild, unpredictable outbursts that can take you by surprise. But the reality is that jealousy doesn’t really provide any motivation or incentive – it can leave us feeling hollow and unworthy. Envy, however, is a slow burn, a nuanced emotion that adds depth and intrigue to your outlook. It’s the gourmet meal of feelings, a sophisticated indulgence that leaves you with a sense of appreciation rather than regret.

here’s to embracing our inner green-eyed muse, to wanting without taking, and being inspired by the successes of others”

The unfair treatment of envy is likely due to its association with sin, and its place among the notorious seven. But let’s not forget, it’s the envious ones who often propel the world forward. They’re the dreamers, the visionaries who dare to challenge the status quo, who refuse to settle for mediocrity. They’re the ones who inspire others to reach for greatness.

Envy deserves better. It deserves a nickname, a badge of honor to wear proudly. Yet, it stands alone, its elegance and sophistication shining through without the need for cutesy embellishments.

So, here’s to embracing our inner green-eyed muse, to wanting without taking, and being inspired by the successes of others. Let envy be the fuel that propels us towards our own aspirations, the spark that ignites our passion and sets our souls ablaze.

In the grand tapestry of life, I’d rather be the one who kindles the fires of ambition than the one who hoards their treasures out of fear. I’d rather be the beacon of light, the guiding star that leads others towards their own dreams. So here’s to being unabashedly envious, to creating a life that others can dream of and pursue for themselves. Here’s to a life filled with purpose, passion, and a touch of envy. 

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One thought on “Why I’d Rather Be Envious Than Jealous

  1. Lisa says:

    I have been hearing more and more about this topic. Envy can be a good thing! It can be the spark that allows us to try something new whether that be take a trip or start a blog when we see another woman who is doing what we want to do! Jelly, although a cute name, connotes to me an attitude of ‘poor me’, I want what you have but obviously don’t have it. So I’m all here for envy empowering us to move forward and live the fulfilling lives we desire!

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