The Trouble With Girls

7:04 AM

Have you ever had one of those moments when someone you absolutely adore tells you something wonderful in the sweetest, most kind way, and it feels like a punch in the gut?

Let me elaborate.

It's like when someone loses weight and looks amazing, or tells me they're pregnant. I'm so happy for them. Truly. And it baffles me how I can feel like the wind is being knocked out of me because something so good happening for them.

It's so confusing, right? Why does this happen? Why do I take other peoples' successes personally? Suddenly, they have this thing that I want so badly for myself happening for them, and maybe they didn't even try for it- or maybe they did-, and it just grinds on me in a way that it shouldn't.

Jealousy isn't an attractive thing, or a sweet thing, or a trait I want to have. And as comparison has been one of my greatest character flaws, it's only natural to have jealousy tagging along. But I would never actually admit to anyone that I felt this way (and all of a sudden this blog post is becoming extremely ironic and I'm questioning whether I'll even post it). Oh, no! I should definitely stifle the fact that I have any type of negative feelings where they are completely unwarranted, because a good friend and a sweet person does not ever have a hard time accepting that someone else is making what I had hoped for their reality. Right??

And then it goes back to that whole thing about opening my eyes and looking at all the amazing, huge blessings right in front of me. They are not lost on me, I assure you. This isn't a disclaimer, it's a truth I look in the face all day, every day (and its name is Milo/Trevor). I have an incredibly happy life and all the love I could ever ask for- and all this makes me feel all the more rotten for being envious.

I absolutely LOVE this talk by the always wise Jeffrey R. Holland:

There are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those.
Furthermore, envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving. Obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know! What a bright prospect that is—downing another quart of pickle juice every time anyone around you has a happy moment! To say nothing of the chagrin in the end, when we find that God really is both just and merciful, giving to all who stand with Him “all that he hath,”2 as the scripture says. So lesson number one from the Lord’s vineyard: coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. It is a happy way to live.
And there it is. Makes so much sense in the correct light, doesn't it? And I would be heartbroken if my friends stopped sharing their happy news with me, because it brings me so much joy to see all the good happening for others and sharing in the love.

So there's my two cents on the matter. Here's to doing a little better each time I'm tempted by envy.

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  1. I've struggled with this in the past too but totally had the epiphany about 6 months ago that the secret to a happy life is celebrating others successes with them. To basically just be happy for other people. It's amazing how much joy you can find when you don't let yourself feel threatened by other people (specifically women's) triumphs! It's obviously something I have to remind myself to do still but it has really opened my heart to loving people more fully and seeing the beauty of my own blessings. I've written posts about this too:) Love this post!! Love you.

  2. I looooooooooved that talk by Elder Holland. Can't think of a talk of his I haven't loooved :) I found out a friend was pregnant when my little man was only 4 months old and I felt oddly jealous. I don't know why, just like you said!! I'm not ready for another baby and yet there it was!!

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