Thursday, June 1, 2017

How to Tame Your Testy Twins: Envy and Self-Pity

By Richard Kent Matthews - Spiritual Advisor | Author | Speaker
Image result for twins free clip art

At their extremes, envy and self pity are probably at the root of all evil! You can become their master....

"We are here to do, and through doing, to learn; and through learning, to know; and through knowing, to experience wonder; and through wonder, to attain wisdom; and through wisdom, to find simplicity; and through simplicity, to give attention; and through attention, to see what needs to be done." 
Ben Hei Hei

Envy: a feeling of discontent. It's what drives progress. "Envy is the basis of democracy," says Bertrand Russell.

And Robert Ellis Thompson,* wrote, "It is a benefit to spread a discontent with ugliness in dress, house, and furniture. The peddler and storekeeper are missionaries of civilization and through their labor we have reached the point at which the poorest are no longer content with what once satisfied the most opulent. But, much remains to be done."

Envy at the extreme is a feeling of ill will because of another's advantages, possessions, social standing, career, financial status, spiritual growth, etc. (It's common among those who aren't rich to lambast and demonize those who are.)

How to tame extreme envy:

  • Complain less. Easy to say, not so easy to do. Worth the effort. 
  • Criticize less; pay more attention to complimenting and actively looking for the positive in the situation.
  • Attack less, even privately within your own consciousness. Hear and practice the Call to Love.
"When you behold others with the eyes of love, 
you see your own magnificence."

Pity: sympathetic or kindly sorrow evoked by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of another, often leading one to give relief or aid or to show mercy and compassion.

Self-pity: an indulgent attitude toward one's own affliction, difficulties, hardships, etc. Extreme self-pity keeps us from moving forward, and can also lead to high levels of anger, perhaps even motivating us to do harm--against others, against ourselves.

How to tame extreme self-pity:
  • Talk less, pay more attention to the surrounding silence.
  • Obsess less about past and future; pay more attention to this moment, right now.
  • Think less about what's wrong, more about with what's right. Appreciate the fact you've made it to this point. There have been no guarantees; you made it, anyway. Rejoice!
  • If all else fails, seek out competent professional help. But steer clear of 'online' diagnoses. Charlatans are everywhere.
The Testy Twins lurk around you most of the time. Even the Masters sitting on the mountaintops still deal with them. And that's okay. They're part of the human landscape. But you don't have to be controlled by them. You can become their master instead of the reverse. 

All it takes is a little practice. One forward step at a time.

Result? More joy, more satisfaction, better relationships, and even greater abundance.

"Away, then, with solemnity, for life is fun, an ever-renewing beginning, and all suffering--our own, our neighbors', our friends',--is only the tragic element in a show which, without it, would be very dull indeed."
Christmas Humphries, Buddhist writer 

*Robert Ellis Thompson, Professor of Political Economy, University of Pennsylvania, 1899

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