Saturday, April 28, 2007

Studio Friday: Seven Deadly Sins (Envy)

Challenge #6: What do you desire that you are lacking and someone else has? If you could have it would you really want it or is it just a notion? How come you want to have it? What can you do to still that desire so that there is no need to be envious of any thing or anybody?

How do I envy? Let me count the ways....

This is a hard one to write about. I could do a humorous take-off on greed and sloth, but I can't find a way to mitigate the deadliness of envy.

The enviousness I see myself feeling repeatedly and most often have to do with health and time. I don't think a day goes by without me thinking about someone who is in better straits in these areas and wishing I was not in the shape I'm in. My health issues are twofold: physical and mental. I have severe anemia, which limits the amount of energy I have to expend on projects; and a bad back, which limits the length of time I can spend standing or sitting in certain positions. Mentally, I suffer from lifelong chronic depression. The medication I take to alleviate the symptoms tends to block my creativity. I so often wish I could be like "normal" people, that I could work ten hours instead of six without feeling exhausted, that I didn't have to fight medication as well as the usual mental blocks to creativity. As for time, it seems there's never enough of it. I spend almost two hours a day commuting to work, which seems like such a waste. Of course when I have the time I don't have enough energy to fully take advantage of it. If I had the energy I probably wouldn't appreciate it.

In Buddhist thought, desire is often tied to the suffering we experience in life, and desire is one of the key words of the definition of envy. I've been reading Hooked!, a collection of essays on desire and the urge to consume, and the solution proscribed to combat desire is to just let go of it. One writer calls it "Freedom through Non-clinging." If you cling to your desire, or to your envy, you'll inevitably be unhappy. I'm trying to apply the idea to my own urge to consume, and now to my envy.


Di Hickman said...

great work! Definately time is an issue I struggle with too. I tend to take on too much, then find I have no time. As time goes on however I find I'm better at managing time!
love your T-Rex

Stacia said...

I love the comment, "never eat anything bigger than your head!" husband told me that in Germany when we were about to consume HUGE steins of beer...I thought he made that up :)

Everyone has their demons and limitations. Learning to live within appreciating that you're creative for 6 hours and not just 2, is hard but key.

I try to remember "Be happy in the meantime"...sometimes it works! I realize it's easy to say and not so easy to just BE.

All the best!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

i like that it eats and eats... almost like a langolier

Monica Yvette said...

Thanks for your comment. The internet is a wonderful tool for meeting people. I, like you, am trying to quell my consumer and envious desires. I mentioned in an earlier post that my husband and I are going strive to not buy anything that we don't absolutely need this year. It's a very hard thing to do. Maybe if I didn't already have so much, the temptation wouldn't be there. Are you Buddhist? I find the teachings to be very inspiring.

Fifi LePew said...

thanks for stopping by, everybody!

Stacia, I first heard that saying applied to a watermelon.

Yvette, I'm not a "real" Buddhist, but I think there's an awful lot of wisdom to be found there.