I have been singing Paul Simon’s song “Wartime Prayers” for several days now, and I am continually struck by the line, “I want to rid my heart of envy, and cleanse my soul of rage before I’m through.”
The honesty of this idea. Admitting we hold envy and rage inside of us is a difficult thing. Many of us might say, “oh no, not me. I don’t feel envy or rage.” It might be easy to let a similar phrase just roll off of your tongue. Hmmm…might not happen very often, but I suspect we all go to a place of envy or rage in our minds every now and then.
Envy comes up for me when I flip through the pages of magazines and catalogs. That feeling of “I want” followed by envy of those who “have” what it is that “I want.” I want to look like that actress and have her clothes and live in a big house on the coast and on and on and on and on. Take a breath. Take a breath.
Envy comes up for me when I hear that someone can eat whatever they want and are thin as can be. When I hear someone say they love to exercise. When I hear someone would rather have salad than dessert. (Okay, maybe not the last one…I wouldn’t trade those doughnuts and jam I had last week for any other food out there…maybe it is when someone has the willpower to eat more salad and less dessert.)
Envy comes up for me when I read an incredible book like Eat, Pray, Love. I want to be published. I want…I want…I want…
Envy comes up for me when I hear people talk about their ability to set boundaries with others in their lives. That they have found a way to say “no” and that they are okay with whatever the other person responds.
Envy comes up for me when I hear about couples who have sex all the time. Yep. I am so jealous of those couples.
Envy comes up for me when I read about people being able to travel all over the country, all over the world. The places they have been.
Envy comes up for me when I hear a leader of another country make sense and speak coherently.
Envy comes up for me when people can ease into shoulder stand without fear.
Envy comes up…envy comes up…
When does it come up for you?