Monday, December 6, 2010


I was hit with a serious bout of envy this morning, reading about something positively wonderful that has happened to a friend of a friend of a friend.

There was a time when this would have paralyzed me with a chorus of why of why is it always someone else and not me, as if I thought there was only so much good in the world and that something good in someone else's life meant that there was now less good available for me.

In graduate school a dear friend of mine won a poetry prize we were both in competition for. She declared that she didn't care much about the prize, she cared much more about love - and I replied, "I don't care if anyone ever loves me again. I wanted to win."

I don't really recognize that girl. I know now that love is so much more important than winning. I also know that there is a limitless supply of good and luck in the world and that someone else's portion does not diminish mine. In fact, I think good creates more good.

I tried to embrace my envy this morning for what it actually is, a longing in my heart for something. If it stops me in my tracks, that must be something I really want for myself - and I do.

Having done that, I was released to be nothing but happy for my friend of a friend of a friend. Her success doesn't make mine any less likely. In fact, her success may just be lighting up the path ahead for me.


  1. This is a tough one--I want to be more loving than I am. I am learning, though--and one thing I've learned is what you've written--asking myself, what about this am I wanting? And then looking at that want, and seeing if there is something that needs to be done. I am getting better (though no where near perfect), and it sounds like you're getting there, too. Because you're so right--other people's success doesn't diminish us, it lifts us all.

  2. me & Veruca Salt... you know. "I want the world/ I want the whole world/ I want to lock it/ all up in my pocket/ It's my bar of chocolate/ Give it to me/ Now!"

    But unfortunately, for me it's usually been more like Frances (from "A Birthday for Frances"): “That is how it is, Alice. Your birthday is always the one that is not now.”