Envy: (n) A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
I’ll take one for the team. I, Randie Chapman, (on occasion) experience bouts of envy. I hope that others will now join me in this healing process. I am admitting this character flaw because I know that in order to be freed from a problem, I must first confess it–repeatedly, if necessary. I also understand that in order to be free I must be proactive and look inward.
When I look inward I ask myself: “What do I really feel when I am envious?”
The answer is always that I feel wonder. If I’m envious because of another woman, it’s usually because I’m impressed.
Oddly, we don’t ever talk about envy, not even amongst our closest friends. But isn’t it exhausting sitting around in our feelings when we could be learning from one another and building relationships? We become better people and women to one another when we combat the negative feelings envy incites. Consequently, when women are better to each other we shift the whole world, and we bother all the hoteps.
I learned, long ago, to compliment and be honest about what I feel when I am envious, but I went through this process silently. It took me taking an intensive writing course, “Digging Deep, Facing Self” to admit, out loud, that I knew what envy was. A poet, Caits Meissner created the course for women who love writing and are willing and ready to announce all the things we lie about. The writing course was pro self-examination and truth-telling. It was also the place where I wrote a poem about the woman who I envied.
Caits instructed us to take all our bad thoughts–the lies really–, and substitute them with the honest and positive emotions we felt.
I will share the poem I wrote in hopes that you, as a reader, will be inspired to be honest about your feelings and give praise when it’s due.
When I am around you I feel as if I am back in Ghana, on the rocks, in the middle of the ocean, just before the tide takes over. How wondrous God is, how small I am in comparison to this scene, and how blessed I feel.
You are as fierce as a good come-back.
You are as strong as a healer
You are as wise as a teenage mother, grown up.
You are as necessary as dandelions.
Not the dandelions one sees when they are walking idly,
but the dandelions in the palm of a 3-year old who does not know
they are holding weeds.
You bring joy like a cheat day,
A long hug,
Safe and brave vulnerability–
You are the bomb.
I am thankful and moved by your talent.
Like the first sincere and simple kiss I received from my love,
my life is changed by your
Through your talents I am as seen as it’s going to get.
You are my history (before it was interrupted), reincarnate.
In the end, almost everyone’s poem was exactly the same in its message, and it was a sight to see.
That being said, beautiful, brave and honest people! Let’s recognize envy when we see and feel it, and then let’s squash it. Otherwise, you may find yourself walking around here hating Beyonce for no reason. I am always so fascinated when I see extremely violent posts, comments, emotions about her from other women–but that’s another post 🙂
P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about the course I took, visit growfierce.com
Photo: En Vogue, Google