Envy Frenzy

Friday, April 01, 2011

“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.”
~Cesare Pavese

Have you ever been envious? Not jealous, which is the fear of losing something of yours to someone (partner, status, etc.), but envious. Green with desire and harboring covetous feelings towards something that someone has (or that you perceive them to have) which you badly, BADLY want.

This is a toughie. Nature teaches us competition, survival of the fittest. Ego teaches us to protect our version of the world as we know it and feel it should be. What to do?

I have a family member with Lupus (SLE). It is chronic, and hers is progressing at a far more rapid rate than anticipated or statistically normative based on her age. She has developed lupus nephritis as a comorbidity. Despite these stark truths, lupus, like most autoimmune diseases, remains latent much of the time. Silent. Patients don't look sick, but often feel vaguely unwell.

Where am I going with this? How does envy remotely relate to a serious autoimmune disease? Well, here's where my own instinctual sense of survival and desire to arrange my world into logical order kicks in: she runs circles around me, who is ten years her junior and on paper, far more, "well." So, while she is quite literally bouncing off walls with the unbridled energy of a toddler, I'm standing around mesmerized at the sight I'm witnessing. I just can't understand it. I can barely abide it. Is this acting? And if so, who does that?

We cannot pretend to understand even those closest to us; no one can proclaim to know what it is that someone is feeling. On the other hand, I am somewhat invested in her well being; not only from the standpoint of wanting her to thrive, but also due to the fact that the very nature of the reason I am here is centered on her illness and need for help. Who needs the help now?

I am, for all intents and purposes, exhausted on the daily. I am fighting my own medical mysteries, and as such, feel justified in calling a personal time out every now and again. But, like most people, I am highly desirous of wellness. I wish to have that boundless energy of my youth, the ability to physically push my body and be rewarded for my efforts with an endorphin rush and increased fitness. Often, our frustrations with others are a direct reflection of our own dissatisfaction within ourselves. I am mourning what feels like the death of a piece of me- a cornerstone of my youth and my identity. Physicality.

Acceptance is the core of moving forward without regret for the past nor expectation of the future, which is out of our control. It is difficult to attain, however, with that pesky mark of humanity upon us.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Ah, a desire for more energy. I'm with you there and wonder how much a lack of energy is caused by mental stress. Hmm. love your green zebra. emoticon -- Lou
    3727 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7673407
    Energy levels are to be coveted! It sounds like you give energy to each other. Take care.
    3727 days ago
    I hear the struggle but I hear the smart as well -- acceptance and moving forward without lugging obstacles is key to real progress. It's interesting that sister has more energy -- I wonder if your very presence is helping with that. Maybe you give her a key element of hope that has some buoyancy to it. Your fatigue still sounds multifaceted as though her energy adds to the over-stimulation. I hope you find your path to that comfort zone.
    3728 days ago
    That is very true! And even though we know it - it is one of the hardest things to do.
    3728 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    The older I get, the more my "envy's" change. I do envy things like energy levels, ambitiousness, consistent determination. One thing I decided a long time ago is that to counter my tendency towards envy, I would teach myself to cheer other people on. It took awhile but now it comes naturally. I don't know that this will be helpful to you, just my 2 cents. One thought I had about your relative is, isn't lupus sometimes treated with steroids? Would that affect the energy level? In any event, based on my limited knowledge of lupus, it seems like a mean disease and it is nice to hear of someone thriving in spite of the illness. Take care.
    3728 days ago
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