I remember it like it was yesterday. I was talking with a member of my family, struggling through medical school with no money and barely having time for my head to hit the pillow. This person had everything that I wanted: money, a beautiful house, stunning looks, and most importantly,: time. While I could barely get my teeth brushed, this person was able to spend hours every day with her pets and working out with an ocean view. I hung up the phone feeling terrible, unsure of what to do with my feelings. I felt ashamed for not being happy for this person. I hated how envious I felt. My Catholic school upbringing played on repeat in my memory about not having envy or jealousy for what another has, so I repressed the feelings out of fear of moral failure. I repressed all my envy until one day I couldn’t do it anymore. Instead of zoning out on my daily commute, I started to get really curious about what I was feeling. Here’s what I learned that day:
By removing shame about my feelings and getting excited to find out what was ACTUALLY triggering a feeling of envy, I allowed myself to get curious in order to look past my initial symptoms, and find the root cause.
I ended up learning something about myself that day it has shaped the way I pursued my future. I learned I wanted time. I wanted to slow down, I wanted to kiss my baby and love on my pets until they were sick of me. But until I got curious about envy, I thought I wanted to be the busy insane doctor who never told anyone no. I thought I needed to please everyone and sacrifice myself in the process. It was a huge surprise when I learned that wasn’t actually what I wanted out of life. The crazy thing is my yucky feelings dissipated after that. The feelings of envy were gone, and I had better clarity about what I truly wanted out of life.
We all get envious, BUT, the next time it happens, will you get curious with me?