Recently, a FB friend posted this as part of her status:
I read an article on Contentment, and in [it] a lady talked about taking her Amish friend with her when she went to a large mall for the first time. When they left, her Amish friend told [her] 'Before I went there I knew I had everything I needed. Now, I think I need so many things!'
I didn't comment on her post, but had the thought that it mirrors what I have been thinking lately.
In actuality, my mantra lately has been Envy is the thief of joy.
I don't know what prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to use the words Comparison is the thief of joy, but I have my own reasons for my newest mantra.
I have thought of deleting Facebook, but I really do enjoy it. I don't waste mind numbing hours poring over people's pages. If FB friends (or acquaintances as many are in actuality) post things about repost this so I can see how many people are actually paying attention to me, I'm not going to do it. If you feel like I'm ignoring you ... go ahead and unfriend me. I'm okay with that.
I really don't have time to personally visit the pages of some 300 people .. or whatever it is.
I do like to see your pictures and hear of your joys and, as life tends to give us, sorrows. I'll rejoice with you and mourn with you.
I love seeing the pictures of families growing and playing. I love seeing reality. I even enjoy a link now and then.
Those don't typically cause me envy.
But there are some things that do.
I am happy in my life. I have an active family life, faith life and work life that keep me hopping and happy. We have been abundantly blessed.
Then sometimes as my finger is flipping down the page of FB, I see things that cause me discontent. I don't want you to stop doing those things that bring you pleasure and that you enjoy. I love the fact that you are able to do them. I especially love seeing families doing things together. I rejoice when I know that it isn't a common occurrence for you and that the memories you just made with your family will be treasured for the rest of your lives. I love that you can take days and spend them out and about with your friends/family/loved ones doing the things you enjoy.
However, it is as if I am the Amish woman who just walked into the mall. Until my finger hit the FB icon on my phone, I had enough. I was content. I was happy.
Then I scrolled through pages and suddenly I don't have enough. Envy, defined as a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck, has reared its ugly head and taken my joy.
No it hasn't taken.
I have allowed my joy to be given to envy.
Will others look at my life with the same kind of envy? Perhaps. I am at a most delicious stage of life. I take naps when I feel like it (although lately I'm developing napping insomnia!). I go out for breakfast/brunch on Sunday if I'm in the mood. I can drop and run to Hobby Lobby on a crafting whim. I can get my laundry done in several hours. I could seriously go on and on.
I have an entire litany of reasons that a walk through FB shouldn't be anymore challenging than an Amish walk through the mall should be.
I still don't have an answer to my dilemma as, irrationally, my joy turns to envy. No longer is my life filled with enough. I am left wanting more than our good Creator has seen fit to bless me with.
Maybe someone has a solution for this problem. Perhaps this is my problem alone and no one else shares it, although I am doubtful of that.
Perhaps my mantra is enough for now. It is a gentle reminder to the heart.
Hold on to the joy.
I'm going camping.
There is sure to be much there in the way of both peace and joy.