ENVY, THE EIGHTH PASSENGER
By Ángela López
Singing is one of the skills I have most admired. Listening to Luciano Pavarotti, Freddie Mercury or Pedro Infante, is like touching a little piece of heaven in the stormiest moments. Without being a proper Whitney Houston, I must confess that my off-tune sounds glorious in the shower. Fortunately, there are other talents and different intelligences (Howard Gardner - Multiple Intelligences). So, I started researching how I could improve both "spatial-visual" and "linguistic-verbal" intelligence. However, despite my advances, the comparison exploded like an erupting volcano. Repeatedly, I confronted my work with that of others. Generally, I used to feel that theirs was far superior to mine, and that my efforts were in vain, as I would never produce anything with characteristics of excellence. In a way, I was showing glimpses of a rather limiting and unpleasant feeling: envy.
It should be noted that, envy or that feeling of sadness because others have or achieve the results we would like, is just a reflection of greed. Why do I believe this? Let's analyze, we are unique, which means that we possess exclusive attributes, but it takes us a long time to realize it, and when we do, we don't value it, we underestimate it. Then we set our sights on others. We love to fall into the infernal circle of frustration, and to get there, we take a direct route, namely comparison. Thoughts like: "she can show off her nice cleavage, I have to hide my scar by wearing this boring blouse,” "he has a late model car, I still have this 2012 Ford,” "poetry slips through every word he writes, I just manage to put words together that fight each other,” etc. We love the “I am not this,” the “I do not have that.” Now, that famous "I" does not bring anything good, after all, it is born thanks to selfishness.
What were you afraid of in your childhood? In my case, I remember that before going to sleep I always checked under my bed for the terrifying Ridley Scott film "Alien,” and when I heard noises at night I used to cover myself with the blanket... as if it would protect me from a xenomorph whose blood was acid! But, come to think of it, there's not so much science fiction around us after all. From childhood we are stalked by a variety of creepy monsters, the difference is that they don't hide in our room, but in our minds. Being envious of other people's material possessions, physical appearance, success, and intellectual and/or artistic talents is like having that "alien" inside our body devouring our heart and corroding our mind.
Nowadays, I write without worrying if someone puts semantics to better use than I do, I draw without comparing my imperfect strokes with someone else's clean illustrations. I know that I must optimize my work, in fact, I try to do so with every writing, with every sketch. In order to achieve this, I take my creations as a personal challenge, that is, I examine the mistakes of my yesterday to correct them in my present. Hence, my exhortation is to abandon the habit of looking at what you don't have in others, focus on your pros to approach excellence and observe your cons to modify them in the process. Remember, when you spend so much time longing for what others are or have, you lose the great experience of self-knowledge... Don't be distracted by greed for someone else's life when you already have one of your own! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to find your essence and refine it daily. Don't let the Sun's glare bother you, you don't have to stop being the moon to envy the day. Decide to cut the strings of that toxic relationship, where envy manipulates you like a puppet to distract you from continuous improvement. Finally, when you see how fabulous you are, you will understand the shine of others.