Tag Archives: envy

Remember our true home!

I am not usually a cynic, but today after spending too much at the grocery I arrived home, checked the mail and found a magazine that had a picture of probably a $5 million dollar home on the front with the article titled, “Love your home!”, and I thought to myself… seriously?  Do the people writing and publishing this magazine really believe that looking at photos of this outrageously extravagant house will help me and others love our homes?  Seriously… do they really believe this?

I took the magazine straight to the recycling box, because I certainly know that looking at it would not help me to love my home, but I have been wondering why it bothered me so much today.  Most days this wouldn’t phase me or bother me, but it did today.

Maybe my annoyance with this magazine is because, as scary as it is to say or to type, in a way it reminds me of my own expensive home, of my own excess, of my own greed, and of my own issues with envy?  Maybe for a moment I forgot about my true home?

Lord please be with me and remove envy from my heart and replace it with Your generosity and gratitude because I long to always love the home You have given to me while I am here, but most of all I long to always remember that You are my true home.

Please help me, I can’t do it without You, my Love.

Please hide my love from me…

When I do something kind or loving for someone else, I love to remember it.  Remembering it makes me smile and feel so wonderful inside for the kindness I have shown to someone else or the love that I have spread.

On the other hand when I do something selfish, unkind or out of anger to another, I hate to remember it.  The memory brings me sorrow, guilt and most of all pain.

I just finished reading The Book of my Life by Saint Teresa of Avila translated by Mirabai Starr. At one point in this book, St Teresa describes God as an unimaginably clear, fully transparent, beautiful, multifaceted diamond.  After this description, St. Teresa talks about the pain and sorrow we will feel someday as we stand before this diamond and see our true self clearly witnessing not only our good actions, but also seeing our own selfishness, greed, anger, hatred, and envy reflected back and clouding the clarity, smudging the beauty of this diamond.

I love St. Teresa’s description and I can’t help but think of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:1-4

Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.  So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Jesus please silence the trumpet that I sound within my heart when I spread love or perform a small act of kindness.  Instead please hide my love from me and help me to clearly remember the painful moments of my unkindness, selfishness, and greed.

Then maybe someday if I ever do kneel before Your unimaginably beautiful diamond, I will not be shocked to painfully witness again my moments of failure, but instead might be joyfully surprised to see that I did spread a little love and perform a few small acts of kindness in Your Name, My Sweet Love.

Bottles at sea…

I have been a recluse over the last few months.  I haven’t had much interest in seeking out or calling my friends to talk, watching the news, or even sending out Christmas cards to my friends and family.

Today while I was running I was thinking about this and wondering why?  The thought crossed my mind that maybe Jesus has been sheltering me.  Maybe He has been protecting me from the competition and constant comparison of the world by taking away my motivation to talk with my close friends and others who could spark envy, competition, or comparison within my heart.  Maybe He has been giving me time to grow stronger and really imprint upon my heart the necessity to stay outside of the race going on in our world while still fully living in our world.

Maybe this is just my overactive imagination, but I still like this explanation, because today I finally called one of my best friends.  I was so happy to talk with her and hear about her life and what she has been doing over the last few months.  While we were talking though I felt myself being pulled back into the race, not because I compete with her, but because she has so many wonderful plans and ideas.  She is an amazing mom and wife.  She will soon be back in the workforce and I am sure she will someday start the amazing business of her dreams.  In our 30 min conversation we covered all of this and following months of talking to only the same small group of people, I started to question my plans or lack of plans, my ideas or lack of ideas and began to worry about where I am headed.  Luckily, although I felt myself being pulled into the race, I was aware of it which I hope is a start for keeping myself out of it.

As I was running home, I pictured all of us as bottles bobbing in the sea.  As bottles in the sea we don’t realize that it is impossible for us to sink as we are tossed about in the waves, dunked under water, and crashed into each other.  We are all fighting to stay afloat even though it really isn’t possible for us to go down.  Then by the grace of God, sometimes we float into a secluded harbor where we can see the beach and we know that true peace exists.  The waves slowly wash us in and then drag us back out in a repetitive motion.

Jesus thank you for the safe and secluded harbor You have given me over the last few months.  Please help me to remember that no matter how many times the waves pull me back, I am a bottle filled with Your spirit and I can’t sink.  Knowing this gives me faith to brave the open sea again and brave the waves with a new perspective.

Maybe on my next trip in You will bless me with a job to help You bring a few more bottles into Your peaceful shores!

When are we awake?

I am not sure if you hear a lot about waking up or about the next great awakening, but I have heard quite a bit about it in some of the documentaries I have watched in the last few months.

When I talk about awake, I am talking about being consciously aware of our ego and critically questioning our personal actions and whether these actions are being driven by our egos.  Then making an effort to minimize our ego’s influence over our actions.

The first book I read about this was, A New Earth: Awakening to  Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle.  I loved this book and I still consider it one of the first books of my own personal journey, but as I continue down my path I still question am I going the right way, am I waking up, will I ever be fully awake?  For me, I think it is a daily effort to wake up.  I still get caught up in worries about the future, regrets of the past and feelings, choices and actions driven by my ego.

One thing I have noticed though is that I feel more awake and more alive on days that I celebrate the joys and successes of others.  A news story was mentioned on my radio station the other day that helped me more clearly define a day when I am feeling more awake, Facebook Envy:  How Cruising can Kill Self Esteem by Wendy Sachs.

This story talks about how cruising Facebook can kill your self esteem when everyones life appears to be better, more fun, more exciting than yours.

This made me pay a little closer attention to my own activity on Facebook and I do think that I am more awake on days when I “Like” and comment on my friends photos, comments, shares.   Choosing to “Like” my friends activities is my quiet and small way to celebrate and be excited for them and the joys in their lives.

I am not sure when we will all wake up, but since so many of us are now connecting on Facebook, let’s use it as a platform to celebrate each other, support each, and love each other rather than a platform for comparison which will only plant the seeds of envy in our own heart.

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Jesus please help me to wake up a little more every day so that someday I can fully share in the celebrations and joys of all of my brothers and sisters throughout the world!