Comparison is the thief of joy and my wealth has all slipped away through the heavy sieve of envy The swelling warmth of gratitude has given way to the sweltering heat of sharp, gnawing jealousy My eyes keep straining toward empty places between vast, unobserved abundance fixated on the violent feeling of unfairness Cinder blocks of bitter energy build walls to block my view of countless blessings souring my simple share of happiness Unable to stop magnifying this self-induced, unnecessary suffering while being simultaneously smothered by the shame of being unsatisfied when I have so much
Anger is the poison that paralyzes my higher power the shackles that keep me separate swallowed up in thick flames Burning all the bridges that could deliver healing waters an aching exhaustion in my chest from hopeless, helpless hatred The violent energy that boils my blood bubbles up my throat to choke me lashing out with an instant instinct I immediately wish I could take back All consuming, ever growing a blazing heat that binds and blinds me rage reducing compassion to ashes burning up who I've hoped I would be I can never seem to calm this fire but let me learn to sit inside the inferno and keep this liquid lava venom from seeping out into everyone I love
A poisonous worm eats away at my heart excreting the thick slurry of selfishness that runs through my veins Sudden flare of fierce emotion at the disclosure of others' good fortune leaving me feeling ashamed The wretched sensation of anger that suffocates more appropriate emotions choking off a chance to celebrate A friend's success could be shared by relinquishing comparison and competition fed with heavy spoonfuls of self-doubt The fear that another's joy might threaten my own as if there is only so much happiness to go around and my chances of winning that lottery are now lessened What a sad state of affairs to let the luck of a loved one tear at me instead of fill me up What kind of person am I that my first instinct is to be unkind to someone that is thriving? The best I can muster is to remain silent when I should be smiling and adding my positivity to their blossoming abundance
Ever since I was young, I have had a hard time being happy for other people. I could never understand how others seemed to feel genuine joy at the success and happiness of those around them. I’ve always felt guilty that my automatic emotional reaction was the exact opposite. I don’t know why, but I always felt threatened when those around me found the happiness that I was searching for. More than anything, I felt jealousy. Even when it was someone I dearly cared for.
Not only that, but it has always been hard for me to hide those shameful feelings and feint excitement. I doubt I was ever able to fool anyone. I feared I wasn’t being a good friend. I was being selfish. I wasn’t capable of sharing in their celebration. I’ve always hated that about myself. But even though I have long recognized it, I don’t know how to change it.
I noticed myself mulling over my sister’s positive life events recently. I seem to feel even more threatened, the closer I am to that person. It is almost like deep in the recesses of my reptilian brain something is telling me that happiness is finite. That the more someone around me has, the less that will be left for me to discover. I know logically that isn’t true. Happiness, like love, is infinite.
Looking back, I have made a small amount of improvement. Now I am genuinely glad for my friends and family when good things occur in their lives. However, it is still overshadowed by self-pity ultimately.
I feel bad that I am wasting so many chances to be happy. The successes of those I love, are also my successes. They are opportunities for me to rejoice at their good fortune, the good fortune of people I care about. I want to keep reminding myself of this. Sometimes I get so swallowed up in myself that I forget that life isn’t all about me. It’s wonderful that it isn’t all about me. I think I would suffer a lot less if I learned to focus more on others. I hope that is something I am able to teach myself. Something I will get better at with practice.