Not that long ago I received a text from a friend that baffled me. After identifying many of the the good things I have in my life, it essentially stated: “I am sorry if I sound sarcastic it is just sometimes I do let jealousy and I let envy get the best of me.”
I didn’t know how to respond to the text. My first impulse was to defend myself, to insist that I have worked very hard to achieve a certain lifestyle. But then I wondered how some of my social media posts might be perceived by others. My social media presence does depict me as quite fortunate, because I am. And those thoughts began to make me feel ashamed. Being envious of others is an emotion which is foreign to me. Truthfully, I never dreamt that someone would feel envy towards me. I am not a boaster because I never want others comparing their life to me if it makes them feel sorry about their life. At the same time, I am cognizant of my blessings, but I don’t believe I flaunt them.
Years ago, I bought myself a beautiful sports car, an Alfa Romeo, with cash. But I was very self-conscious when I drove it. I felt the same thing when I traded it on a Mercedes, even though it was an older and rather sedate model. I am very mindful that not everyone can afford these luxuries, and I appreciate my good fortune.
|my mom, who taught me to be independent|
My posts are certainly not meant to upset anyone or to make them feel less fortunate. The truth is that more often than not I focus on the brighter side of life, choosing to report the good in my life by not focusing on the negative. It is my intention to inspire and encourage readers to also reflect on their own blessings. I do this not to boast about what I have but rather to express appreciation and gratitude for what I have.
As far back as I can remember my attitude to life has not been concentrating on what I don't have but instead celebrating the good fortune that I have in my life. I do recognize that I am blessed, and I invite good fortune into my life, but not by being passive, or waiting for someone to give it to me, but by actively making it happen for me.
I bought my first condo when I was 27 and my first detached home when I was 33. I’ve traveled to Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Peru, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Mexico, Colombia, Fiji, Scotland, England, Poland, New York, Hawaii and all over Canada, all in spite of being terrified of flying. I did this by saving and planning. Some of the traveling was done after I got married and were paid for by a third party for delivering a presentation internationally, but I did a lot of it on my own and with my own money.
The reality is that no one should envy my life. In fact I don’t think anyone should envy anyone else. In spite of the many good things in my life, and my achievements, most of my life I have struggled with some challenges that may not be obvious to the casual observer. I don’t broadcast my difficulties. That said, I am fortunate to have special people in my life that make my challenges easier for me to endure. I am especially grateful for hubby for editing my blog posts.
And it is important for me to continue to count my blessings on social media and not to be apologetic for my good fortune. I am most thankful for my compassion and intelligence. If I could offer any advice it is this: always celebrate your good fortune without apology. Be careful not to compare what you don’t have with others who have more than you do, because you may not be aware of their struggles and how hard they have had to work to achieve what they have. Be happy in their good fortune, and wish them more good fortune.