Thursday, June 20, 2013

taming the green-eyed monster

Verse 3.31: Those persons who execute their duties according to My injunctions and who follow this teaching faithfully, without envy, become free from the bondage of fruitive actions.

Envy can be such a destructive emotion. In encountering this unwanted feeling in our hearts (after all, who really wants to be envious!) it can sometimes feel as though there's no way to escape it.

Personally, I've always looked upon envy as my enemy until I heard a thought provoking perspective offered by one of my bhakti mentors. Since we tend to feel envious of someone (note: person/s, not things), this yogi suggested that we try focusing on what the person did that provoked this emotion, as opposed to focusing on the individual themselves.

The explanation this incredible bhakti yogi gave was this:

Often we feel envious of others because they possess something or are getting recognition for something that we also want to have or perform.

In this way, envy can actually help us determine what we want! Isn't that amazing? So instead of feeling disheartened, we can actually feel enlivened and inspired.

In my experience, I've noticed that I'm only envious of others when they are doing something that I have an interest in or am attracted to. In fact, more often than not, it's often when I'm interested in something but not doing anything about it that I feel the most envious.

So go ahead and try this out. The next time you feel a veil of green starting to cover your heart and eyes, take a step back and introspect. You might be shocked to discover something more about yourself!

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