What is the opposite of envy? Generosity? Happiness? Satisfaction? Modesty? Perhaps all of it. But basically I feel, the opposite, and perfect antidote to envy is the knowledge of being loved by Love, God. Before we can feel generous and happy and express satisfaction and peace it is important to feel that we have something to share.
In a limited world without God everything is limited, but this is not the true story of mankind. There is more to life than eyes can see and ears behold – and this more is supreme, limitless, intelligent, wonderful Principle Soul, the dear Father-Mother. Soul is surrounding us, balancing us, enriching us, forming constructive and colorful relationships for us, strengthening our joy and gratitude and giving us life – and we know that God exists because we exist. There is no other explanation.
Envy presented itself to me in a very disturbing way some time ago. It came to me when an opportunity was given to my best friend, an offer that I felt, was meant for me. Why her and not me? How to reconcile the envy and the friendship? While attending a service I thought about this dilemma and I asked to be freed from this negativity and nagging feeling, envy. And the answer came clearly with the tenth commandment:
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."
How could I do this? After all, this is a commandent, not an option. How could I see that all opportunities are mine? That mine is the fullness of life and joy as much as my friend's? Again, that answer came clearly with a commandment, this time with the first one: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Ex. 20: 4 and 17).
Keeping the first commandment enables us to keep the tenth, I thought. It makes sense to have the first as the first. It teaches me to acknowledge the unity and supremacy of good, to see unlimited possibilities of eternity and Spirit, the joy of divine Life. Here nothing is tight, restricted – everything is free to all. Could I accept that? Of course – and it felt easy to let go; the mental thorns fell of and the velvet of pure goodness filled my thinking. It feels so good to be free from envy. Indeed: "Envy is the atmosphere of hell." ('02, p.3: 28)
My friend asked me a few weeks later whether she could offer this opportunity to me. I honestly do not know, I answered. Let's find out together, I said. Let's listen and pray together. There is definitely enough space and opportunity for all.
Eventually both of us finally decided on different actions and were led to other opportunities, blessing us both immensely. In the face of colorful, divine supply of boundless, beautiful good, embracing everyone, envy is small, very small and ugly and pinched, only large enough to notice it and to walk away from it, forever. Thinking in the divine way of generosity and wideness, and walking in the practical application of solidarity with our fellow sister and brother, as faithfully and courageously as we possibly can --- this is the way.
Envy was not transformed, as anything negative ever is. Envy was not lifted to the level of my thinking any more. It was left behind for the richness of the holiness of Spirit.
You will be at peace when you know that Spirit is your life. You will have the courage to be honest when you know that you are the reflection of spiritual power. You will have deeper faith when you feel and know that spiritual understanding is already yours as God’s own child. You will have more compassion with yourself and others when you know that you are the image and likeness of Love. Already now. You have all the information you need.
It is foundational for all of us to see the whole picture - the grander view. We are made for a reason and we are made whole, safe, and free. Life, pure good, is so very noble and generous and takes care of an infinite universe with full commitment and dedication. The result is the noble nature of man and the universe, so beautiful and kind. Spiritual sense sees this whole picture, the grander view --- as always knowledge is the solution to any challenge we have to meet. Knowledge enables us to rise. True knowledge is spiritual, it is fact-based, solid, realistic and testable. Because we base our lives - unknowingly or with intent - on what we know, truly know. And we can only work with what we truly know, and with that we can work.
In an interview with Maya Angelou she transforms the question "What do you trust?" to "What do I know?" Here is the excerpt.
"David Holmstrom: After so many different experiences in your life - early poverty, living in Europe and Africa, awards for writing, international recognition - what do you trust?
Maya Angelou: (after a long pause) I have to translate that into the question ``What do I know?'' I can only trust what I know, and the only thing I trust is the love of God. That is all, and even though my knowledge and understanding of that sometimes wavers, that is the rock in my life.
I believe I can do three things: I can cook. I can write. And I can drive. Given an assignment in any of those three areas, I believe I will carry out the assignment with grace and maybe even some flashes of brilliance. I trust myself in the kitchen, in a car, and with the yellow pad. But the big trust is that I am a child of God. That is the most amazing thing to me and [it] still brings me tears of joy." (Interview with David Holmstrom. The Voice of a Writer in Process. The Christian Science Monitor. October 1993)
Now is the time to check what we know, really know. And as there is no complete knowledge without taking into account the spirituality of God and man, we should ask ourselves, what we spiritually know, really know. It is a truism that whatever we inhale we exhale. In proportion as we welcome Love and its spiritualizing power into our consciousness and experience it is felt in the mental atmosphere we exhale. An atmosphere of generosity and magnamity. Like Maya Angelou and other individuals you may encounter. Like the one you are being yourself.
My husband shared often within his work a list of observations, which I am now sharing with you. They are from the article "The need of spiritual consciousness" by George Channing in the Christian Science Journal, and it can be found on JSH-Online easily.
He who spiritually knows he is triumphant
sees only the evidence of triumph.
He who spiritually knows he is whole (healthful)
sees only the evidence of health.
He who spiritually knows he is righteous
sees only the evidence of righteousness.
He who spiritually knows he is wise
sees only the evidence of wisdom.
He who spiritually knows he is loving and beloved
sees only the evidence of love.
He who spiritually knows he is harmonious
sees only the evidence of harmony.
He who spiritually knows he is free
sees only the evidence of freedom.
He who spiritually knows he is alive
sees only the evidence of life.
He who spiritually knows he is useful
sees only the evidence of usefulness.
He who spiritually knows he knows
sees only the evidence of knowledge.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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