Must be nice, a sarcastic phrase we’ve all used once or twice. It’s feeling of disdain we experience as we scroll through an Instagram feed of someone who is out of the country every week, has impeccable taste in clothing, or has an extremely photogenic family. To me this is the nicest way of not saying, i hope you trip on over that perfect little life of yours. Harsh, but we’ve all thought it.
Shauna Niequist in her book Present over Perfect has an entire chapter on the ” must be nice” feeling. In the chapter she talks about examining our envy, examining our lives, and bridging the gap between what we envy and the potential hidden longing behind the resentment. She writes, “..envy can be an extremely useful tool to determine our desires, especially the ones we haven’t yet allowed ourselves to feel.
If Niequist statement is correct, and envy is a useful tool, how can we turn our envious moments into a teachable one? There is of course no easy answer to this question. We are all different people, with different journeys, making it difficult for a one size fits all answer. The one thing that relates us, is that we’ve all experience teachable moments in our journeys. These moments become teachable when we yield to the discomfort felt through experiences, or feelings of regret.
What Niequist talks about in her chapter is not a new concept. We all experience envy. How we approach these feelings is what makes a difference. We can either mindlessly accept those feelings as an socially acceptable human response , or challenge ourselves to ask in those moments, ” what do you have to teach me”.
Part of intentional living is exploring our mental chatter. Not instinctively accepting every thought takes practice. When we become mindful of our thoughts we begin to learn more about ourselves, something that is far more valuable to our individual journeys.
Image credit : Pinterest/Deviant art