A Pot of Gold at the End of Envy

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“Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.” Gretchen Rubin

I don’t often mess with envy since reading an article about Reverend Ike, a minister known for his controversial prosperity theory. He was a poor preacher in the city of New York when he figured out to “recognize and rejoice in prosperity.” He’d see a well-dressed person and instead of envying him, he’d say, “Isn’t it wonderful he has so much abundance?”

I don’t remember much else about Reverend Ike except his happiness for others who had more that he had. Hearing his story inspired me to practice the same because envy negates things like “getting your own life while loving the people in it.”

It’s been years now and I’ve rejoiced with a friend whose addiction blog post received tens of thousands of readers, a friend whose article landed her on a radio show, and several friends who’ve signed book deals.

What is funny about this?   

It’s funny (in that laugh-at-myself-later kind of way) how we get caught off-guard and suffer momentary amnesia.

As hard as I tried to concentrate on writing a blog post, I kept getting distracted by notifications popping up on my screen. Friends liked, commented on, and shared a blog post (about expectations in relationships) I posted earlier in the evening on my Facebook page. I stopped writing my post and reread the one I shared by Derek Harvey, “The Silent Killer of Relationships.”

blog about green

What ENVY looks like. 

I thought, I could have written that, which rings true like thinking I could have jotted down Gone With The Wind. I can’t write someone else’s story, but that evening I wished I had because of its popularity.

I left Derek’s blog and looked him up on Facebook. I didn’t mean to be searching for something I didn’t like about him, but, truth be told, I wanted to uncover an egotistical writer so I’d get over my own ego and get back to my own writing. Instead, I stumbled on a young man who loves God and his wife, who affectionately calls her “babe” and “love”, and who shows off his sweet-faced little girl reminding me of my granddaughter.

He’s hard to dislike, for sure, but I was on a roll paying homage to green while St. Patrick rolled in his grave.

What I noticed.

It wasn’t until I revisited Derek’s blog that I noticed …

Even though his other dozen or so posts were equally praiseworthy, especially the one acknowledging his dad, the only comments he had received to date were on “The Silent Killer of Relationships.” He began his blog on September 30. By January, he posted more often. The “magic” of a viral blog post happened early on for him and out of the blue (that’s what we sometimes call God’s influence). It wasn’t because he built a platform, wrote consistently, and promoted himself on others’ blogs, not that there’s anything wrong with these things. But his magic happened …

Because he wrote a well-written, genuine, and relatable story.

Because he wants to help others.

Because it’s his time.

And because he wasn’t wallowing in envy about someone else’s blog post.

That last one’s a guess. I don’t know for sure.

If I’d kept up my jaunt with jealousy and my determination to figure out something wrong with him, I likely would have disregarded Derek’s talent, as well as his humility about it, his wife’s excitement for him, and anything else good that comes from moments like these.

He wrote on Facebook the day after his post went viral, “So apparently expectations in relationships is a hot topic … who knew!”

His wife wrote, “So incredibly proud of Derek Harvey. And the world should know it!”

The day after these Facebook updates, Derek announced, “Well friends … as of today, my recent blog post has seen over ONE MILLION VISITORS … and counting! Thanks to everyone who shared! It’s being seen all over the world and my hope is that it’s making an impact and a difference in people’s lives. Thanks for being a part!”

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I let him know I was one of the people who shared. I deserved recognition for passing along his story, especially considering the envy I put myself through. He can take credit for reminding me “my hope is that it’s making an impact and a difference in people’s lives.”

I almost forgot why I shared his post. I almost forgot why I was writing my own.

What I’ve been reminded of since Saturday when I shared Derek’s blog post …

  • I’m happiest and most productive when I focus on my work and celebrate others and their accomplishments.#GettingYourOwnLife #LovingThePeopleInIt
  • Something good, like a viral blog post, could be around the corner, but I lose sight of good and significant things when I’m comparing.
  • The worst way to take care of myself is by searching for what is wrong with someone else.
  • Envy distracts me from getting my own life, which includes writing blog posts.
  • What feels like God overlooking me is more likely Him overseeing my spirituality.
  • I write not for likes and comments and shares (although I appreciate each one), but to make an impact and a difference like Derek mentioned, and because I love you.
  • I don’t look good in Green. #IwantaMillionVisitors

When Derek committed to helping others by way of his blog, this kind of list probably wasn’t on his radar. Sometimes we help each other in the weirdest ways. I hope this somehow helps you … weird or otherwise.

Happy Green Day! Keep it envy-free.

In this Together,
Kim

Images by Pixabay.com and Derek Harvey

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13 responses »

  1. I do believe everything that you said
    I’ve spent my life helping others get ahead. People would tell me that I was crazy—that I got out of the way to let others who might not deserve it pass me. But I believe in them. And I believe in karma.
    Yet I’m so tired of applauding others while I feel as if my time was one day seven years ago and I didn’t notice. Then I feel guilty because I blog for a major pop psychology mag. Can’t win.
    This is a great post, Kim!
    ~pia

    • Pia, I understand that tired feeling all too well. I hated the day I decided to stop being as kind because it wasn’t paying off. I thought, “That wasn’t why I was supposed to be kind anyway – for a payoff.” I couldn’t help my thinking, though, because it’d already seeped into how I felt. I was depressed beyond what I’d ever known because I’d overdone for others and had expectations about what I should get out of it. I’ve had to reevaluate EVERYTHING in my life. Remodeling or reconstruction or whatever you want to call it is working, just at a snail’s pace.

      I appreciate your applause. I hope you know that! ❤

      I never thought to call Psychology Today "pop psych," but it is. I can't tell you how many articles I sited from it to back up research papers. I don't care how many years ago it was that you were ranked high and popular and living the writer life – can't take that away in 80 years! Enjoy it now since you have time, then get onto your next project. It's like my son told me after we remodeled houses and made a good bit of profit from our work, he said, "That's fine, Mom. A big accomplishment, but you can't rest on your laurels for the rest of your life because of it." He's always had a way (sometimes it's been a maddening way) of moving me along.

      I know you want to do more and I do too. Let's make a pact to do it! To start next week …

      Hahaha, okay, today. 🙂 Love you and your comments.

  2. Kim, I love how you “expose” all of us mere mortals, and I’m guessing that Derek wondered some of the same things about his writing before his post hit the big time. I know I have experienced envy, not so much when I see great writing receiving praise, but when I see shoddy work going viral. No worries about shoddy when it comes to your work though. I think you’re onto something and it’s up to your fans to spread the word better. I will do what I can in my small universe.

    • Mary, for sure your gift is exhortation. No wonder you and your career coaching succeeded and continue to do well. Thanks for being an encouragement always.

      It’s strange how many things don’t bother me, only to have something random like the attention over Derek’s blog post send me reeling. I have to say, though, it’s one of the more significant things that’s happened lately. To not be derailed by my “envy episode” means I’m committed to my blog post. That fact relieves anxiety because I’ve wondered since I started up in January what was going to happen that’d convince me to stop blogging … again. Hurdle one is behind me.

      Thanks for sharing my post!

  3. I so love your writing as it is raw and comes from somewhere within you that is a combination of “guts” and heart. Does not seem like a good combination, does it? Trust me, it is gold and each piece of writing you do goes straight to the cockles of my heart.

    Keep it up my friend. You will go viral one day (soon).

    • Faye, I’m squealing. I didn’t know you were reading. Talk about guts and heart, I’ve wanted to grow up to be like you forever. You’ve got those things and more, with style to boot. It’s friends like you who give me hope and a reason to keep showing up. ❤ Love you!

  4. I think we all feel green from time to time. We all deal with “compare-itis” in varying degrees. We have to remind ourselves to focus on ourselves and what we can control. As you and I discussed today in the parking lot (we have a lot of good conversations in parking lots, don’t we? lol 😉 ), when you market to everyone, you market to no one. Specialize, choose a niche, know your target market, and market to them. It starts with a core, compelling message which comes from an authentic, sincere place of serving. When you have that, you can target exactly who needs to hear it, and you will attract the right readers … and they will help you go viral. 🙂

    Having said all that, when I find myself slipping down the green path, I remind myself of the law of attraction and something I read in The Secret. It says that when we see something that we want, it’s a good thing. It means we are on the same frequency of that success. 🙂 We should be happy, not envious. If others around us are succeeding, we are on that frequency also. If we can feel good about it and be happy for them, we will attract that same success to us. I like that thought. It seems you also reminded yourself of this since Saturday. 🙂

    • We do share a lot of parking lot wisdom, Anjana. I enjoy our conversations. Maybe we need to move WiN out there. LoL.

      I love what you said, “It starts with a core, compelling message which comes from an authentic, sincere place of serving.” It does and I want this to be my FOCUS. Why I write. I want every post framed by this sentence.

      Thanks for reminding me that when I’m noticing success, it’s because I’m surrounded by it and have a better chance at it myself. Living on the edge of the winner’s circle feels healthy and hopeful.

      And it I look down and I’ve got on green, I can change it.

  5. From Facebook ~

    Anjana C. Duff and 2 others

    Christy Young I’ll be your one in a million visitor. wink emoticon Good one Kim, again!
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · March 17 at 9:34pm

    S. Kim Henson Christy Young, thank you! I really got a lot out of my envy episode – what Summer called it and I got a kick out of it. It was a scene! Glad I learned something.
    Like · Reply · March 18 at 4:18pm · Edited

  6. From Facebook (on Mary Wilson’s page) ~

    Even though it’s the day after St. Patrick’s Day, this post by my friend Kim Henson rings true on any day. I love her honesty! While you’re on her blog, check out the other posts because she definitely deserves to “go viral.”

    Jean Dalton, Rebecca Barnes-Hogg and 2 others

    Kim Henson You’re so kind to share this, Mary McKerihan Wilson. I feel your support and it’s nice to know you’re there. heart emoticon Can you imagine if one of us really went viral? All those comments to answer. It’d be really exciting and REALLY overwhelming. Looking forward to settling down tonight and reading your newest post. Thank you!
    Like · Reply · 1 · March 18 at 1:50pm

    Mary McKerihan Wilson When you go viral we’ll celebrate together.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · March 18 at 3:50pm

    Kim Henson Mary McKerihan Wilson, when WE go viral, we’ll celebrate together.
    Like · Reply · 1 · March 18 at 4:07pm

  7. From Facebook ~

    Shelly Farrington, Gayle Sloan and 9 others

    Summer Turner Once I get back into my prefrontal cortex after an envy episode, I like to think “If one person can do it, that shows that it can be done.” I find that very encouraging.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · March 17 at 5:41pm

    Kim Henson It is encouraging, Summer Turner. I kept saying “My turn may come so be happy for him” while trying to dig up dirt. LoL. It was a conflicted scene. I tried so hard to be mature in the middle of my meltdown. My favorite part of your comment is calling it an “envy episode.” That it was!
    Like · Reply · 1 · March 18 at 12:26am

    Jenine Marie Howry lol, I had to chuckle because I have been going through this “thing” that for some reason my posts don’t get too much attention as far as readers. I do have some loyal wordpress readers but the count is more in the teens than in the millions. So my min…See More
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · March 17 at 6:58pm

    Kim Henson Hahahaha, Jenine Marie Howry. I know a good bit about tools. John has every single one ever made even if he doesn’t use it. You never know when you might need that tool. wink emoticon The only reason I’m blogging again is I stopped making it about whether people …See More
    Like · Reply · March 18 at 12:32am

    Mary McKerihan Wilson I’ve struggled with this also. Going to leave a comment on your blog and maybe it will go viral!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · March 17 at 7:05pm

    Kim Henson LoL, Mary McKerihan Wilson. If you could leave a comment every hour on the hour, maybe that’d help. smile emoticon Thanks for struggling too. You know, we strugglers love company. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · March 18 at 12:33am

    Linda Hopkinson You are amazing Kim and so are your blogs heart emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · March 17 at 10:44pm

    Kim Henson Awww, thanks, Linda Hopkinson. I hope to see your amazing smile in the morning. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · March 18 at 12:34am

  8. Hi Kim!

    First off – Thanks for sharing my blog post! I really appreciate it. 🙂

    Second – Thanks for being vulnerable! I have been in your shoes many MANY regretful times, where I’ve spent my time envying someone else, rather than using the God-given talents and gifting I already have and putting them to good use for others. I appreciate your heart behind this post.

    And I promise I’m not weirded out by your “social research” …at least, not THAT weirded out. 😉

    Good luck to you and your writing!

    • Squeal, Derek! You replied. I’m so happy to see you on here. I’m going to tell everyone. 🙂 Oh, wait, that’ll just get more views for you. 😉

      I appreciate the heart behind your posts. You have a BIG talent for writing and making it relatable. And funny. I look forward to following along.

      Thanks for not being too weirded out. I understand being a little bit. LoL. I mean, after all, it IS a little bit weird.

      Good luck to you too! Happy writing ..

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