Letting Go... The Franciscan Challenge

Overcoming Feelings of Jealousy and Envy

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Recognizing that you are experiencing feelings of jealousy and envy is a beginning to do something about it. Our culture makes idols of success, possessions and wealth. If we have these, we will be happy. Not necessarily true. There are many successful and wealthy people but they are some of the most unhappy people in the world, not because they are successful or wealthy but because they make idols of these things. I have learned that the main causes of jealousy and envy are a poor self-image and a lack of gratitude.

People who have a poor self-image look to success and wealth and possessions to make them feel better about themselves. They want others to see how successful they are. Unfortunately, people are never satisfied. There is always the desire to want more. When is it enough? Our self worth comes from the God who created us, not what we own or possess.

A lack of gratitude makes us focus on what we do not have, rather than on what we do have. When we are grateful, we focus on the blessings in our own lives. The glass is half full rather than half empty. When we appreciate and express gratitude, our life glows brighter and we are showered with more blessings and I believe we are a lot happier.

What steps can you take toward taming your jealousy and envy? First, begin a gratitude journal. Each day write down three things, people, situations, etc. that you are grateful for. It can be as simple as someone giving you a smile or a driver letting you in their lane. Second, focus on relationships not things. Bring kindness and generosity to these relationships. Just because others may have more or seem more successful does not take away from your value as a person. And you will find that relationships are more fulfilling and lasting than possessions and success.

Photo by Obie Fernandez on Unsplash

Change Ahead in the New Year

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“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul…”
—Gilbert K. Chesterton

What an interesting concept for the New Year. We start this New Year with the feast of Mary, Mother of God. Who better than God’s Mother to help us into this New Year for our General Chapter/Elections and for the political elections? These are only a few of the things we know will be happening in this year of grace, 2024! We are standing on a precipice of new adventures for not only our Community but for our country and our world. Going into a New Year we need to let go of the past to begin our future.

Only God knows what the outcomes will be, but we trust in God’s wisdom and grace. Our faith is the key to the New Year. Without it we will stumble and even fall! Placing our hands into God’s hands assures us of safely walking with God into the future with a new soul. 

Becoming Free of a Grudge

One way of becoming free of a grudge seems so simple, but is actually not that easy:

* Reflect on who is actually getting hurt from the grudge? Not the person against whom you are holding a grudge, but you are! The feeling and scene plays and replays in your mind and you suffer! Why are you doing this to yourself? What benefit are you receiving?

* If you can go deeper, try to figure out why this feeling has attached itself to you. The nature of the grudge and understanding its dynamics are very important to be free of such unhealthy feeling. Was your self-image hurt? If so, do you really value that person's opinion that much? If it was a betrayal, seek your true friends and value them. Don't waste your time nor your energy with people who don't understand what it means to be a friend.

* Practice compassion with all persons. Before you know it, it will become a good "habit" which will make you happier, the people who you touch and the whole world a little better!