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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!”

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,

Images by and Derek Harvey

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