This post is #1 in a series on exploring the Seven Deadly Sins and twisting them around to be tools for growth and inspiration. I’ve been low key obsessed with the idea of the “Seven Deadly Sins” since an early exposure to Dante’s Inferno and the movie Seven with Brad Pitt.
Do you stalk anyone on Facebook or Instagram?
Not in a creepy, *breaking into celebrities houses* kind of way. But in an, “I’ll have what she’s having”/”Wow I wish I had his life” kind of way.
The people whose posts and pictures give you a jolt in the gut of “Oh, I want that,” when you see them come up in your feed. The people who fascinate you.
So, what is it about these people that makes us want to see what they are up to constantly?
I’ve found in my own life that the people I “stalk” online are the ones that make me envious.
Now, being a “Seven Deadly Sin” in the old school Christian context, envy gets a bad rep. But I think that envy can be incredibly helpful, when used correctly.
So what actually is envy?
Envy often gets confused with jealousy. Envy is coveting something another person has, while jealousy involves a big dose of negative resentment.
I might be envious of a co-workers’ fantastic new haircut, but be jealous that she got a promotion that I wanted. See the difference? One is helpful, the other is potentially destructive, in my opinion.
So how can you use envy to create the life of your dreams?
I made an exercise for myself when I was lost and confused a few years ago and I’ve returned to it time and again. I had noticed that there were certain friends and acquaintances that I paid particular attention to whenever they posted on Facebook or Instagram.
So I challenged myself to figure out why.
I went through all of my friends on Facebook and everyone I followed on Instagram and wrote down the names of all the people I was captivated by on a piece of paper. Next to it I tried to figure out exactly what had drawn me to them.
It went something like this:
Friend A: had tons of pictures of cute/stylish outfits she wore, a unique tattoo, a great haircut, a creative job that allowed her to work from home but also collaborate with others on projects. She went to all kinds of interesting art shows and concerts and fun outings.
I learned that: I wanted to be more conscious with my appearance and I wanted to love what I am wearing (something that had gotten lost working in a business formal job). I wanted to bring more creativity into my life and my work, and I wanted to go out on the town more often with my friends.
Friend B: works as an elite outdoor firefighter and goes rock climbing and kayaking. Takes tons of travel photos from the places she visits through her work. Goes on frequent backpacking and camping trips to beautiful outdoor locations to commune with nature.
I learned that: I didn’t have much interaction with nature… or with working out anymore. I realized I needed to develop an exercise routine that I could get excited about. I realized I want to take a cross-country road trip to see these beautiful sights. And I realized I need to spend time in nature on the daily to feel truly alive and grounded.
Envy can be a fantastic tool to find out how you want to feel and what sorts of energy you want in your life. In some cases it may be that they are inspiring you to seek out new activities, change some daily habits, plan a big trip, or completely change your career direction.
Remember to stay open and don’t judge anything that comes up for you, those gut feelings are your higher self speaking directly to you. You aren’t a bad person because you long for what someone else has, it only becomes negative and destructive if you veer into judgmental and manipulative territory in your pursuit.
Hope this was helpful!