Sunday, March 01, 2009


The Green Veil of Envy

by Lisa A. Riley

“Envy comes from people’s ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts.”
– Jean Vanier

Envy can catch us by surprise. It can rear it’s head at a collogues art exhibit; reading an article featuring a local writer we went to school with, or during an interview with a celebrity on TV. Feelings of jealousy reawaken our own fears, insecurities and self-doubt. Those dormant skeletons of unfulfilled desires, we tried to bury under excuses. You know the ones, not enough time, not enough money and the voice that recites that familiar mantra, “you’ll never be successful.” Those unforgotten, but faint passions that hadn’t quite left us alone, come to focus. It seems that in the green veil of envy, resentment, projected at another, keeps us paralyzed. Preventing us from facing our own road blocks and pursuit of our dreams. We interpret someone else’s accomplishments as further proof that it has already been done and why we ought not to bother.

Jealousy easily enables us to avoid possible success and instead breeds inaction. When we focus on the wishful misfortunes of those who have gone before us and thrived, we avoid looking authentically at our own dissatisfaction and self-doubt. In spite of that, envy isn’t all that dreadful, but can in fact be a catalyst. If used as a mirror it can serve as a means to shake up those dusty dreams, hopes and artistic pursuits. Instead, gifts us with another chance to revisit them. By choosing to harness the energy in jealousy, which compels us to negate and judge, we stimulate renewed inspiration. Envy is a plea for action, utilize it to take the first steps or pick up where you left off.

Jealousy demands acknowledgment and appreciation of our own talents. If we listen closely to the true message of envy, once again we are aroused and prompted to manifesting our creative calling.

Lisa is a psychotherapist, painter and writer. She has spent the last 25 years integrating various forms of self-expression as a way of life and an avenue towards healing. Because of her background in the arts she understands the unique challenges of the artistic personality and has spent the last 8 years working with artists, writers, actors and musicians in helping them gain self-awareness and a deeper understanding of themselves as artists.
Lisa has her own private practice in Southern California. For more information visit

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