“Envious Me”

Thought for today:

At times we all feel envious.  Most people get beyond the feeling and move on with their lives.  There are some challenges for the compulsive debtor to do that.

It’s especially hard for under earners to get beyond envy.  Whenever they meet someone with a happy life, more material possessions, compliant and bright kids, and so on, the temptation is to envy that person and resent their life.

A member shares:

“I used have a lot of self-pity and envy.  I always compared my insides to other people’s’ outsides, and I always came up short.

“I come from a long line of compulsive debtors.  When I was a kid, we never went on vacations, never went to the movies.  Those things were for other families.

“What made it worse was we grew up in an affluent area, so even though my family had gone through bankruptcy, and my dad was an alcoholic, my friends families had chauffeurs, and five car garages.

“We had a big house once, and dad had a fleet of trucks for his landscaping business, until the bankruptcy.  We lost all that while I was in grade school.  After that, we rented small houses, and he and I mowed lawns out of a station wagon.

“So in the end, yes, I was envious of my friends.  I felt ripped off and was rather self-righteous as a result.

“Then I met someone in DA who had to panhandle to survive.  Every weekend they would stand on a corner in the city begging.  I felt ashamed because my problems were so ‘high end’.

“Today I acknowledge the grief of losing what I once had.  It as an illusion, really, because alcoholism was ruining things even while we had the material possessions.

“Today there is nothing lacking in my life that matters as long as I stay solvent.   As long as I am working on my envy with the help of the Twelve Steps, I know there is abundance in my world.”

What to do with envy?

Under earning is a trait of compulsive debting.  Healing begins with gratitude for some blessing you have.  In our personal inventory in Steps Four and Ten, we should always remember the positive blessings in our lives.

Keeping it simple helps us find things that are worth gratitude.  Everyone has something worth gratitude – a talent for cooking, a happy marriage, a home, food on the table, simple pleasures of life – a sunset even.

Building on blessings is another way to combat envy. Improving a talent for cooking can help you become a chef.   Income increases the more we enjoy our work, and we can usually find a way to bring our talents into our work in small ways.

Vision mapping helps under earners envision a new life with increased income.  Imagining yourself with the possessions you want, with the income you want, etc.  The important thing here is being careful what you pray for!

With each new blessing comes new responsibilities.  For example, our attitude can no longer be consumed with self-pity if we have a new job.  If we want to get better and stay better we need to get rid of self-pity.  Otherwise, we’ll be stuck in the past.

We need to move beyond the self-centered fear of not getting what we deserve, and begin to celebrate others’ good fortune.  Only then can we be truly free.


“Can I bless someone else’s good fortune?”

Meditation for today:

If we each had to put  our problems into one giant bag and pick out a problem, the irony is we would probably all want to pull our own problems out.  They are familiar.  Plus they are not as bad as most other problems.

Affirmations for today:

“I have many blessings that keep coming to me.”

“The more I share my talents, the more it attracts abundance.”

The antidote to envy is gratitude:

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