I’ve been reflecting about this friend, Ms Jealousy, lately. I notice when I look at my Facebook wall, I often feel jealous with my friends’ posts – “it seems” they live a more comfortable, luxurious life than I do; “it seems” they are travelling to many great places that I’ve never been to; “it seems” they have a house of their own at my age; “it seems” they have a car; “it seems” they are doing the jobs that I wanted… There are so many “it seems” that trigger some affliction in me. I feel jealous.
I decided to look a bit carefully at this feeling… Ms Jealousy… She seems to remind me of what I do NOT have. She seems to remind me of things I want to do but cannot do at the moment. She seems to remind me of the uncertainty, weakness and inferiority complex that exist in me. She also reminds me of things I cherish and do not want to lose. And I realise…
I realise what I do not have. I do not have much money (I will use up all my savings after my study). I have yet to have a house of my own. I do not have a car (and cannot drive hehe :P). I am not employed and not earning an income right now.
I also realise what I DO have.
I have my loving husband and adorable child… And my parents, brothers, sisters, and in-laws… And my spiritual family. And my classmates and ex-class mates. People and relationships are important to me.
I have a comfortable place to live in when it shines or rains. I have places to stay and to return to when I’m in Vietnam. I enjoy green, fresh veggies grown at home by my hubby. I have enough food to eat and thankfully, my cooking skills are good enough for my family.
I am still healthy and alive. I am enjoying my study very much. And I also enjoy the sounds of the birds in the morning, the green leaves and the shades of the trees, and I am feeling more at ease in water when I swim compared to before (not quite related right? but it’s a recent achievement for me).
So many things that I have… (“Have” here does not mean possession ya) I realise that these are gifts that I have received (like my family), or things that I have spent much time and efforts to grow and nurture (e.g. relationships).
So thanks to jealousy, I have realised something about myself. That relationships and a spiritual path are essential for me. And perhaps I have not spent much time focussing on getting a house, a stable job, and save some money (time to do it now?). And also thanks to jealousy, I am able to touch gratitude, an essential element of happiness…
a moment in NTU, Singapore, 1 June 2017
Author Gia Hoang is a full-time mother who is pursuing a master degree in counselling at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. She is a member of Joyful Garden Sangha, a community of mindfulness practitioners in Singapore. Any questions about her writing can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.