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Envy and Chronic Illness

Updated on February 3, 2016
Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

Chronic illness warrior and natural health coach and advocate, Gina helps others thrive beyond the challenges of chronic illness.

Green with envy

Full of desire for someone's possessions or advantages; extremely covetous. For example, Her fur coat makes me green with envy. Shakespeare described envy as the green sickness ( Anthony and Cleopatra, 3:2), but the current phrase, dating from the mi
Full of desire for someone's possessions or advantages; extremely covetous. For example, Her fur coat makes me green with envy. Shakespeare described envy as the green sickness ( Anthony and Cleopatra, 3:2), but the current phrase, dating from the mi

Oscar Wilde once said that "to most of us the real life is the life we do not lead." Today I am going to talk about envy. Do you enjoy feeling envious? I'm sure none of us enjoy feeling envious, but I am almost sure there are times we find ourselves wishing we had what others do.

I got a rock!

I got a rock!

"I wish I had a body like hers." "I wish my body could do what hers does...." or you guys might say, "I wish I had a girlfriend like, her on my arm, or "I wish I had a big house like him." If you live with a chronic illness, you may say, "I wish I didn't have to take all this medicine," or "I wish I wasn't in pain all the time," or "I wish I could be out doing what they are doing."

When the realities of illness never take a break, it is easy to lament like Charlie Brown, "I got a rock." It's so easy to sit back and feel sorry for ourselves because things did not turn out quite how we had hoped.

When I was a kid watching the Peanuts Halloween special, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” I sympathized with Charlie Brown. In the program, each child would approach a front door and scream out “Trick-or-Treat” and be given candy. Out in the street they would then stand and compare what they had received, but poor Charlie Brown always came up empty of sweets. He would say, “I got a rock.” This disappointment increased from house to house as each time he repeated, "I got a rock." Viewers worldwide felt so sorry for Charlie Brown when the show first aired that candy was mailed in for him.

Go find your joy!

Finding joy.

Managing not only your illness, but the side effects, treatments, infections, secondary illnesses and more can quickly make it feel like God handed you a bag of rocks. Surprisingly, I have adapted over the years and learned to be content in circumstances I never thought I could find joy in. I've stopped comparing what’s in my bag of life with what those around me are getting out of life. I have learned to find joy by living the inspired life!

Dance in the rain.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass.
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass.

Dance in the rain.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain,” wrote Vivian Greene.

There is a quiet conviction that is required from someone with a chronic condition to live gracefully, without getting bitter. For the last 18 years I have battled one illness after another, until I was finally diagnosed with lupus 4 years ago. Every day I fight fatigue, pain. There were even times that I seriously thought about death. Seeking help from a Psychiatrist helped with that. Throughout the last few years I have found alternative remedies that helped with my illness. It is a trial and error process, but I have selected a few that I use on a daily basis. Although I haven’t stopped trying alternative therapies, I am finally accepting the possibility that I may never get as well as I was in my twenties.

Enjoy life's joys and treasures!

According to Bernhard, “Envy is a poison, crowding out any chance of feeling peaceful and serene in the mind.”

After feeling envious, we need to return to our lives with enthusiasm. While we may not be able to do what others do or have what they have, our own lives are filled with wonderful experiences that can make us rich and able people., No matter who you are, what you own, how you live, where you live, each of us is living a very important life, complete with pain, memories and pleasure. So respect yourself and this life that you are living. Concentrate on all its joys and treasures that your life offers you on a daily basis.

© 2016 Gina Welds Hulse

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    • profile image

      Kathleen Kerswig 

      2 years ago

      Well said Gina!

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      2 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Kathleen, thank you so much for sharing. I appreciate your words. Nineteen years ago I flatlined on the operating table. My team of surgeons, and myself, all believe that a "Higher Power" (their words) brought me back because I should not be here. I fully believe I have been given a second chance at life. Yes, I fight illness daily, but I find joy in the moments. Life is precious, no matter what is going on. We should live it.

    • profile image

      Kathleen Kerswig 

      2 years ago

      There was a time in my life when I could only see the negative aspects of my life. I complained often to anyone who would listen. But after facing some extremely difficult life challenges, I woke up to a new perspective on life. Today, I find so much to be grateful for, even when life is not working out the way I think it should. Thank you for sharing these thoughts about finding joy in life. I resonate with this article. Blessings!

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