I was struck dumb by envy a few days ago. One of my favorite bloggers released an excerpt from her new book and I couldn’t wait to read it. As I soaked up every word, my excitement turned to a sick feeling of discouragement. The excerpt was so awesome. It was everything I would write it if I could write like her. She was reading my mind! But instead of feeling understood and encouraged, I felt a sinking feeling that she’s saying everything I’ve ever wanted to say better than I can say it. Why bother to write at all? The best words have been taken.
As I was reeling from the disappointment and wrestling with feelings of ineptitude, I saw a bee walk across my floor. Bees love our yard and if we leave a door open for any amount of time, one is bound to fly in. I’ve discovered that there are two types of bees that fly into the house. One type recognizes her mistake. She flies into the walls, into your hair, into anything that she thinks might be a way out of her prison. She buzzes intentionally and passionately. As hard as I try to get her to fly back out the door she came in through, she fights me every step of the way, almost as if she’s saying I went through that door already. I know better than to try it again. I’ve learned that if I open the kitchen window, she eventually flies out and never looks back.
The other type of bee flies into the house and tamely walks along the counters of her prison as if asking can I make my home here? She inevitably ends up by the kitchen window, barely able to fly and will often quietly die without a struggle. If I manage to shoo her out the window, she hesitates on the sill, paralyzed by some invisible force holding her back. That type of bee almost never recovers from being shoved out the window. She simply doesn’t recognize that she’s free.
I thought about all this as I watched the bee walk across my floor. It occurred to me that the problem with envy is that it masks a deeper feeling of lacking abundance. All the best jobs are taken. I’ll never make enough money. Someone already does it better. These kinds of thoughts keep us from being all we can be but even worse, they keep us from even trying. Imagine what we could do if we didn’t make our home in a prison of self-defeating thoughts.
The feeling of envy in my gut was slowly burning out. I thought about my favorite blogger and how she’d hate for me to feel like her voice was drowning out my own. I figured she wouldn’t want me to put her on that kind of pedestal and that she’d be the first to say that there are never enough voices. She’d want me to use my voice and to spread the message that there’s enough abundance for every one of us.
You see, I am not a docile bee. I won’t give up. I’ll keep writing even if no one reads it but I’ll especially keep writing for all the people who need to hear messages of hope, love and faith. Yes, all the words have already been written and by people far more talented at communicating than me but sometimes we need to hear the same message over and over before it sinks in. I know this to be true because my mom used to say I’ve told you a thousand times.
I am not a docile bee. Buzz.
Does something hold you back from seeking your dreams? Do you ever feel that there’s not enough abundance to go around? I’d love to hear your thoughts.