Researchers in Germany found that one third of the Facebook users they studied reported that time spent on the social networking site left them feeling frustrated and angry. The primary source of those negative feelings? Envy. Facebook sets the stage for envy with its endless opportunities to compare ourselves to others.
(Tricycle, The Buddhist Review, Fall 2015, pg. 104)
My reflection: The results of this study make total sense to me, especially during the holidays. When Jeff was sick with addiction, I flip-flopped between feeling joy and sometimes envy for my friend’s good fortunes. Silently I asked myself: Why them? Why their children? Why not mine? I felt deep sadness for my own disappointments and all the things they seemed to have that I didn’t. Smiling faces and snapshots of their family’s achievements were steady reminders that my son wasn’t doing similar great things and, in fact, was destroying himself.
Today’s Promise to consider: I will start the New Year with gratitude for what is good in my life. I will work to counter feelings of envy and jealousy by being joyful for other’s successes. Today I’ll remember that my life is my life and it’s all I have. There’s always something for which to be grateful.