I was talking with a brother of mine the other day, and a thought came out of my mouth I had never had before, “I use to be envious when I would see all the pictures of you guys out at all those events or showing off the new bikes”. This in itself was not at all surprising, what I said next was eye-opening. “But now, I look at what you are accomplishing and instead of envy I feel inspired.” This was a revelation for me. I realized at that moment that the constant work I have done with living by spiritual principles may actually be paying off. What was once a defect of my character – envy – has begun to change into inspiration.
I have had the same struggles as most of society with life on life’s terms. I have a family to support. Bills, including a mortgage, to pay, 3.5 kids who are all able to be in some sort of activity. Activities that, as a dad, I want to be there as much as possible. All of these are blessings. But they all involve some sacrifice on my part. Whether its choosing to pay for my son’s karate lessons instead of paying to go on a motorcycle run. Or choosing to attend one of my daughter’s dance recitals instead of going out on bike night with my brothers. Or, Instead of going out for coffee with friends who are single, do not yet have kids or who’s kids are already grown, I simply coming home at a reasonable hour to help my wife with dinner and getting kids ready for the next day’s school.
Now I realize how selfish it sounds when I right about all the wonderful gifts I have in my life and yet at times I find myself complaining about what I don’t have or can’t do. But then that’s the point. We tend to always look at what others have and what we don’t. We tend to envy our neighbors or try to make ourselves feel better by showing off what we have that they don’t. As they say, ‘We compare our insides to others outsides’. Or, ‘The grass is always greener on the other side’.
Today I’m choosing to look at the green grass next door and instead of being envious of my neighbor’s yard, I’m being inspired to change my own. I’m looking around and seeing how I want to change in my life. I’m asking those around me that seem to have balance and ask how? And, looking at those that seem to have similar limitations and ask why.
Bottom line, you have two dogs fighting in the yard. One is ENVY the other is INSPIRATION. Which dog is going to win? The one you feed the most!
“Always aspire to inspire before we expire!”