Battling the 7 sins. First up… envy

Envy has always been one of the more difficult of the classic seven sins for me. Gluttony, sloth, pride, anger and greed, in comparison, were never much of a problem… okay, I lied. I definitely have issues with oversnacking (especially milk chocolate digestive biscuits) and dragging my feet to work/house chores. But envy is definitely top of the list most times during the day. The question is, why?

Maybe it’s a girl thing, but it’s definitely tough to go out and not be envious of head-turning beautiful girls, especially those who seem to be endlessly blessed with long straight hair, slender bodies and classic bone structure.

Being a Muslim girl who has been taught since puberty that a girl’s beauty is to be covered and only shown to her husband (although some quarters claim that the verse refers to the Prophet’s wives), I have tried covering my hair since I graduated from university. Even if I didn’t choose to do that, (and I believe it’s a personal choice as modesty, kindness and wisdom are far more important qualities in a Muslim woman rather than her physical dressing), I could never have looked as gorgeous as them anyway – and I’m sure not even with plastic surgery or tons of makeup.

All this would be fine if I didn’t feel jealous or some internal longing to be above-average beautiful. However, I admit, unfortunately, that I do. So what’s a girl to do? (and look, she rhymes too).

Well, in situations such as these, I have gotten pretty good at just accepting who I am and what I have been blessed with. So i didn’t get that Gisele-like bone structure or Natalie Portman-like clear skin and beautiful features. Well, maybe Gisele can’t carry a tune – and at least i can. Maybe Natalie Portman is no Harvard graduate – oh, wait, she is – so that’s not a very good example. But you get my drift.

However, it’s extremely tough not to be even a teensy weensy envious of that girl who has everything. You know her, there’s always one in your school or your office or in your family/circle of friends. She’s beautiful, smart, funny, born rich and blessed with a great husband, kids and career. And to top it all – she’s actually really nice! I can’t even be supremely jealous of friends like these because they’re just too nice and you know they do deserve all their blessings.

So how do I handle that? Well, I think of girls who are worse off than me. Girls who are way hotter, brainier, and nicer than me, but maybe they were not blessed with a very nice family growing up. Or maybe they are poor and struggling to break into the middle class. Or maybe they never got a break and are stuck in some unfortunate events/stage in life. Whereas I have had so many blessings and rahmat dari Allah swt. When I am reminded of these, I shut up and be thankful.



Categories: Friendship, Musings

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