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.