“He hates and loves the Ring, as he hates and loves himself. He will never be rid of his need for it.” (Gandalf about Gollum)
I recently took up an old habit of meditation, during which time I made some interesting discoveries about myself. As I reflected on my inner life, I was quickly confronted by the old “bullies on my block”, certain fears that have haunted me for as long as I can remember. Upon closer examination, I discovered that my fears had company and that for every fear, there was corresponding envy to go with it. Hmm, I asked myself, “why is it that fear and envy appear to travel together?” I continued my investigation, taking a careful inventory of these bullies. I identified three basic insecurities:
1. I am afraid of the uncertainty of life.
2. I am haunted by my past losses and I dread future losses.
3. I am especially afraid of the pain associated with personal relationships, specifically the pain associated with being unwanted or rejected.
When I brought my fears out into the light for roll call, I began to see what envy was up to and how it was related to my fears. I saw that envy was a parasite, a termite feasting on the wood-pile of my fears. I could see how envy was feasting on my fear of uncertainty – for I envy those people who seem to be, more or less, managing their life in a predictable and rewarding way. I saw how envy was feasting on my fear of loss – for I envy those people who appear to be always gaining and rarely if ever losing.
I realized that while envy has a voracious appetite for fear, it especially savors the fear of being unwanted and rejected. Truth be told, I have always longed to be one of the “blessed” people, those celebrated for their “quality”; but my fear, of course, is that I am at best average and at worst, “no damn good” . . . and so envy continues to feast. I envy those people who are recognized and esteemed in ways that I can only dream of . . . and envy keeps feeding.
Envy feeds on my fears, becoming engorged and yet, strangely, my fears are neither consumed nor diminished. In fact, my fears continue to grow . . . what if people could hear these thoughts of mine? What if others knew how insecure I was? What if my friends could see how envious and petty I really was? (Delete > Move to Trash).