There’s this other blogger, and I’m totally jealous of her.
I know, it’s a lame and immature thing, but I have these jealous thoughts and there it is. For the sake of this post I’ll call her MJIB (My Jealousy Issues Blogger).
For awhile I didn’t even realize these thoughts were there.
There were little trails of thought that swept through my mind. Whispery shifts, so quick I didn’t quite notice them. First a tiny, “How did MJIB do that,” here and then a subtle, “Well, MJIB probably just got lucky with that one,” there and the thoughts continued to grow more bold. Our enemy is so crafty in his ways.
Of course there are writers who have been blogging for years, have one million followers, and have published 10 books, but I’m not in their league. I barely compare myself to them. That’s more a hero-worship sort of thing.
MJIB and I started our websites around the same period of time. That’s where the jealous thoughts are much more dangerous. “What does MJIB have that I don’t have?” I find myself wondering.
By the way, I write a Christian blog. Those of us who write in the faith genre talk about how it’s all for the glory of God, so my words about hero worship probably sound totally narcissistic, and perhaps even sacrilegious. And maybe they are.
MJIB is a really good writer and an even smarter business woman. MJIB has a gorgeous website, she’s got a ton of followers, and she also happens to be a really nice person. (We are in some of the same online groups.) So, I can’t hate her, even if I sort of wanted to.
MJIB comes up with great topics that I see pop up in my social media, and when I see a new one, a part of me admires her, and another part of me thinks, “Drat it all, why didn’t I think of that topic?” I totally wish I had written that.
Sometimes it seems like everything she writes is spun out of gold. It all seems to work.
I know we each have our own voice and place.
I love my website. I love writing and I love all my precious, beautiful readers. (Thank you for reading. Don’t feel like you have to write and tell me you like my blog. Seriously — SERIOUSLY not the intent of this post. I promise.)
Then this happened.
Last week I went to an event where I chatted with another blogging friend of mine about our websites. Writers like to hang out and talk. It’s a way of procrastinating. (There is a large amount of procrastination involved in writing. It’s required as part of the process. Ask any writer.)
This writer friend of mine said, “Sara, I have to be honest, I’m totally jealous of your website. It’s gorgeous. And you have so many readers. How have you done it?”
I actually felt my face get a little tingly when she said that, because seriously, right before I had left for this event — not 20 minutes before this — I checked my Facebook page and felt this envious twinge about a particular new post I saw from MJIB.
My jealousy had grown over recent months. I was beyond little shifty whispers now. Jealousy wasn’t an all-out roar, but it was loud enough to be its own voice.
The friend’s words stopped me.
Wait a minute. She is jealous of me?
God woke me up with this conversation. He shook me hard enough to make my teeth rattle a little. It’s not okay for me to nurse this jealousy pity party I’d been having.
God says in Galatians,
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
Jealousy consumes and devours.
Do you see how to stop jealousy in its tracks? You have so many blessings that other people would only dream of owning.
Someone is praying for the blessings you take for granted.
When you are wrapped up in jealous thinking, you miss out on the life you have now. It’s a life lived over there somewhere (in the fantasy land of someone else’s life that you think is so great), and you miss out on your own today — the unique today God created for you.
I admit I still feel a tug on my heart when I see MJIB’s awesome posts roll across my computer screen. I don’t ignore the feelings, though, or allow them to fester. I admire her work and wish her well.
There’s plenty of room on the internet for both of us.
How do you deal with feelings of jealousy?
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I can really relate too, and love the procrastinate comment!
Thank you for this great post!
I think every writer can relate to procrastination. But it doesn’t sound so bad if we consider it a required part of our creative process. haha! (hugs) Thanks for sharing.
Elizabeth Meyers says
I’m fairly new to this blog writing gig and I can totally relate to this post. I laughed at the procrastination comment. So it’s not just me after all? I always feel like a dog that has to turn around 10 times before sitting in the grass. I have to waste a bunch of time before I can write anything. Why is that? Too funny!
Elizabeth, I am laughing out loud at your dog turning around to settle in the grass comment. Oh my goodness isn’t that so true! (Note: I am responding to blog comments and checking my Facebook status instead of writing the blog post I said I was going to do this morning!) I LOVE to write, so I’m not sure why I put it off. It’s scary…vulnerable. I think that’s why?
Thank you for being real and vulnerable in a public way. It is always so encouraging when fellow Christians share their reality because until we get to heaven, all Christians have to contend with their humanity and it is so refreshing to see we are not alone in the journey 🙂
Very true, lots of human stuff going on down here! Thanks for sharing.
Leslie Verner says
I have an MJIB, too. But one night not long ago as I was falling asleep, God seemed to say to me, “The world doesn’t need another MJIB. The world needs a Leslie Verner.” And that has really helped me. Just as the world needs a Sara Borgstede. 😉
Thank you for this comment, Leslie. I love how God spoke to you in this way, and now you are speaking this truth to me, as well. It touches my heart.
Bree Hogan says
Great post Sara! As Susan pointed out in her comment, I think we all have a little MJB syndrome in us. Totally natural and part of what it means to be human. The trick is recognising the signs and learning how to manage it.
Totally true! Learning to manage it, and for me, being honest with myself and turning it over to God instead of letting it fester.
Susan Shipe says
Sara, I think we all have some of this MJIB syndrome – if it becomes destructive we have a problem, if it helps us be more creative or thoughtful then I think it can be healthy. BUT, only we know where/how we are with it. You already know this, but I’ll tell you anyway. God has a plan. Period. The End. LOL. Is your MJIB a faith blogger?
Karen Courcy says
I have to say that this was a very brave writing! Your truth speaks volumes about the kind of writer and person you are. I think you have a wonderful beautiful blog, and you are your own special person, with your own special blog, and your wonderful special ideas . . . no 2 people are a like, and god created us that way. I know sometimes we all envy, all of us have been in a place where we wish we could be better than others or other things that we see… but if we stay in that place too long, we lose what is special and important about ourselves 🙂
Thank you for sharing this truth… and just remember – you are good enough just the way you are 🙂