Saturday, October 22, 2011

Envy: one of the deadlies, for a reason

Envy can hold us back. I don't believe in "sin" per se, so I'll call it a gift. If we are willing to look at these feelings that plague us and get in the way of our progress on the road to getting what we want in life, then they can be gifts, even envy.
The other day I met up with Ivy* a long-time friend whom I've only ever known online, until now. She and I have many friends in common. Several of them live in my home city. She started our conversation by exclaiming "Glinda* is magnificent, isn't she?" *names are changed to protect me and them from embarrassment.
I said that Glinda and I had gotten off to a bad start. Ivy encouraged me to "let it fly" or words to that effect, but I said that's not who I am. I really don't have anything bad to say about Glinda.
I could have recounted the way in which Glinda and I got off to a bad start TEN YEARS AGO, but what would be the point of that? If we haven't resolved or forgotten that by now, we never will. The truth is, and now that I've been made uncomfortable by meeting up with Ivy face to face and finding out she likes Glinda AT LEAST as much as she likes me (maybe more!), I have to examine what it is that keeps me from actually liking Glinda.
I could -- and have -- fall back on the fact that many of my local playwright friends don't hang out with her, don't like her, supposedly because when she first started writing plays she padded her resume. Lied about her productions. Maybe she did. The truth is, she sure doesn't have to pad anything any longer. She has productions -- real ones, not just readings, like most of us get or hope to get these days. And she has them frequently, and everywhere. She is well-loved (see above example of Ivy) and well-respected by people from other cities, as well as from my own. Clearly other playwrights and other theatre folks in my city do love and respect Glinda, and if they ever had a problem with her, they've moved on.
As for me, I've been wallowing around in ENVY. Feeling that it is unfair that Glinda should be getting productions, getting respect for her work, getting readings in far-flung corners of the earth, winning awards and grants, having actors clamoring to read her scripts, directors asking to read her new works, producers wondering when she'll have something just right for their theatre companies. Unfair that SHE has it, and I don't.
Ironic because when anyone else ever said anything remotely like that to me about her, I said "No, it's great that she's being produced! Any time any woman is produced makes it more likely that another woman will be produced." What's more, I believe that. But somewhere inside, I wasn't believing it about myself.
It's a new day. I do deserve it. I have a reading coming up next Friday in New York City. I have a new play that will have a reading in Fertile Ground in January. I'm writing a new short play right now. My work will be seen. I will receive useful feedback that I will incorporate to make even better work. And I am finished with Envy of Glinda! Thank you Ivy for showing it to me and helping me clear that up!
Readers, are any of the deadly gifts getting in the way of your progress to your better life? Do you feel like sharing? Please, do tell!

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