Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, June 15, 2009


For as long as I can remember, I've had a problem with jealousy. Never satisifed with my appearance, I envied other girls. I wanted long straight hair rather than short curly hair; I wanted to be 5' 7" rather than 5' 3 1/2; I wanted smooth, olive-toned skin, not fair, freckled skin. The list could go on and on, but I'll spare you. There was always someone prettier, smarter, more talented, a better friend, wiser, ay yay yay, if I'm not careful, I'll get myself into a snit.

Growing up, feeling less than everyone else on the planet was my state of being. Now, not so much. But jealousy still flares up now and then and stops me in my tracks. Like being envious of writers who were talented and lucky enough to find agents and have their books published traditionally. Or being jealous of those who find self-promotion easy and effortless (time-consuming, maybe, but not an emotional hardship).

What I've learned is that if I'm feeling jealous, it means I'm off balance. Because when I'm centered, I know that each of us is unique. We have our own talents and gifts to offer the world. And that I am a loving, kind, caring human being with good intentions and a good heart.

I read somewhere that comparison is an act of vengeance against ourselves. So when I'm feeling envious, I'm literally attacking myself. The key is to catch the feeling in the moment, bring it out into the open rather than allowing it to lurk in my unconscious, where it can fester and cause negative feelings. Then I can apply another 12-step slogan: the 3 A's: Awareness, Acceptance, Action. Once I'm aware that I am feeling jealous, I need to accept the feeling. Oftentimes, if a feeling is negative, we tend to deny its existence. From acceptance flows right action. I can either work on improving whatever it is I am jealous of, or accept my limitations in that area and move on.



Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Interesting...I'd never thought about jealousy being an attack on ourselves. But it's very true.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Anonymous said...

But you have so much going for yourself! Why be jealous of others??? You're living the dream!

Helen Ginger said...

Wonderful post. I know exactly how your feel. I now wonder why it take so long to come to this kind of realization!

Straight From Hel

Joanne said...

I think too that sometimes just admitting to a feeling helps to defuse it somehow. It lets us look at it closely and then it seems to lose some of its power. It's so true what you say, that we're all unique with our own talents and gifts. How wonderful to be able to share them even further via the internet and blogging, opening up so many more doors.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Through the years, I've discovered those who seem to have so much and lead the perfect lives have their share of problems and jealousies, too. Knowing that makes it easier to be happy with myself and my flaws and to realize there is no one else I’d rather be.


Anonymous said...

Well put and honest muse. Also an interesting twist to identify jealousy as an attack on one's self. So true, though, now that I think of it that way.

Perceptive post, Karen.

The Old Silly From Free Spirit Blog

Anonymous said...

My sentiments pretty much. I made my protagonist a little bit taller then me, a little bit stronger, faster, better looking, etc. Incorporating emotions and feelings into a character's personality and into the plot are essential for a good story. I used greed for Breakthrough. Greed is an ugly sin and motivates people to do evil things.

- Stephen Tremp

N A Sharpe said...

That is an interesting perspective on jealousy. I never thought of it that way, but there is great validity there. Thanks for sharing that insight.

Nancy, from Just a Thought…

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I’ve been pretty lucky with this. I think I’m pretty secure in my skin. I learned early on that there’s always someone who is in someway better than me…and, they’re pretty easy to find. Ha. So, I don’t much worry about, “the other guy.” Like I said, I’m lucky.


Patricia Stoltey said...

Jealousy's a tough one. Most people feel twinges now and then, I think. I always envied young women who had strong, healthy knees, and it most definitely was an attack on myself. Stupid old knees.

The Practical Preserver said...

Everyone has something. Some wounds are visible and some aren't. This would be a great topic for a nonfiction tome, when you have time (insert picture of Karen ROFL)