success story

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Thou Shalt Not Covet

Published January 23, 2016 by Maryanne

Grass always greenerThe Grass is Always Greener on My Side

When I drew the above photo 10 years ago, it wasn’t meant to be cocky, it was meant to illustrate that it’s best to appreciate all you have in life. And, God knows I do.

Appreciate what you have and be supportive of the successes of others too. That is why we are on earth. God wants us to have good things in life, so live it to the fullest.

Like many people, I’ve had a rough start, only to excel in my 40s and 50s. I’ve been bullied relentlessly as a child and a teen. My heart was broken when my grandmother, who raised me, developed diabetes and died way too young. Then I had a series of health scares, when doctors said it could have been cancer (it wasn’t!) and I was in and out of hospitals for tests from 2003 to 2005. And not to mention all the fake friends, failed romances, and bad career moves (and of course jealousy along the way; it’s never really the job, it’s always the people, right?)

While life may never be 100 percent perfect (though sometimes it is for a short time), I’m thrilled to say, as a late bloomer, I became self employed in my 40s, married the love of my life, raised two beautiful cats, and am healthy!

To get to this point is a lot of work, I will not lie. However, once you are there, it’s pretty easy to have life fall into place, or get back into place when you get off track. It’s incredible and magical. Who wouldn’t want to be so happy, right?

One of the biggest tragedies in a woman’s life is when people are jealous of her. Jealousy is an ugly disease. Even if you’re an atheist or a satanist, you can’t deny that God’s words “Thou shalt not covet” is damn good advice. It just makes life so free and easy when you live out of love and not envy.

It rips my soul apart when people insinuate that I only have good health because it’s genes and that I didn’t work hard for it. That is so catty and so untrue. Even when I shared with people that my grandmother died of diabetes; and that my mother has heart disease, I didn’t get much compassion. And it hurt.

People have also been resentful that I love my career. They focus only on what they don’t have instead of what they COULD have! Now listen … when I was 18, my first job was for Scribner Book Company as a shipping clerk. I loved that job and would have stayed there for the rest of my life, had they not merged with another company. Over the years, jobs came and went and I always loved to work. But many of us know, work places are full of catty women (and men too!) By the age of 45, I couldn’t take any more office politics, gossip, and stress.

Before you resent someone for starting their own business (and succeeding) ask yourself … do you know what it’s like to leave your desk several times a day, crying in the bathroom because of a company that has poor management and hasn’t trained you to do your job properly; or because of women saying nasty things to you? Stress in the workplace is the most horrible thing ever. If you have an abusive boyfriend, you can leave him without a setback — you are free! But people need to work! And stress can kill you. When you’re at the age where you can be prone to stress related diseases such as shingles — is job aggravation really worth it?

THAT mindset is what pushed me to start my own business. I took all those lemons as a voice from the universe that I am not a team player and need to work for myself. And, yes, I am proud of how far I’ve come. So, please do not covet me for my successes in life. I deserve all the happiness I have. I embrace life and have a helluva lot of fun. People who resent others for what they have should really be ashamed of themselves.

When someone is as positive as I am, that’s the kind of person you should want on YOUR side. Pissing someone like me off, is not in your favor. Happy people live to make other people happy — that’s what we do best. But it has to be a group effort. I can’t flog a dead horse if someone wants to remain in the same place, day after day, year after year. You can only grow if you are willing to take the chance and break out from Point A to Point B. And you don’t get there by giving others people the evil eye if they have what you don’t. You get there by embracing other people and praising them for their hard work. Instead of gossiping, try to say, “Wow, I’d like to be like her/him!”

If you want to be in a happy relationship, hang out with others in happy relationships and someday that will be you. If you want a career, hang out with others who have good careers and your turn will come. There is no need to covet — ever!

If someone can be a friend to me, I’ll be a friend double/triple to them. I’m the one who is always giving compliments, looking on the bright side, helping others with their problems, dropping everything if someone calls for advice. I’m the first to acknowledge the success of others. The first to congratulate someone on their engagement. The one who thinks about people’s kids. And the friend who will always answer emails.

So next time you want to hate someone because you THINK they have more than you do, please DON’T. You do not know a person’s  story and how hard their lives were (or are). Happy people get there from hard work — it doesn’t happen overnight. Your negativity may hurt someone, but it will also inspire them to write a blog (such as this) which will inspire others in years to come. How do I know this? Because some of my most inspiring blogs, written over three years ago, are still getting the highest stats.

Happiness is a choice — one I’ll always chose! (As I type with a pretty cat sitting on my lap!)

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon: