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I was struck dumb by envy a few days ago. One of my favorite bloggers released an excerpt from her new book and I couldn’t wait to read it. As I soaked up every word, my excitement turned to a sick feeling of discouragement. The excerpt was so awesome. It was everything I would write it if I could write like her. She was reading my mind! But instead of feeling understood and encouraged, I felt a sinking feeling that she’s saying everything I’ve ever wanted to say better than I can say it. Why bother to write at all? The best words have been taken.

As I was reeling from the disappointment and wrestling with feelings of ineptitude, I saw a bee walk across my floor. Bees love our yard and if we leave a door open for any amount of time, one is bound to fly in. I’ve discovered that there are two types of bees that fly into the house. One type recognizes her mistake. She flies into the walls, into your hair, into anything that she thinks might be a way out of her prison. She buzzes intentionally and passionately. As hard as I try to get her to fly back out the door she came in through, she fights me every step of the way, almost as if she’s saying I went through that door already. I know better than to try it again. I’ve learned that if I open the kitchen window, she eventually flies out and never looks back.

The other type of bee flies into the house and tamely walks along the counters of her prison as if asking can I make my home here? She inevitably ends up by the kitchen window, barely able to fly and will often quietly die without a struggle. If I manage to shoo her out the window, she hesitates on the sill, paralyzed by some invisible force holding her back. That type of bee almost never recovers from being shoved out the window. She simply doesn’t recognize that she’s free.

I thought about all this as I watched the bee walk across my floor. It occurred to me that the problem with envy is that it masks a deeper feeling of lacking abundance. All the best jobs are taken. I’ll never make enough money. Someone already does it better. These kinds of thoughts keep us from being all we can be but even worse, they keep us from even trying. Imagine what we could do if we didn’t make our home in a prison of self-defeating thoughts.

The feeling of envy in my gut was slowly burning out. I thought about my favorite blogger and how she’d hate for me to feel like her voice was drowning out my own. I figured she wouldn’t want me to put her on that kind of pedestal and that she’d be the first to say that there are never enough voices. She’d want me to use my voice and to spread the message that there’s enough abundance for every one of us.

You see, I am not a docile bee. I won’t give up. I’ll keep writing even if no one reads it but I’ll especially keep writing for all the people who need to hear messages of hope, love and faith. Yes, all the words have already been written and by people far more talented at communicating than me but sometimes we need to hear the same message over and over before it sinks in. I know this to be true because my mom used to say I’ve told you a thousand times.

I am not a docile bee. Buzz.

Does something hold you back from seeking your dreams? Do you ever feel that there’s not enough abundance to go around? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

45 thoughts on “Buzz

  1. Hi Karen,
    Just wanted you to know that I came back to this post…maybe my very favorite!
    As I shared earlier, I’m working on something for the April 30 Braveheart Post on RoS. Thanks for your permission in letting me quote you! The hard part is picking just a small snippet–I want everyone to devour this like I did!!
    Thank you again…your voice brings me true peace 🙂


  2. What beautiful words you write! Made me cry. Now that’s great writing! (And look… I’m bottom of the barrel envious of you 😉
    Yes, never stop writing. People are most definitely listening, inspired by your words, insight and wisdom. 😀


  3. I’ve felt that sinking feeling so many times, and almost gave up. But it seems I have to write, in spite of my shortcomings; it is still my passion. I know my point of view is unique, and the way I write is mine. So whether or not I”m good compared to anyone else, I keep chugging along. 🙂 This is so well written, by the way. Thanks! 🙂


  4. Hi Karen, thank you for this great post! I love how you got all this from a bee! Very insightful! And I love the last paragraph about not giving up! I think that is very important in whatever we’re trying to accomplish!

    I have to say that although I try, so hard, to not compare myself to others, I just can’t seem to help it sometimes. I think my biggest block is fear, but sometimes I am not quite sure what I am scared off. But I just keep doing it! For instance, I am not a writer, I never liked writing, but I knew it was probably my weakest asset, so I write… and I keep writing and I learn from others and I keep writing… and I am starting to really like it! Give me a few more years, I might get really good a it too! 🙂


    1. You’re a great writer! Writing is just about telling a story and our stories lift each other up. For me, writing is the easiest way to tell stories. If I could be a public speaker, I think I’d be just as content. Thanks Maggie!


  5. I have been struggling to find my voice and folks like you and others out here have given me encouragement with your words. As I read your post I thought of this song.

    Because I think that encouraging folks to do better and to become the best that they can be is a form of love song, the love from Him,the most important love to show.


    1. I love that song and I totally see the connection! Finding my voice has come in stages and like just about everything in life, it’s not a linear process. Ultimately, I just can’t shut up. Thank you for putting a love song in my head to carry throughout the day!


      1. You are most certainly and always welcome. Thank you for your words of encouragement and just as an aside remember that life is what happens while we are busy making other plans. Have a very blessed day†††


  6. Reblogged this on God, Drugs and Thugs and commented:
    I am not the only person out here blogging about my experience in sobriety. And I’m not even the best at it. And that’s okay. My inspiration to get started was Heather Kopp in her Sober Boots. Sometimes I find myself thinking “I’ll never catch up to her.” As if it’s some sort of race! Lately, I’ve been looking for something new and have gotten discouraged because everything has already been done and it feels like there’s nothing left for me. Karen must’ve picked up on whatever frustration vibes I’ve been sending out into the world because she just reminded us of her first blog post at Mended Musings and it was exactly what I needed to hear today!

    So without further ado:


    1. I’m a huge fan of Heather Kopp too! After I decided to not blog anonymously I wasn’t sure if I wanted to blog about recovery. Then I read her book and realized I had too. You might also like Jana at if you don’t know her already!


  7. Some voices are only meant for certain ears and some ears can only hear certain voices.

    Search for the ears that belong to your voice. They’re out there waiting.



  8. You have a great voice and it emanates throughout your blog. Envy is crippling; sometimes we feel as if we didn’t act soon enough; we’ve lost an opportunity and it won’t present itself to us. But I really firmly believe that “missed opportunities” are merely motivators that help us to bounce back and stronger than ever. Hang in there, sista. Your voice will continue to develop as you are on the same plane as many of us here. Beside, do you think St, John would be pissed that there are so many versions of his stories out there? Each of us has a different take on a similar experience. So what resonates (I’m honestly coming to hate that word for its overuse) with us is generally what is familiar.
    And like Paul, I am totally envious that you thought of the bee analogy before I did. LOL
    Hugs to you,


  9. I have many faults but envy is the least of them. Don’t struggle with it much. And yet, I know this feeling you write of so well. I do truly think the universe waits for the most ready mind when it decides to be a muse. And if someone else is more ready than we are, away it goes . . .


  10. Wonderful post. I am envious that your first post was such a great one…lol. I am terrible at the envy / jealous thing, especially when it comes to things (the few) that I deem myself good at. So writing is one, for sure, and when I read post that sparkles, there is always a small part of me that wishes I wrote it. Or wonder why more people aren’t seeing it. Or wonder why I am not being seen about it. But that’s all my old stuff, my old way of thinking. It does trigger that whole thing of “why bother?”. Shut it all down, take off, don’t bother, etc. Again, old ideas. Run away.

    I’d love to say that those old ways don’t flare up, but it’s a challenge for this cat to get past it sometimes. I have to remember that I am on my own path. The more I worry about others and their accomplishments, the less serenity I have and less energy I have to do what I want / need to do.

    Fantastic post and something to chew on as I head out today 🙂



    1. Yes, running away. That’s the old me too. When I wrote this post I realized how arrogant it us to even compare myself to an author who has busted her butt to create what she has. Envy always has an arrogant side and being in recovery really helps point that out. Thank you for sharing your insight Paul! You’re one of my very favorite bloggers.


  11. This was so beautiful, Karen. Ugh. I was guilty of the envy bug just LAST NIGHT. It quickly went away when I shoed it off my shoulder, but it can be a pesky rascal.
    The bee metaphor is so perfect, poignant and relevant to me. In fact, there’s so much that’s good here that I don’t want to mar it with my own words. I’ll read this over and over again. I’ll also be sure to keep my kitchen window open 😉


    1. You BUZZ girl! The real shift for me occurred when I realized that I don’t want to be Momastery but that I was making excuses to give up before I even began. Now I just try to keep moving even if I don’t know where I’m going!


      1. I know EXACTLY what you mean. I’m working on my next post called “Compass”…just cuz I don’t know most days 🙂

        Side note: I’m working on my next post for Christy’s site. Would you mind if I comb through your site and look for snippets? Instead of all of my words, I want to take favorites from others. You have already said so many things that others would benefit from hearing. No pressure–I’d just use a paragraph or two, link back to you and your site for full credit. Totally up to you!
        I just love your work and want everyone to see it!!


          1. Me, too Karen! I’m open to ideas on what we can collaborate on.
            In the meantime, I’m going to grab a cup o tea and read your space. I’m out of town on business, so I have my down time tonight gloriously planned!!


  12. Reblogged this on Mended Musings and commented:

    Before I started this blog, I had another blog where I anonymously wrote about sobriety and recovery. When I decided to not be anonymous anymore, I started with a fresh blog and this is the first post I wrote. Side note: the blogger/author I’m talking about is Glennon Doyle Melton at Momastery.


  13. We’re on the same wavelength these days, young lady. I feel like a fauilure at times and I also feel myself envying some of my fellow bloggers who have achieved literary success by landing an agent and in some cases, a book deal.
    Hang in there, we’ll both be fine – in time.


    1. It’s funny because I’ve always been terrified of bees until recently. I don’t want to teach my kids to be afraid of them so I try to keep my cool. Acting like I’m not afraid has really helped me not to be afraid!


  14. I do that too. I read books and think “I’ll never be as good as writer X. I may as well give up now.” But I’ve only recently come to the realisation that yes, writer X is fantastic but they haven’t said what I have to say. Your voice is unique. If it hasn’t been heard, it should


  15. When I’m at the library researching for a novel I want to write I sometimes sit and look around at all the books. Some days I feel like there are too many books and so I shouldn’t even bother to try and add another to the barrage. Other days I feel the opposite. The sheer number of books gives me hope. If all of these people can get their books written and published, why can’t I?

    I love what you said, “there are never enough voices.”

    Keep writing!


  16. I often spend time feeling the say way – as in “why would I be X when there are thousands of others that do X better than me” – what I’m trying to now say is “Why NOT me?” It’s hard –

    And I need not point out, but will, that you are a fantastic writer – always have been and always will be. You were meant to write.

    What holds me back? Not suceeding but the fear of maintaining that sucess – that is the greatest fear for me.


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