The Eve Syndrome

“Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Gen 2 vs. 8

Imagine you are placed in a beautiful stately house, where you had access to every convenience possible and opulence that is reserved for only kings, queens and dignitaries. There are various rooms in this house which you were given control of with the exception of one. The room contains radioactive waste and you are told you will die if you enter it. For some time, you have enjoyed all the luxuries of this house, the forbidden room never entering your mind. A servant in the house approaches you suddenly, a grave expression upon his face.

He talks to you in a low voice, asking about your time in the house and how you are finding it. You reply, “Fine, thank you,” taken aback by the sincerity and concern in his voice; you know there is more he wants to say. Finally, after some more brooding and anxious glances he speaks, “That room they speak of, the one with the supposed ‘radioactive waste,’ do you really think it will kill you?

Of course not, the masters of this house just prefer to deceive their guests and use scare tactics to steer you away from that room. You see, that room contains all their secrets and strategies for becoming rich; they want to deprive you of the opportunity of being just like them. Why be content with just the rooms they’ve given you and nothing else when you could have so much more?” This strikes you. “Why would he tell me this?” You ask yourself. “Is it true?”

“Is it true” is what we ask ourselves when we begin to experience discontentment with where we are and what we have. It’s the question Satan uses to get us to compromise what we have, for what we don’t have or what we think we are missing. A similar scenario to the story I just told you above was what happened between Eve and Satan in Genesis chapter 3.

Satan asked Eve if God had really told them not to eat of every tree in the garden. Eve was able to clarify that they could eat the fruit of the trees in the garden with the exception of the tree in the middle of the garden. The more she rationalised what Satan was saying to her, the more tempted she became, until she started to see that the tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes and desirable to make one wise. She not only ate of the fruit of this tree, she also passed it round to her husband, Adam.

I’m sure majority of you reading this journal know fully well about the story of Eve. However we may never have for once considered that we all may at times suffer from the Eve Syndrome. Let me explain a little bit what Eve Syndrome is.
Eve Syndrome is what makes us ponder over what we don’t have or what we are missing while ignoring the richness and vastness of all the other things we have.

Eve Syndrome is what lures us to think that we may be missing something in our lives, marriage, relationships, family, education, jobs etc. The Eve Syndrome isn’t what poor people or people we consider to have a certain type of lack, have. It is also something that people who are seemingly prosperous and have plenty, suffer from. It is the reason we have many divorces today, why some give in to peer pressure, why there are so many failed relationships, gang culture and so on and so forth. Just like Eve, we tend to think that we are missing something that is outside the boundaries set by God, parents and people in authority over us. It’s the reason we make excuses and justify some of our unpalatable behaviours and blame others.

In my view, we don’t pause to reflect as much as we should about all the privileges we have, all the joys that surround us, the love from family or from friends. Instead, just like the story above or like Eve’s story in the Garden of Eden, we allow Satan, media and pressure from others to trick us into thinking that we would be better off only if so and so could happen… Only if I could leave this marriage, only if I could quit my job, only if I wasn’t stuck in this church, only if and only if…

Whenever you are tempted to think that the grass may be greener on the other side, pause and think, as it’s possible that you may be exhibiting Eve Syndrome. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with aspiring and wanting to develop and be better or improve yourself. However, if aspiring or wanting to do those things mean you will have to neglect, overlook or undermine all the other things that are going well for you, you may be operating with Eve Syndrome.

Here are 3 things below for you to consider if you want to avoid or break free from Eve Syndrome:

1. Write a daily list of all the things you are thankful for and focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have. What you focus on becomes bigger and no matter how beautiful what you have is, it will soon diminish in your sight if you keep looking at other things

2. Spend time with and helping those less fortunate than you, so that you can recognise some of the privileges you have

3. Read the scriptures and meditate on verses that demonstrate God’s abundant love and generosity