This is great question because, for sure, each and every one of us goes through times where we get stuck these negative states. Quite simply, the payment for these feelings is the feelings themselves.
Let’s say, for example, that we are envious. The “punishment,” so to speak, is the envy itself because by our envy, we are never satisfied in this life. When we have envy, then no matter what we have—even if it is so much—there is always someone else that has something more that we want, and thus we are not able to appreciate that which is around us.
Now what about when we are in a state of greed? In this state, we become prisoners to our pursuit of wealth and we can no longer appreciate our life as it exists. Our greed becomes our prison. And our prison is our punishment. When we have greed, we do not live happily because we can’t live happily. We are constantly worried about “who’s going to talk about me” or “who’s going to say this about me” or “who’s going to be close to me.”
Once we understand, however, that there is a structure that underlies the universe and that everything that happens in our life is there to teach us or to bring us to a place to complete our correction, then we will not fall into these states of envy and greed because we will understand that God put us in this framework, in this body, and in this environment to be the best we can be to finish our correction.
You know, they say happiness is like a butterfly. If we chase it, it flies away. But if we turn and busy ourselves with sharing and other positive actions, then happiness comes and sits lightly on our shoulder. Our current circumstances are not a punishment, but simply a tool to help us rise above and elevate to another level of spiritual consciousness. Once we really understand this, then we cannot fall prey to greed or envy. We are where we are because that is where we must be to go to something better.