What is it about jealousy that really pushes our buttons?
We’ve all had the feeling:
You scroll down a friend’s Facebook page, only to see that she’s scored an awesome new job opportunity you secretly been dying to go for.
Or you run into an acquaintance at the mall, and discover she’s lost 20 pounds since you saw her last.
…Your throat tightens.
…You feel a twinge of nausea.
…Suddenly, you have to get away from this person – now.
Or perhaps you give them a weak fake smile, waiting for the opportunity to notice something unflattering about them–anything that will make you feel a little better about yourself.
Why is jealousy so sickening?
I believe jealousy is so stomach-turning because it combines our greatest falsehoods with our greatest truths.
What do I mean? Any time we are jealous about something that someone else has, it’s a sign that this is something we truly, deeply want. We may have been hiding, suppressing, or ignoring this desire for a long time, but jealousy brings it out of us. So in this sense, jealousy reveals our deepest truths–the desires and expressions of our hearts that we have been afraid to call forth.
If it served this purpose alone, jealousy would simply be a gift. But alas, along with this rose comes a thorn, in the form of a false message: we believe that because we don’t have this thing we desire, we are unworthy, “less than”, or shameful.
It’s this false message that poisons the well. You see, we think that if we haven’t manifested our deepest desires into reality, then that means something about us–something bad.
But that is a lie. That is utterly false.
You are wonderful and perfect and good – exactly as you are. There’s nothing you need to do to “earn” that, and nothing can take that away from you.
Seeing someone who has something we want strikes a nerve in us, because it makes us think we are lacking in some way.
But you are perfectly enough. You are whole and complete, just as you are.
If there is something you want and you don’t have it yet (home, car, college degree, hot wardrobe), that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It simply means this: you don’t have it yet!
If we can make that realization, we can remove the thorns of jealousy and simply receive the rose.
…Because there is a rose. Whenever we feel jealous, it’s a message that we have been neglecting something truly important to us.
If it didn’t matter to us, we wouldn’t be jealous. But jealousy is a wonderful sign, pointing to areas we haven’t been taking enough responsibility for.
Jealous of your friend’s hot body?
…Great opportunity to assess where you haven’t been prioritizing fitness in your schedule.
Envious of a colleague’s rockin’ promotion?
…Perfect chance to ask your boss what areas you need to improve in.
Green-eyed at your cousins perfectly behaved kids?
…Excellent time to try out some new ways to relate to your own.
If we learn to look at jealousy in this way, we can empower ourselves to appreciate the rose, and disregard the thorns. So today, I’d like to ask you to think about someone you feel jealous of–and then notice a few things.
1) What bodily sensations and feelings arise in you? It’s great to notice these feeling and sensations, and be present and compassionate to them.
2) What are the underlying false thoughts and beliefs that come along with the jealousy?
[ …For example: If you are envious of a friend’s new home, can you see that you have a false belief that because you do not have a new home, you are “less than” somehow? If you are single, and you become sick at the sight of a new couple in love, can you see that you are stuck in the belief that you are “not enough” if you are alone?]
Challenge these beliefs and claim your inherent worthiness. It’s your birthright!
3) What are the deep desires underlying the jealousy? It’s okay to own them. It’s your time to claim them.
4) What can you do–starting now–to call these desires into your life? Focus on concrete actions you can take, instead of comparing yourself to another person. If you can truly say you are giving 100% in all areas, you will find you are less jealous of others.
Let me know how it goes!
The founder of FreeYourFocus.com, Nicole Belle teaches women how to eat what they love and still lose weight. Focusing on a “whole life” approach, Nicole helps women make their lives bigger and juicier…so they can watch their waistlines become smaller and sexier.