Who did you last compare yourself with – and why? And do you ever feel jealous when you consider yourself to be the so-called underdog? Let’s inquire
OK, let’s check our starting ground first:
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in the world would be well, safe, sound, loved, and happy?
I think your answer is yes, but if you’re saying: “Well, not everyone…,” who are you excluding?
Is happiness just for you and the people you love or care about? And is it then also for the people they love and care for? Or do you – at some level – believe that you should be the only one living in such an exquisite way?
Who should be the one(s) living happily ever after in this world?
I’m pretty sure that your answer includes at least one or two more people than just yourself. But where and when then does our desire for others to be happy, end? And do we wish exquisite lives upon others in every situation or only if certain conditions are met? Like “only when I’m experiencing the exact same level of exquisiteness,” perhaps?
Why does jealousy occur at all?
From all of the emotions that I’d rather not experience, jealousy is definitely in my top 3.
I hate it, as much as I hate anger and hate itself. Besides, jealousy often opens the gate to many other feelings I dislike. Like anger and hate, indeed, or sadness, disappointment, discontent, frustration, despair, and so on.
But still, whenever I get particularly attached to a certain someone and the way this person makes me feel, I open the doors to this unwelcomed emotion. In
I invite it in despite my awareness of it. Despite my judgement of it being totally ridiculous and unnecessary. And even despite my answer to that starting ground question being: “Hell yeah, everyone should be extraordinarily happy!”
So why does it still occur?
Jealousy is human
Jealousy hurts but it’s only human. Even Beyoncé knows how it feels. Beyoncé!
And I know I'm being hateful but that ain't nothing
That ain't nothing
I'm just jealous
I'm just human
Don't judge me
I think we’re often quick to judge it but jealousy is as human as any other emotion. And no, Mrs. Carter is no less or more human than any of us (although I agree her incredible beauty and talent may suggest otherwise sometimes).
All it takes for many of us to become jealous is for our “very special someones” to go out and have a perfectly perfect time with someone other than us in a way that we, ourselves, would have wanted to spend time with this person, and there you have it.
Like a stone that drops from the chest bone into your stomach at the speed of light.
Even when you have an intellectual understanding of its utter nonsense, even when you’re a woman who runs the world, jealousy can show up without constraints.
When awareness alone isn’t enough to eliminate it
Personally, I never really considered myself the jealous kind. Even as a kid, there was hardly any “stuff” that another could have that I could then be looking at and say in all honesty: “Now, THAT makes me jealous.”
OK, so maybe I wanted a horse, and I didn’t have one. But it didn’t take me very long to discover that most of the time when someone else did, they were happy to share it with me.
That being said, when it comes to relationships it can be a bit more complicated than that… Especially romantic ones.
But what makes it different though?
I started to ponder this question more in depth over the past few weeks:
Why is it so easy for me to share and give material things (or less material “things,”
Don’t we want our special ones to be especially happy? And would we really want their happiness to be dependent upon us – entirely or at all?
The truth is: I don’t. But sometimes I think I do. And for two but very simple reasons: the illusion of lack, and the need for security.
Two root causes for jealousy to arise
1. The lack illusion
Although it’s rather hard to admit, the underlying belief that makes space for jealousy to enter is one of fear, and more specifically, I believe, the fear of lack.
We don’t want to lose our special someone, and if this person is sharing his or her company/love/affection with another, he or she won’t have anything left to share with us, we fear. Or worse, they may no longer experience the need to see us at all.
We desire more of that which we felt when we were with this person, and we fear losing them (the person/the feelings) completely.
But if they really would decide to walk away – is it really true that this person is the only one you can experience great times with? Hasn’t the past already proven many times over that this idea is false?
If you dated more than 1 person or had more than 1 friend/family member in your life, you may relate to one or more of the examples below:
“But no one could ever be such a great lover as he was”, I’d proclaim. And then came this next one, blowing my mind in a whole nother way. Or, I’d cry in despair when missing a friend: “but I can’t talk to anyone the way I can talk to her”, only to realize a minute later that the only one blocking this kind of conversations with others is me, myself, and I. And I could list many, many more experiences along these lines.
Does this mean these people or experience weren’t special or unique? Of course not. But to think that certain feelings could only be felt with or through one specific other is an illusion. They’re your feelings.
We, ourselves, are the only ones who can feel any of our own feelings. To make ourselves dependent on anything or anyone outside of ourselves to feel good, is a very unhealthy habit most of us share. And comparing any of our personal experiences and labeling them as being “worse” or “better,” feeds the soil for jealousy to grow, too.
2. The false sense of security
Seeing someone enjoying the company/love/affection of another makes us very aware of the potential of losing it ourselves. It might even render us pointless to that person all together. Maybe not instantaneously, but surely, it’s a slight hint or glimpse of what it would be like when this person were to leave our lives…
But since we assumed earlier in this exploration that we want everyone to be equally happy, doesn’t this also count for the ones who choose to walk away?
And when we would then come to miss these others, what exactly would we be missing?
Is there a part of ourselves that we saw reflected in them that we want to express more of perhaps? And can this really only be done in their company alone? Or could we also do that in other ways or with other people?
Our sense of security is not something that exists outside of ourselves. It resides inside.
The question and the faith
When you compare yourself to others in any situation, you are always gonna find others that are more funny, more skilled, more beautiful, more (fill in the blanks of what you desire to be more of). But ask yourself: so what? What is that ever gonna say about you?
There are always gonna be people on the other end of the spectrum looking at you, too, thinking that you are more funny, more skilled, more beautiful, more (fill in the blanks of what they desire to be more of).
Perhaps the phrase “don’t hate – appreciate,” should be preceded by this one: “don’t fear, have faith in yourself,” ‘cause with enough faith in yourself, you’ll naturally start to appreciate all the love, beauty, wisdom, skills, and talent of the world in others.
Jealousy is the best teacher to leave that which is beyond your control exactly there where it belongs: beyond your control. And it points right at the heart of whatever’s inside of you that you feel you haven’t fully expressed. Yet. Express it more.
So by all means, say yes to the invitation that jealousy offers: come out and shine in your own glory. Comparison is pointless. Be like a flower: bloom and become more you, never less.