Battling the green-eyed monster

Jealousy

We all know those people who life seems so easy for.

The ones who receive a raise or promotion seemingly every time we talk to them.

The ones who seem to be traveling to new and exciting locations every weekend.

The ones who success seems to flow from everything they touch.

The ones whose lives, as presented on social media, are nothing short of charmed.

We all know at least one of these people, and even if we are friends with them, we also dislike them a little bit for it if we are honest.

We may dislike them even more if we feel that our goals, our struggles, our plans that we have put in place are taking longer than we would like to take off the ground.  We find ourselves thinking, “Why do they get that?  I am over here doing ________, and they are just being handed that success.”

Many times we don’t want to voice these words, because when we do, there is only one label we can put on them.

Jealousy.

Jealousy is an ugly emotion.  It is so ugly that in scripture, not coveting what others have is listed in the 10 commandments.

As with most of the Commandments, the warning is for our benefit, not the benefit of others.

Jealousy is a natural emotion.  It is as natural as fear, anger, sadness, joy, and disgust.  At the root of jealousy of someone else’s success is our own fear, our own insecurity.  The emotion is completely about us, and really has nothing to do with the other person.

We are afraid that our own success may not come.

We are afraid our own plans will fail.

We are afraid.

We are insecure.

We feel vulnerable.

Personally, I do not like feeling that way.  It is much easier for me to express that emotion as an annoyance, irritation, even anger at someone else for their perceived successes than to say out loud, “What if I don’t make it?  What if I never reach _______?”

Those are hard questions to voice.  They break through the façade that we so carefully put in place each day.

This week, I am incredibly jealous of the success of a person that I know.  As I do with most issues in my life, I laid it all out for a group chat with some of my closest friends, the ones who never judge, but always offer wisdom.

They let me express it all.  The humorous one agreed, provided some sarcastic comments and made me laugh.  The emotional support friend offered comments on how she understood my feelings and helped me feel justified while encouraging me to move past them.  Then the voice of reason in the group came back a few hours later with a list of all the steps this person had put in place to achieve their success.

Emotions, even jealousy, need to be handled like that.

We need to acknowledge it, work out what is causing it so that we can move past it.

In all actuality, I do not begrudge my friend of their success.  I do not wish failure on them.

I am working my own path to where I want to be, and every now and then I have to be reminded of my own journey and my own fears along the way.

 

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