We see a regular dose of it on reality TV shows, have experienced being on the receiving end of it in our own personal and professional lives and may have even fallen prey to these feelings ourselves-I'm talking about Jealousy.
Jealousy ruins more friendships and relationships than anything else I can think of. When you look closely at the word jealousy there's something vital that stands out. The feeling of jealousy makes you feel 'lousy'. It is the inability to be happy for someone else's success or blessings in life because of personal insecurities. Jealousy is an emotion resulting from the belief that another person’s success or happiness somehow diminishes your own. It's a fear that can't be shaken for some-the fear that you might not have or get to experience what someone else has-your dream job, having a beautiful family, your parents attention when a sibling is involved, or an expensive new car. If they have 'x' then where does it leave you?
If you look at the world from a place of abundance instead of scarcity, it’s actually difficult to become envious. Jealousy is very ego-based. Those that have feelings of jealousy must first adopt a scarcity mindset that suggests they're in competition with others. If they get something you have wanted then somehow they won and you lost.
Sometimes it seeps into romantic relationships. The fear of losing that person is so great that it paralyzes the relationship and does not let it become authentic and true. What if's go through your mind and suddenly knowing that person's every move becomes important because you might be able to stop something terrible from happening, like say them meeting someone else. In the end, it never serves anyone well-it alienates and smothers the person you are trying to keep and hold dear.
The same happens in friendships too. Often it comes out in the form of judging and analyzing someones motives and becoming suspicious. All of a sudden you're an expert on why they did and said x, y, and z. This can often lead to the dissolution of friendships.
Even in the blog world, you'll come across those that are jealous. I've read several blogs recently where bloggers have had to 'address' those that have left a mean anonymous comment or have publicly announced that they will stop allowing anonymous comments altogether. In one case, a reader accused the blogger of copying a particular design that she had in fact created a few years ago and had thankfully documented in many places to rebut the comment and state her case.
The jealous write snarky comments on someones blog or make wrongful accusations about someones character or blog content, to feel better about themselves but usually do not reveal who they are, hiding under the 'anonymous' cloak. Deep down it's not the blog they don't like, it's most likely themselves, their unhappiness and their life. They are jealous of a particular blogger's level of success, don't see their own blog, website, shop or life as the success that they had hoped for and begin to compare themselves with others. As you might remember, I wrote this recent blog post on How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others. Since jealousy if often associated with comparing, I covered how to stop comparing and live your life to the fullest.
Having said that, I'm so thankful that I haven't encountered that here at all. After all, this blog is for women who want to be classy and fabulous and being jealous or cruel certainly wouldn't qualify as such. I like being able to provide you with the privacy you might desire from time to time in some of the deeper posts, so you can leave an anonymous comment. Thank you for being the kind readers that you truly are who allow me to do so. :)
Another aspect is an ungrateful attitude and spirit. When you are content with and grateful for what you have, there is no need to compare with others or feel jealous over what someone else possesses. If you are not feeling particularly grateful, perhaps now is the time to truly evaluate all of the many wonderful things that exist in your life that you may have overlooked. Think about your family, health, home, transportation, friends, talents, etc. There is bound to be a lot of good there, sometimes you just need to dig deeper.
The important thing to remember in moments of having jealous thoughts is that while things may seem rosie posie for the person in question today, you don't always know what that person had to endure even ten years ago or for the past several years to get to where they are today. Maybe they had to lose a parent to attain the kind of wealth they now have, given the choice I'm sure they would choose family over money anyday. Perhaps someone who has a lovely family tried for several years to get pregnant or had to undergo several rounds of IVF treatments,etc., to get to where she is today. Maybe unbeknownst to you, a colleague spent their weekends taking classes to build up their resume and experience level to get their well-deserved promotion. We don't know what we don't know, which is why we should never judge a book by its cover or covet what someone else has.
What most don't realize is that jealousy itself is often the root of anger. There are many frustrated people angrily shaking their fists to the heavens because things aren't going as they would like, as they may have planned. They harbor resentment of what another has, and cannot understand why it has not been given to them too.
For those who are interested in a spiritual perspective, God reveals through the Bible that:
"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." ~Proverbs 14:30 KJBV
"Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?" ~Proverbs 27:4 NIV
"And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind." ~Ecclesiastes 4:4 NIV
James 3:16 says, "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing."
From this wisdom, we learn that wrong thinking produces wrong living. When we have thoughts of jealousy or feelings of envy, our lives will be characterized by confusion, disorder, and worthlessness. Nothing good comes from an evil and jealous spirit. Dealing with jealousy is essential!
We were all meant to have different experiences and blessings in life, and were not meant to all be imitations of one another in appearance, experiences or possessions. I truly believe that we will only be given greater things and opportunities when we can first be satisfied with not only what we have today, but can also rejoice in someone else's blessings. When the people around us are happy and fulfilled, they’ll naturally spread those feelings to those around them. This is something that we should embrace, not avoid. It is far better to be surrounded by people who are doing better than ourselves in some way than by those who are unhappy.
One of the best questions to ask yourself when experiencing such thoughts is, "What am I really afraid of?"
I felt led to write this post and share it with you all, and am hoping it will be a timely blessing to someone who needs to hear it. I don't know a single person that hasn't been affected by jealousy at one time or another in their life. As you know, my passion is to share messages that allow you all to live your best life being the classy women that you dream of being- feeling confident, grateful and joyful.
I wish you all a wonderful week!