Here is a question for you to consider: Is it possible to be jealous if you are utterly in love with yourself? If you are in love with every aspect of you, then anything out there that could be making you feel jealous must be less important, or less than you.
What is jealousy? It is a want, a need, a feeling of unfairness toward a person who has something or who has accomplished something that you want. It is an awareness that they are in possession of what you lack. Think of jealousy as a scale of underappreciation of yourself compared to your appreciation of what someone else has.
Your friend has the car, the house, the money and that gorgeous man. Healthy people can appreciate the possessions of others, congratulate them on their accomplishments, and honestly wish them the best outcome. That is because healthy people are always confident in themselves, content and appreciative of what they have, and in love with their own choices, their own timing, their own path. When we are in love with ourselves and our own life, we can then be happy for people who have achieved everything they desire. Our self-appreciation allows us to be happy for them, even though that big pile of money is theirs and not ours. Healthy people do not covet what others have got, nor do they feel any resentment toward anything that is outside themselves.
Healthy people know how to focus inward, appreciate the self to such an extent that anything that is happening outside themselves does not compare to the state within. We are okay, even when someone else seems more okay than us.
So what is jealousy? It is an indicator of discontent with the self. It is the appreciation of everything that is outside the self, and the realization that the self is not enough. In a state of jealousy, the scale is tipped in the favor of the other person, and we remain in the state of awareness that we are less. It is an ugly feeling, a negative energy that seems to possess the being, and is almost impossible to hide. If it is allowed to fester, it will consume the entire being. Have you ever met a person who is totally silent, but green with envy? Without a single word uttered, we smell the resentment oozing out of their pores.
In general, jealousy is a sign of weakness, a lack of emotional-development, an insecurity, but at times we have all felt it. Jealousy is also a weapon that insecure people wield to push our emotional buttons to incite a response. It makes the weak feel powerful when they can create an uglier response from us than they currently feel within themselves. An insecure person may feel like crap about themselves, so they are hell-bent on making you feel like a pile of diarrhea. Why give them the desired response?
The way to overcome jealousy in any situation is to feel in love with yourself, with whatever you’ve got, with all your choices, even if you have less than your neighbor. That practice has to become a permanent part of your existence. Only when you are absolutely appreciative of every ounce of your being, can you be thrilled for others when they accomplish something you haven’t.
I am usually in a permanent state of appreciation for what others have. I have graduated from solely appreciating myself and all my flaws, to now being genuinely thrilled when a friend receives ten times more. I can also encourage friends to try harder, give them more heartfelt advice, because their accomplishments do not dwarf mine.
I no longer feel like I have to do anything in order to feel good about myself. In fact, I am now happy with less. Before, I used to strive to achieve, now I can rest. I can give myself a break, because if I earn less this year, I am still very much in appreciation of whatever I’ve got.
This skill of self-appreciation comes in very handy when dealing with toxic people. A few years ago, I broke up with a guy, who didn’t take it so well. I had legitimate reasons for the breakup, and tried to do it thoughtfully and kindly. Nevertheless, he exploded in rage, screamed obscenities and swore immediate revenge. He was going to make me sorry.
That same night I went to the neighborhood bar to get a drink. The bar was my usual hangout, so he knew I would be there. Mere hours after our breakup, he walked into the bar with another woman. He made sure I notice them. He walked up to me, introduced her as his girlfriend, made sure to seat her right next to me, and they both stayed by my side the entire night gloating about how happy they were. Sure, it was a cheap shot, no one could be more insecure than that ex. But, I think I took it very well.
You see, I really like myself very much. I am not exaggerating, I truly have genuine feelings for myself. Even when life isn’t giving me what I want, I can still be in love with life, in love with myself, and be fully confident that the scale is tipped in my favor. So, when he approached me at the bar, he was staring at my face searching for pain. No such thing happened.
I never fake my emotions. Most of my friends know that they are always getting the uncensored me, regardless of whether it is appropriate. So, as he approached me with another woman, I turned to them and smiled. I opened my heart chakra, I gave them both a hug and said how happy I am for them. Then I bought them a round of drinks. But that’s not all, I stayed there talking to her for hours, as I truly thought she was a special person. There wasn’t an ounce of jealousy or regret to be felt in my body, because I was totally aware that their 2+2 was still less than my 5. Together, they still didn’t add up to me.
That situation taught me a lot about myself, and I am proud of how I handled it. But it also showed me the person I had broken up with. This man I suspected of being too insecure for an adult relationship proved to be so much smaller than I realized before. I was grateful to see this behavior, because his smallness made recovery from the breakup a breeze. He proved to me in 15 minutes that my decision to leave him was right. And I felt very empowered by that breakup ever since. The fifteen minutes of pain he tried to inflict upon me, turned into three years of me feeling like a super-hero. It was totally worth it.
But this momentary strength would have never manifested had I not been self-aware from the beginning of that relationship. Being in a constant state of self-appreciation allows me to always be in a more stable position than anyone else. When life throws insecure people in my path who are determined take me down I rarely flinch. I can remain composed in tough situations because my focus is on me, not on what they are doing. Their anger, their rage, their jealousy is always theirs, and remains at the opposite end of the spectrum of how I feel about myself. Others don’t have the power to move me.
If jealousy and insecurity are destroying your relationships, regardless of who is doing what to whom, it is still only your responsibility to improve yourself. If you get jealous easily, your life and the results of all your efforts will be affected. And if other people inflict jealousy on you, you are still the one to get hurt. It makes sense to work on yourself because self-love will only lead to a better life.
Today, I appreciate myself much more than anyone else. I love everyone in my life, and show it easily. My heart is always open, because I no longer fear what others can do to me. What they do is a reflection of who they are on the inside, it has nothing to do with me.
I feel so strongly about myself that I am now aware of what other people bring to the table. I compare their level of openness, their genuineness, their perception of themselves to how I feel with them and without them. I leave dysfunctional relationships sooner, because my inner world is always richer than the disfunction they bring to my doorstep. Self-appreciation has allowed me to be more discerning, so I simply flow away from whatever or whoever does not appreciate me as much as I appreciate myself.
I see that the exercise of self-appreciation has noticeable effects in only fifteen minutes. Choose something you feel jealous or insecure about. It can be a person, an object, or an achievement. Allow yourself to feel the jealousy, let it fester for a bit, then get in touch with that energy. Do you notice that the rage is yours, and that the other person feels no effects of your emotions? Do you notice that the feeling of jealousy is just you feeling less than the other? That feeling was created by you, not him or her. The other person has nothing to do with it. Understanding that jealousy is just your mind’s and body’s response to how you feel about yourself in any situation, allows you to control the rage. All you have to do is feel better about who you are.
Now, I am not talking about pumping yourself up on ego, narcissism, or creating a false self. We all know when someone has created a false persona and is demanding that others pander to his delusions. I am talking about investing in yourself, whether through self-help, introspection, or therapy, and embarking on a long process of shifting your attention inward. This process is a lot of work, but it is definitely worth it. Study yourself and all your weaknesses. Become okay with them. Forgive yourself for not accomplishing everything you wanted- it really isn’t necessary to achieve true happiness. Fall in love with your body, your mind, your life and all the obstacles you encounter. Treat yourself very well. Always put your needs above others’ and honor them, do not apologize for them. Find bliss and happiness in the little that you’ve got. You will see that very that object or person that was making you jealous seems like a lesser threat right now. He or she was just a blow to your ego, and with a lot of self-love an appreciation, your ego won’t crack so easily. The real you will emerge and you won’t try to hide it any more. You will become okay with everything exactly as it is, and your state of being will always remain unaffected by what others have or do. Fall in love with you.