Jealousy, a feeling many people experience, is something that can cause a depressive mood, anger, rage and sometimes numbness.
I was a very jealous person, and I still have my moments. My jealousy was not so much in romantic relationships, but more an intense jealousy of people 'appearing' to do far better than me in life.
My list of jealousy moments included:
- Jealousy of friends and family succeeding professionally and in their careers.
- Jealous of people more confident than me in their communication.
- Jealous of people who were capable of public speaking when I had an intense phobia.
- Jealous of people with more money, their own homes.
- Jealous of people who had their own businesses and were self-employed entrepreneurs.
- Jealous of women who were slimmer, fitter, prettier.
- Jealous of people who had more friends and were more socially confident.
- Jealous of people who were able to go on regular holidays.
- Jealous of people who could afford take out meals...
AND the list just went on.....
How Did It Feel?
There tends to be rage, blame and pointing fingers. The ego puts people down or pulls me apart inside. The ego dismisses other people's success and finds something to criticise them about. Jealousy is not an easy emotion to have.
All this jealousy often ends with a feeling of guilt and self criticism for being 'mean' or not a 'good' person. I can only imagine my experience is similar to how other people experience jealousy as an emotional state.
How Does Jealousy Affect Our Lives?
Jealousy can cause us to deepen our sense of self-loathing. Jealousy comes from an insecurity, which can be termed 'low' self-esteem. And it's perfectly natural to experience this, if you have been programmed to believe you're not worthy of good in your life.
Jealousy can isolate us and make us withhold our love from others and ourselves. It stops us seeing the 'innocence' in our own nature and that of humanity as a whole.
Jealousy can also stop us pursuing what our hearts desire, those real soul desires calling us forward, because we often feel so unworthy, but this can all change.
How To Use Jealousy As A Motivating Factor
It starts with mindfulness.
Mindfulness (being fully present in the moment, with 'what is'), brings a new energy to our outlook on life. Mindfulness meditation carried out daily (as well as general mindfulness throughout the day), can help us feel our feelings, become aware of what is really there. Feelings like jealousy, rage, anger, fear, sadness can be observed from a far kinder place.
When I first started mindfulness meditation I thought that it did nothing because after a while of observing my feelings, labelling thoughts, I entered a space of nothing 'no-thing', that felt empty, but was not at all.
That space is similar to how it feels when we are taken aback by a beautiful sunset, or birds singing, where the thoughts stop. This happens after practising mindfulness, but it takes practice to first observe our inner world and to not meditate for any purpose but to simply be with whatever arises (thoughts, feelings etc). In this new space of gentle pure awareness a new experience takes place. Over time we become aware of the jealousy and something flicks us awake and we start to become kinder to ourselves and from there we begin to start to commit to our own lives instead of focusing outwardly on other people's lives.
I began to be more creative and write more. I began to take my own worth more seriously. And as I began to do this, those people I was once jealous of no longer entered my thoughts nearly as much. Instead of jealousy, I used any thoughts arising to motivate myself to create what I liked to do in my life.
Any rage became: 'RIGHT! I'm going to do this for myself' instead of 'I hate them, they think they are better than me, I am a useless failure'.
Self Commitment To Creativity
Committing to your own creativity daily helps the jealousy release its hold on you, because you are no longer watching by the sidelines while it appears that others are passing you by. And you no longer make excuses for not exploring your talents, excuses like 'not enough money' or 'I'm too tired' 'I'm not talented enough'... These thoughts no longer enter your mind and if they do, you choose to no longer entertain them and instead self-commit to your life. This encourages you forward as you discover how good it feels and the jealousy begins to fall by the wayside.
Jealousy and Romantic Relationships
I'm not an expert when it comes to jealousy and romantic relationships, but I wanted to give people coming to this post an outlet to understand this further so click HERE if you want to learn how to release jealousy in this area.
So How Can I Motivate Myself Through Jealousy?
- Start practising mindfulness.
- From a practice of mindfulness self-kindness becomes more natural.
- Commit more to your creativity on a daily basis.
- Quit the excuses (this is easier after a practice of mindfulness to understand your inner world and motivations and attachments to drama).
- Don't beat yourself up if jealousy arises - be mindful in the moment. Welcome the feelings that arise, treat those feelings like you would a small child who is scared or jealous of playmates.
Q: How Does Jealousy
Affect You In Your Life?
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photo credit: Mario De Carli via photopin cc