Sometimes I get jealous. Mel Robbins, author and motivational speaker, tells us that jealousy is a great indicator of what we want to bring into our own lives. It points at our passion.
That is wonderful when I can stop myself from becoming jealous and acknowledge the root of that feeling. When I do that, it allows me to turn towards my heart and my own desires instead of toward my ego which uses the abundance of someone else’s life as a shameful reminder of my own lack.
After all, jealousy is just an emotion. There isn’t anything wrong with it. It is simply the result of some belief I have. I’m taking the evidence I see, weighing it against that belief to judge myself as worthy or unworthy, and experiencing the resulting emotion. No big deal. That’s the way our emotional system works.
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There isn’t even anything wrong with the belief I might have. Remember, it might be based on my passion and what I desire to bring into my life. The only problem really is that my ego is judging what I see as lack and coming up with jealousy for me. That’s an ego-in-control problem.
Regardless, sometimes it arises. What matters is what I do next. What mental action am I going to take as a result of jealousy rearing its head?
Here’s one. I can make assumptions about the person. I can question the purity of their motivations. I can be skeptical about their sincerity. I can make excuses for why they are receiving the things I want. Basically, I can try to tear them down in my mind as a way to soothe myself.
This is a very normal human response to jealousy. People also have a similar response when they are feeling hurt in some way. It doesn’t have to be ignited by jealousy.
When I take that course of action, I am creating a divide between myself and others. My ego is operating on the idea that if I put enough distance between who they are and who I am, then it is okay that I haven’t received in my life what they have in theirs. Think about it. If I saw us as the same, then what excuse do I have for not bringing what I want into my life other than me not being worthy of it? That is the ego’s thinking anyway.
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After undertaking that mental action, my ego is soothed but my heart is left lonely. The heart doesn’t want to be separated from others. By indulging in that behavior I have closed myself to love. It has to flow out in order to flow in.
I’ve made a commitment to keep my love flowing, so here is the course of action I try to take instead. I intentionally reach out to the person I am jealous of. Whether that is real human contact, online or digital contact, or even an internal one-sided heart message, I make a connection. Sometimes, I try to plan a way to connect with them one-on-one. Other times, I just send my love and support with a message or comment. And when it is the only option, I offer a silent little love letter.
Here’s what happens when I do that. Most often, the other person happily accepts the connection and love flows between us. Someone who could have been an adversary, becomes an ally and a friend. (Note that this might be someone who already is a friend. It can just be an adversary for a moment in my own mind.) When my heart is open to the other person, jealousy turns into what I truly want to feel which is happiness for their abundance.
In fact, regardless of whether any connection is made, I am different. When I shift to support and love, I open my heart which also allows me feel joy for them.
So often we think we need to eradicate our emotions. Take jealousy. I used to see it as a weakness in my character. I wanted nothing more than to rid myself of something so ugly. But it has become a wonderful red flag for me, because it offers me an opportunity to change the course of action that comes next. If I follow it without intention, I know I am going to take the mental action of devaluing another person to make myself feel better which will result in me blocking love.
That goes against everything I believe, so I see it as a pivot point. It is an opportunity for me to acknowledge my own desires and to celebrate the abundance of others, which keeps my love flowing out and the love of others flowing in.
Do I hope someday that my love-based mental action will become such a habit that an emotion other than jealousy will arise? Of course. Will I continue to strive to over-power the ego so that the judgement that causes jealousy will not exist? Of course. In the meantime, I can accept it and welcome it as an opportunity to adjust my mental action to reflect my heart and keep love front and center.