© 2012 jen

The Green Eyed Monster

{We do this weekly feature over on The Maven Circle called Truthy Tuesday different topics each week. We’d love to have people post their experiences around those topics on their own blogs too, to encourage more truthiness around blogland and openly talk about some of these things!}

Psst- Jena and I are switching back and forth week to week posting Truthy Tuesdays on the Maven Circle blog and on our personal blogs. Here’s where you can find Jena’s post about jealousy and mine is below.
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Jealousy is one of those emotions that, although it’s normal to feel at some point in your life, it’s still such a hard emotion to deal with.  No one wants to feel jealous, because it has so many other emotions associated with it. Envy stems from fear and insecurity and often leads to resentment, increased insecurity and anger. If you’re like me you fight hard not to feel jealous, but that green eyed monster can sometimes have a funny way of sneaking up on us and can create conflict between friends and colleagues.

If you’re caught up on the difference between jealousy and envy you can read more about both here. For the purposes of this post I’ve really lumped them together, because the two so often like to travel in pairs.

I have had my own struggles with envy and jealousy. For me, when I sense someone being competitive, treating me in a way that makes me wonder if they might be jealous, or one upping me my response tends to be fight or flight. I want to avoid it, but it also makes me feel angry.

After lots of discussion with my sister about this I’ve come to realize that my sister has her own struggles with competition and jealousy too. For her it brings on an extreme flight response. My sister and I were so different growing up that we never really competed with one another and it was very rare that either one of us felt jealous of the other. We’ve been fortunate to have a loving and supportive relationship for most of our lives. Well, that is, short of a few sisterly squabbles.

Our mother, however, struggled with lots of jealousy and could even be competitive with me- the eldest child. She wasn’t ever competitive of my sister because my sister was the baby and never challenged our mother. I was pretty much a constant challenge to our mother during the teen years.

I think as a result of watching our mother’s envy rear its ugly head we both tried to hide from it, that is, unless I felt like fighting about it.

It’s rare that I experience envy in my relationships, but I’m not going to say it hasn’t happened at all, because that wouldn’t be true.

One thing that I’ve pretty much decided is that I’m done with jealousy. I cannot control who is jealous of me, but  I can control who I’m jealous of and how I react to feeling that someone else is jealous of me. I might start the beginning feeling of being jealous, but I have secret, well it’s not a secret anymore- way of rebooting when I start to feel myself engaging in a competitive or jealous paradigm. I’ve found a technique for releasing jealousy or hurt feelings that seems to work well and here’s what I do.

I go out on a really hard, fast walk and I repeat this mantra:

I release you, I release me, no moving backward only forward.

I repeat it.

I imagine myself shedding my own volatile second skin that jealousy and competition seems to sometimes provoke in me.

When we allow jealousy to run amuck in our minds, then that’s all we can see. Something that Jena and I talk about quite a bit in the Catalyst Course, beginning next week August 13th- is that your energy goes where your attention flows.

If we give something like envy too much of our attention it can really dominate our thinking and who wants to be stuck there?

My own experience is that jealousy really hurts the person who is experiencing the it. The person on the other end might know that something is bothering the jealous person, but jealousy builds up resentment that can be so toxic for the person experiencing it and can create major unhappiness. I don’t want to live a life full of toxicity, resentment or jealousy. Life is way too short for that.

How about you? Have you struggled with your own issues around jealousy? How have you dealt with it? Have you worked through it yet? Please let me know your own experiences with jealousy.

 

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