From a reader:“When you are jealous of someone else, you don't have what they have, but you also don't have what you have.”
I have thought about this quote for some weeks now. I struggle with jealousy and I was wondering if you could illuminate on this idea of not having what you have...
I wish it was something I could internalize better.
Thank you and love the blog and the book!
Thanks for writing, you're not the only one who struggles with this. Here are some more thoughts about jealousy and how to change your thoughts in a more useful and building direction. As always, take what ever parts of these thoughts that work for you and integrate at your own pace. It doesn't have to happen all at once. That you have the will to grow means that you will grow in the ways you want to.
~~~~~~~~~~~When someone occupies their thoughts with the desire to have what someone else has, they are so focused on their lack (perceived or even real) that they can not see, feel, or think about all that they really do have.
Let’s look at it with an example of a life situation that could come up:
A teenager is watching the way another kid dresses in the latest, trendy, very expensive clothing. She is jealous that she doesn’t have those same outfits. Her whole world is about lack. It’s a dismal point of view.
If she were to notice what she does have, two things can happen. One is a sense of contentment and even gratitude. It could be that she lives in a wonderful home, has loving friends and family, and even has clothing that she likes, etc. The second thing is that she might allow herself to tap into her dreams or yearnings and become inspired.
If you feel jealous there is a chance to transform that feeling--intentionally change the thoughts--to thoughts of inspiration. When you feel the feelings of jealousy rising up inside you, turn those feelings to admiration and let yourself be inspired to rise, accomplish, or create in your own life.
Worth exploring: No one knows what anyone else is going through. The one with the fancy house may be in debt like crazy and about to loose his home to foreclosure. The guy with the college degree may be lonely. “Beautiful people” may be suffering from silent depression or an illness that is hidden from your view. No one can know the whole story behind what “appears” so wonderful.
Everyone has been lovingly created and gifted.
Everyone has challenges.
Jealousy itself is a form of despair. It’s a darkness that is not even based in reality because no one knows what is really going on within the object of their jealousy.
Transforming jealousy into inspiration
If you see someone with something that you want, imagine that yours is coming soon, that seeing the thing you desire in someone else is a sign that yours is near. In other words, you do not desire the exact thing you’re seeing--the one that he has in his hands now, you desire the version that is available to you. This can be material things, meaning “stuff,” or qualities.
Maybe people are jealous of something that is not possible for them to have for what ever reason. This world is designed so that each one of us has gifts that we are born with and a potential that we can fulfill. The gifts you receive are going to be different. Each gift is precious and no one can know the true spiritual value of the gifts we are blessed with.
The remedy for jealousy is gratitude
If you focus on your blessings this is an invitation to increased blessings. You can heal the feelings of jealousy by saying “thank you.” Thank you for another day of life, thank you for opening the door for me, thank you for letting me merge into your lane of traffic, thank you for being such a jerk so that I can grow, be forgiving, or set better boundaries. Thank you for thinking of me. Thank you for taking the time.
Thank you to N for inspiring this post, I hope it's helpful for you.
I always love to hear from readers!
With gratitude to Morguefile.com and duilio for the photograph!