Most of us are taught that jealousy is a horrible thing. Something to be denied and resisted, something petty, stupid, and not to be indulged in. We’re even hounded by many of the self-help and spiritual gurus out there not to feel jealous, but to feel happy for the person, or inspired by them instead. As if we can possibly just go from jealousy of someone to happiness for that person or those people, or – yeah, right – feeling inspired by them!? – simply by saying we’re happy for them or inspired by them instead. Did you ever try that? How’d that feel? Kind of sucked, didn’t it. Did it work? Did it really work out for you? Or was that just the start of more people cropping up, being and doing and having what you wanted, more people for you to feel jealous of, popping up, surrounding you, suffocating you, stuffing you into your dark little corner of “I’ll never be… do… have…”?
What Is Jealousy?
The Merriam-Webster definition of jealousy is: an unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has; a jealous disposition, attitude, or feeling.
Sounds rather unpleasant to feel, doesn’t it? Have you ever felt jealousy over something that someone is, does, or has? Be honest! Do you feel jealous of someone right now? Do you let yourself feel it? Or do you stuff it back and deny it and judge yourself for having this oh-so-human emotion? How do you feel when someone feels jealous of you? Do you want to slap them and tell them to stop? Why does jealousy feel so uncomfortable?
What Is Jealousy Actually Teaching Us?
I’d like to share my own personal story with you now. A story about jealousy – and why I learned to love it. In this story, I’ll reveal to you, not only exactly what it is that jealousy teaches us, but how we can ultimately transcend jealousy.
Have you ever been in a rut? I was. For a few years, I was stuck in a rut. I experienced some pretty severe traumas as I went through my dark night of the soul, including the loss of my fiance, my home, my car, bank accounts, deaths of teenage pets and family members – it was one thing after the next, each loss happening within a few weeks or months of the last… faster than I could recover from the last loss, the next one happened. I was diagnosed with C-PTSD and severe depression, and spent about three years doing nothing but recovering and working to heal myself. I stopped writing my blogs, stopped working with clients, stopped writing my next book. I rapidly gained a significant amount of weight as I dealt with severe hormonal imbalances following an eating disorder in which I starved myself and obsessed over extreme low carb, low calorie, clean eating, mild hyponatremia due to excess water consumption on a daily basis, and intense physical exercise – a condition known as orthorexia. I spent half a year doing nothing but playing video games, as that was the only thing that could distract me from the suicidal thoughts I was having. I didn’t feel that I could be a teacher or a healer any longer, because I was so drenched in shame. I felt like the biggest fraud to ever walk the earth. I wanted to feel happy again, but I didn’t know how – even with all I knew and taught previously as a spiritual guide and teacher. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I really wanted to get back into spiritual teaching and healing. My desires were buried underneath layers of sticky, tarry, black goo, and tons of the energetic rubble of trauma, shame, and grief. Every time I thought of writing a blog post or working with clients again, my mind would go into a panic, and my body would start releasing what felt like truckloads of adrenaline. I prayed to know the way forward – to be shown what I needed to see. I asked to know what my desires even were, as I was so out of touch with myself, I didn’t even know what I wanted anymore.
This is where jealousy came into the picture. Along my healing journey, I was guided to some of the most Divinely gifted teachers and healers I could ever imagine. I saw them doing the work I so loved, and they were so full of joy and passion for what they were doing – and they were helping so many people! I felt such gratitude for the help I received from them. But what shocked me was that I was also feeling something else. Something that felt like jumper cables between my heart and solar plexus, a burning sensation that felt less than pleasant. It was jealousy. At first I admonished myself for feeling this towards these other healers and teachers who were helping me so much. I felt so guilty and ashamed for feeling jealous of them. I hated it whenever someone ever felt jealous of me, all my life. One of my siblings was always jealous of me, and, for most of my life, I hated her for that. So there I was feeling jealous of these healers and teachers that were helping me so much, and I hated myself for my jealousy of them. I tried to swallow it and stuff it down and practice gratitude for them instead. I mean, isn’t that what the gurus tell us we’re supposed to do?
But there was one thing that I’ve learned along my own healing journey, and that is that what the inner child feels must be felt. It must be admitted to, honored, and it must be OK. Along the path to Self Love, there can be no judgment of the hurt inner child. Only nurturing. Whenever our own emotions are revealed to us, this is our inner child expressing itself to us. It is our job to be quiet, and listen without assigning shame or blame to our inner selves, for feeling what we feel.
I had asked to know what my desires were. I had asked to know what it was that I wanted. And in answer to those requests I’d made, I was shown jealousy. My own jealousy. What I realized, in speaking with my inner child, was that jealousy is the emotion that shows itself when we’re shown what we want but believe we can’t be, do, or have. My jealousy showed me what my buried desires were. My deepest, truest Self desires, above all else, to Love, to assist others, to be in service to humanity and to Earth, to play my part in raising the frequencies and being amongst the Joyful as we all ascend beyond these lower realms and dimensions, into the higher. It’s why I’m here as a human being on Earth at this time. My jealousy showed me not just what the desires were, that I’d lost touch with along my way, but also the errant beliefs I had about myself: that I could not be, do and have what I wanted. When I stopped resisting my jealousy, when I stopped judging myself for feeling jealous, and instead looked at it honestly, to hear what it was telling me, jealousy became my teacher. It showed me the way out of my rut.
So just what is it that jealousy actually teaches us? It teaches us what our hidden or buried desires are. In some cases, it can even point us to our Soul’s purpose. Desires are, after all, our God-given life force – Divine gifts that tell us why we are here. Jealousy also teaches us how to find the hidden beliefs we have about being, doing, or having what we want – the beliefs we have about ourselves, that we can’t see, until someone else holds up a mirror to show us what we’ve hidden in our blind spots – what we could not see if someone didn’t show us what was there, by being, doing, or having what we want, and triggering our jealous emotions. This is why I love jealousy. How we react or respond to our own jealousy is what determines whether we stay in a rut or move out of it. It determines whether or not we hear the cry from our own inner child, identify our truest, deepest desires, and find the errant programmed beliefs we have about ourselves that are in the way of our being, doing and having what we want in this life. Jealousy feels so uncomfortable for exactly that reason: it triggers all those untrue beliefs we have about ourselves – the beliefs that hurt. The very same ones we are to become aware of so that we can tell ourselves the real truth about who we are and what we can do and have.
How We Transcend Jealousy and Transform it to Gratitude and Inspiration
So I’d like to share with you now a step-by-step process you can do on your own, to stop feeling the pain of jealousy, but to instead love it, welcome the feeling, and use it as a tool to transform your feelings from those of jealousy and lacking to gratitude and inspiration.
If it helps you to write these questions down on a piece of paper or in a journal, by all means, please do so. Allow yourself adequate space to write the answers down as well – and room for your answers to expand beyond your first writing, because once you ask these questions of yourself, the answers keep on coming.
Ask yourself these questions:
What do I really, truly want?
What does jealousy feel like to me? Where do I feel it in my body? Do any other emotions show themselves along with jealousy? If so, what are the other emotions? What do they feel like in my body?
Who do I feel jealous of? What is it about this person that causes me to feel jealousy? Is it something about who they are? What they have? What they do? What is it?
Why do I feel jealous of this person? Why can they be or do or have this, but I can’t? (Ouch, right?)
Why can’t I? (Give a voice to everything that comes up. Let it be seen and heard.)
Why CAN I? (Leave plenty of space for this one, as more answers will come to you with each passing day.)
What does my Heart tell me about who I am and what I am capable of being and doing and having? Not my mind, but my Heart? What does my heartbeat feel like as I ask this about myself? (This is where you drop into your Heart to receive the True answers about who you are. Focus on feeling Love for yourself here, the same as if you were thinking of someone you love unconditionally – feel this for yourself.)
What would happen if I did what this person is doing, this person that I feel jealous of? Could I copy some things that they are doing, but do it my way instead?
What if I could thank this person for being the mirror that shows me what I hid from myself, regarding my own desires and beliefs about myself?
What if I could thank my jealousy for showing me what my desires are? What if I could thank my jealousy for showing me what beliefs I had about myself, that were hidden from me in my subconscious mind? What if my jealousy wasn’t just an emotion, but a little version of me – a child me, who was stuck in the darkness and just needed some love and attention? Could I give this to that younger version of me? What would I say to this child version of me? (It’s OK if you start to cry here. This is where integration and healing begins to occur.)
What if I could let my jealousy inspire me to action that allows me to express my truest Self? What would that be?
Whenever you encounter a belief about yourself, write it down. For example: “I can’t be who I want to be in this life because everybody will think I’m a fraud.” Examine the beliefs that show themselves to you. If you had this belief, that everyone would think you’re a fraud, ask yourself why? You might find that you think everyone would think you’re a fraud because you’ve suffered. But does that make you a fraud? Or does it make you wise and authentic? Ask yourself: “Do I care more about what other people think about me, than what I think about myself?” And if you do, be honest about it. It’s not your fault if you have been programmed to think like a codependent person. Take joy in the journey of self-discovery. Get to know yourself. Get excited about each and every thing you learn about yourself, no matter what it is. Care about what you think about yourself. Understand that your past experiences don’t make you who you are. They build character and compassion if you allow them to. But they are just experiences. Just roles that we have played. Find your inner child and talk to him or her. Listen to him or her. Love that inner child. Accept his or her feelings about yourself. Use those emotions to guide you to the hidden subconscious beliefs you have about yourself, so that you can become aware of them – it is in becoming aware of the subconscious/unconscious beliefs that we may change those beliefs. As Jung said: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” I will add to it that until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate… and you will either feel or suppress jealousy towards everyone who has what you believe you can’t have.
If you would like further assistance with this process of sorting out your emotions and finding the subconscious beliefs behind them, I’m here to help. Check out my available services. I’m happy to assist you.