30 days: Day 12 – Jealousy

Thursday, July 7, 2011 Permalink

Today’s ’30 days of self-love’ blogging challenge theme is yet another I’ve touched on before. (Am not sure if it means I’ve already been over-analysing my life to death, or I blog about interesting things. Umm… the former I suspect). Today’s (day 12) topic is Jealousy.

Jealousy has many varying levels. Simply looking on with a bit of longing and want for something of someone else to outright frustration at the world or hatred of others for what you deem they have as better. Often times, more trivial matters spark jealousy – someone’s looks, material items, or popularity. However, we may even find ourselves wishing for their work ethic, family life, positive outlook, happiness, etc as well. Admiring others for their positive attributes and successes cultivates a supporting world. Obsessing and wishing for those same things produces an environment of hurt in relationships with others and yourself.

When we harbor (sic) jealousy, it quickly becomes a two ton pack weighing down our shoulders and our lives. Our strengths cannot help carry the weight after being whipped down numerous times for not living up to our jealous desires. The glow of others’ apparent prosperity seems to highlight our weaknesses and turn them into moths drawn to a flame of self-destruction. Remember how we discussed perfection does not exist in this world? Well, not only can it not happen in our lives, but the impossible nature of perfection applies to others as well.

The co-workers, fellow bloggers, people in your yoga class, etc, etc, etc that you may envy for their fabulous salaries, lives, bodies, etc, etc, etc may in fact envy things they deem perfect about you.

We can never know the whole story. So why would we base our worth on the parts of our life we imagine fault us but not others? Center your worth on your qualities. Strive to become the best version of your self, not someone else. Determine what matters in your life and revolve your life around them.

Picture your life through a camera lens. Only you should be in focus. Everything else blurs into the background.

You become the defining factor of your life. Your loves, goals, interests, etc. These will inevitably extend outwards to others, as they should, but with you in focus, others no longer determine your world. They simply fulfill it as part of you…or fade away into oblivion.

What ways do you encounter jealousy? How can it hold you back? What could you look to in yourself or your life when wishing for what others have? 

I am a jealous cow. I’ve openly admitted this before. In re-reading that former post about ‘envy’ I pondered on the difference between envy and jealousy. I certainly use them interchangeably but know they aren’t exactly the same thing. After extensive research (Wikipedia via Google) I discovered:

Jealousy is an emotion felt toward people and relationships. Envy is a negative emotion felt due to self-comparison of possessions. In simpler terms, envy is the wish to get what one does not have.

Green eye - jealousySo there you have it. I suspect I am both jealous and envious on some occasions. I know I am jealous of those who have things that I would like: a partner and family (just as I envy them those ‘possessions’). Unsurprisingly I’m often jealous of those with good, or even average bodies. Only recently I was sitting on the train contemplating the meaning of life – as you do – when I realised I was unconsciously staring at this woman standing near the doors. She was inspecting her reflection in the glass, turning this way and that as she (undoubtedly) congratulated herself on her slim figure.

I wasn’t sure if it was the perfect body or her vanity that made me decide to hate her, but either way, I’m sure she deserved it. What did hit me though, was how much simpler life would be if you didn’t have a weight issue. I’m not saying that this woman didn’t have a myriad of other problems. Her life was (is) probably far from perfect. But for one moment I tried to imagine what it would be like to NOT have to worry about your weight.

Around the same time I wrote a post in response to someone else’s blog post which suggested we imagine what it would be like to be slim. She asked: What would we do? How would we act?

Mirror, mirror, on the wallAs I looked at this woman (who I liked to think of as bi-atch!) I wondered what it would be like to get out of bed and choose anything from your closet full of clothes that you love and were able to easily buy (and willing to try on!). Perhaps then she wandered to the train station, not having to hold in her stomach, or worry her bag made her shirt ride up at the sides exposing her stomach or upper thighs. She probably didn’t worry about where she sat on the train as her butt didn’t encroach onto the seat next to her; and she didn’t have to worry about whether to wedge in next to someone else and hear their annoyed sigh as they made space for her larger-than-normal backside.

Ms bi-atch wouldn’t have had to feel self-conscious because she was hot and sweaty. She probably wouldn’t even get hot and sweaty on the 10 minute walk to the train station. Even if she was no one would have cared. They wouldn’t have assumed it was related to her weight and level of unfitness. She would be able to eat in front of others without worrying about them judging her or checking what she was eating. And she would be able to smile or talk to the cute guy without him wondering who the hell she thought she was.

So… yes, I feel jealousy towards others. And envy. I wish I had more. I wish I had better. Things, jobs, money. Sure I know that the grass is always greener anywhere but where we are standing. I have friends who tell me they envy my singledom. I know the things we sometimes envy about others are the things they envy about us. Once I realised I wasn’t going to have a family I told myself I had to focus on other things in my life and find enjoyment or hope for the future elsewhere. I’m still searching for that, but think I am on my way. I haven’t worked out how to rid myself of my body envy but perhaps that won’t happen until I can accept myself for who I am (not just who I could be).


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