I have a confession: I still get jealous. Especially lately, the green monster of jealousy has been rearing its ugly head. First, let me back this train up before I dive in. Seven years ago I was the pioneer for my friends in regards to marriage. I lead the way, learned a lot of what not to do, and passed that along to my pals. Then, as if that wasn’t enough pioneering, I paved the way for motherhood. I shared the good, the bad, and the ugly to help prepare them for becoming mommies. Then all of a sudden, my world came crashing down through the loss of my husband, right when my life seemed to be getting started. Now, fast forward to the present and I’m watching my friends’ families continue to grow while knowing mine has dwindled. It’s a strange place to be in. Of course, I am happy for my friends and I am one of the first ones to celebrate, bring them meals, and volunteer to help, but if I’m honest, I have to check myself before I wreck myself. By that I mean I need to put the green monster in its place by controlling my thoughts about feeling jealousy toward what I perceive my friends have that I do not. I want to share a couple of tips I use to help me contain the beast when it’s dying to come out and play.
- Observe and forgive: It’s really important to stay in a mindset of curiosity when we find ourselves starting to feel jealous so as not to awaken Jealousy’s mean cousin, Judgment. Just start to notice when the feelings of jealousy are coming up and ask yourself what specifically triggered those feelings? Then forgive and be kind to yourself.
- Get really honest with yourself: Sometimes I get caught up in the idea of what life seems to be like for someone else. I will catch myself fantasizing about how wonderful their life must be, until I stop myself and realize that’s my perception and not reality. The truth is I do not really know what their life looks like. My mom always told me, “Don’t judge your insides by other people’s outsides.” (tweet it out) When I get really honest with myself, I realize what I’m imagining I want isn’t really what I want, it’s what I think society tells me I should have or be wanting. The honest truth is I can barely handle one child right now, much less two. And truth be told, I’m not ready to be married again. Doesn’t mean I won’t be one day, but for now it’s a “no.” So ask yourself: is this what I really want or I am just idealizing the thoughts about what society says I should want?
- It’s back to gratitude: I said it last week and I’ll say it again, gratitude is the key to a healthy, thoughtful life. Once I begin focusing my mind on all of my blessings, I’m able to take my attention off the feeling of jealousy and onto feeling thankful. I also remind myself of all the things I’m able to focus on because of being in this particular phase of my life, such as building a special bond with my daughter and creating and building a career I love. My career challenges me to use my gifts and passions to impact the lives of those I get to speak to and the clients I get to invest in. When I think of all the pleasure associated with where I am at in my life, then gratitude trumps jealousy.
Have you ever struggled with getting the green beast of jealousy under control? What did you do to work through it? I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below. Feeling jealous is a real part of being human, but there are ways to acknowledge it and then work through it. I hope these tips will come in handy whenever you need to snap out of comparing yourself to others and get back to enjoying the unique life that has been given to you. Of course, I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen for my life to turn out this way, but I realize it is my one life to live, and I am learning from all the ups and downs. I will be better because of my experiences, because of Andrew, and because of God’s gifts in my life. If you are dealing with any kind of loss (spouse, dream, job, etc.) and want someone to talk to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free coaching session. Hope to talk to you soon! Blessings Friends.
Two great books I read last week:
Taking the Lead by Derek Hough – great advice for being a leader in life
The Everyday Supermodel by Molly Sims- I love a great lifestyle book with pics!