Jealousy is a human emotion that will probably affect all of us at sometime. It can be part of our human evolution as we tap into our wise, kind and compassionate nature, that is our true essence. The problem occurs when we disown our jealously, labelling it as a bad feeling. When in actual fact the way to transform this feeling is to accept it exactly as it is.
There is nothing wrong with any of our human emotions, they are, even our anger, guilt, greed, embarrassment, shame, disappointment and jealousy. It is not the emotion itself that is the problem. The problem lies within how we handle our emotions. Do we have the ability to observe our emotions and let them go? Or do we act out on our emotions, potentially creating chaos and hurting those around us?
If you are in the second category where you tend to act out on your emotions, do not be too hard on yourself. We have all been there. You would never consciously hurt someone. This type of behaviour is created unconsciously, that is, where you have the feeling, act out on in, and then it’s too late—the damage is done. This type of behaviour can make you feel out of control and is confusing for everyone, particularly yourself!
The good news is that by accepting and owning any jealous feelings you have, you can transform them to ones of genuine happiness of others doing well. When you feel jealous, tell yourself, that it is OK. This is not you true self, but a learned response that you have been taught (known as conditioning) by others while growing up. Young children can be happy, sad the next minute, then angry and happy again, all in the space of ten minutes! Young children generally let their feelings pass through their energetic system freely. As many adult do, they do not hold onto resentments and other unexpressed feelings and brood on them. This is a learned response, which means the good news is, we can unlearn it!
If the jealous feeling is very strong, you may need to get away from the situation that triggered it and give yourself some space to process the feeling. Going for a walk in nature or meditating upon it can be helpful in this process. The key is not to focus on the outward situation but turn your attention inward and develop awareness of your thoughts and feelings.
Be kind to yourself as jealousy is just a feeling and feelings come and go like clouds in the sky. Your true nature is not the clouds, it is the sky, strong, stable, and vast. Learn to observe the jealous feeling, acknowledge it and let it pass. Focussing on your breath helps to calm the mind and let you go deeper within. During this process you may have relevant flashbacks from the past, or be aware of limiting beliefs or thoughts that are fuelling the jealous feelings.
Awareness of relevant past events, or thought patterns that are driving the jealous feeling is empowering. You will feel some space from the feeling and rather being driven by it, you are in control of observing it. Being aware of your feeling will allow you to engage the frontal reasoning centres of your brain and choose thoughts and behaviours that you would prefer, rather than consciously acting out on your behaviours. New awareness of your inner world allows you to live your life consciously rather than unconsciously.
What happens when someone is jealous towards you? If you are not triggered or upset by their behaviour, that means that you have made peace with your jealous feelings within. If you are upset when someone behaves jealously towards you, it is a wonderful opportunity to go on an inner journey to explore how it makes you feel. The key is to accept your feelings as they are, in the process described above. Generally we can’t control others behaviour, however we can master our inner world, so that rather than reacting to external events, we can instead respond. Creating an inner world that it is peaceful rather than reactive, is empowering, as we can then respond to situations with stability and wisdom.
Jealousy also rises from a “lack” mentality that there is not enough resources for us all to have everything we want in life. If we reach down inside ourselves we will find our own rich pool of talents and resources to draw upon. If we focus on cultivating our gifts, doing the things we love, we will feel joyous for not only for our success, but equally delight in others success. This creates a sustainable win/win scenario. When people are successful at the expense of others, it is a hollow victory. This creates a win/lose situation which is imbalanced and therefore not sustainable in the long term.
There is a beautiful Buddhist concept called mudita that sees joy not as finite, but limitless. Life is bountiful and abundant, however sometimes we need to retrain our mindset so that abundance our natural way of being. Our inner world created our outer world, so if we feel abundant and limitless inside that is what we will manifest in our external world. It is a matter of transcending a scarcity or lack mentality and retraining your mindset for abundance. Nature can be a wonderful teacher. When we observe nature, it has a natural sense of abundance with countless leaves on the trees, blades of grass and the big blue sky. Life is abundant when we learn to think that way—there is enough goodness and joy for everyone. It is a matter of shifting our collective consciousness from greed, lack and competition to equanimity, abundance and rejoicing in others good fortune.
As for suffering I do not wish even the slightest;
as for happiness I am never satisfied.
In this, there is no difference between others and me.
Bless me so I may take joy in others’ happiness
~ First Panchen Tibetan Lama
When we feel in our natural loving state, there is a sense of pervading oneness. If others are distressed we feel compassion and empathy for them. When they have good fortune, in our natural loving state, we feel the joy of witnessing their joy. As we develop a more connected and loving relationship with ourself, we realise that its OK to have a jealous feeling. The key is to be able to make a choice not to act out on it, in ways we would later regret. Instead we are able to tap into the greater good and authentically feel that others good fortune enhances our life. In fact there is plenty of abundance for all if we make the choice to see life in that way.
About the author:
Deborah is committed to the ongoing improvement of the world we live in and as such; founded Blisspot.com. Blisspot.com transforms everyday lives through encouragement, sharing, education, inspiration and connection.
Deborah has written Bliss Every Day, Love Now and Glow while you Grow books and eCourses. She is a qualified kinesiologist, with a background in counselling, psychology. Deborah is an enthusiastic and award winning entrepreneur. Founder and CEO of Brave Design Group and Eatsmart Food, she won the ACT Business Women of the Year and the ACT Chief Minister’s Award for Innovation.
Deborah enjoys success as an industry spokesperson and author. She is an avid speaker, blogger and radio show guest in Australia and The United States. Devoted to her family; Deborah is passionate about creating relationships and raising children in a positive and conscious way.