Colorado Life Coach: Ughh! The “J” word (Jealousy)
I’m almost 49 years old, and I still get jealous!
Sometimes I don’t recognize it’s jealousy. Maybe I read something on facebook and skip past it really quickly.
Then in gnaws on me.
So what if she published her book before me? So what if she has more facebook fans? So what if she’s prettier? So what if her kids are top of their class? So what if her husband is a vice-president of something? So what?
I’m I the only one?
I don’t wake up wondering who I might be jealous of today. That’s the thing about jealousy–you don’t see it coming, so you get hit out of the blue. It’s sneaky that way!
I’ve struggled with it my whole life, and I see others struggling with it right now:
*Someone has a boyfriend or girlfriend and you want to be happy for them, but you’re super jealous.
*Someone plays better than you (instrument, sports, games) and they don’t even work as hard. It’s not fair!
*He is really muscular and girls look at him all the time. You’re not built that way.
*Everyone seems to like him or her and you can’t seem to make good friends.
*They get to go on vacations every year, and you’ve never been.
*Their family always gets along and our fights all the time.
*She just bought that car I’ve wanted for years. We’ll never be able to afford it.
Why do other people’s lives look better than mine?
1. You only see what you are allowed to see. You have no idea what things are like in other people’s lives until you see their inner world, and it’s typically not as pretty. People tend to only share the good stuff. It’s great when you have people in your life where there is a mutual trust level that permits you to see each other in reality. No one has a perfect life. We all struggle and hurt.
2. Some people work really hard…maybe harder than us. Maybe they are as good as they are because they’ve sacrificed other things that we’re not willing to sacrifice. Maybe they’re so skinny because they suffer from an eating disorder. Maybe they have all the money because they’re never home and work all the time. Maybe they spend 6 hours a day at the gym and you’d rather spend the time with friends and family. Maybe they’re mortgaged to the hilt and threatened with bankruptcy.
3. Some people are in the right place at the right time. Are they just lucky? Maybe. Or maybe they prepared themselves so that if the right opportunity came along, they’d be ready. Maybe they worked on their emotional health so when an awesome person came along, they’d be ready for a relationship. Maybe they worked on their writing so when an opportunity to publish came along they were ready.
4. Maybe they’ve been preparing for this their whole life. What if you are only seeing the tip of the iceburg? What if you didn’t know how long it took them to accomplish what, to you, seemed like a very sudden success? What if you don’t know the pain they’ve experienced on the journey? What if the only way they could be where they are now was because of a painful experience that you’d never trade for their success?
When I felt the jealousy this time, I recognized it. I knew what it was. I talked about it with my husband and he helped me think through all these points above. It is what it is. I had a moment of jealousy. But I don’t have to stay there.
I have a purpose on this earth, and so do you. When I compare myself to others, I can’t see my own purpose. Here’s a facebook post I DID pause on soon after the jealousy hit:
“Be faithful where you are. God is responsible for how BIG your influence gets.” -Rick Warren
I got centered again. I remembered who I am. I have a purpose. It’s unique to me. I can’t be just like those other people, because I’m me. God’s in control of this, and I don’t need to worry or panic or be jealous. He’s got it all figured out and I’m just where I’m supposed to be.
Sure, I can still work on myself, grow, heal, learn, stretch, and choose great things for my life. But ultimately, God has the best plan for me, because he sees my whole life before I live it. If I settle down and trust him, I can be content with my purpose and the timing of things in my life without jealousy.
p.s. The day after the jealousy hit, I facilitated a relationship group for Young Adults. I was “in the zone” and totally where I was created to be. It doesn’t matter what anyone else does. I’ve found my purpose!
How about you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole.