She glanced over at the newly ensconced diamond on the pretty twenty-two year olds hand, and later that evening she took a moment to cry, in the lonely safety of her home. She wanted that.
He glanced down the street to the stoplight and his eyes stopped on the new red Ferrari. He ran his eyes over the curves, the lines, the tail pipes. Later that evening he looked up the price of that model online. He wanted that.
Weddings, cars, houses, jobs, resources, good hair — we want them. Health, safety, influence, love, good calves — we have all been jealous of someone who has more or better or superior goods or looks or personality.
Jealousy is interesting. It is the ugly-step mother everyone has. It is universally hated and universally practiced. Everybody feels some of it, very few if any admit it, because jealousy carries with it shame, self-reproach, and extreme social disapproval.
And yet jealousy is that one ugly family member, that one piece of clothing we just can’t bring ourselves to get rid of.
There is an intrinsic inner core to our jealousies that finds its existence within our deepest hopes and dreams. Jealousy is a flag waving over a soul in need of something.
Jealous of someone else’s engagement may arise out of desires to be loved, to be someone’s special one. This is so human, so normal, and the core desire in this is not wrong or nasty or evil. We need to be loved, we want to be loved and we should be loved. Jealousy of love tells us we too have this need.
Desire for a home is the same. Jealousy of someone’s nice house may often show that we have a dream within, of living in the shire, of having our own garden to putter in, of having a safe and beautiful castle for ourselves and our cats, a refuge-home from the wild, wild wood and world.
The fast, sleek beautiful car we might admire? There is a universal dream in many of us to launch, to fly, to fly fast and slick and sleek, to turn heads, to go past those slow, cheap, ugly utilitarian vehicles around us. The sports car represents the fulfillment of the dream of being beautiful and free.
All this, so human, so real, so common.
What to do?
Not cheat, fight, hurt, attack, criticize, condemn, hate. That is jealousy’s dark side. Jealousy’s principal temptation is to destroy what we can’t have.
We need to see this. We need to look unflinchingly at our jealousies, and recognize how they might ruin some of our best relationships. Jealousy can lead us to stupidly devalue our friends and turn them into our enemies. It can lead us to the ugly side of human sociality, to gossip, to undermining, to stonewalling, to attacking, to displacing and to destroying other human beings. Not good, not a place of health or quality or goodness.
There are other better options. We can look our jealousies in the eye and admit them. We can honestly admit to jealousy, and then decide not to turn its harmful ways on ourselves or others. We can take a moments to stop comparing ourselves to someone else, and to appreciate where we are, who we are and what we have.
And we can be gentle with our jealousies, and employ them, to understand our fragile, needy persons. Within our jealousies often lie the hopes and dreams of our souls.
These dreams need to be discovered to that we can begin to find realistic and legitimate and custom-made ways to fulfill them, to go out and get what our souls need.
The antidote to jealousy is found in the beautiful ensoulment provided by contentment, self-care and self-advocacy. The antidote to jealousy is found in the divine imperative to live within what God has allowed, given, graced, opened and provided. This is rich. Grace is always rich. There is and always will be enough for the soul aligned.
Are you jealous? So am I.
Then together, let us admit this, and with gentle love for others, and gentle self-care for our own souls, trust in what has been allowed, and with insight and understanding launch the warrior, lover, thinker and dreamer within to go out into the wide-wild world and wood to find the gorgeous safety, beauty and love we need.