Ooooof. This is a hard one.
Actually it isn't. It's not hard to admit that I experience jealousy, after all I'm only human.
When I played roller derby, I well remember being jealous when someone joined the team, and was chosen to be on the bouting team, quicker than me. At that point, I had been there over 18 months and felt like I was making no progress towards actually playing the game. The new person came, and was chosen within 2 months. They had never skated before, but I later found out that they had been a competitive diver! Ok, so a background in athletic training matters. I guess when you have trained to fall from height, falling onto the floor seems far less daunting.
When I was learning to skate in the skate park, I remember being jealous when folks who had started around the same time, chucked themselves fearlessly around the space. No matter that they didn't have a full time job and a child! In my head, I should have been able to attack the space just as fearlessly, despite NOT having a background in gymnastics, or having set foot in a skate park until my mid-30s!
When I was learning roller dance, I recall feeling jealous that others were able to go to big skate events and due to my job, I was not.
Jealousy feels horrible. When I'm in the grip of this emotion, I don't feel kind, patient or embody any of the other qualities I value. Instead, I want to drag people down to the place I'm sitting in. Which is somewhere between hurt, sadness and anger with a side dose of self pity. I also wanted people to think that I'm a good person, so stifled the emotion and pushed my uncomfortable feelings down, instead of dragging others down. Of course, if you don't allow yourself to feel the emotion, it amplifies and becomes all consuming in your mind. I'd be dreaming up ways to draw attention to myself, all of them by pretending I was someone I wasn't. Is that okay to do? Erm..... NO. I don't think it is.
What I have since learned is that my jealousy is telling me something. It's showing me what I would like. It then becomes my responsibility to do something differently in my life to enable that thing to become a reality. Or step away. If I don't, if I take no action, my mind will slowly find ways to sabotage the other person. Then I really will be living outside of my values.
Back to the skate park. I tried being upside down, but I cannot do a cartwheel very well off skates, and my attempts just scare me. It's because I was braver when I was in my late 20s and tried a handstand against a wall, but chose a dodgy bit of ground (without realising) which gave way, and I ended up with a sprained shoulder muscle. Not being able to move my head and neck properly was painful! I had unknowingly held onto fear in my subconscious. My body was protecting me from getting hurt again. Clever stuff! Now I undertsnad the root of my jealousy, I can do something about it. Do I ever want to be upside down? Actually, not really thanks. Having decided that, the jealousy dissipated. Now, I can watch and applaud people doing cartwheels, handstands and more upside-down stuffs without feeling jealous at all.
Since learning how to confront my jealousy by re-evaluating my goals, I've felt much more at peace.
Gratitude is jealousy's enemy too. More on that tomorrow.
Try listening to your jealousy. What is it telling you?