Jealousy is such a nasty and unpleasant characteristic. It creates unnecessary anger, pain, and conflict. There are times when jealousy is justified, if it is used intuitively to assess situations, but our emotional reactions that come as a result of jealousy are things we need to unlearn. I am nowhere close to where I want to be in terms of how I deal with jealousy. I am learning just like all of us. I would like to share some things I have noticed and how I help to pull myself out of the feeling.
One very important step is to focus on which self you are engaging with when you feel jealous. It is usually the emotional self. There is a logical self in there too! But sometimes when our emotions overwhelm us the emotional self can become dominant and the logical self can become completely unheard. Once you realize you are in the emotional state you have to remember to breathe and keep calm. It is important to analyze immediate reactions inwardly before responding outwardly because the outward response may be harmful and may inflict more emotional stress. We want to keep all the emotional responses calm so we can learn and understand them at a deeper level.
After you realize what state you are in you can calmly focus on what triggered the emotional response. Was it a word? An action? Were these words or actions said or created in your mind? Separate the reality from the hypothetical situations. I have noticed that jealousy often makes my mind go into far hypothetical scenarios that are nowhere near existance. Do not dwell in the hypothetical world. Anything can go on in there. It doesn’t mean that those hypothetical situations may not ever occur, but they are not happening now, so why worry about something that does not currently exist? Why worry about something that may possibly exist in the future? Stay present in the situation. Where are you now? How does your love with this other person feel now? Is it safe? Do you feel appreciated? Do you feel understood? Do you feel important? Discussing what you feel with the other person is always helpful, but I would suggest trying to understand yourself without them first so that you can silently sift through what you felt and piece together where it came from.
Remember that learning to love is difficult. Learning to love without boundaries, without rules, with a completely open and honest connection is difficult. No one said love was easy, but if you want to become a master of love I think it is vital that we push ourselves to the limits. That we learn how far we can make it in the uncomfortable areas and learn to understand why we feel uncomfortable. We can only learn from our weaknesses when we push ourselves into discomfort. Comfort is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. On my journey I choose to grow.
After you have sat with yourself and thought about why you felt the way you felt, what triggered it exactly, then think about what the root may be. I think this can be difficult. I have been trying to understand where the root of my jealousy actually stems from and I haven’t been able to confidently pinpoint it down yet. I think it can come from a lot of different places, trust issues, lack of communication, insecurities within yourself, etc. I personally believe mine lie in feelings of insecurity. I believe that I tend to feel less significant, less important, not valued. This is my emotional response though. I know none of these are true, but even though I think I may have found the root, I still feel jealousy. I still have to remind myself that none of those fears are true. So even once you discover what the root is there is still work. It’s not as simple as just discovering. Now i must analyze myself and retrain my emotional response to be one of confidence. One that is secure in myself first. Once I master this I think I will learn to, at the very least, feel less jealous over time and hopefully one day I will never feel this emotion.
I think that jealousy is a common problem in relationships. I believe it mostly stems from fear and once we learn those fears we can grow. If you are with someone who does not also take the time to analyze their fears or does not take the time to understand and hear your fears then it will be hard to build a more compassionate and loving relationship.
One more thing that I would like to add before concluding is that friendship is the basis for all relationships. Each person may have different requirements of what they need in a friend, but for myself trust is the most important thing, communication is second. If I feel unsafe or unheard then there is no point in continuing a friendship with that person. Sure, you can learn to know each other, learn to trust each other, learn to communicate, but I strongly advise not forming romantic relationships with people like this because the foundation is not secure. All too often people jump into romantic relationships with others that they don’t really know that well, or don’t really trust that much and if that isn’t continuously analyzed and nurtured then it will create a lot of suffering in the future.
Take your time getting to know people. Take your time. Build the core of friendship and build it up in love. Build it up so it will be strong and true so that if you ever do move forward into a more romantic aspect of the friendship you will already have a solid foundation for trust and communication and jealousy will not be an issue (or in the very least it will be an issue you can easily solve together).
These are ideas I have gathered from my own self reflection and also from an essay I read the other day which you can read here. I am no master at this skill and I mainly wrote this to remind myself how I wish to respond in the future. Learning to create a pure form of love is challenging but I believe that it is the next step in the evolution of the conscious individual so be strong and attentive to all the lessons so that we may continue growing on this journey.
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