Have you ever felt so jealous you want to pull out your hair? Have you ever seethed with envy and hated yourself for it? Have you ever looked at another person’s life and said, “why them and not me?” and had self-pity get caught in your throat.
I never experienced real, soul-sucking jealousy until I was in mid-thirties.
Up until that moment, feeling jealous was against everything I believed. Nice people don’t get jealous. Spiritual people would never be jealous. Only immature, un-evolved people who have severely low self-esteem get jealous, which only proves they clearly are not working on themselves.
Those kind of people get jealous. Not little ‘ol me. (You know what’s coming right?)
Then one day, I was (and not just a little).
I was out of mind with jealousy and it had nothing to do with a love relationship. Nope. I was jealous of a friend who began teaching workshops about a topic that I was sure I was the source of everything she knew about that particular subject.
How did she dare teach something she had no personal experience with?!?! I was livid. I couldn’t see straight. I was beside myself.
I even approached her trying to point out how she knew nothing about this and in fact, I had taught her everything on this subject. (Yes, I was a Fear Junkie.)
And you know what she said to me? You wanna know? Well, let me tell you.
She pushed back her sweet little blonde hair, pushed up her little glasses on that little face attached to that little body and said, “You had nothing to do with this.”
WHAT!!!!!!!!! No, “thank you”. No, “you’re right”. No, “I am so thankful but I am going to do it anyway”. Nothing.
You can imagine the feeling of betrayal I had. Her incredulous denial of my support, of my teaching her everything I know in that lousy diner night after night using spoons and forks to show her how the world works. (This was all before I became a coach. I actually think teaching her what I knew made me a better coach because this Barbie doll-in-the-flesh friend of mine didn’t know a thing about personal development or spiritual principles or …well, anything.)
(Stay in the present Rhonda. Stay in the present.) Sigh!
It was in the middle of one of my pity parties that it hit me. I was jealous of her because I wanted to do what she was doing but I didn’t think I was capable of such a task.
I also realized that up until that moment, feeling jealous was something I was unable to accept about myself.
I had a false perception that if I felt jealous, that would prove that I wasn’t as transformed as I wanted to believe about myself. Admitting I was jealous, in my mind, would have erased all the years of hard work I had done on myself.
Yet at that moment, I realized the very act of allowing myself to feel jealous was actually proof that I had indeed grown up a bit. I was allowing myself to feel a feeling that I had denied myself for years. It was finally out of the closet and I experienced it fully. Not that I liked it. Not that I was proud of myself.
I realized that giving myself permission to experience the feeling of jealousy, without judging myself for it, would ultimately be healing. And it was.
I was able to move through that episode of jealousy, once I recognized what was happening, without continuing to blame my friend or myself. I became aware.
From that awareness, I was able to take that jealousy and turn it into action.
Because that’s what jealousy is really for. To teach us where we must grow next.
I woke up to the real message behind jealousy: When I am jealous, it means I am not expressing myself in ways that I desire to. I am holding myself back from being true to myself. I am living a “less than me” life.
Whenever I think of my friend, I say a silent, “thank you,” because without her bold action in the face of my attack and Fear Junkie behavior, I may not be doing what I am doing today.
That episode of jealousy pushed me further on the path I am on today. From that depth of jealousy, I made a choice to love myself through it rather than become a victim of it.
It was right after that I took a big risk and start teaching the classes that eventually turned into Fearless Living. Thank you beautiful blue eyed, perfect bone structure friend. I love you.