Does it so happen that, every time an acquaintance achieves success, you get a sinking feeling in your heart? Do you find yourself wishing internally that your friends fail, while, on the outside, you motivate and applaud them? Do you find yourself mocking every acquaintance who tries something different?
I felt all of this while I was in college and for a couple of years later. Its only in the last few years that I have learned how to receive the success and bold efforts of others with positive energy. Here are a few facts about jealousy as I have come to understand it today :
1. It indicates our own refusal to accept the adventure of life. Ask yourself why do you feel bad, even though you keep telling yourself that any body’s success is a good thing and needs to be celebrated?
When you have taken the easy path in life, when you have told yourself that what you dream is not possible, even the slightest possibility of someone succeeding at it may elicit a strong reaction from you. The questions that you have been avoiding, that part of you that you have been ignoring, all the things your heart wished for but you were too afraid to strive for, which you had buried down with logical remarks, is all laid bare by this person. You hate him for that. But if you look deeply enough, its your heart speaking out to you, asking you to go for your own dreams.
2. It indicates our refusal of the challenge of life. I’ll bring up an example that I quote often. If you are about to play a game, would you play it only if you are certain you will win? Would that be fun? The fun in playing games is in the uncertainty and in the feeling of achievement when you succeed against circumstances that just turn up, for which you were not prepared. When you face such challenges, you are totally awake, totally in the moment. Eckhart Tolle says, that is the reason why people like watching sports. What is tennis but two people hitting the ball. People like it because they see two people who are totally ‘in the moment’, so much so that they bring all spectators into the moment too. That is bliss, that is what games are played for. That is what life should be played for too. Its either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Accept the challenge of life, its not something threatening, its a friend who wants to play with you, have fun along with you.
3. It indicates a strong denial of self to seek security. Do you believe in playing safe always? Maybe you think you are making a secure life for yourself. Ask yourself whether you are really happy. Are all your needs met? If not, when will they be met? I’ll tell you, never. If you look for security, you will always have some danger lurking behind a threatening corner, that you need to take care of. If this is how you want it to be, stop feeling bad about the ones who strive for more. But if you like to change it, look inwards. Face the part of yourself that you have been denying. Accept what you want and go for it.
4. It indicates a lack of faith in a friendly Universe. Are you afraid something bad will happen? Answer this, what’s the worst you feel can happen? Won’t you be able to recover from it? Don’t you have faith in your ability to bounce back from failure? Any failure just gives you a lesson and makes you stronger for the higher game ahead in life. If you shy away from it, you play with the same level of players for the rest of your lives, and that’s not much. You won’t enjoy it for long. Do you have a feeling that you are not enjoying things as much as before? Do you find yourself referring back to the ‘good old days of childhood’? Well, buckle up, stick your head out and look at the vast playing field that this Universe is. There are far more interesting games out there than you ever played in your life. Guess what, the good never stops coming, as long as you keep yourself positively receptive.
5. If you don’t set your own direction, life will set it for you. Did you say I don’t need to do anything, things are just fine? Well, if you don’t set your own directions, life will set it for you. If you don’t have any concrete wish of your own, the Universe will just use you to manifest other people’s wish. If you believe things are just fine, then you shouldn’t feel bothered when you peer gets that promotion which you didn’t. if you feel things are not fine, accept your jealousy of your peer and accept your responsibility towards making things better.
6. Consider jealousy as life pushing you around. All these bitter experiences are nothing but life pushing you around. It nudges you, just like a cow nudges its newborn. The new born wants to just lie there but the cow pushes it with its head, urging it to try stand up and walk. Life is like that, constantly urging you to get up and move.
7. The seed of jealousy is inside you. I hope all I have said here, made you realize that the real reason for this bad feeling is something inside you and not in the events that happen around you or the people in your life. And this is a good thing! You have all the control over how you feel, and its totally in your hands to change things to feel more empowered and full of life!
8. You can feel good about your jealousy. For all that I have said, jealousy is not a bad thing. Like fear, it helps to accept it and feel it. Only when you accept its presence, can you work upon it. If you feel it consciously, you will witness your own suppressed desires speak up and demand fulfillment.
9. Being close to successful people will help get rid of jealousy. Some people avoid the company of those who are more successful then themselves, in the hope of avoiding jealousy. The opposite, I think, will help more. Give yourself more occasions to feel jealous. You will soon get over inactive jealousy and move to a state of active, up lifting, healthy competition with your peers.
10. You can become your own competition! The stage of healthy competition will also pass when, over time, you get so much faith in yourself that you compete only against yourself. All you take from the rest of the world is inputs to improve yourself and all you feel like giving back is goodness!
Don’t be jealous, you don’t need to be. Here is something to remind you of your true nature.
“I was not delivered into this world into defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep.
The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.
I will persist until I succeed.” — Og Mandino