It has happened to me a couple of times, so I know the warning signs well.
The first occasion took me by surprise.
Actually, both occasions took me by surprise.
A situation that arose which ended in someone packing a sad, spitting venom my way while hissing ‘is there nothing you can’t f—-n do’.
I was stunned because I have never thought of myself as being so talented that I would conjure up such jealousy in someone. And this blow-up happened over a cake!
Yes, you read correctly – a cake.
The second time was said to me by a manager in a job I had just stepped into – ‘is there nothing you can’t do’ were her words that stopped me in my tracks because I heeded the warning with a sense of dread. That dread turned out to be justified.
To be honest, I am one of those people that can lend their hand to a few things, however, has never been dedicated enough to excel in anything. I guess that makes me a jack of all trades and a master on none. (It is the masters that reach the heights.)
That is my burden to bear, and I don’t think it is an uncommon situation.
I think it was Oscar Wilde that said:
‘Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success.”
It is a horrid word and a sentiment not many of us want to admit to.
Yet all of us do, or have done at some stage, felt the pang of jealousy.
It is that strong feeling that comes when we sense someone has something we desire and, possibly, cannot have, or believe we cannot have.
It can be fuelled by the idea that the person we are jealous of is less ‘deserving’ than we are.
Even reading that brings a sense of discomfort and a rejection of the ideas that are written down.
None of us likes to think we come from the angle of people being less or more deserving of ourselves.
I have had situations in my life where jealously has fuelled some pretty ugly behaviour. I am not pious enough to write about something and then claim it has never come from my hand.
As I mentioned earlier, I have also been on the receiving end of, which has bought shame to the fore as the realisation came that I had been the perpetrator as well.
With this in mind, I have worked hard over the years to understand where jealousy comes from and what we can do not to get locked into its seedy games.
When did I feel it burn? Because jealousy does burn. It leaves a mark on the person who carries the resentment just as it leaves a mark on the one it is directed towards.
Jealousy comes from that space I have written about in previous blogs.
That space where we sense we are not enough, and what has unfolded for the person involved is another reminder that we are not enough.
That we do not have what it takes.
And it also thrusts our ‘failures’ in front of us adding more to the layers of discontent.
That for some mysterious reason, the person we fire the bullets at, has had better opportunities.
And when we sit in that space, we can become a melting pool of bitterness with no room to reflect on ourselves and our own behaviours, which is the only thing we can control.
The minute we admit to feeling a bit jealous, we become the person who vomits into the surrounding environment being a catalyst for the decay that inevitably follows.
And yet without acknowledging it is what we feel, it is left to fester.
I also know that we don’t move forward positively from a space of jealousy.
Jealousy requires energy that sucks any ounce of goodness we have, at least for the moments we are tied up with it.
So, if the green-eyed monster has reared its ugly head to ask yourself what it is you are really upset about?
Understand it is never about the other person – never.
Then take a step back, nurture yourself and remind yourself that you are perfect the way you are.