Patty’s bedroom had it all, including the ballerina bedspread that was so pretty. She lived a few houses away and was an only child of much older parents. My mother told me to put that bedspread out of my mind because we couldn’t afford it. But, what can I say; I retained that memory from my six-year-old self.
What I learned about jealousy in childhood goes much deeper than that. After Christmas (no, the bedspread didn’t magically appear from Santa) I ran into a classmate, Nancy, at church. She was holding a beautiful doll with long black hair and big brown eyes. She told me she got it as a gift. I immediately rattled off a list of all the presents I had received under the tree. Then I followed it up by asking her what else she got. “Just this,” she said, as she cradled her doll even closer, looking at it with love in her own big brown eyes. I was astonished. I may have been young, but the impact of that encounter has stayed with me all my life.
The lesson was learned; hold dear to your heart the precious things that have meaning for you ~ the rest isn’t necessary or important.
However, a discussion on jealousy just wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t move past possessions and dive into relationships. Again, childhood seemed to be the years where accelerated learning took place for me.
In the middle of the fifth grade my family moved from the city of Milwaukee to a suburb twenty-five miles away. Though painfully shy, I started to make friends, one in particular ~ until the day came when she told me she really couldn’t be my friend any longer because it upset her best friend.
There was also a girl in the class who seemed not to have any friends. Her name was Bonita and I decided to sit by her at lunch. We became close and I still have fun memories of how we explored the wilderness together. She turned this city girl into a nature lover! As time went on, other kids in the class also started to include me in their games. I tried to get Bonita to join in too, but she refused saying the others were mean. When I went to her house to try and play she told me that I had other friends now and didn’t need her. I told her she was still my best friend. But, more and more often she simply made herself unavailable and shortly thereafter she moved away.
Another lesson learned early in life ~ jealousy between friends can surface at any time, so be kind and try to include everyone. But, others may need to make choices based on their own needs. Cherish all memories and let go with love when need be.
Moving on, high school is the place where the ground is fertile for us all to learn much about jealousy. I joined in activities that felt good to me, but was happy to stay in the background being friendly to all. One night I was at a party and felt cheerful just being myself and going with the flow. A classmate came up to me, looked me right in the eye, and called me a loser. It was so out of the blue that I didn’t even have time to think of a response. Later that night when I was about to leave, I saw her sitting in a corner crying. I felt sad for her, but kept walking. Twenty years later, I ran into her in a bar in our hometown. She came over and asked, “Do you remember that night?” I knew exactly what she was referring to and simply said, “yes.” Words caught in her throat and she walked away. I think she was attempting to apologize and I wish I would have said, “it’s okay, let it go.”
Here are some other lessons made clear to me. When most people say inappropriate comments to us, they are likely expressing the frustration of their own jealousy. Best not to take it personally. Also, the person acting out their jealousy, injures their self most of all, because it keeps their own wounds running deep with guilt.
Over the years I’ve tried to remain aware whenever the green-eyed monster would rear it’s ugly head. Whether it’s jealousy seeming to bubble up within me or I’ve become aware of someone’s jealousy coming toward me, I try to handle it with grace and forgiveness.
Throughout my life, jealousy challenges have come and gone. The last big challenge was less than ten years ago. I knew a woman who was demonstrating some jealousy toward me, but I just let it go and remained kind and loving toward her. However, I didn’t know how deep the jealousy went until I overheard her speaking to a group of people. Basically, she was pretending to be me, presenting herself as a therapist with a master’s degree. Knowing it wasn’t true, I walked around the corner and looked her in the eye. She stopped speaking, but I didn’t give her away. I made some attempts to discuss it with her, but she kept sidestepping me. Later, I found out through a mutual friend that she had begun spreading malicious gossip about me. Also, late at night, emails would come from her asking me to get together with her to talk. I would agree and then she would no show.
The only course of action left for me was to forgive her from afar. Every time my ego mind wanted to demonize her, I had to stop myself. I let myself feel every emotion that would come through, and then I would offer the situation up to Spirit, asking to be healed of my own unwanted thoughts. I would shower myself with love and then send her an emerald green wave of love too. (In energy healing, love comes in on the Emerald ray, and it’s impossible to feel any other emotion when true love is present). Simply put, I wanted to get over it and not allow any of her jealous energy to infiltrate my life. So, I repeated my letting go process whenever negative thoughts about her surfaced. Finally, one day I caught myself randomly thinking about her with much compassion! What a relief to be truly at peace with her!
It is a very unpleasant feeling when you encounter a green-eyed monster. If you sense another person’s jealousy toward you, here are some thoughts that may help you get passed it.
Take it as a compliment ~ for they are seeing qualities within you that they have yet to discover within themselves.
If someone really wanted to be you or have what you’ve obtained, then they would also likely need to experience the struggle, time and devotion it took to get there. Unlikely, they could snap their fingers and have the same outcome.
Everyone has a unique life path with many gifts and accomplishments awaiting them. If they try to copy yours, then they are missing out on their own authentic experiences. No one is truly happy unless they connect with who they are meant to be.
Know that they are calling out for love, but that they don’t realize that they have an eternal, beautiful Spirit within who already is pure love. They can’t steal, buy, or manipulate that unconditional Self-love from anyone. They would be so much happier if only they used their energy toward loving and accepting themselves.
Be generous this holiday season. Love the precious things you have and give away the surplus. Focus upon what you love about yourself. Know that who you are is good enough. Don’t let the green-eyed monster bubble up from within you, and spread your holiday cheer to those whom seem to have it peering out from within them. Let the emerald green wave of love shine through you to all you encounter.
Pen Augustin is author of Waves of Light and The Priestess Tale series. She is also founder of Lady of the Lake Holistic Health. Pen loves to give messages about how we can heal ourselves and bring balance to our beloved planet. Living near the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, she enjoys spending time in nature and communing with the local wildlife.