Monday, July 18, 2011

Ask Parvati 21: Jealousy - Part 1, Freedom Through Understanding


Dear Parvati,

I have a real problem with feeling jealous of other people whose lives seem to be going better than mine. My best friend got married to an awesome guy two years ago and she just had her first baby. I want to feel happy for her, but part of me just feels so bummed out because I want a husband and kids so badly but I haven't found that special someone yet and I wonder I ever will. Also, two of my co-workers just got raises (but not me) and I just keep thinking how nice it would be to have that extra money. It seems like all around me wonderful things are happening to everyone else but me. Sometimes I think I must just not deserve to have good things happen to me. Other times I get angry at God because it seems like he doesn't play fair and he never gives me a break. I even feel angry sometimes at my friend and co-workers for having what I want. I feel so ashamed of feeling this way, but it keeps coming up. How can I get rid of these feelings of jealousy?




Freedom Through Understanding


Thank you for your question. It takes courage to recognize that you have a stuck spot and could use support in understanding how to deal with it.


Jealousy is common. It can be expressed as anger, self-pity, sarcasm, feelings of revenge or sparks unhealthy competitiveness, all of which perpetuate a feeling of being separate, against the world and alone.


Jealousy is a painful emotion. No one likes feeling it. Yet many people repeatedly find themselves struggling with the feelings of scarcity and constriction that jealousy brings. Like anything, it can become a habit, even an addiction, a way in which we identify with seeing the world and ourselves. As with any habit, we must seek understanding to unlock the grip of the pattern and once again regain a fuller, healthier perspective.


I understand the temptation of feeling jealousy. I remember a time when I had to step back from performing for a bit due to a family emergency. During that time, I found myself feeling sparks of surprising jealousy for some friends I knew who were still actively performing.


Though I could have judged these feelings and tried to push them away with the attitude that they were bad, instead I took the opportunity to welcome them more into the front of my mind so that I may get to know the reasons for this visit from my shadow self.


We all have the potential to feel any painful emotion. When our shadow self visits, we can see it as a chance to take a look at this aspect of our mind and get to know what fuels the feelings. Through understanding, we can see more clearly and ultimately find release from suffering.


(Continues tomorrow with “It Is Not Happening To Me”)


1 comment:

  1. It can feel so frightening to actually sit down and take a look at the shadow self - as though there is no middle ground between the idealized self we desperately want to believe we are (or should be), and being a horrible person for having negative tendencies. But to find wholeness is a much greater gift to the self and the world than continued fearful insistence on only the parts of ourself we like. When we are willing to admit the unpleasant feelings are there without pushing them away, we can start to understand them more deeply in order to fully release them. I'm still a work in progress on this one!