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Jealousy, I've often heard, is a normal human emotion. When I hear that, I think, "maybe your jealousy-- not mine." My jealousy roars in the head, tightens the chest, massages my stomach lining with a cold fist as it searches out the best grip. I have long regarded jealousy as my greatest weakness. Only recently have I seen it for the tough-love friend that it is.

Jealousy is a map. Each of our jealousy maps differs. Each of us will probably be surprised by some of the things we discover on our own. I, for example, have never been eaten alive over the success of women novelists. But I took an unhealthy interest in the fortunes-- and misfortunes-- of women playwrights. I was their harshest critic... until I wrote my first play.

With that action, my jealousy vanished, replaced by a feeling of camaraderie. My jealousy had actually been a mask for my fear of doing something I really wanted to do, but was not yet brave enough to take action toward.

Jealousy is always a mask for fear.

5 Comments on "Jealousy"

  1. Or it can be a friend that imparts knowledge – if you declaw it. It can guide you into knowing what you want. If someone else has achieved something or has something that you do not it can help to light a fire in you to perhaps seek that in your life; a positive competitiveness of sorts. The only problem with unchecked, unexamined jealousy is that it can, as we know, lead you into a bad place that is not beneficial. I also agree that it is connected to fear.

  2. I agree with Eileen. A learning experience about ourselves. What motivates, causes fear, holds us personally back.

  3. Kelli S. says:

    As someone who has been on the receiving side of intense jealousy, and also on the giving side of jealousy, I can say with all affirmation that jealousy is a tool of division, designed to slow us down, trip us up, and cause people to lose potentially fantastic support systems. I used to think that women were the worst when it came to jealousy, but I’ve recently learned that men really suffer from this as well. Only their outward expression is so much different. All that said, I have to agree with Julia that jealousy is a “fear based” condition. Yes, it can help to drive us towards our perceived goals, but what I have found is that those “goals” are often times not our “true goals”. You know, the goals that live deep within our spirit and give a sense of true direction. Anything that leads us by fear will eventually result in a dead end and/or a feeling of emptiness. Such as those who make money their end goal, suffering under the belief that wealth will bring happiness, when in truth it can (and most often does) bring a great deal of loneliness, worry, stress, and persecution. So much better to allow the greatest Spirit to lead us without concern for what others have done before us and to know that our path is Divinely led. “Fear” has no place with the spiritual realm or path. It is a detour-ant. But we all have fears of some sort. I think it is better to confront your jealousies and look deeper into them and ask them “why are you here?”.

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