|Romper: Vestique, Shoes: CRIV, Bracelets: Alex + Ani - gifts from my MIL, Earrings: Versona, Clutch: gift|
"Jealously FKs with your light." - Cara Alwill Leyba
I'm assuming you just read that first line, right? Now... go back and read it again. I'll wait.
Jealousy FKs with your light.
Have truer words ever been spoken? I doubt it. Jealousy is a bitch. A liar. It tricks you into seeing the desirable in other people, and normally means that you are looking at yourself, your image, your life through a lens of "lack".
It's hard out there. I get it.
It's always been a difficult task. To focus on your own shit. To appreciate your life, your gifts, your talents, and your strengths, your looks... but MAN.... I don't think it's ever been harder to do than RIGHT NOW.
We live in a world where we are BOMBARDED with images. Perfectly cropped, filtered, and selected (from a camera roll of 26 others that didn't make the cut). Shit... even the pictures I share with you on this blog. There are 15 others that got deleted because I didn't like them. It's not a big deal to select images that make you feel good versus bad, but it can, if not properly digested and considered for what it is, have you believing that other people have it somehow "all together".
I used to be a really jealous person.
I don't think I was aware of it at the time, but I was ALWAYS looking at other people (especially other women) wishing I had something they did. Wishing I could trade mine for theirs. When I was young, I wished my mom and dad were still together, I wished we lived on Heather Heights (a hill in my hometown where people with really nice houses lived). Growing up I wished I was skinnier, prettier, more talented; that I had money to buy my school clothes at The Gap.
I used to stare at a girl named Bridgette Fagnan in my 8th grade English class in her Gap jeans, and petite figure (that looked SO good and effortless in a bodysuit) and WISH I looked like that. I WISHED I could wear a bodysuit. I mean.... HOW WAS SHE SITTING DOWN IN A BODYSUIT WITHOUT BELLY ROLLS??? How does one obtain a ticket into that genetic lottery???
When I went to college, I envied the pretty girls. The ones who knew how to dress, how to do their hair and make-up. The ones who had nice figures and nice cars (in college???!!!). They looked so pretty in 8am classes with their hair effortlessly thrown on top of their head in an oversized, men's sweatshirts. (Meanwhile I'm wearing a baseball cap and wind breaker pants just trying to melt into the floor in the back so no one sees me until noon when I've at least taken the time to shower and put on my nicer wind breaker pants.) I was always looking at other people and making myself feel like shit comparing myself to them.
These are somewhat silly examples, and relatively normal, but if you don't become aware of them they can eat you alive. Manifest. Morph into soul-crushing thoughts and behaviors. It's normal to vie for the body of an 8th grade classmate, but I see it in adults more than I care to admit (and I still fight it). I see and hear people being MEAN. Straight up mean. Discussing other people's marriages, income, vacation photos, CHILDREN!! Grown-ass people are cruel when it comes to other people's children. It's nuts.
Jealousy prompts us to make assumptions about others in an effort to make ourselves feel better.
If a woman is confident we tell ourselves that she must be stuck up. If she's successful and works outside of the home, she doesn't have her priorities in check. If she stays home with children, she will be judged for that too. If she's fit, she is conceded. If she has nice clothing/car/jewelry, we tell ourselves, that "I could have nice clothing too, but I don't CARE about that stuff because I am a martyr and give every ounce of myself to my family, children and I'm the last to get anything". If someone shares their love and relationship on social media, they are showing off. Taking selfies? Self absorbed. Making money? Greedy.
We judge because of envy.
I can proudly say that... at 38... I am no longer one of those jealous, trolling, women who get sick pleasure from hating on other women. I don't know when it happened exactly, but at some point I made a conscious decision to turn that shit around. One tool I use is really simple. I use it all of the time and I swear by it. It may seem ridiculous to you, but it works for me. What do I do?
I never waste a compliment.
That's it. If I think something in my head about someone that is complimentary, instead of being a jealous piece of shit and twisting it up in my head, I tell them. I give them a compliment.
For example. If I like someone's outfit, instead of wishing I had it, or that I could "pull it off" or afford it, or whatever. I simply compliment the person wearing it. "I love your outfit." Instead of scrolling past one of my friend's vacation photos because I am pissed that I'm not in Greece, I am liking the photos and commenting on them. Seeing women on IG who work hard on rock hard bodies. Click that little heart button, give them a "Yassss Bitch" in the comments and keep it moving. Before I was engaged and ANOTHER one of my friends got a gorgeous diamond, I was genuinely happy for them, congratulated them, and shared in their joy. Jealously blocks your blessings. I believe that with every ounce of my soul. So stop being a shady bitch.
Now... I compliment my friends, family, and acquaintances all of the time. I even compliment strangers. And when they look at me strange, or uncomfortably, I simply say... "I decided a long time ago not to waste a compliment. When I think something nice about someone, I tell them." 9 times out of 10, the person lights up. You never know what their insecurities are. You don't know when the last time someone, who wanted nothing in return, gave them a genuine compliment.
Trust me, friends, it feels SO much better to build someone up versus tearing them down. I promise you that. Allow someone else's success to simply show you what is possible inside of you.
"Jealously is very simply a lack of self-worth. Shift your energy. Search within yourself to understand the root of your fears. Enter that dark and lonely place. Find a way to love yourself. Then, emerge on the other side, ready to pull another woman out of her own despair. Show her how to love herself too." - C.A.L