No one likes to admit that they are jealous or envious of anyone, but I’m going to do it anyway.
Sometimes I feel jealous of other people.
My personal development has led me to a point where I can now own my jealousy. What that feeling typically signals for me is that I have a new goal that has yet to be clarified. If I look deeper into why I feel jealous, I can get clear about what my goal is.
Here is an example: Let’s say I see a gorgeous woman walking by. She looks great. She’s slim and she’s wearing a sassy outfit and she’s rocking some “killer heels”. I notice the green monster creeping up from the pit of my stomach and spreading all over my body, finally landing in my head in the form of some negative thoughts. I feel somewhat angry at this stranger, whom I know absolutely nothing about. I’m jealous. (..or envious, whatever!) Whether it is jealousy or envy, it is not pretty!
Because I don’t know her (the woman I’m jealous of), I also know that the feeling of loathing that I am directing at her has nothing to do with her; it has everything to do with me.
So, I look deeper…Why exactly am I directing all this venom at this woman? Is it her sassy outfit? No, I have so many clothes that even after giving away half of them, I still have too many. And yes, a lot of them are sassy outfits.Is it her “killer heels”? No, I have so many pairs of shoes that every time I pack to go on a trip the fact that my husband has to carry my heavy shoe suitcase threatens to destabilize my otherwise relatively stable marriage.
Then it comes to me. She’s a sexy size 6!!! And why is this a problem for me? Well, after enjoying two months of third world bliss in Botswana (along with all my favorite Tswana foods), I have gained a solid 10 pounds…or more-yikes! And there it is…She’s slim and I’m “fat” and I am jealous of her.
And now I know what I have to do. I have to get back on track with my eating and exercise habits. When I get off track with my eating and exercising, not only do I not feel good, I don’t look my best. I don’t feel…gorgeous, which then leads me to feel sour when I see a woman who I perceive as gorgeous.
This isn’t about me and my body or my somewhat shallow preoccupation with my weight. It could have been a woman driving by in a luxury car or me seeing a beautiful home or a couple who look like they are in love or maybe even seeing someone in their graduation robe. Maybe I am jealous of the luxury car or house, which, if I go deeper, will show me that I have not been diligent about managing my finances. Now I’m angry that some woman has a car that I want but can’t afford. (I might even make up some story about how she is probably a gold digger who’s $exing up a “sugar daddy” who pays for that car.)
The graduates could be showing me that it’s time to go back to school. (Just to be clear, I have two undergraduate degrees and a graduate degree and I really don’t see myself going back to school-at least not in the traditional sense). But I think you get my point; it’s not her; it’s ME. It’s not them; it’s YOU.
At the end of the day, if you’re honest with yourself; if you’re brave enough, you will see that, most of the time, when you have negative feelings about what someone else has, it is usually because you want it or some variation of it. So rather than get mad at them, go back to the drawing board. Write a goal down, work on an action plan and get on with it!
Generally, if you’re busy working on your goals, you won’t have time to look at other people and “hate” on them.
Are you brave enough to admit you are jealous? If so, you have a goal waiting to be accomplished! Go get’em!
Nomalanga helps Black women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , a former College Professor and Mrs. Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter