PERSONAL GROWTH | Why We Need to Feel Jealous
There he was, lounging with an idyllic beach in the background, his skin bronzed and his hair tousled as if he had just been making love to a goddess. And in his clear, blue eyes was the kind of bliss that poets and artists have tried to capture for millennia.
This man was a writer. Not just a writer, but a poet and an activist with a following of millions who would follow the milk and honey of his words to the ends of the earth.
Reading about this man, I grew slack-jawed: "This is it! This is the kind of life I want!"
I turned from my computer screen and towards my daughter's cluttered bedroom, which I use as my makeshift office. My hair unbrushed, I was wearing a dingy bathrobe in dusty Central Phoenix. My home is far from a beach, and my fan base is far from millions.
The contrast between my life and my impression of this man's life felt almost shameful.
And there it was: Jealousy.
Of all the emotions, jealousy is one of the hardest pills for me to swallow. I've spent my life aspiring to be an example of poise, grace, and power for whom jealousy is completely irrelevant. I'm the woman who can get anything she wants, so I do my best to believe.
God forbid that I show the hunger I feel for an auditorium (or even a Facebook page!) swelling with a loyal tribe of seekers and artists; a day to linger in bed under clean, white sheets; the slow kiss of my partner, uninterrupted by the demands of family and work...
And yet, here I was, face to face with the hunger I've felt for years. It was triggered by what I read of this writer, (who, being human, has probably had his fair share of jealousy, too...)
Why was I jealous?
Haven't I been preaching that every human being is uniquely gifted and worthy of love since I started my business?
Why couldn't I bring myself to celebrate and draw inspiration from this writer, whose life and career stopped me in my tracks with soul-deep longing?
Part of the answer lies in the fact that I needed to feel jealous.
My jealousy showed me that the life and self I hungered to create were reflected by (what I perceived to be) this writer.
And while I felt diminished in comparison to this man, I knew I could let the demons of worthlessness and lovelessness eat away at me... Or, I could choose to feed myself instead.
When faced with jealousy, we can choose to see it as an invitation to ask ourselves:
What are we really hungry for, and why?
What can the object of our jealousy teach us about how to satisfy those hungers?
For me, my jealousy triggered my hunger for a way of life where nature, creativity, and community blend like the meat and vegetables in a warm winter stew. I long for the kind of life that grows richer over time...the kind of life that is spacious enough to allow for hours uninterrupted each week to spend alone, or with loved ones, or for doing whatever it is that I want on that given day.
Are you suffering from some comparison-induced jealousy when it comes to your writing, wishing your message could shine like other writers you admire? Are you hungry for a clearer, more authentic message for your business? Know that you have all the content you need locked inside you right now. I'm here to help you unleash it. If you're ready to put your one-of-a-kind gifts in words, let's connect for a free 30-minute consultation.
Enjoy what you read? Subscribe today to the monthly A Shared Path blog here! Enjoy soul-stirring stories and practical wisdom on local entrepreneurs, personal growth, the writing journey, and interpersonal relationships, plus poetry and fine art photography.