Jealousy Be Damned

Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value.  Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point – that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you.  There is only one alternative – self-value.  If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved.  You will always think it’s a mistake or luck.  Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within.  Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences.  Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security.  Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them.  ~Jennifer James

Jealousy suck. I hate it. I am never jealous in romantic relationships. I do not know why, but I always have known my place in a relationship, and know I am loved, supported. Perhaps I have chosen healthy partners. Perhaps I just know I have some relationship issues and do not see them as always lasting. I do not know, but it isn’t a struggle for me.

But when it comes to advocacy, blogging, and my efforts through ViR, I get jealous and struggle with comparison. I look at posts of others, how many comments they get, how much love and support they get, and instead of feeling proud and happy for them, the instinctual reaction is of jealousy and comparison. I know that is wrong, and I immediately self talk and recognize this as instinctual but I do not have to let it be my reality.

But it still sucks.

I was reading this post by Your Kick as Life and Andrea said “I reverted back to being 15 years-old again. OMG her outfit is totally better than mine/She’s prettier than me/Why didn’t I say that first/She’s WAY cooler than me/I should wear more make-up all the time/……”

Wow. I could SOOO relate to that.

This study says Jealousy and attachment share some characteristics: both can be interpreted as dynamics aimed at maintaining the subjects/partners together, appear to be triggered by the separation from the attachment figure/partner, involve the same basic emotions, such as fear, anger, sadness, and, finally, both they elicit a sense of safety when the other is close and responsive, or the opposite when he or she is distant.”

I know this is supposed to be related to relationship jealousy, but perhaps there is something there. Perhaps I am feeling distant and unconnected to the relationships around me, so when I read things online I am finding jealousy as the first response. This is showing that jealousy and insecurity are linked. Which is a big duh.

Perhaps I need to focus more on the relationships I feel distant in. And more to the point – I need to share love, support, and appreciation for those I get jealous towards. Because it isn’t about them, it is about me.

There is this book I think I need to read.

It talks about conceptualizing friendship jealously in childhood and adolescence. This is something I know I have history with. Like Andrea said in her post, she reverts back to her 15 year old self. I know how this goes. I know middle school was a challenge for me and made me mistrust women. I know that was in early development and perhaps some of those memories have remained with me today.

In truth I am proud and adore all the people I get jealous of. I don’t like the feelings of jealousy and comparison. I know my instinctual voice struggles with wanting to be like others, while at the same time I honestly NEVER want to be like another. A contradiction between instinct and authentic voice. I know my true voice, is one that recognizes and appreciates my voice. I know my instinctual voice is my fear, my insecurity and my 13 year old self. I know when that voice comes into play, I need to practice self love, and figure out where I feel insecure.

My 13 year old self handled bullying, girl rivalry, and it was a period of time where I cried all the time. I would like to go back and tell myself I do not have to be so strong, I do not have to put up a wall with all women. I do not need to distrust all women. Perhaps those generalizations are part of my subconscious and at least I recognize them today.

It just makes me feel for young girls who go through middle school and high school and are learning these lessons that could potentially be carried forward in generalizations and mistrust of women, relationships, and continuously foster the spirit of competitiveness versus collaboration. We need to teach young women to not only be less mean towards one another, but show how collaboration is a strength!

I am starting to learn these lessons in the last few years, and hope young girls can learn these lessons sooner. I am grateful for the friends I have met through social media, because while an instinctual jealous moment may rear its ugly head, I am aware and have made some of the most amazing, supportive relationships through collaboration, support, and friendship.

So take that instinctual voice, my authentic voice holds more weight. I refuse to allow fear, mistrust, and competitiveness into my world. I will support, love, and reach out in kindness to those I admire. They are my teachers, my friends, and women I admire.

20 Responses to Jealousy Be Damned
  1. andrea
    February 17, 2011 | 7:39 pm

    Wow! SO well-said.

    The vast majority of my professional life has been with women in recovery. My current “work life” is new and sometimes uncomfortable — especially when I compare my insides with the “outsides” of others. (e.g. they get more and better comments, more RTs etc) I need to bring the lessons from the recovery community with me everywhere I go — even online!

    I once had the opportunity to interview some people who were receiving a HUGE national honor. And, when we were standing away from the rest of the group, every one of them told me that they could understand why the other members of the group were being honored but that each of them found it hard to believe that they were included in that group.

    Maybe everyone has an insecure 13-year-old inside?

    I like what you write.

    • ViR
      February 17, 2011 | 7:42 pm

      Thank you so much Andrea! I think this feeling may be common with women. I know a lot of people have struggled with their teenage years and brought some of it into their adulthood. In recovery I have learned to question and be accountable to all unhealthy thoughts, so I am grateful for that. Thank you for sharing about the honor! I know at least my instinctual voice isn’t my true feelings, and while that is annoying, it can lead to a place of potential healing of the 13 year old.

  2. Issa
    February 17, 2011 | 8:27 pm

    I love this post and really empathise. I think it’s quite brave to write about jealousy so thanks for being so honest. I really struggled with jealousy for a long time, and it was often derived from insecurity (as you point out)and seems to be dissipating as my sense of self is growing. I’ve also noticed that jealousy often points me towards the qualities and skills I admire, and I’ve used this as a kind of signpost which has taken the destructive element away a little. It’s hard to shrug off those past feelings but I think that self exploration and open-ness is so important, so thanks for leading the way.

    • ViR
      February 17, 2011 | 8:49 pm

      Thank you hun. I don’t think I honestly knew I struggled this much with it. I feel icky being insecure at times, like I should always have it all together. And then I realize that is my should monster and not the true me. Definitely a lesson I am learning slowly xx

  3. Michelle McGrath
    February 17, 2011 | 8:44 pm

    Well said!! Really so true. From personal experience I can say that working through feelings of jealousy is some of the deepest work we can do….listening to those parts of ourself that are crying out for our attention as they feel unloved and lacking. The key is to be gentle and compassionate. It’s usually the part of ourself that is most desperately needing our love. And usually the doorway through which the greatest gifts lie behind – the parts of ourselves we find most difficult to welcome back into our hearts. Thanks for sharing xxx

    • ViR
      February 17, 2011 | 8:48 pm

      Thank you Michelle! I absolutely agree with everything you have said. Definitely trying to come from a place of kindness and love towards myself 🙂

  4. KCLAnderson (Karen)
    February 18, 2011 | 2:28 am

    Comparing is one of the most insidious (and human) things us humans do. I think we’re wired to do it! So the first thing you need to do is recognize that it’s not *wrong* to do it. Don’t give yourself something to beat yourself up over…so you compared. It’s okay!

    I know you’re not looking for me to prop you up, but I just have to say that you freaking ROCK! You have such a gift of empowerment…of being able to relate and express yourself and be supportive. What you do (what comes easily to you) is so very valuable.

    Oh, and just so you know? I fall into the same trap too. As I said, I think it goes with the territory.

    • ViR
      February 18, 2011 | 3:21 am

      Thank you Karen. I know it is human. You bring up a good point about NOT beating myself up. It is true I am so hard on myself when I tell others to not be so hard on themselves.

      And thank you for the kind words. I actually really needed to hear that!!! So thank you!

      And glad I am not alone 🙂

  5. Andrea Owen
    February 18, 2011 | 4:29 am

    Oh honey, thank you for being so honest, outspoken and mindful about this. I agree with Karen, as humans, we are wired to do this. It must have been some sort of biological survival mechanism millions of years ago that helped our species evolve, but now it just SUCKS.
    No one is immune to this. Some of the most healthy people I know still do it, and I think it’s what we learn from it and how long we CHOOSE to stay there is what matters.
    Love you!

    • ViR
      February 18, 2011 | 4:53 am

      Thank you hun. I knew after reading your post I knew we were VBFF’s even more 🙂 I know we aren’t immune to this kind of insecurity and I honestly caught myself and countered the voice within one minute. That is fast. But like you say – it sucks. And I should be proud of myself for being aware, accountable and active (in a proactive way).

  6. Eleanor
    February 18, 2011 | 5:01 am

    Gosh, I can relate to this. I was recently at a black tie event, and it was all I could do not to compare myself to every woman or girl there. It didn’t matter what others said, I convinced myself that my jealousy was based on reality rather than fear. I do this all the time, and often begin to believe my thoughts. My thinking becomes almost delusional in a sense. A friend of mine always says, “tell yourself the truth!” The truth is that I am not inadequate or ugly or stupid or whatever. The truth is that I am scared I am less than, but I have no evidence to back that fear up.

    • ViR
      February 18, 2011 | 5:25 am

      Thank you so much for your honesty!!! It’s great you can recognize they are unfounded!! It’s truly something I hope you will continue to fight, and learn to recognize your own individual amazingness!

  7. Deborah Reber
    February 18, 2011 | 7:19 pm

    Great post! Can see from the comments that so many people can relate, and as someone with a 6 year old who struggles with serious jealousy issues, I’ve been spending a lot of time in this space and thinking about how normal, and powerful, jealousy is, and then trying to identify the thoughts beneath that jealousy…the ones that tell us we are somehow lacking or not okay. Great to notice and acknowledge those feelings, then bid them so long. I too find that by more fully supporting those around me and kind of diving into the jealousy, everyone benefits.

    • ViR
      February 18, 2011 | 7:35 pm

      That is such a great mindset and approach!!

  8. Karen Kramer
    February 19, 2011 | 8:11 pm

    Wonderful, Kendra!

  9. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by JennaFarelyn, Karen Kramer, VoiceinRecovery, Rebecca Scritchfield, VoiceinRecovery and others. VoiceinRecovery said: New Post: On Jealousy and comparisons #RecoveryWarriors #Mefirst […]

  10. Joy
    February 20, 2011 | 1:19 pm

    I often have the jealousy over silly things and I have to remind myself to breathe…
    What a great post!

  11. Alex @ Healing Beauty
    February 21, 2011 | 12:01 am

    Wow, this post really hits home for me right now. One of my best friends just got engaged and my cousin just had a baby. I have been putting myself down because of my jealousy and it’s making it impossible for me to see what I do have going for me. We all have stuff going for us but when you are always focused on what you don’t have, you never realize what you do have. Thank you so much for this post. It was perfect timing in my life and I am very grateful for your voice.

  12. Melissa @ ...the space between...
    February 21, 2011 | 11:05 pm

    I totally feel you on this Kendra. I’m not really jealous in romantic relationships either, but I tend to get jealous in friendships. It’s so interesting now that I’ve actually recognized the pattern and the physical feelings that come along with it. It’s definitely something that I work on opening myself up to and not judging, and like all things, it changes and subsides.

    We all have our things, huh? Keeps life interesting. 😉

    • ViR
      February 22, 2011 | 12:54 am

      Thank you Melissa. It is interesting to notice those areas where we need extra awareness. I do believe that being aware is a hug asset to our life! so kudos to you for recognizing patterns where you need to be aware and take a step back to look at more deeply.

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