Envy and jealousy are some of the most painful negative emotions we can experience and so this month I will focus on them. Envy and jealousy are related emotions and start with us wanting something that somebody else has got. With envy we just wish we had what they have, and with jealousy the negative feelings are magnified to extent that we feel great pain for lacking something and may wish ill of the other person.
At the heart of envy and jealousy is the belief in scarcity – the belief that we are personally lacking in life’s rewards. We see another person having what we would like (and perhaps believe we deserve) and this just makes us feel even more lacking. Jealousy takes our pain to the next level where we attack ourselves for not having something and then project out the attack onto somebody who has it. This can be very strong for material objects but with romance it can take on a level of desperation and vitriol because our need for love can be so intense.
Clearly, in order to let go of envy and jealousy we need to work on our belief that we are lacking. This normally comes out of beliefs that we took on as children when uncertainty, confusion and fear caused us to turn away from our natural and abundant state of love. During experiences of trauma and heartbreak, related to broken bonding in our original families, we decide that we are personally lacking in love. Worst still, we might feel undeserving of love because we have failed the people close to us or let them down. Our belief in our personal scarcity of love then transfers to every other aspect of our life and we feel that we never have enough of what we need to be happy. If we then see somebody with what we would like, it triggers our sense of loss and lack.
The way forward is to realise that everything we are envious or jealous about in somebody else is available to us if we become more willing to receive. By developing an abundant attitude to life, the good things that we want will start coming towards us. To do this we must accept our gifts and start giving them willingly to the people around us. The more we give, the more we feel we have – this is the big secret of finding happiness. It works because we are tapping into our natural flow of abundance. Instead of begrudging people for their success and happiness we will celebrate their good fortune, knowing that the same thing is heading our way. On the other hand, if we keep feeling bad about our lack and denying other people the rewards of life, we send out negative messages to the world. This lack and negativity is then reflected back to us.
If our envy and jealousy is about material things then we need to recognise that it is our relationships that bring us true happiness. We will not feel envious if we appreciate our relationships and experience contentment and fulfilment through them.
If you are experiencing envy or jealousy start focusing on what you have rather than what you do not have. Appreciate your good fortune and marvel at your giftedness. This change in attitude will take those horrible feelings of envy and jealousy away and you will soon start receiving the things that you covet in others.
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