“Welcome to the wonderful world of jealousy, he thought. For the price of admission, you get a splitting headache, a nearly irresistible urge to commit murder, and an inferiority complex. Yippee.”― J.R. Ward, Dark Lover
What is Jealousy
Jealousy, according to Wikipedia (the only source with an in-depth definition that I could accept) generally refers to “the thoughts or feelings of insecurity, fear, and concern over a relative lack of possessions.” It consists of emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness or disgust.
I have seen these emotions play out in the sordid turn of events in telenovelas, where the development of a plot or central theme is hinged on a jealous, then later envious protagonist. Hence, I won’t blame those who have tried to disassociate themselves from a tag which is often used interchangeably with envy.
Like every other emotion, jealousy, is something humans experience, including me. However, a preview through telenovelas, of what jealousy could evolve to when not handled properly have either made me shy away from the emotion, or nip it in the bud.
In recent times, I have tried to maintain use the Sufi lifestyle as my moral compass, distancing myself from circles that could influence the feeling of jealousy- Sometimes going an extra-mile to assert that by blocking or deleting social media.
Reflecting on my relationship with Jealousy
A while ago, I had put my two-cents on an instastory question that asked, “do you ever get jealous of your friend’s success?” To which I retorted rather harshly, “friends shouldn’t be jealous of friends, that’s plain wickedness.”
Retrospectively, my response was harsh. I guess at that point the metaphorical and biblical ‘Job’ effect began in my life. It seemed like the devil had taken permission from God and needed to test my resolve (so you guys are aware in advance, I failed on this path).
My recent failures and comparing my success stories to others have increased my anxiety and let’s say jealousy. It which deteriorated to the point of anger, with people live rent-free my head. These feelings inspired a tweet, I wrote, “I consciously have to remind myself that jealousy is same as witchcraft, cos the way my mind is working lately ain’t righteous.”
Amongst all the responses that followed the post, two caught my attention. Twitter user @ohiafeh said “Jealousy is a normal human emotion and like every other emotion, it tells you something about yourself. Look at the whys. Vilifying it can aggravate the feeling. Confronting it head-on eases it.” The second user, @EstherEze_ said “I don’t run away from my feelings of jealousy. I confront it abeg, I ask myself questions until we know it’s not justified. I don’t want to be a witch.”
So as part of my healing process, I’m unlearning toxic habits, and re-learning contentment
The first step I took towards addressing my feelings, was to speak to a friend who knew me well enough to cushion her honest advice with love. A friend who I could be completely transparent with, about why I was feeling the way I did, what triggered it, and how to hold myself accountable for my emotions.
Her judgment-free zone allowed me to banter over my feelings, and accept my shortcomings. However, despite the glee, my seethed sour feelings didn’t disappear. Not until I spoke to my a stranger following an emotional bout, was I able to lay bare the gaps in my habit, unearthing weeks of depression, my lack of action that had combusted into Jealousy.
So as part of my healing process, I’m unlearning toxic habits, and re-learning contentment. Also, I am working hard to find joy in little things, taking self-conscious steps to appreciate persons, whose success stories may have made me feel inadequate. Besides, I realized that my fruitlessness lately may have been the trigger. I decided to re-design my space, to give room for creativity, and so far, it’s helped.
A quote which I saw on twitter, although crude, made me laugh, and re-emphasized that my earlier action wasn’t farfetched. @_am_pee said “Until it’s your turn, learn to clap for others! Don’t be a bastard.”
I was inspired to call myself out on my blog, after a trending issue between Chrissy Teigen and Alison Roman. Alison, in what some describe as a jealous fit, had directed words to Chrissy in an article, read here. The back story, Chrissy’s success in creating a food niche and creating a product of it. Chrissy’s somber response on how Alison’s work was part of her inspiration at the start of her journey and how she thought the respect was mutual, amplified why it’s important to consciously remember, that the sky is big enough for us to shine.
The duo has since reconciled on twitter. Ok, I’m running out of thoughts, but how do you address your feelings of Jealousy?