Jealousy. It’s an ugly demon that too many people know. Not to be confused with envy. Envy is wanting what isn’t yours, whereas jealousy is wanting what should be yours. To clarify;
Envy: a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.
Jealousy: jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another's success or advantage itself.
(courtesy of dictionary.reference.com)
So jealousy and envy are pretty similar except for the one aspect of jealousy, where your feelings are stirred over other people having what you think you should have. You might not be deserving of it. But then again, who’s to say that you’re not? It comes down to you believing that you should have what others do. But I digress.
Jealousy feeds on doubts, fears and negative emotions. It’s not always rational, in fact it is hardly ever rational, and people that feel jealous are often ashamed or frustrated that they feel the way they do. It churns inside you with a seething that only anger can relate to. It’s a burning sensation. When I feel jealous I can physically feel a burning inside my chest. It’s a physical swirl of the emotion torrents inside my head.
Being somewhat irrational in nature, it can lead us humans to act irrationally and usually make a terrible situation out of nothing. Countless homes have been ripped apart by jealous wives or husbands that suspect their partner of being unfaithful. It can lead to disruptive and obsessive behaviour when it comes to finding out what your partner’s been doing in your absence. It can lead to fights between lovers over what they each deserve, and the jealous lover believing they don’t have what they are entitled to.
For me, jealousy strikes when I least expect it. I get the feeling without intent or notice and feel jealous about things that I would normally pass at. The strongest trait of jealousy is that it can’t be turned off. Not immediately at least. It is an undeniable tenacious enemy within, that each person seeks (or should seek) to rid themselves of.
The silver lining? It gives us an opportunity to grow. Just recently in my life, I’ve been trying to take things that make me jealous and learn from the experience. In evaluating why I’m jealous, picking apart the irrationality of it all and learning things about myself I don’t like, I can start to get rid of the parts of me that I don’t like. It’s an opportunity for self-evaluation. If you find yourself irrationally jealous of somebody, stop and think hey – why am I jealous? What the hell has got me feeling this way? And you can learn more about yourself, and discover perhaps underlying issues, or past wrongs that you’ve yet to forgive.
Jealousy is indeed a terribly ugly emotion that can destroy you from the inside out. But if we take a moment to pause and look at ourselves and grasp the irrationality of the situation, it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn more about ourselves.. an opportunity that we’re not granted with too often. So a fantastic silver lining I say!