30 days of self love – jealousy

Posted: September 12, 2010 at 10:54 am

Have a fabulous Sunday! Keep in mind that you have the power (and many reasons) to love yourself today. :)

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Jealousy has many varying levels. Simply looking on with a bit of longing and want for something of someone else to outright frustration at the world or hatred of others for what you deem they have as better. Often times, more trivial matters spark jealousy – someone’s looks, material items, or popularity. However, we may even find ourselves wishing for their work ethic, family life, positive outlook, happiness, etc as well. Admiring others for their positive attributes and successes cultivates a supporting world. Obsessing and wishing for those same things produces an environment of hurt in relationships with others and yourself.

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When we harbor jealousy, it quickly becomes a two ton pack weighing down our shoulders and our lives. Our strengths cannot help carry the weight after being whipped down numerous times for not living up to our jealous desires. The glow of others’ apparent prosperity seems to highlight our weaknesses and turn them into moths drawn to a flame of self-destruction. Remember how we discussed perfection does not exist in this world? Well, not only can it not happen in our lives, but the impossible nature of perfection applies to others as well.

The most beautiful of women with those “perfect” bodies typically have airbrushes working magic on the flaws that undoubtedly exist. Or that gorgeous woman you work with may have so much hurt and insecurity inside that her only happiness lies in her looks. She may even be wearing Spanx. ;)

The most put-together of your friends or loved ones definitely face their own struggles, insecurities, hurts, wants, and frustrations with life. If you could dig a little deeper, you would see the dust swept under the rug of their “perfect” life.

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The co-workers, fellow bloggers, people in your yoga class, etc, etc, etc that you may envy for their fabulous salaries, lives, bodies, etc, etc, etc may in fact envy things they deem perfect about you.

We can never know the whole story. So why would we base our worth on the parts of our life we imagine fault us but not others? Center your worth on your qualities. Strive to become the best version of your self, not someone else. Determine what matters in your life and revolve your life around them.

Picture your life through a camera lens. Only you should be in focus. Everything else blurs into the background.

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You become the defining factor of your life. Your loves, goals, interests, etc. These will inevitably extend outwards to others, as they should, but with you in focus, others no longer determine your world. They simply fulfill it as part of you…or fade away into oblivion.

What ways do you encounter jealousy? How can it hold you back? What could you look to in yourself or your life when wishing for what others have? I know I sometimes long for the workouts of other bloggers. I’ve mentioned before how much I miss my typical fitness level. When reading others’ workouts I sometimes feel a twinge of jealousy. Also, their cooking and creativity in the kitchen! I am not a master cook…but I have to remember I have other strengths, like hopefully writing and definitely supporting others, of which I should feel proud.

Quotes to Reflect On
Envy is the most stupid of vices, for there is no single advantage to be gained from it. ~Honore de Balzac

Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth.  Each of us has something to give that no one else has. ~Elizabeth O'Connor

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48 Comments to “30 days of self love – jealousy”
  1. Great post!! I am so guilty of thinking that everyone around me has “perfect” lives– the perfect relationship, the perfect job, the perfect body. I used to play the comparison game really often, and I actually think for a while my being involved in the healthy living blog world was, ironically, making me do it even more!! I’ve recognized how bad this is for me, and now when I catch myself feeling jealous of another person’s “ideal” life, I force myself to think realistically about it– no one’s life is perfect!!

  2. The one thing I have been jealous of the past couple of years, is being in a healthy relationship. I see the encouragement and support a man gives his wife for her writing aspirations, and I am jealous because I never had that.

    I saw on older couple at my doctor’s office ~ she was in a wheelchair, arm in a sling, oxygen tubes beneath her nose, bandages on her shin. Her hair had faded to white but her eyes sparkled and she laughed even though it took her breath, leaving her gasping. And he was at her side, leaning close so he could hear her words, laughing with her. I want that. Am jealous of that.

    I have let this jealousy keep me from attending church regularly this past couple of years. Church is full of couples. I know I need to be brave enough to date again (and risk heartache again) before I can expect to have that kind of love, but sometimes I wonder if the ability to have a healthy relationship is in me…I’ve never really lived in the presence of one.

    Oh, such weighty topics for a Sunday morning! Now that I have my self-reflection done for the day, time for church, the gym, and then a John Legend concert. Looks like it’s going to be a good day. Thank you Tina, for getting it off to a good start!

    God Bless!

    • Tina says:

      I hope you have a wonderful day!!

      And never doubt that you have the capacity to love and have a relationship like that. You were MADE for that. God loves love. :)

      Have you ever considered seeing if there is a church in your area with a singles program? It can be a great place to make some friendships and open up new possibilities.

  3. Ahhh this rings so true. I’ve fallen into the trap of jealousy and comparison many, many times, but the reality is that I don’t know everything about anyone’s life, so why wish for it? My life is pretty damn charmed :) Why waste energy wanting something else, when the only thing I have control over is the way I lead my own life?

    • Tina says:

      Yep. Much better to be thankful for what you do have.I think thats one of the best ways to be happy. After all, the grass always seems greener…

  4. Astrid says:

    As I learn more about myself, I learn that everyone else has their issues and troubles that they work through. Yes, you might want something that they have, but truth is that they either don’t think it is all that great, they don’t notice it, or they want something else! I find myself getting jelous of bloggers that get lots of comments. But then there are amazing bloggers (like you) that do so much for the blog world and deserve every bit of “fame’. Plus, if I let the jealousy get the best of me, I will stop writing. And that is no good for anyone!

    • Tina says:

      I couldn’t agree more on people either not noticing it, wanting something else, or not appreciating it. We all have insecurities and sometimes life might not seem fair, but we each have our blessings too.

      And LOL on blogger “fame”. I had my times where I would get a bit caught up in the #s and now try really hard not to concern myself with it. I hadn’t worried or thought about it even in a LONG time and then it worked its way in for a brief moment when I saw comments not as high as the start of the 30 days. Then I realized none of that matters. What matters is writing…hopefully people enjoy it but I won’t fret. I’ll write because I love it and put it out there. Popularity isn’t what its about…and good thing too because otherwise I would consistently feel disappointed since there’s always someone bigger, better, more known. ;)

  5. Lori Lynn says:

    My best friend, whom I love to death, is a smaller size than I am, and she has been genetically blessed to have a high metabolism. Her whole family is all very thin, and yet they don’t even very healthy! I have always been very envious of her and the way she looks, b/c I always felt second best to her. She never ever made me feel that way. It was always the insecurities that I had about myself. It used to annoy me that she would complain about her thighs or her stomach, when I would have killed to have been her size. I guess it just shows you that no matter what size you are, you always (or almost always) have insecurities about yourself. “The grass always looks greener on the other side.”

  6. Lori Lynn says:

    My best friend, whom I love to death, is a smaller size than I am, and she has been genetically blessed to have a high metabolism. Her whole family is all very thin, and yet they don’t eat very healthy! I have always been very envious of her and the way she looks, b/c I always felt second best to her. She never ever made me feel that way. It was always the insecurities that I had about myself. It used to annoy me that she would complain about her thighs or her stomach, when I would have killed to have been her size. I guess it just shows you that no matter what size you are, you always (or almost always) have insecurities about yourself. “The grass always looks greener on the other side.”

  7. I remember when I first started blogging, I started noticing myself become jealous of other bloggers. Jealous of their looks, their bodies, their popularity, their lifestyle, their possessions. I wanted all of it for myself. And to top it off, many bloggers don’t talk or discuss about their issues or what’s going wrong in their lifes–they only show the sunshiney parts of their life which makes it a little hard to realize that they too have struggles.

    Anyways, I’ve come to realize that no life is perfect and we should just be happy with what we do have.

    • Tina says:

      I always try to be real, honest, open about everything on my blog for that reason. I want to show I have hurts and struggles too and that I’m a REAL person. I hope people appreciate that and if not…I can’t change it. It wouldn’t be ME then.

      I got caught up in what other bloggers were doing before too and allowed it to bring me down. Now, I admire their strengths but still recognize I have my own as well. And maybe even gain a bit of inspiration for them, but don’t forget I may pass inspiration on to others as well. :)

  8. Thanks for stopping by my page! I must say I’m prone to jealousy especially when my boyfriend is involved but I’m trying to work on it.

  9. If I were like any of those “perfect people,” I would not be me. It’s taken a long time to realize that, but it’s ME who the ones I care about know.

    And anyway, I think that even if I don’t think so, people are probably jealous of things about me, so putting it in perspective, it’s just a natural human tendency. There MUST be good things about me that are admirable and that nobody else could have!

  10. Crystal says:

    I had a nasty habit of comparing myself to others which results in jealousy most of the time, usually based on outward appearance. I also get jealous, which has only started since blogging, about how much other people exercise and cook. Lately I have finally realized that it’s just a waste of time and unhealthy to be jealous of other people. I have found that once I started really appreciating myself, the comparing and the jealousy drastically reduced. There are still times when I wish I was like someone else in some way, but I always catch myself and remind myself how awesome I am. Because, really, we all are!

    • Tina says:

      When I first started blogging that same thing happened to me. I compared sooo much and then questioned myself. I almost stopped blogging because of it. I didn’t think it was worth it becaus eI was letting myself not feel good enough. Then I knew I had to be me and I couldn’t stop. Now I don’t ever foresee stopping because its become a huge part of me and I see my blog as ME. Not me pretending to be someone else. Sometimes I may still wish I could do x, y, z but its the real me that (hopefully) brings people here. That gives me more confidence and helped stop that form of jealousy.

  11. Meg says:

    I needed to read this today. I’ve been struggling with jealousy all weekend.

    My friend is about to have her baby in about a month. It’s hard seeing her almost ready for a baby and me still waiting until I finish in school. It was the worst today because there was a mom sitting in front of me with twins, passing them to my friend next to me. :(

    This post reminded me that I shouldn’t be comparing what I have to what others have. It helps to remember that God has an individual plan for all of us!

    • Tina says:

      God certainly has a plan for each of us and its the BEST one for us. It’s hard to grasp that sometimes though. Your time for a family will come and it will be more fulfilling because you might otherwise not have been able to enjoy it as much with finishing classes and such. Always important to focus on what we do have now. :)

  12. Emily says:

    This is a wonderfully poignant topic, especially as a blogger. As much as I admire the woman I read about daily, I often get caught up wishing that I looked like them, ran as fast as them, or ate as healthy and wholesomely as them. When it gets difficult I remind myself that we all have bad days and that most of us would rather portray the positive side and persona than the part that struggles or is hurting. Even today as I ran a 5k, I began the race looking around and seeing women that were thinner or taller or more beautiful. It was silly because once I began running I began to realize that it was not about any of those woman at all, it was about me and the pavement; about my own journey and relationship with myself.

    • Tina says:

      And when you can focus on it being about your own personal goals and journey it probably made the race much more enjoyable.

      Great point about bloggers and even our relationships in real life. We can put out the person we want others to think we are and hide the issues so easily. Others can too. We have to remember that we don’t get the complete picture.

  13. Sava says:

    I really liked how you said that we should be “in focus” and everything else should be a blur in the background.

    I think that a lot of times people forget that only YOU can know what you feel insecure about, and the same is with other people. Only they know what they struggle with so we don’t always see “perfect” people struggling. Its an excellent thing to think about.

  14. Julie says:

    Sorry I missed yesterday, Tina. Two great topics for the weekend!!! I caught up today ~

    http://mondaynightgolfandsurfvacations.blogspot.com/2010/09/blame-it-on.html

  15. It’s hard to admit but I face jealously a lot. In the blog world, I am extremely jealous of runners. Reading a race recap or just reading that so and so when out on a 3 mile run that morning creates a shooting stab of jealousy in my gut. How do I combat it? I remember that running is NOT everything, I can still be healthy and fit without it, and I WILL run again one day. Do I still feel jealous? A bit. It’s so silly but it’s a hard thing to overcome at times.

  16. Lisa says:

    Again, what a wondeful post Tina! I come from a family where everyone is so small. Both my sisters who are around the same height as me (I’m 5 5) weigh like 110 pounds. For so long I have strived to be the same size. I’ve always felt like the fat sister and I am always jealous of both of them. It was until recently that I’ve realized that I am special just the way that I am. I should be proud of the fact that I can run and I am an athlete, where they are not. I’ve spent so much time focusing in my life on all the things that I dont have, that I’ve lost sight of what I do have to offer. The last year or so I’ve been depressed and I gained about 15 pounds from being depressed. Through my own journey of blogging and through visiting others, especially yours, I hope to not only return to a weight where I am comfortable, but one that I can “own”, be comfortable in, and be proud of it; one that is best for me, not just because of what my sisters are!

  17. [...] Posted on September 12, 2010 by kyree90| Leave a comment Today’s topic in Tina’s 30 Days of Self Love is [...]

  18. Ela says:

    In a hurry today – here’s my post on this:

    http://ulteriorharmony.blogspot.com/2010/09/reflections-on-self-love-jealousy.html

    For me, it seems to boil down to self-acceptance: when I’m not accepting myself, I can use my envy of others’ abilities and achievements as sticks with which to beat myself. When I’m able to accept myself more, I can see that while I admire others, I really want to live my own life and no one else’s!

    love and thanks
    Ela

  19. Angela says:

    Lately, I’ve fallen into the jealousy trap when I think about my friends and the amazing relationships they’re in with absolutely fabulous, supportive guys. However, I try to remind myself that I too will find that person… it’s just a matter of time! :)

  20. My green eyed monster was most rampant during high school and my early 20′s. I was always jealous of what I thought everyone else had, and was so negative towards myself and my own life that I was creating a negative life for myself.

    Now I have stopped being jeallous and I try to just be happy with myself and live my life.

    Check out my post http://www.mirandasjeans.com/?p=4166

  21. Penny Lane says:

    I sturggle with comparing myself to other people. That we weigh the same and they wear a smaller size, that they are 5 years younger than me and are in a different educational place… The list could really go on, but when I feel myself getting into this mind set I stop and say “what have they gone through that you haven’t and what have you gone through they haven’t” and remind myself that other people are just as imperfect as me and don’t like to be placed on a pedastle like i don’t.

  22. Tina this post has me in tears. This is such a struggle for me every day. I see what others have, and I want it. I want the perfect body, I want the perfect marriage, job, salary, personality, cooking abilities, etc, everything!

    I try to see that others may want what I have, and I know I am fortunate in so many ways — for one, my husband and I are both employed — I’m sure many people today would love to be in that position alone! So I do try to count my blessings and see all that I have, but I still feel those urges for wanting more and more and what others have.

    I think I need to just focus on what I do have and working with the gifts/abilitied I have. I should be thankful and I am, but it never seems to be enough.

  23. I find myself getting jealous at little things. Like when my hair is off or I see some girl who looks like she has it all together. I’ve found it best to look at that person as having qualities I’d some day like to have. That way I’m not questioning if they really “have it all together” but thinking of them as being closer to what I want to be- we are all works in progress

  24. homecookedem says:

    I used to be very jealous of other bloggers too. But in the past year, I can honestly say I have no jealousy – at all!!!!! I admire others and am proud of them for the good things in their lives, but I am also very proud of myself and where I’m at. Same thing with real-life friends. I’m honestly no longer jealous of them, just genuinely happy for them!! I think self-confidence and happiness helps take the jealous feelings away. Another great post and topic to think about!! :)

  25. any woman who says she doesnt compare, or has never compared, in her lifetime, is just not being honest :) we all do it, houses, men, cars, babies, bodies, clothes, workouts, you name it, every person has their little “hot button” thing that they compare against/with others on. I am so proud of you for saying what yours is! Mine…hmmm, I dunno, I actually am the brunt of jokes and mean things that get said b/c of the way I look so after years spent hearing it, I finally can tune out the haters better :) that’s been my lifelong hot button thing, to tune out the crap!

  26. Marie-Sophie says:

    Hey Tina, just wanted to let you know that I LOVE this 30 days series and if I had a blog (going to start one after I finish my clerkship exams in October!) I would LOVE to participate!!

    But right now I am reading your posts every single day and it gives another sense of purpose to my study filled days – realizing there are so many more things to life!!
    So I just wanted to thank you for this!!

    On jealousy: as I am studying really hard at the moment, I can only fit in a little bit of exercise (some yoga, some 30day shred sessions) as I am too exhausted – and I am no runner yet so starting now would probably be the worst thing (even more stress, no thank you). So sometimes I feel myself getting a little jealous of all those bloggers being able to fit in so much exercise and being in a nice routine and not being exposed to so much pressure!! I know this isn’t true for all of them, but for most of them … so I have to punch myself in the arm somtimes and think “hey, I read those posts because they inspire me, because they remind me that there are a lot of people out there who also strive to live a healthy life because they are worth it (not because thin is the way to be)” – and sometimes you guys even teach me how to live a happier life!

    • Marie-Sophie says:

      OH and yeah, sometimes I get jealous because I cannot try a lot of the foods that you bloggers are showing me simply because we don’t have them here over in Germany ;-)

  27. Eliza says:

    I think that a lot of women struggle with this. I find myself constantly comparing the way that I look to the way other women around me look. I feel jealous if they are better dressed or thinner or prettier and feel a strange sense of pride if I identify myself as excelling over them in one of these areas (I know that sounds really awful). I think it damages my relationship with women in some way, and I would like to be able to surround myself with strong, wonderful women.
    I use cognitive behavior therapy in my work, but I also often use some of the techniques when I identify something I want to change about myself. I’ve been working on this for a long time, and I am starting to see changes in my thinking patterns. Whenever I have one of those negative, comparing, jealous thoughts I identify it, point it out to myself, and then think something positive about the woman I’m comparing myself too. Usually I try to make that positive thing a non-physical thing (but thats hard if its someone I don’t know). Even “what a great smile” works. If i’m being particularly hard on myself in my comparing, I might think a positive (non physical) thought about myself, too.

    This weekend I was at a party with some old friends from high school. The women are gorgeous (perfect hair, makeup, the whole bit), thin, and spend a fortune on clothes (one even had this pair of boots that I’m dying for but obviously can’t afford as a grad student). In high school, even though i was friends with these women, I often felt awful about myself around them. They started giggling about weighing 128 pounds (which is what I weigh!!!!) a few years ago, and then started talking about now weighing 110 pounds. I kind of looked at them like they were crazy and just said “I don’t want to have this conversation” and wandered away. I’m not sure how they took it, but I felt great. I feel good in my body, I’m healthy and strong and eat great food, and I like the way my clothes fit. Standing around comparing numbers just seemed totally unappealing to me, and I didn’t feel jealous or start comparing at all.

  28. [...] and the fabulous lives that bless us. If you need to catch up from the weekend, visit my posts on Jealousy & Seeking Control – two topics we all should take a closer look at within [...]

  29. Stacy says:

    Love this topic! I feel like we often are hush hush about jealousy, and yet women especially experience it so often. I must admit I have my moments where I am jealous of the women who are able to dedicate time to cook delicious meals. I am limited on my time, so I designate the hubby as the cooker and me as the “meal planner”. I find little time to be creative in what he makes. But, I must remember that where my time is spent is for our benefit. Going back to school to improve my job future will in the long run improve our future. I really enjoyed how you pointed out that someone we may envy, may envy a quality about us. Instead of envy, I am trying to frame it towards seeing it as “That woman looks very fit, I want to take care of my body in order to be fit and healthy like her”. It is challenging but something to work towards. It’s always hard to break habits and mindsets that you have had for many, many years.

  30. I admit that I still see some celebrities (eh hem, Jessica Biel or Camilla Belle) and wish I could have their bodies or dark features and full eyebrows. However, I’m noticing more and more as I lose the weight, gain the confidence, and strengthen my body that I actually LOVE being ME. I don’t need to be jealous. :)

  31. I am a totally jealous person. It stems from being so Type-A and from always striving for self-perfection. I am most often jealous in relationships because loving someone is scare-eeeeee.

    And I’m usually a little jealous when somebody seems to live a life of ease. I have worked hard and struggled a lot, so those people for whom everything seems to just work out kind of make my heart sizzle.

  32. I am guilty of being the jealous green-eyed monster at many points. People who have more money, friends, talent, love than me. I always look at what they have instead of being greatful for what I do have.

    My job has this way of making me stop and think. The other day I was so annoyed that I didn’t have all the ingredients for the lunch I wanted to make. But when I went back to the office I gave a assistance to a woman who had nothing. Her boyfriend had thrown her out and she was living in a hotel. She literally had nothing and not 30 minutes before I had been jealous of a bloggers lunch I had read. I needed to be thankful for my things instead of wanting others.

  33. I’m newer to your blog so I’m just catching up. The jealousy post popped up as “something I may be interested in” and since I recently learned of a family member who is jealous of me this spoke to me. I had no idea anyone was jealous of me!! What do I have? What makes me happy doesn’t necessarily make others happy, so I never gave it any thought. Good post! Thanks for making me think.

  34. [...] I blog about interesting things. Umm… the former I suspect). Today’s (day 12) topic is Jealousy. Jealousy has many varying levels. Simply looking on with a bit of longing and want for something [...]

  35. Deborah says:

    I’ve blogged before about my ‘envy’ issues and today’s includes a lengthy rant about a not-fat woman I saw on a train recently. I spent much of the journey frowning at her, thinking how much easier my life would be if I didn’t have my weight to worry about.

    I can’t even imagine what would have occupied my mind if I hadn’t have to obsess about dieting over these past 25 or so years. God – imagine what I could have gotten done instead!

    http://dietschmiet.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/30-days-day-12-jealousy/

    Deb

  36. Kinley says:

    I often find myself feeling jealous of other people’s running abilities but then try to catch myself and remind myself that there are so many people out there that cannot run at all, that I should be grateful I CAN run, albeit slower than some…

  37. [...] topic is Jealousy. Tina asks, “In what ways do you encounter jealousy? How can it hold you back? What could you look to in [...]

  38. Xandria says:

    I tend to get jealous of my best friend’s singing. When in fact, I’m just as good as her, I just have a different style. I used to go periods of time without singing at all because of it. Now I’m singing a lot more on my own, as well as with her.
    I also get jealous of actresses, and music stars and such, and models, because of their seemingly gorgeous looks. And that holds me back in relationships. Causing me to always search for compliments and affirmations. And when I don’t get them as often as I would like, I start comparing myself again.

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