Self-Love Reflections: Jealousy

Posted: March 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Jealousy has many varying levels. Simply looking on with a bit of longing to outright frustration or hatred for what you deem others have 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.

When we harbor jealousy, it quickly becomes a two ton pack weighing down our shoulders and our lives. 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 those things. 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.

Quote to Reflect On
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

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?

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31 Comments to “Self-Love Reflections: Jealousy”
  1. Tracy says:

    Well said! Thank you! Lately I have been encountering that exact thing on comments I have received on my blog. I have had to unfortunately moderate the comments before posting them on my blog :-( Very sad. Thank you for this post! Have a wonderful week…..

  2. That Britney picture just makes me sad — I know that ads in magazines are not real, but I can’t help but look at them and wish I looked that way.

    I do get jealous — of people who seem to “have it all” — but I need to remind myself that no one has a perfect life — we all have our challenges. They may not be the same as mine, but they are there and I need to be grateful for what I have!

  3. I think this is a great reminder when it comes to blogs.

    I myself sometimes get so caught up in what people post (ie thinking how perfect and great their life is) forgetting that it truly is only a small part of someones life.

    I’ve come to realize that I can create my perfect life too if I just step away from the computer and go out and conquer it.

  4. Oh this post came at the PERFECT time! I have been ‘envious’ of other MOM’s perfect post baby bods, their race times, their perfect parenting styles (or marriages). When in reality they probably have the same insecurities as I do.

    Thank you for reminding me that we are all on this journey together. I need to be thankful for what God has blessed me with and be OKAY with it. :)

    • Tina says:

      Yep. We all have our issues. Like for me – working out may come more natural to me after doing it for so long…but boy do I have troubles with mom guilt, anxiety over the future, and other things!

  5. Danica says:

    I fall into this envy trap so much more often than I wish I did, and when I do I think I forget to appreciate all of the wonderful aspects of my own life. Thank you for this great reminder, Tina!

  6. I just wrote a post on the comparison trap that we can all fall into with other bloggers, but of course it can happen other people as well. I find myself becoming jealous at people I know very little about – I begin to fill in the rest and paint a totally made up “perfect” image of them. When this happens I try to remind myself that no one is perfect, everyone struggles, and that I am very happy with my own life and would never want to be anyone else, because then I wouldn’t be me. I love reading your reflective posts, because they are so well written and always remind me to take a step back and focus on what’s really important.

  7. lindsay says:

    wow, I was just thinking about this in church today. How I am God’s child and he created me to be wonderfully made. Jealousy can turn into idol if we’re not aware of it. But it has been great to compliment and support each other through our every day lives. I think this has really made me honor God’s gift.

    • Tina says:

      I love how you mention jealousy can become an idol. That is definitely true because we get so caught up in envy that we lose sight of God and His plan/blessings.

  8. Anne Marie says:

    This totally hit the spot. Not so much the jealousy, but focusing on what I want. Life can be such a challenge sometimes!

  9. You’re so right! Everyone has their own insecurities and nobody is perfect. Nobody! Jealousy and envy are a waste of time. We, too, can change anything that we don’t like about ourselves, and if we can’t, we can focus on the other positive things about our lives. Life is too full of greatness to harp on the negativities and envy others.

    I tell myself often: It’s a waste of time to want what someone else has or does or looks like. Work on improving yourself; jealousy is counterproductive. Go get what you want, don’t talk about it! Accomplishing your own goals and feeling good about yourself will lead to inner peace and true happiness. Jealousy and envy will keep you where you are. :)

    • Tina says:

      Great points! Instead of wasting time with jealousy we could work on becoming the best version of ourselves and achieving our goals. Love that!

  10. Geraldine says:

    I have had to work on my jealousy issues a lot over the past few years. A cheating boyfriend left me feeling very insecure and when I got together with my current boyfriend he unfortunately bore the brunt of my issues, which of course drove him mad. I’m not 100% cured but I am greatly improved!

    Jealousy is a horrible feeling to have. When you feel it building in your stomach and rise up inside you – you can’t help but blurt out something mean or nasty as a result.

    I try mentally reassuring myself with affirmations of my worth. And counting to ten before speaking works too :-)

  11. I needed this post. I love the quote you put at the bottom. When I was a younger woman and teenager, I used to get terribly jealous about other girls whoever my boyfriend at the time was talking to or interacting with. I grew out of that/worked out my issues surrounding that in my early 20′s, but as an adult I see myself getting jealous over other’s careers, their loves lives, or their bodies. Definitely doesn’t do me any good, it makes things much, much worse! Thanks for the reminder.

  12. What a great post! I have/am trying as I am getting older to be thankful for what God has given me and my family, rather than harbor pangs of jealousy towards someone else just because they have been blessed richly as well. You’re so right too – we don’t know the whole story or what the other person’s life is REALLY like. For all we know, they might be jealous ofyou!

  13. This is SUCH a wonderful post! Great reminders. I try so hard to be happy for other peeps and that’s it – the end. I try to keep jealousy at bay by just focusing on what I have and nothing else. It can be hard, but that’s what I do. Also, i’m a very open person. I share the things in my life that aren’t “perfect” with my friends, and my closest friends do the same with me. I think being open about the good, and the bad, can help people from getting jealous because, like you said, you get more of the whole picture. Thanks for this post!

  14. LauraJayne says:

    I was feeling like I wasn’t very jealous, but as I thought more about it, I realized that I am jealous – but in a different way. Seeing what other people accomplish motivates me – in some ways, it shows me what I could and can be – in that way, it is a good thing. I’ve experience jealousy in a relationship, and it ruined the relationship (along with other things) – it can be such a huge and negative forces – and I never want to let myself be consumed by jealousy or be in another relationship that is consumed by it. Instead, I want the good jealousy to motivate me and the bad jealousy to be identified and eliminated before it is allowed to alter my attitude and life!

    Great post! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  15. Great post! I actually took a class where one chapter we focused on digital manipulation. How celebrities took one picture, but then were photoshopped and turned into a unrealistic image of a woman. Lately I’ve actually felt like a very close person in my life has been jealous of some recent advances I’ve made. It’s been hurtful because I’ve worked hard for what I’ve achieved and all I want is for her to be happy for me.

  16. as i stood today in my posing class for show, I couldnt help but compare myself to others…the whole competition thing is very body selfish and its hard to not ptut yourself up against others bodies. Sure, maybe ill look in the mirror and think DAMN i look good, then I see some of these other ladies, and it makes me feel like I have such a long way to go.

    Its really about blocking out others and what others think of you. I am me and I am so grateful I am able to push myself in this way. I am working damn hard, and I need to focus on that more than focus on comparing myself to others. great post!

  17. Great post, Tina! Thank you for this :-)

  18. I am a impatient person so sometimes I get jealous of people’s personal success in their careers…so I try to remind myself that I am only 25 and if I keep working hard and be patient I’ll get there to.

  19. Eileen says:

    Thank you for this post, I needed to hear this today.

  20. Sarah says:

    Jealously…I’ve experienced more jealously in the past couple of months that ever in my life. I spent days feeling sorry for myself, completely jealous of anybody and everybody who looked better than I did. But I realized that I didn’t know his/her story. My emotional battle is evident in my weight but people hide struggles and problems that I know nothing about!

    PS I love your new blog layout!! Super cute :)

  21. I am SO guilty of being jealous! I hate that I’m like that. I think it stems from my own desire to try and be perfect at everything and when I feel I’m not, all I can dwell on is how “perfect” someone else is or how “perfect” their stuff is. I know that it is completely ridiculous and all I’m doing is adding to my stress level and I know that it is definitely something I need to work on!

    • Tina says:

      That all makes perfect sense, though. I can really relate. i think the times I find myself feeling jealous are times that I’m striving for something and feel I am not measuring up.

  22. Kimberly says:

    Great post Tina! It is SO easy to think that other people have it all together when we really don’t know what their private struggles may be. I have been SO bad about comparing myself to others instead of being grateful for MY life and even the body God gave ME.

  23. You know what, Tina? I started my blog in an effort to be the best version of me that I could be. And I have definitely found myself straying from that — trying to do things more like other bloggers, eat like them, work out like them, etc. It’s great to be inspired by someone but not great when you get jealous. This post was a great reminder of this. I need to get back to focusing on just me. Thanks!

  24. Stephanie says:

    Great post. We all need this reminder sometimes!

  25. true that Tina!! Jealousy is so hurtful to others and ultimately OUR OWN SELVES~in the end, we allll fall short in one way or another and are in the same playing field b/c we’re fallen beings! In the end, everything fades away and only the beauty in our soul remains. :) Thanks for this encouraging post <3

  26. jobo says:

    This is a huge one for me…right up there with comparing myself. It’s very similar and tied hand in hand. It’s so hard for me not to compare myself to others, but I realize too, that it’s a detriment to only one person…me. I need to lose that habit. Soon. I hope.

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