Most of us deal with jealousy in some form, and when it comes up, it’s never pretty. Why do we get jealous? Jealousy is simply an emotional reaction to a past wound. It gets triggered when something in the present reminds us of what hurt us before.
Our parents get divorced, our spouse cheats on us, our best friend leaves us. And so, because this hurts us so much, we remember it in our hearts. It becomes a part of us, this wound, this fear. It surfaces at times when it’s not helpful. It starts to control us.
Jealousy works because it happens without us realizing it, or without looking deeper into what’s happening. It has an unseen power over us, because it’s unseen.
So first you have to see it. Recognize when you’re jealous. Don’t look away. We don’t like to acknowledge the bad parts of us, because then we’re admitting we’re not always great. But it’s important, because if we don’t, it has more power over us.
So recognize it, acknowledge it. Then realize that it’s an old wound from the past. This is your old self that’s gotten hurt, and because of this, your old self is scared, angry, anxious.
This is perfectly OK. It’s completely understandable to be hurt when someone violates your trust. But that’s in the past. You need to give your old self a hug, and say that it’s OK to grieve, but also acknowledge that you need to let go and move on and grow.
It helps to realize that the past wound also happened because you had a self-centered view of the universe. You took your parents’ divorce, or your spouse cheating on you, as a judgment of you as a person, as an abandonment of you after they judged you and found you lacking.
That’s not true, though. They left for reasons of their own — they were afraid, they were dealing with their own issues of abandonment and jealousy, they weren’t mature enough to commit, and so on. The reasons they left had nothing to do with you, and if you realize that, it hurts less.
I’ll admit that I get jealous, and the me that gets jealous is not my favorite self. I don’t like myself when I get jealous.
So what do I do? I watch myself. I see it happening. I acknowledge it. And then I give myself a hug.