“To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is – a dissatisfaction with self”
- Joan Didion
Let me tell you a story about a man named Fred.
Life is going well for Fred. He’s spent the last 12 years working his butt off in college and recently landed the job of his dreams. His finances haven’t quite sorted themselves out yet, which is why he’s still living in his parents’ basement and driving their mini-van. But someday soon his debt will be paid down, and he’ll be able to move out and buy his own car.
Fred was raised to believe that life is a struggle, and what a struggle his life has been. But Fred was also conditioned to believe that there’s valor in struggle, so it’s a win-win situation. Subconsciously, he feels good about struggling.
One fine day, Fred was driving his parent’s mini-van to ping-pong practice and feeling wonderful. The windows were rolled down, the sun was shining, and the corners of Fred’s mouth were turned up towards the sky. Things were looking up.
That is, until Fred stopped at a red light, and out of nowhere, a twenty-one year old punk in a shiny red BMW convertible came screeching to a halt beside him. Fred was blinded by the sunlight reflecting off the kid’s designer sunglasses, and disgusted by his diamond watch and Lacoste polo shirt. A beautiful blonde sat in the passenger seat, smiling at her knight in the shining Beemer. When the light turned green, the kid floored it as Fred’s parents’ mini-van stalled for the umpteenth time.
Fred’s smile suddenly turned upside down. Clouds rolled in and covered the sun. “Hmmmmph”, Fred thought. “What an asshole! Some people have no clue. I bet that jerk has never worked a day in his life.”
How did this kid get the money to buy a Beemer? Perhaps we’ll never know. But the moral of the story is, unconscious jealousy can ruin a perfectly good day.
Jealousy is one of the most common human emotions, and also one of the most powerful. Jealousy can sabotage relationships, destroy careers and even jeopardize a person’s health. But if we’re conscious enough to recognize jealousy for what it is, it can also be a compelling force for positive change.
There was a time in my life when I thought I shouldn’t get jealous. I thought jealousy was one of those “bad” emotions that I should strive to overcome. But after years of personal development, I now know that being jealous is not only natural, it’s a gift, because it indicates to me what I want but don’t yet believe I can have.
Take Fred’s story as an example. Knowing that our beliefs create our reality, we first acknowledge that Fred experienced a life of struggle because he wasn’t aware that ease was an option.
Secondly, we see that Fred’s encounter with Mr. BMW stirred up many subconscious thoughts within his mind.
Thoughts such as:
I want to own my own car.
I want a pretty girlfriend.
I want to be more independent and live on my own.
I want to make more money and I want it to come to me easily.
I want all these things but I don’t believe I can have them.
Rather than acknowledge these thoughts, Fred stuffed them all back down into his subconscious and blamed Mr. BMW for his negative feelings.
But Fred’s negative feelings had nothing to do with whether or not Mr. BMW was a jerk. Fred’s negative feelings arose because his inner guidance system was trying to encourage him to think a more productive and positive thought. Unfortunately Fred missed the cue.
If Fred had acknowledged his inner guidance and was able to choose better-feeling thoughts, his thought process might have looked something like this:
I’m looking forward to buying my own car.
I’m looking forward to having a pretty girlfriend.
I’m looking forward to becoming more independent and living on my own.
I’m looking forward to making a lot of money. Wouldn’t it be nice if money came to me as easily as it did for this kid in the BMW??
Something inside me is telling me I can have ALL these things and more.
I am a powerful conscious creator. I believe in myself and in my divine ability to create my dream life.
Thanks Mr. Beemer, for helping me clarify what I want and summoning my desire to create it. And by the way, sweet ride!!
Used in this way, jealousy provides an opportunity for inner transformation. It’s an opportunity to get more clear and focused about what you want, and it’s an opportunity to celebrate the abundant Universe you live in.
So the next time you feel a pang of jealousy, use it as a cue for introspection. What is it that you want? Do you believe you can have it? What repetitive thoughts and beliefs are blocking you from attracting it? The inner work involves uncovering your limiting thought patterns and re-programming your mind to think in a new way.
You’ll know that this inner work is complete when you can observe someone who is living the life of your dreams and you no longer feel jealous of them. Instead you’ll feel an overwhelming sense of happiness on their behalf.
At which point you can toot your horn and scream at the top of your lungs, “SWEET RIDE!!!!”