On Jealousy

Jealousy comes from a certain kind of poverty consciousness.  A jealous person is a hoarder, more concerned with taking than with giving.  And while I’ve planted several vices and faults over a nice swatch of karmic turf, I’m grateful to say that jealousy is not a seed that I have planted.

I do not want what belongs to someone else.  I don’t want what you have.  I don’t want what God gave to you for you.  It’s all that I can do to make space for my own psychic and material stuff.  Why would I want someone else’s?

Time has a way of erasing faces and sometimes names, even if one remembers the incident.  And so, I remember a lovely Sunday morning in a quiet café with a new “friend” that I was getting to know.

“I’m jealous of you,” the woman said.

We had been talking about nice things–music, the weather, etc.  But then, she put on this frowny face.  I want to head for a bomb shelter when I see a frowny face.

“I feel jealous of you. You always seem to get what you want.”

You know how in slapstick comedy, when somebody says something really dumb, the person who’s listening gags on their drink and spits it out?  Okay, so I didn’t spit out my tea.  All I could do was stare and know that this person would not be a friend.  Looking back, I wish I’d been present enough to say, “Do you think you’re woman enough to handle it?”

Now, see (as my mother would say), this is the problem with perception.  We see what someone else has, and even though we have enough, we think that we could use more.  We forget that the person we are envious or jealous of has paid a price for what they got.  But we get mad at them because God allowed them to have it.  Jealousy is stupid–and lives in a hoarding heart.

Like everyone, I’ve had moments when I wanted an easier time of it.  I’ve desired many things:  a problem-free (new?) car, a boyfriend that does the laundry and cooks dinner, more money, a massage once a week—a best seller.  But I will tell anyone in a heartbeat, “I do not want your stuff .”  Because that would mean I want someone else’s life, and really, at this point, I’m pretty content with my own.

Jealousy is a waste of vital energy.  First of all, it’s a tremendous expression of ingratitude.  It’s like saying, “God, you made a mistake with my life.  Can I have hers?”  Ew.

Second, it’s like putting yourself down.  It’s placing someone else above yourself, making their life experience more valuable than your own.  And third, it’s like asking God to give you somebody else’s sorrows in order to experience whatever is perceived as another’s joy.  Again, ew.

When I spend time by myself–writing, for instance–I am happy.  I am quiet.  I feel at ease.   When I am healing my creative self, aware of smiles,  colors, and sounds–I am happy.  When my heart is open,  words, whether hard or soft, flow with the ease of warm honey–I am happy.  It’s taken a long time, but I finally recognize this experience as spending time with my own soul.  It’s private.  It’s soft.  It’s sacred.  It’s healing.  And I wouldn’t trade it for anyone else’s experience.

No one can take those things from me, so being jealous is a waste of vital energy.  Do I get everything I think I want?  No.  But I get what is mine and try to share the best of it.  Hoarding is not my nature.

But hey, if anyone wants what I got, she will have to pay the karmic price.   And I don’t think she’s woman enough to handle it.

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