Recently I realised that I was often feeling jealous and compared myself to other women, particularly my friends. If they achieved something or were doing well, got a new boyfriend, a lovely dress, anything really, I would feel small pangs of jealousy arise within my body.
In the past I have quickly pushed down these feelings of jealousy and then played the ‘nice friend’, commenting and congratulating them on whatever it is that they shared. Because the jealousy was only a small feeling, nothing too big that only lasted for a few seconds, I didn’t think I had jealousy issues.
However through attending Esoteric Women’s Health presentations, discussing the comparison issues that play out between women, I came to realise that I had been kidding myself and that even a small amount of jealousy was still jealousy. This was something that I wanted to address. Interestingly enough, as I allowed myself to feel the jealousy, I discovered it wasn’t really that small at all. In fact there was a lot of it and there had always been a lot. I just hadn’t allowed myself to feel it.
So this has led me to ponder – what is jealousy and how I am with it?
Jealousy: My Foe
What I have found within myself is that it comes up whenever I compare myself with another and see choices that they have made that I have not made and could be making. I feel bitter, sometimes sad and even frustrated and this is often accompanied with a pang in my heart or my solar plexus.
What I also found interesting is that this was at play with other women, but not so much with men which has led me to understand why I had chosen a lot of male friends in the past, as it was easier not to have to feel this jealousy that was at play with other women.
What I also came to understand is that I had been giving myself a hard time for feeling jealous and would quickly push it away as though it wasn’t really there… I was judging it and in this, judging myself too. I would carry on with my friends as though nothing had affected me and as though I was truly joyful for them. I wanted to be joyful for them, but in truth even that small ounce of jealousy was stopping me from feeling this.
Jealousy: My Friend
Since exposing this jealousy, I have made the choice to work with it – not to see jealousy as the enemy but to become friends with it. For instance, now when I feel its pangs rise up, I take the opportunity to express either to myself or with my friend (if appropriate) that this is what I am feeling. Then I am not hiding anymore behind a façade and am being honest with myself as to what is really going on.
But perhaps the biggest step I’ve made has been to make the choice on a daily basis to celebrate myself.
Celebrating myself is about appreciating all the amazing qualities that I have, rather than focusing on the things that I don’t have. When I truly appreciate myself, I find that I am less likely to feel jealous. After all, jealousy only comes through comparison. When I connect with me through my body and feel my own love from within, I feel complete and find I have no need to compare myself to another.
In this celebration of myself, I also celebrate other women on a day-to-day basis.
So now when I see a woman feeling and or looking gorgeous, I’ll express it and not hold back. When I feel she has done something amazing, I’ll let her know, truly celebrating her in that moment. What I have found that as I celebrate her, I also celebrate me and the amazingness I feel in her is the amazingness and beauty in all women. I feel us as equals and there is no jealousy, no comparison, just the beauty of all women.
I still have feelings of jealousy come up, but they are becoming less and less and I am enjoying and feeling the beauty in all women more and more as I celebrate myself and them every day.
by Donna Gianniotis, BA Comms, Dip Health (Yoga), Sydney, Australia