No one wants to feel jealous. Jealousy hurts. But why do so many of us find ourselves stuck in it?
One reason may be that we are trying to get free of it in the wrong way.
The first thing to understand about jealousy is that if you suffer from it, it has absolutely nothing to do with how anyone else behaves.
Jealousy is an expression of your insecurity, not an expression of another person’s character.
You cannot improve another person’s way of feeling about you or acting toward you by reacting with jealously. In fact, the more jealousy you experience the less attractive you will be to the person you feel jealousy toward.
Jealousy is therefore as counter-productive as it is painful.
If trying to control others is not a way that leads us out of jealousy, what is a viable path to the liberation that we desire? Here is a five-step process for overcoming jealousy.
Step 1: Accept Responsibility
The way to lose jealousy begins with taking complete responsibility for it. Instead of blaming another person for your feelings of jealousy, regard jealousy as your own insecure way of reacting.
Step 2: Be Grateful
Instead of resenting the person who triggers your jealousy, be grateful for the opportunity the situation presents to you. While jealousy hurts, the only way to gain liberation from it is to realize its presence. You cannot change what you are not aware of. By shifting into an attitude of gratitude for the opportunity to liberate yourself from jealousy you may immediately begin feeling at least a little better. Also, your attitude of gratitude for the opportunity to get free will help you to actually find that opportunity.
Step 3: Be Intentional
The next step is to decide to be free of your jealous pattern. What most jealous people do is try to control the person who triggers their jealousy, rather than focusing on improving their own reaction to that person’s conduct. Reverse this to be free. Make it your intention to change yourself, to transform your inner response.
Step 4: Know What You Want
Think about what freedom from jealousy feels like. Think about how you want to feel instead. Jealousy is about the fear of loss. So what you want to feel is secure. Instead of worrying about losing the person you love, think about feeling centered in a sturdy inner state of genuine peace, love and joy. Spend some time envisioning yourself feeling so full of peace, love and joy that there is no space within you to feel insecure.
Step 5: Practice
If you feel jealous today it is no doubt a pattern that you have been reinforcing for many years, probably all the way back to early childhood. To lose jealousy will therefore most likely require perseverance. Don’t wait for jealousy to strike before you follow these five steps for overcoming jealousy. Practice living in a state of inner peace, joy and love throughout each day, in all situations. Notice whenever anger, anxiety or unhappiness arises in you and resist the urge to start blaming another person or an outside situation for your reaction. Take full responsibility for your internal reaction pattern. Then decide to return to inner peace, love and joy BEFORE you make any effort to influence another person or an outside situation.
This doesn’t mean that you have to passively accept however people behave toward you or whatever is going on in your life. It means that BEFORE you try to improve what is going on outside of you, improve what is going on inside of you.
Some worry that if they make the inner change to peace they will lose the motivation to make the outer change. That may happen. But it may not happen. When you look at your situation from a state of inner peace you will experience enhanced clarity of judgment that will help you to better understand what is really going on and what you need to do about it.
- If you are not currently suffering with a feeling of jealousy, think of an event in your past when you felt jealous.
- Next, affirm with clear conviction: “I accept responsibility for any jealous reaction patterns within me and I decide to free myself from those reactions patterns.”
- Next, think about the feeling of inner peace, love and joy. Take a few gentle, relaxing full breaths, imagining that as you breath in you are breathing in the feeling of inner peace, love and joy. As you breathe out, imagine that you are getting rid of any patterns of jealousy, insecurity or anger that you may have been carrying around.
- Repeat Step 3 for ten breaths.
Take this exercise with you in daily life. Whenever you notice even a slight trace of jealousy arising within you toward anyone, go through the exercise to help you to gain and strengthen your inner freedom.
Did you find this post helpful? What situations trigger off your jealousy? Are you dealing with a jealous partner? Please feel welcome to share your questions about jealousy and your experiences with this exercise.
By Bob Lancer, Motivational Speaker and Author