Reframing Jealousy


I have been learning so much about the power of the beliefs we hold - which are influenced and created by the thoughts we think and the words we speak - and marveling at how amazing it is that we have the ability to change them.

The practice of pinpointing the beliefs in my life that are being played out in unhealthy ways (from the tiniest of ways to the deepest of problems), and then figuring out how I can go about changing them has been so incredibly fascinating and helpful to me. The basic premise of how I go about changing these beliefs is by learning how to turn my thoughts from harmful ones to helpful ones.

So this reframing lesson I’ve been working on in my own life is around jealousy. Jealousy is one of my least favorite emotions. Mostly in relationships and with guys – and is something I’m still working on to be honest, but also in any other area of my life it shows it’s ugly head in. I strongly dislike the feeling of desiring something that someone else has, or feeling bitter or angry that someone is getting to have, do or experience something I wanted.

But there are a few tools I’ve found that have helped me to eliminate this feeling from my body and my experience, and instead, reframe it into something better.

For starters – I get to control what I see and what I consume. If there is someone on social media let’s say, that constantly brings up icky feelings inside of me every time I scroll by a new post or announcement of theirs, I can remove that person from my path. Simple as that. As much as I’d like to fully master the art of being 100% content and at peace with my current situations at all times, the reality is I’m not there yet, and if I can remove the stumbling block from my path to get to that place a little quicker, then I’m going to do it.

But the preferable route has been to try to catch these thoughts as they pop up, and then re-frame them into something better. And at it’s core, I’ve discovered that the root of jealousy stems from choosing to live in a state of scarcity rather than a state of abundance.

Some examples of things that could cause jealousy are seeing other couples get engaged or having babies, someone starting a business similar to one you wanted to, people making a certain amount of money, having a nice house, etc. It can be easy to default to the (maybe at times subconscious) belief that because someone else has this, that now means that there is less for you, like there’s this imaginary pie in the sky with a limited amount of slices and when someone gets a big slice that means there’s less leftover for you. When the reality is that there is an infinite amount of love and abundance available to you, and seeing someone else add that to their life should instead prove that fact, therefore encouraging you that it’s out there for you too, and is most likely on it’s way to you right now (seeing other people gain things we want is a sign we’re on the right path!)

If we can celebrate this in others when we see it rather than be envious, it shows we have an abundance mindset about it, and that we believe it’s available to us as well.

This is starting to dip into the financial mindset stuff I’ve been working on and I want to share a full episode on that some day, but I think this example works well here. Living in Newport Beach surrounded by million dollar homes (literally nothing less than that) can either make me live in a constant feeling of lack – “I’ll never have this kind of money, I wish I could have a house like that, it’s not fair, etc.,” - but what I choose to believe instead is that the fact that there are multi-million dollar homes EVERYwhere I look tells me that there sure is a lot of wealth out there and many people have figured out how to obtain it and to have beautiful homes and if they can then I can too. And being around it makes me that much closer to it cuz it helps me visualize the kind of future I want that much easier.

And now for a note on love:

Such a different concept than re-framing your mindset, but I do want to touch on the jealousy in (or out) of relationships, as it’s one I’ve struggled with in the past and is part of the journey I’m now – in the sense of working on not elevating a romantic relationship to be what I aim to fulfill me in this life. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been really into Eckhart Tolle and his works lately, and am re-reading The Power of Now after listening to the audio version because of how powerful and life-changing it’s been for me. I wanted to share two short passages out of that book from the chapter on Enlightened Relationships because of how well I think they address the concept of lack and desire in relationships and where to turn for true salvation and fulfillment instead:

 “As long as you are identified with the mind, you have an externally derived sense of self. That is to say, you get your sense of who you are from things that ultimately have nothing to do with who you are: your social role, possessions, external appearance, successes and failures, belief systems, and so on. This false, mind-made self, the ego, feels vulnerable, insecure, and is always seeking new things to identify with to give it a feeling that it exists. But nothing is ever enough to give it lasting fulfillment. Its fear remains; its sense of lack and neediness remains.” - The Power of Now, pages 150-151

“True salvation is fulfillment, peace, life in all its fullness. It is to be who you are, to feel within you the good that has no opposite, the joy of Being that depends on nothing outside itself. It is felt not as a passing experience but as an abiding presence. In theistic language, it is to “know God” - not as something outside you but as your own innermost essence. True salvation is to know yourself as in inseparable part of the timeless and formless One Life from which all that exists derives its being.” - The Power of Now, page 146

This is the current practice I’m working on: to focus on being full rooted in Being and in presence and finding my fulfillment there rather than outside myself since those things are fleeting and subject to change and won’t lead to lasting fulfillment. Not easy, but such a beautiful journey to be on.

Listen to the full episode here:

Sara B.