Recently, I’ve aged another year officially and I am so happy and thankful to be 33. The joy of getting to live this long and raise my girls, continue building a business I love and creating a simple life for our home and family here on the Outer Banks with my best friend in the world, my husband.
I was talking to a friend last month about jealousy. It’s a word that you instantly feel a sting by just when reading it. Didn’t it seem weird to see this in the title of a blog post of mine!? I’m often cheerful, but also forever keeping it real even when it’s hard but today I’m sharing things on my heart knowing it could relate to someone feeling alone just so they know that indeed, they are very much not alone.
I confidently told my friend Elizabeth recently (and the beautiful thing was that she agreed, so she understood what I meant) that I noticed over the past couple of years, I stopped feeling jealous of physical attributes other people had that were “prettier” than I had or of material things, accomplishments, etc. It’s weird because I don’t know when it stopped…but I don’t ever look at even the most beautiful women now and wish I looked like them. I don’t look at their clothes and envy them, their possessions, their features in magazines, I don’t envy what I used to and when I stopped to think about when that switch happened, it was definitely when we moved here to the Outer Banks.
Ironically, that was one of my heart goals in moving. The comparison and hustle of the city wasn’t for me. Not everyone in a city feels that way, there are people on the Outer Banks who struggle with that. But…it was mental for me. I equated being where I would be happiest with fulfilling the ultimate dream and finding REAL contentment for me, and it worked.
I knew I wanted to live here and raise my girls here. I knew the orange city lights glow blocking my star view wasn’t for me. I knew what I wanted, and I worked very very very hard for it. Then, the jealousy dropped.
Jealous people focus deeply on other people’s lives and lack the ambition to work on their own. To change their circumstances. To recognize that no matter how many outfits they buy, or things they spend their money on or ways they try to be like someone else, that they will never, ever in fact be that other person.
You have GOT TO LOVE YOURSELF. God didn’t make you someone else for a reason. You are meant to live your own unique and beautiful life! You have to get inspired beyond your wildest dreams and pumped and amped to create this irresistible life for yourself. Start with loving yourself. Then make sure you’re married or dating someone who respects you. That is NOT negotiable in order to be happy, because if you’re with someone who brings you down, you are living below what you deserve. Then drop the NEED for material things that only bring temporary rushes…own only what you really want and love. (Have you seen our home simplifying list in the Five Waves Shop here? We know every single thing we own and where it is….most of the time:))
I did discover in this conversation with Elizabeth that I am jealous of some people. Once I acknowledged that I did feel jealousy over these people, I thought to myself…if I can’t have what they have, what can I do that’s a close second or how can I channel that energy into bettering ANOTHER part of my life?
I’m jealous of people with incredible relationships with their moms.
I’m jealous of people who truly aren’t affected by criticism and can brush it off.
I’m jealous of people who have always been perpetually kind even in tough circumstances.
I’m jealous of people who don’t flip out on their kids in high stress situations.
Do you see what I listed when talking about who I’m jealous of? I basically admitted and listed my weaknesses. That’s what I did. Once I can acknowledge those things, I can begin to start the path to individually setting goals to work on EACH one of those things in a way that fits my life and that’s meant for me. I don’t have to succumb to “hating” people who have awesome moms, I can say alright…I can’t have this, but I can work my best to become THE best mom I can to my kids.
WORK THROUGH IT LIKE THIS:
1) Recognize a moment where you feel jealousy rising in your heart. Call it out. That doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong. Intentionally denying it, making excuses for it or blaming the party you are jealous of makes you weak.
2) Take a real moment out of your crazy busy day. Focus on this question and answer it, deeply. What is it about this person that is making me jealous? Is it physical? Material? Emotional? Goal oriented? Attention related? Are they “cooler” than me? Is it money related? I mean, as ridiculous as this sounds…it’s the healthy and smart way to work through this.
3) Once you recognize what it is, ask yourself…is what I’m jealous of something I NEED to be happy, or just want? Will you not ever be happy if you don’t have it? Will you be able to embrace it never being yours and find a different way to be joyful about what you DO have?
Example: Growing up, I was SO short. Wait. I still am 🙂 And I wanted to be tall. I really, really, really wanted longer legs and I never went past 5 feet tall, but still, even in college, I envied tall girls so much it hurt sometimes. I thought they were so much more attractive and I just could not let go of the fact that I wanted that. But obviously, I can’t randomly grow five inches and that’s impossible, so when I started dating Mike and he just would have probably loved me with a beard, lol, I realized that he loved SHORT me who was never going to grow taller and it was so fun to be a short girl being toted around by him, lol! I found ways to LOVE and appreciate my height. I love it for so many reasons now that I had forgotten until this post why I ever wanted to grow taller.
4) Remember that you can’t spray paint your grass, no matter how dry and dead it is and quick fixes don’t work. Even if you have to start over, rip up the soil and lay down new seeds, my friends, you have to water your own grass. You can buy the perfect can of spray paint to cover up the issues, but it’s going to eventually show through as fake and you could have been building a beautiful life for yourself all along by just humbling yourself and starting something genuinely all on your own, that belongs to you and you only by getting down in the dirt. Lara Casey is brilliant when explaining how to cultivate a meaningful life, you can pick up her latest book Cultivate here.
The reason this is important is because this kind of jealousy is where one-sided resentment is born. Someone starts to build up feelings against someone for shallow reasons. Now, if you really don’t like what someone is speaking or posting about and it’s against something you believe in, that’s not jealousy, that’s just lack of agreement and that’s something else altogether. But jealousy is dangerous. One year, I got six messages from six girls that admitted they stopped following me because of my positive attitude and journey toward finding happiness… and it hurt. At first I was a little mad but then I snapped out of it and I felt for them because I know what it’s like to be in their shoes. It’s a tough place. Being mad at people for being happy is a lonely gig and no one deserves to live there too long.
I prayed for them because I want their hearts to change and for them to experience a beautiful self love and happiness that they too deserve. The hardest thing I’ve ever done is pray for those who hurt me, but I do it often now.
Find out what’s making you jealous and realize my sweet friend that you already have everything you need in YOUR heart for a good life. Start by opening up with yourself and catching yourself before you dive too deeply into it next time.
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