Jealousy is perhaps one of the most common emotions we experience in regard to relationships, and yet it is seldom understood. And because it occurs so regularly it is generally accepted as a normal, healthy emotional reaction. It is even considered by some to be a measure of one’s love.
We commonly assume that if our partner never feels jealous, then they don’t really love us. We will even try purposely to make our partners jealous just so we can feel more desirable. But if we really take a closer look at any relationship, we can see that where there is jealousy, love is obscured. And this is because jealousy isn’t about love at all. It’s about fear and insecurity.
Jealousy is not a characteristic of healthy relating. In fact, it is often the destroyer of relationships. And when we take a closer look at it, as we will here, we find that jealousy actually causes us to be more selfish and inconsiderate toward those we profess to love, and this can greatly damage our relationships.
You might become upset upon seeing your partner laughing and having a good time with someone other than you. But know that this disturbance is not coming from a place of love. If you are truly coming from a place of love, you would be happy to see your partner having such a good time. But you see, jealousy is not about anyone else’s happiness. It finds no joy in the joy of others. When we’re jealous, we’re only concerned with ourselves and what we stand to lose.
Jealousy goes hand in hand with possessiveness, which arises from intense attachment. When we relate with others, we experience a number of pleasurable emotions. And we have a tendency to believe that those feelings are coming from the other person, rather than recognizing that they arise from within. Many of those feelings can become addictive, just like a drug. In fact, these feelings are closely related to chemical reactions occurring within the brain. Similar to using narcotics, spending time with a friend or a lover causes the brain to produce mood-altering substances such as serotonin and dopamine, which make us feel euphoric. And if we are totally dependent upon other people to bring about these chemical reactions, then, just like a drug addict, we become afraid that we might lose that connection. We often experience this euphoria only when we’re in the company of certain persons, and so we try desperately to secure that source of our enjoyment by limiting that person’s interactions with others. We demand that they give their time, energy and attention primarily, and oftentimes exclusively, to us and no one else.
When we’re coming from this place of addiction, we don’t recognize the other person as an individual who is free to come and go, free to think, feel and do as they please. We don’t consider their joy and pleasure. We only consider what we are seeking to get from the relationship. We see that person primarily as the source of our own enjoyment and fulfillment. We see them as a commodity. And when we see a person merely as a commodity, as an object of our enjoyment, it is easy to imagine that we can possess them, that we can own them.
This is not so different from the mentality of those who own slaves. A slave is not recognized as a free individual. A slave is seen merely as a commodity to be exploited for our own convenience. The duty of a slave is to commit all of their time and energy to serving the master. If they are not serving the master, or if they are serving someone else, then they are not fulfilling their duty.
This same dynamic is very much present in our relationships. And most people are not ashamed to admit quite openly their belief that their partner belongs to them.
So jealousy is very much associated with this idea that the other person is our personal property. And since they have no freedom apart from what we permit them, they are under our strict control. When you believe that you own something or someone, there is naturally some fear that you may lose it, or that someone else will try to take it from you. And this is where we really get to the root of jealousy.
Jealousy is fear, plain and simple. It is the fear that someone will steal your property, or the fear that your property may escape. And so we try to do everything we can to secure our assets, beginning with rules and restrictions. But even having all of these rules and restrictions does not seem to quell one’s fear. And so we try to enforce these rules and restrictions by the power of fear. That is, we try to make our partner just as fearful as we are. We try to control and manipulate them with threats and punishments. So now the whole relationship is about stripping the other of their freedom and confining them to a set of rigid restrictions. Now the relationship is based on fear, instead of love.
Love is the polar opposite of fear. Love is liberating. It arises from the freedom one experiences within oneself. It is our most natural state. But it becomes covered over by fear. The more we work through our own personal fear, the more that love is able to shine through us. And so, when we are truly living from that place of love, there is no need to control anyone or anything. The more you allow love to flow uninhibited, the more satisfied you are by it. There is no desire to gain anything, because love is enough. It only wants to give of itself.
So when you are fully expressing love for anyone, your concern is for their happiness. You aren’t concerned with your own, because it’s by the very expression of your love that you maintain your own happiness. It isn’t dependent upon anyone or anything outside of you.
And if you see that there is something which brings joy to that person, you share in that joy. So rather than being upset because your partner is laughing with someone else, you smile and laugh with them.
We are able to express love only to the capacity that we are free. And the more liberated we become–liberated from fear, desire, expectations, attachment and the like–the more we are compelled to share that feeling. And so the greatest act of love is to simply inspire freedom in others. When we are truly coming from a place of love, others will naturally be drawn to us. They will seek out our company, and they want to share in the warmth of that radiance. But in order to come to that place of uninhibited love, you have to remove all the barriers surrounding it.
Jealousy is one such barrier. It is an intense, multi-faceted emotion which inhibits the free flow of love. And the only way to remove it is by bringing awareness to it.
Jealousy is a surface emotion. Ultimately every emotion we experience is coming from either love or fear. And often times, we are experiencing a variety of different emotions all at once, which makes it difficult to understand and process just what it is we’re feeling. But if we can understand that every emotion boils down to one of these two primary foundations, then we can gain a clearer perspective.
Under the surface of jealousy there are many thoughts and feelings whirling about. There are feelings of insecurity. There are expectations and disappointments. There is worry, resentment and anger. We imagine all kinds of possible scenarios about our partner and how they might meet someone more attractive or more interesting, that they might stop loving us, or leave altogether. We can often feel inadequate or unworthy. We can feel empty, powerless, and hopeless. So as you can see, jealousy is much more complex than it appears on the surface. And if we sincerely want to learn how to overcome it, we have to understand what it’s really all about. We have to delve into it… look at it… go to the root of it.
It all comes down to fear… the fear of losing something, which is ultimately based on the belief that we don’t have a firm hold on it in the first place. And this is why we try so hard to possess others. But what it is that we’re afraid of losing isn’t necessarily a person or a thing. Rather it’s that feeling we attribute to the person or thing. It’s an illusory feeling of completeness, happiness or love. And I say that this feeling is illusory because we can never obtain any of these qualities from outside of ourselves. The truth is that they are contained already within us. We just don’t realize it.
So here’s what I suggest. I suggest you look deeply at what is going in within you. Look at your fear. Examine it. And then go deeper. You will eventually discover that underlying your jealousy are beliefs which you hold about yourself… beliefs about your self-worth. And it is from these beliefs that fear arises, and from fear all of the negatively charged emotional reactions associated with your feelings of jealousy.
It is absolutely possible to resolve these feelings, and the way to do this is by cultivating Self-Love. You do this by accepting yourself fully. This means that you stop judging yourself for all of your flaws and imperfections, all of your mistakes, and all of your shortcomings. No one’s perfect after all.
The number one reason we’re insecure is that we’re constantly comparing ourselves with others. We tend to focus on their best qualities, without taking much notice of their flaws. Now if we take just one quality about ourselves, the truth is that there’s always going to be someone out there that surpasses us in that area. And this isn’t just true in regards to you or me. It’s true of everyone. When you become fixated on how that person outshines you in that one specific area, you begin to feel inferior. And this is when jealousy arises.
But here’s where the problem lies. What makes each of us unique is not one special quality we have that outshines everyone else’s. It’s our unique combination of various qualities and traits. When you think about what qualities are important to you in a partner, you don’t just think of one. There is a special combination which you’re looking for. So, in the same way, it isn’t just this one attribute that others find valuable in you, but rather it’s a unique combination of various attributes.
So when we’re comparing ourselves to others, we tend to be focused on this one thing which they seem to have more of, that they seem to be better at. And it may be true that we don’t measure up in that one area. But does this person outshine us in every single way? Because, if we broaden our perspective and take a look at the bigger picture we’re bound to find a variety of qualities in ourselves where we excel in comparison to that other person. And this is because no one is better at everything. We all have favorable and unfavorable qualities. We just choose to focus on what is unfavorable in ourselves, while focusing only on what we find favorable in others.
We need to step back and take in the whole picture. And what we’ll see is that everyone has areas where they excel and areas where they’re inadequate. And that really puts everyone on a much more equal level. No one’s better or worse than anyone else. We’re all just special in our own unique way.
So we really need to stop comparing ourselves to others, and realize that we all have our own gifts and talents to share with the world. We need to take time to recognize and find value the many wonderful qualities we each possess.
If we want to overcome jealousy and insecurity it’s best to try and get a grip on it before it gets its grip on you, because when we’re in the midst of a jealous rage we’re unable to see anything clearly. So before it arises, take time to work on shifting your beliefs about yourself and cultivating a greater sense of self-worth and appreciation. Accepting yourself fully, flaws and all, can be a bit tricky at first. But you can begin by focusing on your positive qualities and accentuating them. In this way you can begin building a positive self-image and an increased self-esteem. Once you are focused on your most favorable qualities, you can more easily develop acceptance of your less favorable qualities.
Whenever you do find jealousy arising within you, simply bring awareness to your feelings. This is all about just noticing them, how they arise, what beliefs they are arising from, how your feelings shift and evolve, and also how they affect your relationship.
It’s interesting to notice how jealousy can contribute to the very thing we are afraid of, which is losing our friend or partner. The reasons for this are quite simple. However, when we’re under the influence of jealousy, we lose a great deal of clarity and rational insight.
When we’re jealous we lash out at our partner in anger or we become extremely needy. And both of these reactions cause our partner to feel uncomfortable and disconnected. And if we are consistently jealous, then our partner is consistently feeling disconnected.
In addition, fear and insecurity are very unattractive energetically. Positive energy attracts. Negative energy repels. So if we’re worried that our partner might lose interest in us, then being consistently jealous is going to make our fear a reality. The more we try to control and possess someone, the more we actually push them away.
It’s been said that worrying is praying for what you don’t want. And there is a great deal of truth to this, because whatever thoughts and beliefs we carry about our relationships affect our personal vibration. If we’re constantly imagining all the ways in which our relationship might fail, then failure is the vibration we’re sending out, and failure is what we’re going to attract.
On the other hand, if we can shift our energy by focusing on the qualities that we appreciate about the relationship, expressing our gratitude openly to one another, then we’ll be able to maintain those qualities, and improve upon the relationship.
Overcoming jealousy and insecurity is not something everyone can do overnight. It can take time. So be patient with yourself. Simply bring awareness to it. See it for what it is. Learn to shift your beliefs. Learn to shift your vibration. Learn to love yourself fully and deeply, and let that love become the basis of your relationships.