I thought I would talk about jealousy. We have all experienced it. It is insidious. You may see someone get something, or achieve something, that you really wanted. Slowly the tendrils of jealousy entwine around your heart and you experience a subtle hatred toward the person.
That’s the thing with jealousy. It usually starts slowly, with a thought, then you meditate on that thought. You are feeding the jealousy with your thoughts. Before you know it a bad attitude has erupted in your heart. If you analyse the attitude, you will see that it is a hatred. You hate the person for getting that new car. You hate the person for getting a pay rise. You hate the person because they have just been given a promotion. You hate, hate and hate! That is where jealousy is the killer.
Jealousy can kill social relationships between friends, family, co-workers. Jealousy kills your ability to be happy and joyful. Jealousy can kill your ability to enjoy life as you are always looking at what other’s have instead of appreciating what you have.
Jealousy is born out of self-focus and a irrational belief of self-entitlement. You think that it should have been YOU that got that pay rise. You begin to think about reasons why it should be you and reasons why it should not have been the other person. “Jack is always slacking off, but I work hard! I don’t like Jack all that much anyway!” (the hatred toward Jack has surfaced!)
“Mary has just bought a new car. I hope she has a crash in it! That will teach her for showing off!” The problem with this statement is the false conclusion that Mary is showing off, just because she bought a new car. Perhaps she has been saving for many months to buy that car, as her old car is slowly breaking down. Should not we be happy for Mary? Jealousy says that we shouldn’t. We should hate Mary and her new car.
Jealousy causes one to create false premises regarding a situation. Then the conclusion based on these fallacious assumptions is equally ridiculous. Such as the conclusion reached about Mary showing off, just because she had the new car.
So then, how do we combat jealousy when it rears it’s ugly head? First of all you need to acknowledge that you are experiencing jealousy. Then you need to ask yourself why you have become jealous. The next step is to learn how to get your eyes off yourself. It may shock some people to realise that the world does not, and never has, revolved around them. I would suggest that the final step is to celebrate with those you see praised, rewarded or who have gotten a new possession (such as Mary with her car). You will find that there was no malicious intent behind the situation, except for that which you created yourself.
So kill jealousy by being happy for those around you. Celebrate the successes of those people. You will find that they, in turn, will help you celebrate your successes. Then there is no longer any grounds for jealousy to surface!