How comparison hides the insidious poison of jealousy
How comparison hides the insidious poison of jealousy
I have always thought of myself as not the slightest bit jealous. I live my own life and don’t compare myself with others, especially other men. I would say I see and appreciate the differences in people without comparing in a negative way.
All my life I have felt uneasy or awkward in social situations. It is something I have never dealt with and have blundered through life with not much improvement. Recently I have been asking myself why this is. Why do I feel like I am out of place or can’t be easy with myself in social situations? There must be a reason; there must be something I am doing that is blocking me from intimacy with others. By intimacy I mean a natural ease with people, a heart to heart connection beyond the usual superficial pleasantries.
With this in mind I felt like I had to take a fresh look at my behaviour. I soon realised, when I was in a social situation and started feeling awkward and out of place, that I would start comparing myself with others – wanting to be more like them. From there I had to be honest with myself; I was choosing people to be with by how comfortable I was with my comparison. This also made me realise that I chose my friends because they were less inspiring. We did not challenge each other and so we did not grow or deepen our relationship, like an unspoken pact between us to remain the same.
I now know this is not good for healthy relationships.
I have been blessed to know some amazing people in my life who have grown and developed themselves in their lives. I cannot ignore the fact that my attitude towards life was not as vibrant as theirs and my relationships were lacking intimacy. If I indulge in the slightest comparison, instantly the envy floods in and I put up a barrier between myself and a person who I actually admire. I start to think that they are judging me and I distance myself. I don’t like the reflection I am receiving so derogatory thoughts about them distract me from feeling the truth of what is going on. The judgment I feel is real, but it is not actually from them, it is my own self-judgment seething deeper and darker into self-loathing. As a result the people I admired I never really got to know because my jealousy got in the way. The tension between us remained long after the bout of jealousy. So if I didn’t really know them, what was I jealous of or admire about them?
So what am I jealous about? It’s not the car, the house or the lifestyle that gets to me. I am jealous of the intimacy or closeness of relationships I have not been prepared to contribute to, and I am jealous of someone settled with themselves in who they are and how much they are prepared to claim and live it.
I take a deep breath and allow that to sink in and feel the depth of it.
"JEALOUSY is nothing more than self-fury. It is a personal attack on yourself for not doing what you knew had to be done, which is then vented outward to those who are doing what there is to be done."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume I, ed 1, p 123
The more I looked the more I could see that the comparison and jealousy I was holding was in all my interactions with people and it was poisoning my ability to openly connect with them. How did I not know that? How did I go through my whole life and not realise? It is now obvious that the revelation only came to me because I was prepared to be honest.
Now that I am aware of my tendency to compare, I can admire qualities in others without comparison or putting myself down. I can look at my life, how I have been and how I am now without self-judgment and I can feel the full depth of inspiration that I am seeing in the other person.
Self-appreciation helps me be settled with the fact that we all have different strengths, different qualities and different ways to express. We all have vastly different experiences in life and are at varying stages of development. We are not supposed to be the same so comparison is ridiculous.
I am fine now in social circumstances because when I feel myself starting to compare, I change it around to true inspiration and self-appreciation. Because of that I am starting to have deeper connections and more intimacy in my interactions with people and I feel that I am being more honest and more settled with myself.
The irony is not lost that the very things that were lacking in my life, the intimacy and the settlement, came naturally when I decided to be more honest and accept the inspiration from others and made it more about what I love about them rather than what I am not contributing.
Now when I see and feel jealousy in others, I can sense the comparison behind it that is making them feel uncomfortable. If we are not prepared to admit we are comparing or jealous it can act like a poison and stifle healthy relationships. I understand men being oblivious to their own jealousy, as I have been, and that it is more prevalent than most would care to admit. I am amazed at how quick jealousy can take hold, even two seconds into a phone call; I am also amazed at how much it can bring me down – I can go from feeling quite good to disturbingly dark in less than a minute.
I have come to understand the main aspects of jealousy are Comparison and Self-judgement: by themselves they are toxic but combined it becomes jealousy and a seemingly well-adjusted person can turn nasty – that’s why we have to work on both.
Now if I find I have let jealousy in, which makes me feel ill towards someone I admire, I take responsibility for it, I don’t make excuses or blame others, I accept where I am at and the choices I have made. I can then accept others for who they are, what they bring and the choices they have made. A potentially horrible feeling and interaction can be turned into a graceful learning with appreciation of self and of others.
What is jealousy and how to stop it
How evolved we are (also known as initiations) is related to the choices we have made. Rather than being jealous of people who have made choices we wish we had but didn’t, we have an opportunity to appreciate their choices and them for showing us another way.