Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.
Worry and jealousy seem to go hand in hand. Often time one leading into the other. At least in my life. But the older I get the more worry is my default setting as opposed to jealousy. Worry is such a useless emotion. I can tell myself that nothing comes of worry except maybe over reaction and sleepless nights and therefore I shouldn’t waste my time. But that’s easier said than done. I worry about the silliest things. The toilet is making funny noises; it’s going to explode. My right arm is twitching therefore I have a neurological disorder. The smell of smoke means fire in the condo. Where as in actuality the toilet tank is merely filling, the arm as a small twitch and someone in the neighborhood has lit their fireplace. Interestingly enough t I don’t worry about big things like international travel, speaking in front of a large crowd and interviews. They may cause a bit of nervousness but they don’t cause sleepless nights.
Worry is such a useless emotion. Often an expenditure of effort and energy and thought that could be put to much better use.
To reframe the self-talk. Or to find the real truth behind a situation instead of perceived truth. And not allow the blood pressure to rise or the mind to spin until that happens.
Jealousy is something that hasn’t governed my sleep patterns. I don’t think I’ve “begrudged” anyone when it came to his or her happiness. Sure, sometimes I wished it was me that had the fairytale wedding, or the metabolism of a marathoner or my friend Cheri’s hair. But I’ve never wanted it for myself at the expense of someone else.
At least I don’t think so.
Not to say I haven’t gone through phases in my life where I’ve wanted to scowl and stomp and rage against what I perceived as the ill-gotten or undeserved fortune of someone else. But I’ve learned to leave it and let go. Some of these times being easier than others.
How realistically do we perceive someone else’s happiness? Just because we believe we’d be happy in their stead doesn’t mean they are happy. And just because they have what we think we want doesn’t mean they feel fulfilled. Oftentimes we come to the wrong conclusions about someone else’s contributions to our situations when, in fact, power in the creation of our reality lies only within ourselves.
We need to tell ourselves that, no, it’s not somebody else’s fault we are unhappy. For the most part, our own choices have brought us to where we are in life. But it’s easier to blame someone else for not getting the family that we want, or the job that we desire or the articles and trinkets and indulgences we think we deserve.
And then there is the twist. Where the Tweedle twins can be mistaken one for the other. When we worry that someone is hurt or jealous by something we’ve accomplished or of something we’ve acquired. And we’ve come to this conclusion because we’re ignored or scowled at or treated with reproach. And we have to remind ourselves that what others think truly doesn’t matter. I know of people who purposely don’t share their joy with specific people in their lives because they feel that this joy will bring hurt and, sadly, an unjust reproach from others. What kind of world is this where joy and pride is kept hidden because “you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings”?
To be jealous of someone else’s joy is one thing, to begrudge them is a selfishness that is shameful.
I think it will take a lifetime to completely and permanently give worry and jealousy the boot and banish them forever. But in the meantime we should in strive in acquiring the skills and selflessness needed to manage them without disturbing the universe…or at least the space around us we find scared.