You know the one.
The girl with the hair that’s just a little bit shinier, the legs that are just a little bit more shapely, or the one with her life just that little bit more in order, her house just a little bit more fancy, or her career just that little bit further along and you kind of hate her. Even though she’s probably nice as pie on top of being perfect in every other way.
Ahh jealousy. The ugliest of the emotions. It can be all consuming, make you feel so passionately twisted and prickly and it can be hard to know how to deal with it. I still haven’t quite figured it out.
“That girl” for me has been someone different at just about every stage of my life.
The girl who had amazing legs in high school and could (and did) wear whatever she wanted, the girl at uni that had gorgeous hair and looked like an angel even when she had no make up on. She made friends with everyone, and boys fell for her with every flick of her shiny perfectly wavy hair. She lived with my boyfriend and I died a little inside every time I heard her amazing laugh in the background while we’d chat on the phone.
There was the girl who I met through a (different) boyfriend later. She was an incredibly talented dancer and somehow, even when she made bad choices, things seemed to work out for her and everyone ended up proud of her. She was younger and louder and so unapologetically herself. I felt like I faded into the background whenever she was around and the jealousy struggle was real.
More recently, there was the girl who popped into our lives out of nowhere. She dressed beautifully and seemed to always be in the right place at the right time and so opportunities that I felt like I’d been working towards for ever, fell into place for her and I envied the ease of her life.
UGH! It seems so petty – it’s so hard to see it written out like that. It’s funny, I’ve found opening up about other difficult experiences in my life so easy, but jealousy is such an ugly emotion. This one has been difficult to put into words that make sense enough to share.
I am all about letting yourself feel your emotions, I’ve spoken so many times about how I feel like it helps you work through them in a much healthier way. Jealousy though, is the exception. It’s gross and toxic and can be horribly overwhelming if you let it linger.
I’ve found it helpful to remember, when I’m working out how to deal, that Love isn’t finite.
Someone can love you, wholly and unconditionally and still have the space in their hearts to love someone else. Their relationship can be different with that other person, or people, but that doesn’t mean that their love for you is lessened in any way.
The earliest memory I have of jealousy was of the relationship that my mother had with my sister – they are so similar in personality that I felt like an outsider at times. I envied the quiet bond that they seemed to share because of their similarities.
Love doesn’t have a limit though, my mothers bond with my sister didn’t take away from ours, and having two children cemented the knowledge of this for me.
Another woman’s beauty is not the absence of your own. Their skills, their journey, their lives, they don’t detract from the importance of your journey, your skills, or the person that you are.
In the words of just about every boyband ever in one way or another: what makes you different, makes you beautiful.
You and “that girl” can co-exist and you can both be wonderful at the same time, in your own ways. (And I bet she has a “that girl” that drives her just as crazy too.)
Jealousy or envy can give you important information about your identity, your ego, your vanities and what might be missing from your life if you can get past the ugly feelings and find the root cause of them.
Turns out that every single “that girl” that has come and gone from my life has had one thing in common when I sat down (to write this actually) and thought about it.
It’s something I’ve always lacked (I’m working on it) and I would look at the girls that were so sure of themselves and I envied that. It showed itself in different ways, but when it came down to it, that was the root of my issues with these girls. That’s just it though, they were my issues.
Jealousy, in it’s own ugly way, is teaching us something about ourselves.
It’s healthy to ignore the ‘shoulds’. I ‘should’ be cooler than I am, I ‘should’ live in a house that looks like a magazine show home, but it’s not healthy to ignore the things you truly want.
Figure out why your “that girl” has aroused the icky feelings and focus that passion that jealousy can bring. Take the time to look inwardly and work out what you really want and how you’re going to get there.
Also though, I think maybe we could all do with being a little less hard on ourselves.
I guess on some level, our egos all want us to be the smartest, or the prettiest, the furthest ahead, or the one with the most shapely legs. But if we spend so much of our lives focussing on how to be just like that person we think is perfect, we’re going to lose sight of the things that make us so uniquely and beautifully ourselves.
Those things are so worth celebrating, and so worth being proud of.
Every now and then, your insecurities will pop up and try to convince you otherwise. Tell them to shut it and remind yourself of what an awesome badass you are. Because you really are. We all really are. ❤