Before I share this week’s blog with you, I want to tell you how touched and totally bowled over I was by your loving and heartfelt messages about Sam Ewing. As of this moment, there are 146 messages from you about him, and you really, really touched my heart, and his wonderful mother has read them too. I can’t begin to tell you what it means to all of us. Thank you for your incredible kindness and beautiful words. With love from all of us.
And now for some more mundane thoughts!! I hope that all is well with you!!!
I hope your summer is rolling out smoothly and nicely with fun times, some relaxing days, and maybe even a great vacation you’ve been waiting all year to take. I love these summer days.
The Green Eyed Monster I’m talking about is jealousy, and I think it’s a REALLY important subject, for all of us. It is the seen and unseen evil in all of our lives, no matter who or where we are, at whatever level or stage in life. And it can wreak havoc in our lives, and often does.
I read a comment to my blog recently, from someone having trouble at work. I hear it from friends, my children at their jobs, and experience it myself every day. It may come in the form of a small snide comment from a co-worker, or even a boss, that takes you by surprise, or it may even take the form of some truly wicked planning by someone who is out to do you harm. And jealousy often comes from unexpected quarters, from someone you just can’t even imagine would be jealous of you. Some jealous people go to great lengths to hide it, others unabashedly go after you in some way. But whether hidden or overt, jealousy is one of the most corrosive, potentially dangerous elements in all of our lives. I have long since had a great “respect” for just how dangerous other people’s jealousies can be.
As a famous person, people in the outer circle of our lives see the outer trappings (all of them perfectly manicured and dressed up for your viewing pleasure) of a public person’s life. You see how handsome their children are, how big their house, how nice their clothes. You’re told how successful they are, how much fun they’re having, and shown how fabulous they supposedly are. In most cases, you don’t see how troubled one or more of their children may be, how stretched their finances, how bad their marriage (except in the tabloids), you don’t see them crying over the griefs in their life, or on a bad hair day, or with stomach flu. In a way, we are set up to be jealous of them. And they in turn, as famous people, are set up as an open target for other people’s envy—-which is a scary situation to be in. I’ve had my share of threats, and nasty jealous hate mail too, for all those reasons, and have also experienced other people’s jealousy at close range, from people I know. Jealousy almost always comes as a surprise, and it can be a powerful negative force against us.
No matter who we are, or what we have, there is always going to be someone, or a lot of someones who have more than we do. In today’s high tech world, 20 something year olds have made billions of dollars. People with old fortunes, or who started amazing companies, have fortunes we can’t even dream of, and seem to get to do everything we wish we could, but can’t. And even those people have their share of problems, sick kids, bad marriages, the problems that plague us all.
At every level, I hear friends complain about one really nasty person at their workplace who is making their life miserable, and is out for their job. I hear it from my children, and experience it myself. NO ONE is exempt. Jealousy can be spawned by things that seem absurd to us, and so trivial as to be unimportant. But jealousy aimed at you is NEVER unimportant, and is an often unseen poison that can make our lives miserable, or even cost us our jobs. The reasons for it may be obvious, or seem crazy or absurd. You may have prettier clothes than they do, a better marriage (in their perception), a cuter boyfriend or girlfriend, more successful or less troublesome kids, a better car, a nicer home, or even a pair of shoes they really want, or you may look like you’re having more fun (they don’t see the problems you don’t talk about that you may have at home). It can take very little to inspire jealousy in others. Maybe someone thinks that your boss likes you better, or you’ve had more advantages in life, or a better education. The more visible you are, the more outgoing, the more you are enjoying your life, or doing well, the more of a target you become. I’ve experienced jealousy from unexpected sources, nasty comments from other mothers at school, the terrible heart-wrenching discovery that someone I thought was a friend is actually consumed with jealousy and not sincere. Those people forget the hardships in our life, or don’t see them, they forget the price we pay for what we ‘have’, or how hard we work for it. One of my youngest children has experienced jealousy at work, they figure she has an easier life than they do, my older, more experienced, more successful children are targets every day, and so are yours. There is always something we have or do, that other people want and figure we don’t deserve. And I am always shocked when jealousy comes out of the woodwork and rears its ugly head. In a way, it’s a blessing when people expose those feelings, rather than having them operating unseen behind the scenes, when we don’t even suspect it.
Almost every time, when people I know tell me about problems they’re having at work, or with a ‘friend’, or even with a spouse or a boyfriend/girlfriend, jealousy is at the root of it, because they think you’re better off than they are, and you don’t deserve it.
If you speak to religious leaders, priests or ministers, they will tell you that one of the things they pray about daily is the evil force of jealousy in the world, both seen and unseen.
It may seem ridiculous to you, whatever your circumstances, that someone would be jealous of you. ‘Who? Me? Are you kidding? I have a mountain of bills on my desk, I’m about to lose my job, my house is a mess, one of my kids is partying too much, my car is about to die. I think my partner is cheating on me, and I haven’t bought so much as a new pair of jeans in 2 years.’ But to someone else, whatever you have or do, or have accomplished may look like a piece of Heaven to them, a piece of Heaven that they want, and think they deserve more than you. Sadly, there are people out there, or even close to us, who do not celebrate our victories, aren’t sincere, and rejoice silently when we fall flat on our face, or lose something or someone we love.
I think jealousy is something we really need to be alert to, not in a hysterical paranoid way. Everyone is not out to get you. But in every life, there are people we are not aware of, and some we are, who don’t wish us well, who would get us in trouble at work if they can, and make our lives miserable, with a badly placed comment, an eye to taking our partner from us, or our job, or just sap our confidence in ourselves. When people do or say mean things to you, take a good look at the source. Do they REALLY have your best interest at heart? Or do they just want to make you feel bad? Are they undermining you at your job? Even your boss can be jealous of you, if they think you are rising too fast, having a better life, or jeopardizing them in some way. You may think you have nothing for anyone to be jealous of, and may be totally unaware that someone wants something you have, and is secretly mad that you have it.
I don’t think we should be paranoid about it, but I do think we need to be aware and protect ourselves. Even if you’re not a show off and don’t brag, your happiness with your life as it is, or some part of it, may be more than someone else can stomach. None of us need that kind of negative force in our lives. So when you’re having a hard time at work, as we all do at times, or like the woman who wrote the comment on the blog, or when a ‘friend’ does something surprisingly hurtful, or people deck you with a nasty comment and really make you sad—–take a good look at the source, and if you see the green eyed monster staring back at you, or even suspect it, take a careful step back, and try to stay out of range of that person’s jealousy of you. Protect yourself. Don’t let other people’s jealousy rob you of the peace, and joy, the accomplishments and sense of well-being that you have probably worked hard for, and truly deserve. The Green Eyed Monster of jealousy is a thief, that would rob you of what makes you happy and feel good about yourself. Just be careful, and be alert, some people really are jealous of the smallest things in our lives—–small to us maybe, but big to them. Don’t let jealousy from others rob you of anything!!!!