Jealousy, Envy & Other Painkillers
"They've got (fill in the blank) why not me?” - Said Everyone at One Time or Another
Envy, jealousy, that feeling like life has been very generous with someone else but stingy as Scrooge with me. It feels as if my life is missing so much that seems like others have in abundance.
There are all sorts of well meaning people and memes that love to point out how jealousy hurts you more than them and you should be grateful and all that. I won't do that to you.
Instead, I want to honor the feeling and even inquire into a bit.
Obviously, if you were satisfied, and felt your life was where you wanted it to be, jealousy simply wouldn't arise. So the envious feeling isn't the real issue. It is something deeper; a discontent, a feeling of being left out, a feeling of inadequacy. And, since jealousy could not arise in you without that sense of discontent, then....
That discontent must have been there first
Life isn't fair. Harsh but true. Sometimes our very best efforts fall flat and someone else's has-assed effort, glides across the finish line with the checkered flag.
But, what if I told you that none of that has anything to do with the feeling of discontent and, in particular, the fear of lack.
The fear of lack is one of the most primitive feelings a human being can have. It starts when you as a child do not get your needs met, when something really is missing.
That something can be a sense of security, it can be from not being heard or acknowledged. It can arise when parents are distant and distracted. So many things can instill that fear of going without within us. And, sadly, it has been instilled to a greater or lesser degree, in all of us.
This is why is used the subtitle of "Envy, Jealousy & Other Painkillers." Putting attention on what others have and the whole story of how it is unfair or the critical story of how it is all your fault and you just weren't good enough, are simply attempts to not feel the deep pain that comes from not having gotten our needs met.
Now the good news (really good news) is that we can fill those emotional and energetic gaps that weren't filled by our original caregivers, but not in any of the ways we as a culture have attempted to do.
Truth is, YOU are the only one that can fill that hole.
And it only gets filled by discovering what was there before the pain happened and the fear of lack was installed that resulted in the feeling of "They got (fill in the blank) why not me?".
Every child is born with an innate expectation of being loved. Yes, even you! When that doesn't happen the child forms a deep, unspoken assumption that "it is my fault." At a level we can call unconscious, we become convinced that we are simply not lovable or valuable enough. This settles deeply into the nervous system and manifests as that familiar feel of lack or "I'm not enough" and all the resulting behaviors and beliefs that multiply like rabbits, including the 50 shades of envy.
Any remedy for this, if it is to be at all effective, must touch that deep, silent, unconscious wound. It is futile to simply visualize or make affirmations. They only operate on the level of the mind and this deep conviction is in the mind. It is in the body.
There is a way to do this. The nervous system is a remarkable adaptation machine. It adapts and conforms itself to whatever environment it finds itself in. So, the remedy is to create within you the very environment you didn't get when you were that child. In other words, you have to become the loving, self-accepting parent you never had.
How do you do that? Well, it is actually mind numbingly simple. But it is not easy. You have to allow yourself to feel all those uncomfortable feelings you have been avoiding and trying to compensate for.
It works likes this.
Every time you allow yourself to feel a difficult emotion, like envy, you simply feel it. You give yourself permission to feel it, fully, unfiltered and unbuffered. While that seems like it would be wallowing in it what it is actually doing is giving yourself the validation that you are valuable and everything you are feeling is worthy of attention.
In other words, you are giving yourself the very thing you didn't get. And the nervous system gets that message loud and clear. It recognizes that, at long last, it is getting the acceptance that it knows it is suppose to get. If you persist at it, gradually the whole energy system comes to trust this new environment it finds itself in and begins to open itself up to allowing more and more validation to come from the world around it.
It starts with you and then expands outward into every area of your life. Eventually envy simply stops because there i no more sense of being less than others and even the capacity to rejoice in others victories becomes natural and satisfying.
Jealousy and envy are symptoms.They are not the cause. The cause is deep, unmet needs and the wounds that arise from simply not being acceptable. So becoming acceptable to yourself is the simply and direct way back to true, lovable self. It is not an easy process but it is so worth the effort.
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