Thursday, October 08, 2009

Jealousy is bad

So one of the main things I am trying to work on is being present; present to what is happening now, present to my body, present to my thoughts. I am trying not to live in the past or in what I THOUGHT should have been the future. Living in the present, however, is hard, it is much harder than it seems. Living in the moment means not thinking about how I wish Kyle hadn't lied to me, or how we should have been somewhere else right now, or how I should have gone for a run yesterday. When my mind is filled up with these thoughts, the negative energy is electrifying. So electrifying in fact, that they lightening strike any positive thoughts that try to sneak their way in. Living in the present means throwing some perspective on the matter. What is currently happening is not so bad. I am typing on the computer. My fingers are pressing lightly on the black keyboards as I straighten by back so as not to have the terrible posture I typically keep. My unwashed hair is having a field day sticking straight out in its frizzy way of being in all sorts of directions. I probably look like a frazzled school librarian searching for her once again lost glasses. My stomach is beginning to indicate slight vestiges that it is craving nutrients, at least that is how I am interpreting the pains in my gut. If I look at what is, and not what should have been, life isn't the terrible I often interpret it as.

Triggered by my unwillingness to read blog posts of those whose lives seem seamless and perfectly mirthful, I began writing this blog post as an attempt at an honest look as to why I am choosing not to read certain cheerful excerpts. My first thoughts are, "if their life is so happy, I don't want to hear about it because it will just make me feel worse about myself." Why does others' happiness make me experience a plummet in self-esteem? Why can't I be satisfied with where I am and be joyous of others' good fortune? Why must I covet what I don't have? And if given the chance would I really trade my life with those whose posts I won't read or facebook statuses who are always so very blithe? The answer is NO. I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I love my life. I love my family, I love my friends, I love my husband, and I love our opportunities. So where does this self-opposition come from? Why shouldn't I be satisfied?

Does anyone else have these feelings? Let me be clear. I don't actually wish ill will on anyone, especially those dear ones in my life. Please don't misunderstand this post to mean something that it does not. I honestly and truly wish the best for everyone in my life. What I am struggling with is satisfaction within, and really only sometimes. But I wanted to examine this as I have been doing a lot of candid soul searching lately and pose the question to others, "Is this something that you experience as well? And where does it come from for you?"

Some quotes on envy:
Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own. ~Harold Coffin

Jealousy is the great exaggerator. ~Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, The Conspiracy of Fiesco, 1783

And oft, my jealousy shapes faults that are not. ~William Shakespeare


Rachael said...

I struggle with being present too. I was doing well, I think, until the whole house thing. It's hard to be present all the time when you're bogging down in details of the future all the time. Oh well, the see-saw will be on the other side again soon enough. shrug.

I read a lot of blogs. It's weird... I am drawn to blogs with lots of medical detail. Mostly these are blogs of people who are going through some kind of family crisis, medically oriented. Maybe this means I should have been a doctor. I don't know. Maybe I'm subconsciously doing it to cast my own life in a more stable light. I feel so sad when I read some of them. And so grateful for my own relatively good health.

Humans are funny creatures. I'm funny.

Love you!

Peter and Leslie said...

I think everyone struggles with thoughts like these at times. Especially when things aren't going as planned in your own life.

I do struggle with that sometimes. More so, personally, it's not so much jealousy of others but I struggle with thinking that if I'd done certain things differently in my past than my life would be perfect now. Which is not true. Even though its not exactly the same thing, it's still a form of living in the past and not working with what I presently have.

But I like that quote about Jealousy being the great
exaggerator. I think that's really true. And it's easy to make life look perfect on facebook or a blog post but that's never the whole story....

sorry this is kind of long. :o)


Ashton Sanders said...

If it helps, I'm sure you're not the only human on this planet. ;) It takes epic amounts of self-discipline to overcome some of the ridiculously strange human feelings like jealousy. The fact that you're thinking about it puts you far in front of most. I never really thought about it in the terms you present.

I must say that I especially love your posts, not only for your amazing ability to put very difficult feelings into words, but also your very thought-provoking discussions.

<3 ya cuz

Cairo Typ0 said...

Hi, visiting from BPOTW. I think a certain amount of jealousy and apathy is natural. At least that's what i try to tell myself. LOL

bettyl said...

I think it takes a lot of work, but when folks get to the point where they don't live by what others think and surround themselves with folks that accept them warts and all--that's when you realize that nobody's life is perfect, but you are in the one you should be in!

Pink Ink said...

Blogs only show part of the picture. I would only hope that the seamless and cheerful blogs show only part of the picture; otherwise they must be automatons :-).

I feel like you do sometimes, but mostly because I am hoping to reach a place in my life that I am content with who I am. So I usually wonder, how do they do it? How do they seem content? And then there are other blogs that almost worry me because even though they say they are Happy! Joyful! it doesn't ring true.