Ever felt some frangs of jealousy?

A few weeks ago, I was on LinkedIn. I was going through people’s profiles and was impressed with everyone’s achievements. As I searched and searched, clicking on known and unknown persons, I was thrilled and amazed with everyone celebrating their wins.

However, beyond this excitement, I noticed I had an unsettling lump in my throat. I paid attention to it and found out I was a little comfortable and started questioning my abilities. I was asking if I could ever be as smart as the people’s whose profile I read, why I never graduated with a first class…why I had never started my career in a multinational…on and on and on I went.

As I drown in this thoughts, I realized that I was comparing myself with other people and I was not grateful for my own wins. I had forgotten that I had achieved feats too in my career and in my personal life. I immediately had to consciously switch my thoughts and be thankful for my wins whilst celebrating others. Some of us have this kind of feelings but we are too ashamed to admit them for the fear of being tagged a witch, a bitter person one who’s not happy for others. I mean, I have read on my newsfeeds about how having jealous feelings is the next class you attend before you become a witch.

I perfectly understand the lesson, but I do think that some of us genuinely struggling with this feelings. We don’t like it, we don’t feel good about them and we want them to go away. We’re not bad people. We’re not witches. We don’t fly at night. We honestly want to rejoice with our friends and neighbors, we love them, but we can’t help think that many things we’re hoping for are happening to them but not to us.

A while ago, somebody shared that she was happy for her friend who was making better grades than her in school but had an unsettling feeling about wanting good grades too. She didn’t hate her friend, she was just a little jealous about her. Not the kind that wants to kill, but the kind that also wants good things happening for her too.I told her I could relate. Here are some of the examples I gave her.

1. Several months ago, while I was still dealing with the pains of miscarriage, a friend had called me to say she was pregnant and didn’t exactly plan for the baby. My first feeling was jealousy. I was jealous that she didn’t need a baby while we were here desiring one and didn’t have. She noticed my silence and because she’s is an amazing person she said “Omoby, you don’t seem to be happy for me”. She did not say this to ruin me or make me feel less of myself, she said this without a hint of accusation. She didn’t sound hurt or angry, righteous, or victimized. She said it as if it were a neutral observation.

In the moment she said it, I began to realize she was right. But her words hit me more as I got home. It became crystal clear: if I’ve gotten to the point where I couldn’t be happy for my friend whom I have come to love, who has something that I also desire, it means I wouldn’t go far in life. I had only just been cultivating my own happiness, mourning my loss, but struggling to support and be excited at another’s testimony.

2. When I was in Uni, I had a very close Muslim friend, still do, who was always getting better grades than me. While I made C’s, she made A’s and while I made D’s, she made B’s. I’d become so jealous of her and wonder how she did it. I wished she would just fail. I was almost beginning to start hating her. I didn’t like the feelings but it felt safe to just wish that somehow her grades drop…and when something hard did hit her, she even made better grades that I could ever imagine. Imagine loosing a loved one and making all round A’s in all your modules. Ha! What kind of human being was she? I’d wonder!

3. Years ago, a friend told me she had gotten a job in a very juicy organization and when she told me about it, for months, I’d think of how miserable I was without a job despite a Masters (she had no masters) and mourn and groan. In the heat of my jealousy, I went to apply to the same firm she was working, perhaps I could be lucky as well but I failed even before I could start. I have shared on my wall of how my friends have achieved feats faster than me and how I am always happy for them. Some of you may assume that I’ve never struggled with those jealous feelings. Oh no! I have, but over the years, I’ve worked on them and leant to pay them no attention.

How do I deal with these feelings? Perhaps it could help you too.

I realised that being anything less than happy for others would block my own chances at success and happiness. This is because by ruminating in the idea that I don’t have what someone else has I was simply attracting more of what I was feeling: lack. This boils down to the emotions we have inside of us. Feeling excited for someone else feels good, therefore creates more good things.

I realised as well that frowning at another’s blessings doesn’t feel good therefore can’t create good things. It’s a conscious step I took and walked with.

2. Seeing positive experiences of others has helped me open up to possibilities. For instance, when a friend of mine got a job with a multinational, instead of becoming envious and gloomy, it proved to me that such amazing possibilities were present. When my friend relocated out of Nigeria in 2016, it told me that my relocation dreams were valid and getting a second option can also become my reality. This means that there’s enough good to go round for me, for you, for all of us. We only have to believe so.

3. I remembered that time is a function of everything I desire. My friend’s amazing job, relocating to a new country…and other feats my friends achieved faster than me have now become my reality. You may get things before me…that’s perfectly fine…I would too. This helped me put my thoughts in check.

4. I surrendered my struggles to God. For me, this was the hardest. But I took it all to Him regardless. I feel ashamed telling Him though, but I tried to always remember that He knows them already and He always has my best interest at heart. Its just like avoiding someone who only wishes you well. He has never disappointed me. The feelings did not go overnight, but I knew that since I had confessed it to God, I’d be alright. And I was.

I know we all pride ourselves as being good, lovely and always on top of our game, but there is one subtle part of us that makes us human and weak. Don’t be deceived. Everyone one of us struggles with one thing or the other. Jealousy would plant a one glaring misconception in our minds: who we are isn’t simply enough.

Just like I was looking at other’s LinkedIn profile and thinking I hadn’t done well, I had forgotten that I was doing well in my own path. I had also forgotten that in life, we would always have people behind and ahead of us. We’ve to realize that the hardships we are experiencing isn’t meant to point out our inadequacies, but to create an entirely new life experience that was more fulfilling and more…us.

Being jealous doesn’t make you a witch as popularly opined, it really makes you human. However, this should never be a license to become wicked or covetous.

I hope that just like me you can admit that you’ve these feelings, be open to God about them, or to any trusted friend, refuse to be guilt tripped about these feelings, but recognize that almost everyone of us deals with these feelings from time and time.

In the end, recognize that you’re doing well on your own path. Cease comparing yourself with anyone, and when those stubborn feelings refuse to go away, consciously pray for them. Know that you’re not a witch and let nobody give you that label.

One thought on “Ever felt some frangs of jealousy?

  1. mjfams says:

    Dear Omoby,

    Thank you for been real, most times I struggle with some of this and wonder if I am normal.

    Thank you for putting my thoughts to pen.

    Love you

    Like

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