June 28      

Today's quotation:

Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition.  The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy--  in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other.

Robert A. Heinlein

Today's Meditation:

It's very painful to watch jealous people, not just because you see them damaging themselves and going through agony, but more when you see them harming others through their jealousy, making others feel weak and frustrated and controlled because they're not able to control their own emotions.  I think that what makes me feel the worst is the fact that jealousy is wholly avoidable, yet it's something that makes many people very miserable every hour of every day.

I don't know that envy counts as jealousy-- if you have a new car and I feel that I want the same thing, I believe that we're talking about envy.  But if you're my significant other and I see you talking to someone other than me and I freak out about it because you should be talking to only me, well then, that's jealousy.  I had a friend once whose husband was incredibly jealous, and he controlled her constantly, making her miserable any time that she happened to talk to someone whom he saw as a threat to his "relationship" with her.

I feel fortunate that jealousy hasn't ever really been a part of my psyche.  In many ways, my ability to avoid jealousy is a result of decisions that are made constantly.  I'm married to a woman whom I trust completely-- and she can trust me completely, so neither of us have to deal with jealousy concerning other people.  When I decided to teach for a living, I knew that I wouldn't be earning nearly as much money as other people, and that knowledge keeps me from being jealous when I see other people taking extravagant vacations and such (though again, this is probably much closer to envy).

Don't make yourself unhappy over worrying constantly what other people-- your spouse of friend or significant other-- are doing, or whom they're seeing.  Make yourself happy over the realization that what you have is amazing in itself, and that there are millions of people on this planet who would love to have what you have.  Your jealousy will never serve you nor anyone else well, so do not make it a part of your life.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the most common sources of jealousy?

How do you deal with it when you start feeling the first pangs of jealousy?

Does jealousy ever lead to positive relationships?  Why or why not?

For further thought:

A jealous person is doubly unhappy--over what he has, which is judged inferior, and over which he has not, which is judged superior.  Such a person is doubly removed from knowing the true blessing of creation.

Desmond Tutu

more on jealousy



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