Friday, August 12, 2011

The Green-Eyed Monster

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
                     It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock

-Othello Act 3, Scene 3, 165-166

Do you ever feel jealous? Do you ever do battle with the Green-Eyed Monster? I do!

This particularly unpleasant emotion is one that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. My husband has accused me of never wanting anything. That is so untrue! I want so many things, and I get jealous when I see other people have what I want but do not have. Sometimes I get jealous of people who receive what I already have, but that is very rare. This little green monster is so very nasty and ugly, and I hate when I experience this emotion!

Nothing productive ever comes from feeling jealous. What purpose does it serve? I could understand it a little if it served a purpose, but all that ever happens is I feel pretty miserable. It completely overtakes me as I brood over things that I do not have and miss out on the wonderful blessings in my life.

What makes me jealous? Opportunities, attention/recognition and rarely, stuff that other people have or receive that I would like to receive for myself.

Yes, that's right. I am rarely jealous of people over the stuff that they have, so at least I have that going for me! However, it DOES happen, but usually in combination with opportunities or attention. For example, if someone gets a really cool opportunity to ____________ , then I'll think, "But they already have everything they could ever want! Now they REALLY have everything!" Then I try to make myself feel better by saying, "Perhaps someone looking at me may think the same thing about me." The advantage to thinking about that is that I am able to reflect on the wonderful blessings in my life. There are several that immediately come to mind every time. I am fortunate that I have the gospel in my life and the knowledge that I have a Father in Heaven who knows me and loves me and my Savior, Jesus Christ, who knows and loves me. I have the best, most loving, most handsome husband a girl could ever want. I have the sweetest, darling angel of a baby girl. I have a comfortable, happy and safe home, food in my belly and clothes to keep me warm. I have countless other blessings.

Even though I have all these things and I go through them to try to kick jealousy out of my mind, sometimes it still gets the best of me. I'll start to think about how their blessings are better than mine. How horrible is that? Now, I do not mean their spiritual blessings such as a testimony of the gospel, an amazing husband and a sweet baby. Nothing is better than that! I mean temporal blessings. "She has a better car. He has better job and makes more money. She is prettier and skinnier. He has a bigger house. She has better clothes." You get the picture. I suppose my jealousy appears when I see someone who already has so many wonderful temporal blessings that they couldn't possibly need or want anything else and then on top of that, they receive these amazing spiritual blessings. Then they truly have everything.

It's a very difficult flaw to overcome. I feel as if I grew up with nothing. I was constantly shuffled between parents, so I never received very much love and attention from either of them growing up. Hence, the jealousy I feel when I see someone else getting praised and admired for their accomplishments. I feel as if I have missed out on several opportunities for which I worked extremely hard. Hence, the jealousy I feel when I see someone have an opportunity that I so desperately wanted, and worked even harder to obtain. Of course there is the jealousy I feel over stuff, but that is easy to dismiss.

I am not proud that I feel jealous sometimes, but I will admit that I work to conquer that green monster as soon as it starts to show its ugly face. Jealousy truly is ugly! It is selfish! When I am feeling jealous I am thinking only of myself and I am belittling the blessings that I have been given. There is no room for gratitude in my heart when I am feeling jealous. It is such a struggle, and I have yet to find a way that will completely rid my life of this horrible emotion. I've sent many prayers to Heavenly Father to help me overcome this issue, but it still comes back. Hopefully, one day, this aggravating, nagging and negative emotion will take a hike for good!

Have you ever felt jealous? Have you ever struggled with any negative feelings? What did you do to overcome them?

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