Ah, jealousy — that green-eyed monster that rears its head any time we perceive a threat to something we desire or hold dear and keeps us from finding happiness.
Sometimes, jealousy is absolutely warranted. It sounds off like a warning bell, alerting us that an important boundary is being — or is about to be — crossed.
Most of the time, however, our feelings of jealousy are unwarranted — even irrational. They occur not to warn us of an actual threat, but to make us aware of the distortion in our own perception.
Freeing ourselves of unwarranted jealousy is always an inside job. It has nothing to do with confronting, changing, or withdrawing from the circumstances that provoked it.
The key to learning how to deal with jealousy is using those feelings to discover what it is calling you to heal. This will lead you to a happy life and healthy relationships.
There are three important steps that will guide you to healing and happiness.
1. Shift out of the mindset of lack
Jealousy can only exist when we are in a consciousness of lack. We perceive that there is not enough of something we want, or that something we love will be taken away.
This perception may be a result of an old betrayal or emotional wound. It could arise from a limiting belief or insecurity we’re holding as the truth about ourselves. Or our perception of lack could stem from our interpretation of another person’s behavior. In other words, what we are making their behavior mean about us.
In every case, the first step to releasing jealousy is to shift our mindset from one of lack to one of abundance and appreciation. Acknowledge that jealousy always means one important thing: You care deeply about this person or situation.
Whatever you’re feeling jealous about really matters to you. If you didn’t value it highly, you wouldn’t fear losing it. And, if you didn’t really want it, you wouldn’t feel the pang of not having it.
This is actually great news! It means there are many positive aspects of this subject that you could choose to focus on. And by focusing on the positive aspects of whatever has evoked your jealousy, you move from fear to appreciation. The energy of fear constricts and, therefore, erodes relationships.
The energy of appreciation encourages every positive aspect of it to thrive and expand.
Bring to mind the aspects of this relationship that are working well, and that you’d like to maintain and expand. Make a list of all that you appreciate from the past and are looking forward to experiencing in the future.
By exercising control over your focus, you begin to recover your personal power.
2. Take a step back from the story in your mind
The perspective we hold at any moment informs our internal dialog. A mindset of jealousy or scarcity will generate thoughts that reflect this, such as “This won’t last” or “All of the good ones are taken.”
Negative emotional states perpetuate negative self-talk, and vice versa.
It’s vital to recognize that thoughts like these are not truth — they’re only stories we’re telling ourselves. But, like self-fulfilling prophecies, these stories may play out in our lives if we feed them with our attention.
The Law of Attraction brings us evidence of what we expect and believe. When jealousy comes over you, be aware that these feelings will likely inspire a story. These are not necessarily the truth, but they are consistent with the low vibration of jealousy.
To the best of your ability, do not indulge these low-level thoughts. They will only perpetuate low-level emotions. Instead, distract yourself with thoughts and images that bring you relief.
3. Fill yourself up from within
When jealousy overtakes us, it’s tempting to look to another person for love, validation, and soothing.
If only our partners were more attentive, affectionate, or interested, then we’d feel secure. If only our boss appreciated our efforts, then we wouldn’t feel so threatened by our colleague’s success.
But seeking even the slightest bit of control over another person’s behavior is a trap. And even if we succeed in extracting more of what we think we need, it doesn’t sustain us for long.
When we view other people as the cause of our happiness or unhappiness, we render ourselves utterly dependent. And, just like any other addiction, we begin to crave more and more of their attention over time.
No one enjoys feeling responsible for another person’s emotional sustenance. At the core of every human being is a passionate desire for freedom. And the most basic of our personal freedoms is the freedom to direct our own attention.
The more attention we seek, the more the other person will instinctively pull away.
So what’s the solution? Make the powerful choice to fill yourself up from the inside. Decide not to seek validation, attention, or reassurance from others, and instead, to give these things to yourself.
Here is a simple 4-step process for filling yourself up from within:
1. Bring to mind the particular person or situation that is evoking jealousy within you.
Allow yourself to experience the feelings associated with it, and to identify the feelings that are the most painful.
For exampl:, “I feel insecure. I’m afraid of loss. I fear change. I’m afraid this is slipping away.”
Then, take a few deep breaths and let that go.
2. Imagine the other person involved in this situation giving you everything you believe you need to feel better.
Imagine them saying the words you’re longing to hear. See them performing the actions you’ve wanted them to take. And, now, allow yourself to notice how you believe you would feel as a result.
Would you feel secure? Safe? Reassured? Cherished? Loved? Try to identify the most significant emotion. How would you most like to feel in relation to this situation?
3. Imagine a waterfall of beautiful light energy flowing on and through you.
And this beautiful energy is alive and sparkling with the feeling state you most want and need.
Let this soak into every pore. Breathe it into your heart. Invite this energy to inspire your thoughts, soothe your mood, and surround you.
4. Allow yourself to identify one action you can take to anchor this energy within you.
It could be something simple like soaking in a hot bath. It could be planning a night out with an old friend or treating yourself to a movie night at home. Choose something that will bring about the feeling state you’re reaching for.
If you’re seeing signs of jealousy in your relationship — romantic or otherwise — it’s time to take steps to ensure it doesn’t block happiness from your life.
As you take this self-loving, self-filling action to deal with jealousy and learn how to be happy in life, acknowledge that you are the source of your own well-being.
Feel yourself filling with your own love and regard. By filling yourself up from the inside out, you strengthen your immunity to jealousy.