An instance occurred the other day with a friend of ours, which totally left her devastated and hurt. She was literally attacked with fallacious and untruthful words with the intent to hurt, harm, offend and upset her. To her it was totally a surprise and she or we had no idea this person was harboring these kind of feelings. What was the emotion expressed? Jealousy. How did I come to the conclusion it was jealousy? They expressed jealousy through diverse emotions and behaviors. It’s an ugly face!
We tend to think of jealousy as a single emotion, but it is actually a mixture of a whole bunch of feelings. Jealousy often consists of a combination of emotions such as anger, sadness and disgust. It can manifest itself as hurt, anxiety, fear, loneliness, paranoia, self-doubt, and even extreme rage. People usually feel some of these emotions and then use others as the scapegoat.
Many people feel jealous from time to time. Jealousy is easy to deal with, once you understand what it’s teaching you. While we can’t necessarily stop this unpleasant feeling at times, we can however control how we choose to act when it hits. When it consumes our thoughts or triggers behavior that can harm relationships or another person, that’s when jealousy is truly a monster. Jealousy is an emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, such as a relationship. Jealousy differs from envy in that jealousy is about something one has and is afraid of losing, while envy refers to something one does not have and either wants to acquire or to prevent another from acquiring. People do not express jealousy through a single emotion or a single behavior. Jealousy typically involves three or more people. Second, all the definitions describe jealousy as a reaction to feeling threatened. The experience of jealousy leaves us feeling confused over the behavior of that person expressing jealousy.
The first step in breaking free from jealousy’s grip is recognizing the problem. The second is taking a deeper look at the real root of the problem: for every jealous feeling there is an emotion lurking behind that is much more significant than the jealousy itself. Jealousy is just the finger pointing at the fears that we are afraid to face. More often than not, the culprit is a feeling of low self-worth and a fear that we are not good enough to hold on to the things that matter most to us.
Jealousy mostly consists of fear of losing something and anger that someone is “moving in on” something that you feel belongs only to you. Most people look at life as a big piece of pie and every person is going to get a slice. As selfish human nature, we tend to think when one person gets a bigger slice; it leaves little pie for me however this is not true. There are many pies in life! Everyone has the same opportunity to get the same size slice or just as big of a pie. I have had people; even relatives come up to us and tell us they have been jealous of us. This blew me away and I had no clue they were feeling such emotions.
Since jealousy is more than one emotion, try and pinpoint which emotion you may be feeling before the jealousy existed. How can you tell the difference between feeling anger and fear? Fear usually starts in your stomach with a feeling of dropping or clutching. Anger is pent up in your shoulders, jaw clenching with tightening. Ask yourself, “Why am I jealous over this? What is making me jealous? What am I trying to keep? Why do I feel threatened?” When you begin to understand what makes you jealous, you can begin to take positive steps to maintain those things, without the cloud of negative emotion that accompanies jealousy. There are often false beliefs that underlie jealousy and fuel emotion. If you examine the belief, you can often eliminate the jealousy. Some common underlying beliefs are “Everyone is out to get me”. Beliefs are changeable. If you change your belief, you change the way you feel. Choose to tell yourself a belief that is nurturing and supportive, and you’ll feel better. When you begin taking steps to creating a happy and fulfilling life for yourself, you will find the anger, the jealousy, and the fear will disappear. Don’t listen to people who make you jealous.
When we take time to look at people who expressed the jealousy in the first place, just keep in mind they suffer from more than just jealousy but an entire list that is preventing them from reaching peace of mind and happiness. In other words, pray for them, forgive them for they need more of Jesus in their life because it’s more than just an ugly face.
Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.