Thursday, March 6, 2008

Jealousy is yuck

As you may have noticed, I mostly just like writing little bits of nonsense, but a few nights ago I felt like writing about this instead, and since my sister said she can blog about whatever she wants, so can I!

What is the deal with jealousy? I really don’t think of myself as a jealous type of person. In fact, the very type of person it conjures up in my head makes me shudder. It makes me think, “yuck.” It’s just such an unappealing trait and makes the person who is carrying it seem like much less than they are – in their own eyes as well as the eyes of any who know of their jealous feelings. In fact, if I ever feel it, I would be utterly ashamed for anyone to know it. BUT, I occasionally do. Well, I don’t know if jealousy is the right word exactly. I think the word that describes how I occasionally feel is competitive. It is rare, really, and there seems to be no real rhyme or reason as to who is the cause of those feelings, though I’m sure there is generally some explanation somewhere I just can’t uncover. It is a competitive like I must appear to be better or have everything better than another individual. WHY?? I recognize it so clearly only because it really is rare and when those feelings pop up in me, I feel . . . like I said, like, “yuck, what is this!? This is not the cool person I want to be.” (I have to keep stressing how “rare” because the very fact I am writing about it makes me worry I will appear to be someone with major issues).

I think I generally am not prone to those feelings because I do realize, I think fairly well – though I’m sure never well enough – how hugely blessed my life is. I am pretty sure that gratitude is the antidote to jealousy, and here is the thing; I know the other feeling, the true charity good feeling, the feeling we are supposed to have about success and good things happening to our brothers and sisters. Take for example my friend Marzee (yes, that’s you Marzee). I am the Mia-Maid councilor and she is the advisor (basically the one who does all the teaching). Besides being naturally beautiful and as thin as you could ever wish, she has all of these amazing talents that I can not even begin to think of being good at. She is always the one asked to sing for anything, she can just get up and lead the girls all perfectly, she can dance and just come up with some whole routine for the girls to work on in a matter of minutes, she is also spiritual and very clever and funny (you’ll see that if you ever read her comments), but I don’t feel jealous of her. I feel amazed and just like, “how on earth can someone be soo so good at something I can barely pretend to do??” but it’s like I am able to just feel like I can see God’s hand in the gifts in someone else’s life and I can see how it enriches and beautifies other lives around it including my own. See, that feeling. That is how we are supposed to feel. It makes me happy when I feel that way, not like I am less because someone else is great. My sister and I were talking once about our children and how it would only bring us joy and happiness to see them smarter, kinder, more talented and more attractive than we’d ever dreamed of being. The thought of them being amazing makes me filled with happiness. That is such a good feeling. It’s how we should feel about everyone I guess. Feeling joy and happiness because of someone else’s talents, gifts, and blessings seriously is the best, happiest feeling. I can’t explain it, but knowing that feeling, it really has made me finally understand the scripture in Moroni where it tells us to, “. . . pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love . . .” I hate ever having the other feeling.

Sometimes I think of life like a mission (you know, the 2 year mission), some people go to poor countries and live in filth while others go to rich countries and drive cars and have nice apartments, but no one has ever seemed to care about that aspect of things. It influenced the type of experience they had, but they never seem to wish it was different, certainly never feel jealous. They all love their experience because they all know it was about something much more important than the superficial things. I’m sure that’s how we’ll see life down here once it’s through. I think it’s interesting, that my first “favorite” scripture was Moroni 7:45. I’ve since had many other favorites and while this is a great scripture, I haven’t considered it a favorite really for years, but when I first read the Book of Mormon, it was my first real “favorite” and I remembered that it had been just the other day. It is the one that describes all the traits of charity. I’m getting tired of typing now, but you know – envieth not, beareth all things, not puffed up, etc. Anyway I really know and believe that it is so important to be grateful for what we have, really grateful and not to slip into the trap of thinking that if someone else has something good or does something good, it diminishes what we have or do, and I’m glad I wrote this because I have such a hunger to feel that happiness for others joys now and such a desire to banish any of those competitive feelings (I will still allow myself to always have particular people I want to beat in races however.)

12 comments:

marzee said...

Ok - So i posted . . . and it was too long - so I emailed it to you. But just so everyone knows it - Nancy is cooler than me! But of course, they already know that. So Nanc - you're wonderful, I look up to you for so many reasons and appreciate your friendship.
I feel that there are very few people I can call "friend", so it really does mean a lot to me. Thank you for your kind words.

Tash said...

I always think that if someone is beautiful talented etc... all teh better for them...the only time that it bugs me if they look down on others and are jerky...then I am not really jealous, just kind of bugged by their stiffneckedness I guess... Guess I gotta get over that too.
I just think the better people are the better you can be cuz it rubs off, so we can keep lifting up and up that way. I hope that makes sense

Lover of Sweets said...

Yeah, jealousy is very "yuck". The thing that's helped me is to see the cool things that make me ME and to examine any insecurities that I have. I've been able to get over them for the most part. I have to say it is much easier to see the gifts that others are blessed with once you force yourself to see your own gifts AND let go of any bad beliefs that you might have about yourself. It's all about accepting the coolness that is YOU, and Nancy, my friend, YOU are pretty dang cool. So so clever! Always quick-witted. Thought-provoking. Super fast runner! Cute ghetto booty! Such a "bad" wife and awesome mom to the cutest kids ever! ALL good things!

Nancy said...

Geez, nice stuff ya'll. Thanks!!

BS and the Kids said...

Jealousy is definetly one of those interesting feelings that causes all sorts of problems and is best avoided. You said it great, you just have to realize we are all blesses with different things and be happy for what the other person has that we don't!!! And I love that I can read your blog and feel like I am just listening to you talk and tell your stories.

Liz217 said...

Nanc, I 'm glad you don't find yourself being jealous very often. You really don't have any reason to be jealous of others. In fact, I hope you don't mind but I often use you as an example in my Miamaid lessons of a person who is so accepting and kind to others no matter what their circumstance. I wouldn't say I have ever been jealous of you, but just proud to call you one of my very best friends. Even if we don't see each other for years on end sometimes. Okay, I am a little jealous of the friendship you share with your sisters. I think it is awesome!! I always wanted my Meg to have that, but oh well! No sisters for her.

Nancy said...

Thanks again to more of you for your niceness!! I feel almost embarrassed!! You all made me feel so good! (Yah,especially the ghetto booty P! Hehe.) Liz, thanks for ever thinking of me as an example of something so nice and unexpected. I've always loved you like a sister, so maybe you didn't get as many because you might not have been as wholly available as such a great listening friend for so many others if you always had your sisters around. Sar, thanks for saying my writing is like listening to me talk (yes, I talk as rambly as I write to those who don't know :)). And Natasha, to the people you were talking about -- easy, Priscilla just scratches their eyes out. Thanks again for nice nice all!!

Nancy said...

P.S. I am not "cooler" than Marzee, but cool people like herself are bound to say that about nerds like me!!

Gracie J said...

Not to refute any of the nice things you have said, but I think there are times when a good amount of jealousy is warranted. For example, when you have an 18 year old sleezing around trying to steal your husband. Is that a situation in which you should sit back and NOT be jealous? Maybe I don't handle things correctly all the time. I live in a ward of the haves, the have-nots and the hope to haves. I think I'm somewhere in between the hope to haves and the haves. This little post of yours reminds me of that hymn "School Thy Feelings." It's all about perception and being in control of what you can control and praying to have strength to control yourself and your emotions. I don't think there's anything wrong with a little bit of competitiveness, but you need to figure out if it's really warranted in whatever scenario. I agree with your friend Tash. I'm perfectly happy for people that are nice and have a lot, it's the snooty, poo-sniffing people that have a lot that I'm not ever very able to be happy for. Sorry for this long, long comment. But there ya go.

Gracie J said...

Oh, and just so you know...I'm always perfectly happy for you and the other sweet members of your family, because you are ever so deserving. Not a poo-sniffer among you.

Kathy J said...

So here's the deal--I get jealous and I don't like it either..but here is a problem of my jealousy..for example my good friend was just made RS President, she has been YM President and Stake YM counselor etc. etc. but here's the thing..I sometimes feel people get these callings because they are better and more religious than I am. Mike reminded me yesterday that the Bishop would be crazy to call me to such a position with my nutty Mutty (that is my Autistic son) but still, does anyone sometimes feel that way even if it isn't right or true? I mean once I was in the RS presidency and once a counselor in the Primary Pres but never a President of anything...stupid huh cause really I don't want to be the one in charge but my jealousy makes me want the name. Help!

Kathy J said...

Oops - I just said my friend has been Young Men's President and Young Men's Stake calling...now that would be something to be jelous of..you all know I meant YW!!!

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