Monday, September 19, 2016

Jealousy Is Such An Ugly Feeling

Jealousy is such an ugly feeling.

And we all know her. Have even spent time with her. And I hate to admit, intimately on some occasions. And although there is something appealing about her in the heat of the moment, she looks even worse in the harsh light of day, after the fact.

Oh sure, you can try to dress her up. Maybe with something along the lines of a cool green shade of envy cinched in with a restrictive, breath-halting lack of gratitude, finished off with a matching set of knifepoint spite heels. And try to take her out on the town and pass her off as a grandiose, self-centered sense of entitlement. But she never gets any prettier.

Even if you give her a new name or a pedigree of long lineage her true status still shines through as an ill-tempered tyrant with deplorable decorum intent on souring the social situation. She’ll gladly attend as the uninvited guest innocently tagging along for the ride over, then refusing to stay in the car. Somehow, once in the vicinity, she always seems to slip in through the smallest of openings.

And once she’s in, she’s hard to avoid. She’ll shadow you, whispering justifications of every nasty little rumination you’re currently entertaining. And despite what you think, she’s fully visible to everyone. You can actively ignore her attempts to insert herself into the setting. Just like a parent pretending there isn’t a toddler tantrumming at her toes. But that mom can be the best actress in the world. It doesn’t make the kid disappear. And just like that, your artificial tone isn’t fooling anyone because Jealousy demands to be acknowledged.

So you’ll just stay home right? But with today’s technologies, you don’t even have to leave your doorstep to accomplish quality time with her. She’s perfectly pleased to bask in the blue glow of your social media stops, serving up full scoops of “but they don’t deserve it”s and “why not me?”s.

And the absolute worst is when it’s someone who supported you. Sent you notes of encouragement. And liked on everything you ever did. And told you they were proud of you. But now that it’s their turn, you let Jealousy convince you that they didn’t really mean any of it. In fact, they were likely just as envious as you are now, so you’re justified in not reciprocating, right?

“Of course,” Jealousy hisses.

Because Jealousy may not be on the right side, but she’s on your side…or so she says. She’ll tell you exactly what you want to hear, instead of what you need to. And so long as you feed her, she’ll stick around and never leave. Jealousy is not only willing to relish your resentments, but if you’ll indulge her, she can be counted on to commiserate and gloat over gossip. To rejoice over ruin and celebrate others' sorrows assuring you it all comes from a place of righteousness rather than rot, as she serves up your insides to be devoured by darkness. Because it feels good. Okay, maybe not good, but familiar.

However, Jealousy demands your loyalty in return. No selfless hopes are to hinder your codependency. And absolutely no empathizing or putting yourself into someone else’s shoes. Especially those for whom you may have covetous concerns.

She also expects your actions to only be fueled by your feelings. The ones you share and she fully supports. Any attempt to behave in a benevolent manner towards those she encourages you to spite, can cause her to flee. And if you are consistently kind to others, expecting absolutely nothing in return, she suddenly stops showing up all together.

But once she’s gone, where exactly does that leave you?

Sitting pretty. At last. Because Jealousy was such an ugly feeling.

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