Plenty of women will post pictures when their boyfriend buys them roses and makes them breakfast in bed (#luckiestgirlever), but who is going to upload a photo on Instagram of their tear-stained face in the midst of a fight with this perfect boyfriend, or include a clip in their Snapchat story of doors slamming and insults being hurled?
Trust me, I have known a lot of people in my life. Top editors, celebrities, socialites, trust-fund babies, best-selling authors, people at the top of their game in life, people who have it all…and you know what I’ve learned? No one has it all! Since I write about relationships people usually feel comfortable opening up to me about their problems, and I’m always happy to help. But through that, I’ve seen just how sad a lot of people are deep down. Just how much they wish their life was some other way. We’re all going in circles being jealous of what others have. As the saying goes, the grass is always greener…
It’s a really miserable way to live. I’m writing this article for you but I’m also talking to myself here!
But let’s go deeper…
Get to the root of it
Jealousy usually stems from a feeling of lack within yourself. You feel like there is some sort of void within you and that once you fill it, you’ll be complete and happy. The best way to counteract this feeling is to focus on appreciating what you have…but this isn’t always easy.
I am married and pregnant and so happy and excited for all the changes that life will bring (in only a few short months!). At the same time, I sometimes struggle with those feelings of something missing. I miss traveling and going out with my friends and living an exciting, fast-paced life. During the first few months of my pregnancy, when I was feeling really sick all the time and was basically chained to my couch, unable to move, I found myself getting sucked into the spiral of feeling really low, of spending hours on my phone seeing what everyone else was up to and wishing I could do those things too.
And I felt guilty about it because I know there are many, many women out there—especially those who struggle with infertility, and I unfortunately know a few and have seen how brutal it is—who would trade places with me in a second. I also felt guilty because this is the life I wanted for so long and now I finally have it!
It was a really icky feeling and I didn’t want to be a part of it any longer. So I decided to stop thinking about all the things I can’t do right now and enjoy the phase of life that I’m currently in. This is my first baby…and my last chance to be selfish and live for me because I know (and have been told by basically everyone I know with children) that when this baby comes, those days are over! Right now I can focus on work, on writing, on my new book, on spending time with my husband.
It isn’t always easy (especially thanks to Instagram and seeing tight and toned tummies on beautiful beaches with delicious-looking alcoholic beverages…ahh, but there I go again, thinking about what I can’t have right now!), but it is so important. It is the most important.
This is just a personal example based on where I’m at in my life right now. But no matter what you’re struggling with, it’s important to recognize that jealousy usually stems from a void. The best way to cure it is to fill the void with other things and to really try and hone in on how good you have it, because you probably have a lot going on in your life that other people wish and pray they had.
Realize where happiness comes from
Things don’t buy you happiness. I’m sure you’ve noticed this in your own life anytime you’ve splurged on an item, maybe a handbag or pair of shoes. Yes, it’s thrilling at first, but it wears off quickly and swiftly and soon enough you’re coveting something else. Happiness doesn’t come from the perfect body or being in a relationship, even with a guy who does all sorts of romantic, hashtag-worthy things. These things can enhance your level of happiness, but that’s not really where happiness comes from—not the real stuff, anyway.
Happiness starts from within. It comes from accepting and appreciating who you are and your life circumstances and using that to fulfill your potential, to live a meaningful life that makes you fulfilled. We all have that something that makes us come alive, that reminds us why we’re here and what we’re meant to be doing with our time. Focus on those things and you’llll stop being jealous!