Monday, March 24, 2014

You Are Not Who Jealous People Say You Are

You are not who jealous people say you are. All my life, since I was a little girl, I've been exposed to jealous and envious people. Growing up in this environment, with a step father who was jealous of my light, my vibrancy and my happiness, I learned to identify myself in accordance with his definition of me. He was disgusted with my joy. He hated the sight of me enjoying myself. He took away my toys and made every effort to make my life a living hell as a little girl. I know a thing or two of being surrounded by envy and jealousy.

As a little girl I tried everything possible to make this mean, jealous person like me. I contorted myself, shaped and molded my personality around his whims. I did everything I could do to undo his jealousy and make him like and appreciate me. Nothing worked.

As an adult, I became obsessed with fixing what went wrong in my childhood. Freud called this the "repetition compulsion." I was compelled to change the view that other jealous, envious, vindictive people had of me. I was drawn to people who treated me the same way my step father did.

I've been exposed to all matter of jealousy. I've seen it's underbelly. I've experienced its havoc. I've spent undue energy trying to justify my goodness, my sweetness, my innocence to people who hated that very thing about me. Through it all, some how, I've come out on top. I've learned that the jealous, envious, vindictive person never wins, and that so long as I continue to remain true to myself and loving and accepting of who I am, that eventually I will rise above their pettiness. The neat thing is, my rise always occurs within their sight. It reminds me of the Bible verse:

"And He will prepare before you a table in the presence of your enemies." Psalm 23:5

Some may call it Karma. Whatever it is called, whenever there is a jealous person, an envious person who has hurt me with his or her actions, be it withdrawing, exclusion, blatant insults or manipulation, that person has always, eventually been paid back. How? Because in my innocence and pure heart towards them, and my commitment to figuring this life out, I've always been able to rise beyond the  definition others tried to pin on me.

Envy. What does it cause you to do? I've been envious before, I'll admit. It causes friends to slink away, to treat you differently, to put you down, to ostracize you, gossip behind your back, belittle you, to speak negatively about you, to try to make others see you in a bad light. The definition of envy is this:

"a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck."

If another person is envious of you, that person is not happy when you are happy. They are not able to rejoice in your accomplishments. In their eyes, they see you as less than you are. There is nothing you can do about it. These are the epitome of haters. They hate you because you embody something that they wish that they had. They feel that by putting you down and belittling you, they will be lifted up. Well, the truth is, they are wrong. You can't be lifted up by putting others down. You can only be lifted up by lifting others up and accepting greatness in others without envy knowing that there is no lack in this world. There is plenty of shine for all of us.

If you are insecure in any way, there may be a tendency to define yourself by what others want you to be. If they want you to be the slut, then they call you a slut and you feel like one. Or if they want you to be the stupid one, then they insinuate you're stupid and you feel stupid. We are all connected, so social exclusion is hard--but it's a fact of life if you're dedicated to being yourself and standing firm and not bending to the whims of others who are jealous of your light.

So just know this, my friend. You are not defined by other people in ANY WAY. You define you. All you have to do is hold your head up high in the face of your oppressors and let God handle them. In the end, you will be free of bitterness and they will be forced to eat your dust. *

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“Envy is the religion of the mediocre. It comforts them, it soothes their worries, and finally it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness and their greed until they believe these to be virtues. Such people are convinced that the doors of heaven will be opened only to poor wretches like themselves who go through life without leaving any trace but their threadbare attempts to belittle others and to exclude - and destroy if possible - those who, by the simple fact of their existence, show up their own poorness of spirit, mind, and guts. Blessed be the one at whom the fools bark, because his soul will never belong to them.” 

― Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n,
The Angel's Game 

 

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