Jealousy is a tough thing. It can creep up on you when you least expect it, and it always comes when you’re not ready to handle it. It lurks in the background of many friendships, waiting for the opportunity to jump out at your weakest point, tainting the relationship that you’ve held dear for so long.
Anyone can relate to jealousy. It’s one of the strongest emotions we can feel. Whether it’s related to work achievements, physical appearance, or something else entirely, I know we can all agree that every bit of jealousy is exaggerated on social media. You’ve heard all the sayings – don’t compare your day to day with someone else’s highlights. You know you’re only seeing the BEST part of someone’s life, and the rest is not post-worthy. Yet, when her child is so well behaved, or when their marriage selfie pops up in the middle of a heated fight with your man, all of that little thing we call common sense flies out the window.
I’m guilty of it. I look at where other people are in their business or their lives and get jealous. I have thoughts that I should have started my business sooner. I wonder why someone else seems so successful when they’re less experienced or younger than I am. As much as this makes me cringe, sometimes it’s hard for me to be excited about someone else’s victories because I’m spending time comparing it to my own success (or lack thereof).
Combating this is a daily struggle, but it’s something I want to wrestle with. It’s an area of my life I don’t want to leave untouched. I want to be truly happy for people without feeling even a hint of FOMO (fear of missing out) for myself.
Ultimately, it’s not about me. It’s not about my successes, or even theirs. It’s about whether I’m using my time, talents, and resources to honor God. Whatever success He chooses to give me is all for Him anyways, and whatever He chooses not to give me was not meant for me in the first place.
So I am taking two steps to fight the jealousy that rises, and the comparison that threatens to steal my joy:
1) Praying (for myself & the people who surround me)
2) Reaching out and spending time with people in and outside of the wedding world, who I can celebrate with when they succeed.
They’re small steps, but any start is a good one. Today, I’m choosing to take those steps. Tomorrow, I may feel a little less jealous, and I may be able to celebrate a little more honestly. If every day progresses just like that, I know that the cloud of negativity that jealousy brings will continue to evaporate until it disappears altogether.
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Photo by the wonderful Tara Liebeck Photography