The Dirty Little J Word

The story behind this post goes back a few weeks. It took me that long to process my feeling enough to be able to write about it. And it is taking a lot for me to write about it even now. Because it is about a feeling that I have not experienced often in my life. And one that I certainly haven’t experienced at all in the past decade or so. But the main reason it is so difficult to discuss is because I am just embarrassed.  Really quite embarrassed for feeling the way I felt I few weeks back.  Despite my embarrassment, I am going to share it with you anyway.  So here goes…

I am going to spare you all the details of what triggered these feelings because they really are not important. What is important is how I dealt with what happened inside my head. A few weeks ago, as I was driving home from an event, I found myself all caught inside my head.  I was doing something that I never do.  I was critiquing, criticizing, and judging another woman. Actually, it got to the point where I was downright bashing her. Really unkind and nasty things. Keep in mind this was all inside my head. Words were never spoken to anyone…until right now as I am typing this.  And no, I am not going to share with you how awful my thoughts and words were.  Because that is not important either.

What is important is that my thoughts were getting really nasty and malevolent. And there was no reason for it. Suddenly, I became very uncomfortable with myself and with what I was doing. And I started to analyze what was going on. I am all about kindness and love and women supporting other women. So what the heck was doing? I tried to dismiss my thoughts by blaming my hormones.  Maybe it was just PMS getting the best of me. Then it hit me. This completely unsettled feeling I was having, which was turning me into a very awful and unlikeable person, was jealousy. That awful, dreadful, dirty little J word.  I was jealous.  WHAT THE F***?

It came upon me like a storm and I wasn’t really sure how to handle it. Jealousy is really not something that I feel. I am literally not a jealous person at all. So I was completely taken by surprise by this foreign emotion. It was uncomfortable. It was unbecoming. It was unflattering. It was downright ugly. Even after identifying it and acknowledging it, I still couldn’t shake it.  And I really did not like it.  Not one bit.

Once I identified that I was feeling jealous, I became even more flustered. I got angry with myself. Since I have always prided myself on not being jealous and on always empowering other women to be fabulous, I felt as if I had fallen from grace in some sort of way. And this was not sitting well with me. At first I tried to deny that this was jealousy at all. Then I remembered some powerful words spoken to me many times by my dear friend Susan. “That which you resist the most, you will become.” And as I resisted the feeling and denied it, it gained more power. And the jealousy grew stronger. I had to take my own advice. The harder you resist an awful feeling, the more power you give it.  In order to make it go away, I had to give in to it.  For just a moment.

I had to succumb to the unpleasantness of it, give the feeling it’s moment in time, in order for it to fade away. So I took a deep breath and I admitted to myself that I was indeed feeling jealousy. I was jealous of another woman’s appearance, the way she looked and how she dressed. Jealous of her interactions with the people around her. Jealous of the attention she was receiving. I was, in fact, jealous of another woman’s success. And that goes against everything I believe.  Because that violates the very essence of my being, admitting it and typing it here for everyone to read was extraordinarily difficult.  (In fact, I have edited this post no less than four times.)

So I guess my message is this…none of us are immune to these very human feelings. Feelings are feelings and they come upon us even when we think we could never feel that way or act that way.  Emotions and actions that we speak out against can still sneak up on us. They come upon us when we least expect it. They can catch us off guard. But it is how we react to them and handle them. As soon as the unfriendly thoughts began to creep into my head, I gracefully removed myself from the situation and went home. I delved into some serious introspective analysis to get to the root of it. I worked it out inside my own head before harsh words were ever spoken or catty actions were ever taken. The entire experience was unpleasant, unsettling, and very uncomfortable for me. But through the challenging process of working it out on my own, I was able to rid myself of it by the next morning.  And I am so glad that I did before the jealousy festered into something much worse.

And all I can hope for now is that I go another decade before feeling that awful dirty little J word again.

Let me end with this little reminder to myself and to all of you…Keep supporting one another, my friends. Keep empowering each other. Complimenting and uplifting. Applauding, celebrating, and cheering each other on. Offer your support and your kindness to others in their endeavors. Be a promoter and an advocate for your friends and fellow human beings. There is enough success in the world to share with one another. And when the ugly jealous feelings come upon you, recognize them silently, process them without lashing out, and get inspired by whatever it was that made you jealous in the first place. And that is how women empower other women. That is how people empower other people.

This post was not the easiest to write. This feeling was not the simplest to process. All I can hope is that I am a better woman as a result of it.

Outfit Details
Dress: Women’s Strappy Blouson Maxi Dress – Xhilaration™ for Target.
Duster: Torrid Salmon Run Mall (Sold out online. This ivory lace duster is fabulous.  Very limited sizes available.)
Necklace: Kohl’s. (Similar here and here).
Shoes: Target (A few years old. Similar options here and here).

Feeling a little embarrassed on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.

Follow shelbeeontheedge@gmail.com:

I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

50 Responses

  1. Shelbee, be kind to yourself. You are not a machine and as such, feelings (good and bad) are a part of life. You were wise enough to recognize the emotion and smart enough to know how to best deal with it. You are to be applauded for sharing and bringing to light this topic. Bravo!

    Rena
    http://www.finewhateverblog.com

  2. Wow Shelbee, I applaud you for being so truthful and vulnerable. You touched on something so relevant to us all though, we all suffer with the “J” word sometimes especially with social media being what it is. You provided helpful insight for us all though and we do need to acknowledge and own up to how we feel, none of us is immune, we need to give it it’ s moment and then move on. Thanks for sharing, I’m sure it was very difficult, I am sending you a virtual hug sweet lady, you rock!
    xo,
    Kellyann

    • Kellyann, thank you so very much for this wonderful response. It was a weird and quite foreign emotion for me to process. Then to have that embarrassment with myself set in. Yuck! I am not easily embarrassed either. But allowing myself to be this vulnerable was very cathartic and healing. I was hoping it was a relevant post, so thank you so much for that validation, my friend!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  3. I don’t think we could be human without feeling these feelings at times, Shelbee!!
    But at least you admit it and work through them. It’s hard….
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Thanks so much, Jodie! It was definitely a difficult feeling to process and I hope it doesn’t return any time soon! It is completely out of character for me. But very healing to write about it.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  4. It is funny how jealousy can rear its’ ugly head. You handled it very well, I myself can admit that I can become very snarky before I realize what I am doing. I am always a work in progress.

    • Victoria, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your personal experience with this rotten emotion! We are all works in progress. As it should be. It is important to always learn and improve from our errors and imperfections.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  5. Thanks for another very honest post, Shelbee! I’m generally not a jealous person either, but I think those feelings can creep up from time to time. And often they may be harder to recognize when they are not as strong… It’s so important to assess why we feel what we feel.

    Great reminder to support each other. I know many women support others, but there are still too many who tear others down regularly… And if we do that, we all lose…

    I love your maxi dress with the duster! Looking fabulous!

    • Andrea, thank you so much for this insightful response. I really appreciate it. And I agree with you completely that there are still too many women who tear one another down (although I choose not to surround myself with people who do that).

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  6. Well done, you. I fear this is an emotion I’m all too familiar with. It’s a battle. And, as said above, social media makes it ever harder.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, Anne! This is such an ugly emotion and it was so foreign to me, I wasn’t sure what the heck was going on! Social media can definitely be an evil demon in feeding the ugly side of humans, can’t it?! Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  7. Shelbee, I just love you! Your honesty is so refreshing. We all have those ugly emotions, but not everyone is self aware enough to face them and tackle them the way you do.

  8. It is something that does happen without us even noticing. I think it it very courageous of you to stop and analyse the situation, identify what is going on, realise you are human and then make a positive thing out of it: a good message for us all: there is enough success for all of us to share. This is such a grand gesture Shelbee.
    Oh and you look SO DAMN good in that dress, although I think you knew that.

    • Lorena, thank you so much for this comment! I appreciate your kindness and support. And of course, the validation is very welcomed! And it’s so true, isn’t it though, that there is enough success for us all to share?

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  9. Shelbee, you are human! Ha, ha. Join the party. I have struggled with those sort of feelings most of my life. I’ll admit they are somewhat less now than when I was a teen or even a young mom, but a boatload of insecurity really was the root of my jealousy. Now that I am older, I have a better appreciation for what is really important and for the beauty of who and what others are. I still occasionally struggle, so I appreciate your honesty. It is always good to know we are not alone in this journey. – Amy
    http://stylingrannymama.com/

    • Amy, thank you so much for sharing your experience with me and relating to what I felt. I can’t remember the last time I felt jealousy, if ever really, so it caught me off my guard and was very uncomfortable. I appreciate knowing that others have struggled with this, too.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  10. That is tough. We are all human and at some point we all are going to be jealous at some point. I think what we do with those feelings is a big part of how to learn to be happy with ourselves. You handled yourself well!

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

  11. Your honesty and self-examination is so admirable, Shelbee. We are not robots, we all have the full range of feelings – so pls don’t be hard on yourself. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

  12. You are so brave sharing your thoughts here! Learned a lesson from you tonight! Thank you!

  13. Ohh, thank you for sharing such a beautiful and honest article. I feel you. Comparison and jealousy are so common, we all suffer from it. But the way you handled it is very mature and gracious. You should be proud of yourself, Shelbee. Big hugs from Switzerland!

    P.S. I am organizing a link up as well. Feel free to join and share your post.
    XO
    Miri
    http://currentlywearing.com/2017/07/10/another-day-another-gingham-romper/

  14. Wow Shelbie! What a great post! Now relax and know that you are only human. I applaud you for being the loving mature lady that you are.

    Lots of hugs💞

    Rosemary

  15. It happens to the best of us my friend. We all have our ugly bits that we wish didn’t exist, but the thing is, we’re human and with the beauty we have to accept a little ugly. The important thing is to learn from it and perhaps do better the next time. It’s hard not to beat ourselves up; take a moment to wallow in it and then move on…smarter and more fabulous than you were before!
    Debbie
    http://www.fashionfairydust.com

  16. We will all be jealous at some point in time, the trick is how we deal with it, and you seem to have worked through yours perfectly well. I was a jealous person with my husband years ago, but now that’s old news, I’ve dealt with it and moved on!. Thanks for this post – makes us all realise we are NORMAL. x Best wishes Shelbee. x

    • Thanks so much, Jacqui, for these kind words. We are all as normal as normal will have us be! I just thought I had long ago outgrown those types of things, but then it just snuck right up on me! Ha. Thanks for the validation and making me realize how normal I am!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  17. Amazing post! We’ve all been there at some point. Like you, I really try to keep those feelings in check and realize there is enough success, love, happiness to go around for everyone and that someone else getting these things does not somehow mean they are stealing mine. Good for you for playing your own game and acknowledging, that even when you do, some days feelings can get the better of you.

    Elizabeth / NattyGal.com

    • Elizabeth, thank you so much for this thoughtful and wonderful comment. It is so validating for me when others can relate to what I am writing and discussing. And I love the way you phrased that…”someone else getting these things does not somehow mean they are stealing mine”. There is so much truth in that and more people need to realize that, I think. And today, the feeling that is getting the best of me is exhaustion. Complete and total exhaustion. And as I try to talk myself out of it, I am realizing that I obviously need to just give in to it and have a little rest! I always appreciate your comments and I hope you have a fabulous day, my friend!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  18. Luckily you were able to take control of it (this feeling) before it controlled you. It takes a strong woman to admit her faults. Good on you for tackling it head on and sharing. Cheers Mxox

    • Maria, thank you so much for stopping by and for the amazing compliment. I must admit that the feeling itself made me feel very weak. To know that talking about it and dealing it with is indicative of strength is very refreshing. Thank you for that!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  19. We all feel jealousy…a very human emotion. Thumbs up that you didn’t let it fester longer or cause you to say hurtful words you can’t unsay. Bless you for speaking it aloud & sharing your heart.

    • Florence, thank you so very much for that validation. This was probably the most difficult post for me to publish, but I am so glad that I did. It was very cathartic and the response has been overwhelming.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  20. These feelings are only natural, we all feel them. It’s how we react and deal with those feelings that makes the difference. Well done for being aware and acknowledging your jealousy, without it affecting others. Remember that no one is perfect, we all have our flaws, even the people we are jealous of!

  21. The back of that is gorgeous! I too don’t get jealous often but every now and then it sneaks in – such a bad feeling!

  22. I could have written this post. I am usually a sweet, caring person, but this J has appeared several times in my life. A real eye opener. We’re all just human and feelings are just feelings. It’s really what we do with it. When I have negative feelings about a person, I’ve found what gives me piece is to pray for that person. Pray for all the good things to happen to them. Otherwise, I cannot force the bad feelings away. God does that.

    • Carol, I love your approach to that awful J feeling! Pray for all the good things to happen to them! That is perfect. And it also answers the question posed in my Is Kindness a Dying Virtue? post…NO, kindness is not dying! If jealousy can beget prayers for all good things to come to the person of whom we are jealous…then kindness is most certainly alive and well! Thank you so very much for this wonderful insight!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  23. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. Great maxi dress. You look great in this!

  24. That is a super cute Maxi and you are rocking the look! Thanks for joining the Ladies Who Link Up party! Peace!
    Cheryl
    http://www.northwestmountainliving.com

  25. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions. You are as human as all of us. That is, at heart and with your generosity, a good thing for all. Of the seven deadly sins, only envy comes with nothing good up front. At least with gluttony, we enjoy some good food. With pride, we feel good about ourselves for awhile. But envy has nothing to redeem itself or even excuse itself. And yet, defeating it is among the most difficult of challenges. Blessings to you for identifying it and dealing with it.

    What a gorgeous maxi and superbly styled! You look stunning!

    • Abby, thank you so much for this very insightful comment. I agree you with you totally…there is nothing good that comes of jealousy…until you identify it and conquer it. Then you can feel motivated and inspired by whatever caused it.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

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