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.
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,
Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.