The Gift of Jealousy

“To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is: a dissatisfaction of self.  – Joan Didion

You feel all flow immediately blocked.

Instead of acting from your authentic self or true self, you are reacting to an external happening.

There’s no mistaken this shift.  It’s as though your inside went from light to dark.

Your eyes darken and take on an unmistakable glare.

A heated tightness takes over your face.

Your breath shortens and you feel an unmistakable grip.

Everything has somehow funneled into the tight hold of one powerful emotion and you are at its mercy.

A destructive emotion

I know the above scenario because it has played out in my life on more than one occasion.

Of all the emotions I’ve felt, I think jealousy can be one of the trickiest and most powerfully destructive emotions of them all.

I wouldn’t say that I was an overly jealous person but when it happened it was such a strong sensation that it often left me feeling like I’d been attacked by something that did not have my best interests at heart.

It (jealousy) was so concerned with the dazzle of something beyond me that it would show up and take over.

Its focus was something someone else had that was perceived as so wonderful that it threw me into a state that made me feel awful.

Think about that for a moment.

Perception of something wonderful outside equals powerfully awful feeling inside.

How profoundly dumb is it to go down that road?

And yet, at times.

You, me, and Shakespeare’s Othello have let it get the best of us.

I was determined to control this destructive emotion and began to think of  jealousy as anti spirit, anti health and anti growth.  I thought I could completely eliminate it from my life.

How jealousy can be a gift and help you grow

Even though I took that stance and was able to limit its occurrence, I still experience being jealous once in a while.

As I said, jealousy is tricky and sneaks up on you regardless of your best efforts.

But I did notice a change the few times I continued to experienced it.

I noticed that now  my jealousy seemed to be in reaction to things that were significant.  It was no longer a reaction to material or superficial things.

I began to realize that the jealousy that I now experienced was actually a gift because it was forcing me to pay attention to something that was really important to me.

My jealousy was a signpost pointing towards an area of my life that I was limiting myself in.

The following personal story is one of several that taught me how jealousy can be a gift.

One day I got a call from a friend announcing her pregnancy.

Great news!  A new mom, a new life, right?

Well, yeah, sort of.  While I was happy for her, the happiness was quickly replaced by the overwhelming presence of jealousy that set up camp smack dab in my chest.

I was frustrated and disappointed by my reaction.

This led me to lean into the jealousy and follow it.

I started to ask myself some key questions.

Why did I have this reaction?

What is it pointing to?

What could I do to address it personally so I could shift the focus back to the happy announcement?

After I pondered these questions and did some soul searching, I realized that I wanted to have a baby but had been pushing that desire beneath the surface and not acknowledging it because the timing wasn’t right.

Although I wasn’t consciously aware of the depth of this desire, it surfaced in the form of jealousy when I heard the announcement.

My jealous reaction was so powerful that it pointed me towards a desire held beneath the surface of my awareness.  Ultimately this awareness led to my own pregnancy and a beautiful baby.   To this day, I am thankful to my jealous reaction because it forced me to wake up.  In that situation jealousy really did have my best interests at heart.

Here are five questions that I ask myself when I have a jealous reaction:

5 questions to ask to find the hidden gift in your jealous reaction

-Why did I have such a powerfully jealous reaction?

-What is this jealous reaction pointing to? Am I not aware of a hidden desire?

-Is the object of my jealousy something I am willing to concentrate on and work for or is it just a momentary want triggered by an outside source?

-What steps can I take to remove blocks and grow towards manifesting this desire?

-How can I manage this reaction and shift the experience from destructive to constructive.

Jealousy can be powerfully destructive but it also can be a gift.

The next time you experience a jealous reaction be sure to ask the powerful questions necessary for finding the hidden gift in your jealous reaction.

Sheila McCann is the creator of the Rainbow Framework a universal framework for life, love, wealth, creativity.  One look and you’ll get life in a big way.  Pop on over and get your free rainbow framework e-book and visual.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

7 Responses to The Gift of Jealousy

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