The first important thing to know about jealousy is that it doesn't exist. Jealousy is impossible to deal with in close relationships because it's not real. In helping hundreds of people eliminate jealousy, we've never seen anybody get free of it by approaching it on the level of "jealousy." A famous quotation from Albert Einstein says that it's not possible to solve a problem in the same state of consciousness in which it was created, and nowhere is that more true than in jealousy.
The Only Way To Handle It
The only way to handle jealousy in the real world of relationships is to shift your state of consciousness so that you can see jealousy for what it really is beneath the surface. The dictionary tells us that jealousy is when you're "fearful of losing affection or being supplanted by another person." It also says we're jealous when we're "vigilant in guarding something." These are helpful pointers to the real issues underneath jealousy.
Jealousy Is Really About Fear and Control
When you're jealous you're scared. Fear is real--you can feel its racy-queasy-butterflies in your belly. You're afraid of losing the love of the other person. We often magnify our fear, though, by expressing it in the distorted form of anger. If we could say to the other person, "I'm scared I'm losing your love," we could move through the mire of the situation much more quickly. Instead of confronting our fears directly, we often get angry and blame the other person. This keeps us from focusing inwardly to find out what we're really scared about.
When you're jealous you're also trying to control the other person and his/her feelings. Here's where many of us have gotten into very sticky relationship dramas. Gay recalls the painful experience of getting dumped at nineteen by his girlfriend, Alice: "I'd been in love with her since we were seniors in high school. I think from the moment I met her I assumed we'd always be together.
Then, in our sophomore year of college, she fell in love with another guy. I went through many levels of anger before I was finally able to confront my real fears and grief. First, I angrily tried to talk her out of it by listing all the faults and flaws of the guy she was dumping me for. I made up lies about him and hurled them at her.
I explained to her why I was infinitely superior to him. When none of that worked I tried guilt: How could you betray everything we've gone through together? Nothing I tried worked. In fact, the harder I tried to hang on to her the more I saw the love in her eyes turn to pity."
Adapted from ATTRACTING GENUINE LOVE, the cyber-course developed for single and divorced people by Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks. The Hendricks Institute is an International Learning Center has been teaching core skills for conscious living for over three decades.
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