Have you ever felt jealous? Have you ever had an affair with the green eyed monster? I have… Even though I keep telling myself that I am that calm and contented person who is happy for others, mostly I am, but at times the monster does rear its ugly head.
My husband keeps joking that Facebook and other photo-sharing sites of social media are full of photos that have been put for the sole purpose of making others jealous. How many times have you liked a picture and in your mind wondered how on earth does such and such person find time and finances to vacation so many times a year. I mean look at me posting pictures of the latest birthday party I attended in the adjacent building and my friends are in Bali or Macau or New Zealand or Australia….
Then there are the children. I guess I am surrounded by moms of overachieving kids. I mean look at their marks or their sports achievement or their extracurricular activities. Makes me wonder if my parenting techniques are in the right direction or not. Don’t get me wrong I love my children and they are fairly good in studies and sports. But then they are not winning medals in spelling bee contest and Olympiads and national level sports etc etc.
Someone is getting a promotion or an increment, I am genuinely happy for that person but somewhere in the corner of my mind you know my dear friend the greeny monster keeps asking me why I didn’t get it.
I know I am not painting a pretty picture of myself here but this is the way I was some time back. I would compare myself with others and then wonder what I had done wrong to get such a crappy life.
But in due course of time I came to realise two things, firstly these envious feelings of mine were not helping my position at all rather I was just burning up inside and feeling bitter every day. To help my own cause I needed to think in exactly the opposite direction.
Secondly remember nobody’s life is perfect. We will always feel that the grass is greener on the other side. In Urdu there is a famous couplet “Har kissi ko muqamal Jahan nahin milta, kissi ko Zameen kissi ko aasmaan nahin milta” which roughly translates as everyone does not get a perfect life. When I looked closely at other’s lives I realized that everyone had their own set of struggles. If the person is doing fabulous in the office then maybe he/she is facing a huge crisis back home or vice versa. We look at only one aspect of their life and feel jealous maybe that same person is looking at our life and feeling jealous. So basically I came to the conclusion that jealousy is a futile emotion. We should stay away from it as much as we can.
Seriously friends it works. I mean instead of wasting my time and thoughts on the things I don’t have. I have started looking for things that make me happy. Let it be a small achievement, I try to celebrate it. I don’t need to prove anything to the world. Even though I still have huge ambitions in life but now I have started enjoying the journey instead of just concentrating on the goal and the people ahead of me.
It’s not always a happy journey. Life does give us setbacks but we need to get up dust ourselves and try to move on. I recently read a book called the legend of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna. I just loved a quote from it…
“In English there is a saying ‘when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade’. But in India when life gives us lemons, we turn them into talismans threaded with chillies to protect us from the bumpy roads it takes us on.”
So find a way to cope with the setbacks either with the lemonade or the talismans but don’t look at your friend’s life with jealousy you really don’t know what struggle is going on in his or her life.
I don’t know how much this will help me in the long run. But right now with this attitude I am happy and at peace. And hopefully I have had a breakup with the green eyed monster…