I will be gone for most of the day running my “freedom” workshop at the women’s prison. Today marks the Year of the Rat. For today we are supposed to stay away from all negativity.
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Perhaps you’ve heard a similar story as the wife who became suspicious when her husband called her at work to as what time she would be coming home. She thought, “He never calls and asks that. He must have another woman in our house. Our bedroom. Our bed!”
She ran out leaving a promised report unfinished, got in her car and drove like a maniac, barely missing a major accident. Two blocks before she got home, she turned off the lights and a block away, she put her car in neutral so her husband wouldn’t hear her approaching. At the front door, she took off her shoes, tiptoed into the house, and went directly to the bedroom, ready to catch them. No one was there. Then she heard a cork pop in the kitchen and, thinking they were having a drink in the kitchen, she stormed into the kitchen – almost causing her husband to have a heart attack – only to find him there, fixing dinner for her. He had called her so he would have dinner ready by the time she came home.
Still caught in the grips of her jealousy, she said, “How did you get her out of here so fast? I can smell her perfume! How come you’re cooking? Feeling guilty?!!”
These jealous acts resemble paranoia.
I’m not normally a jealous person. In fact, I have at times been accused of not caring because it’s rare when I experience jealousy. Whenever I do get jealous, it’s usually in the beginning of a relationship and then only if a woman’s words aren’t aligned with her actions. If I do find myself having doubts and experiencing bouts of jealousy, I will do one of two things. I will express my feelings, or walk away.
Now, I’m not talking here about clear-cut violations of trust. For example, if your lover doesn’t call you because she was “tired,” but you find out she was calling someone else, then that can turn to jealousy, but in my book, that’s when I bury her, mentally speaking. LOL In other words, a violation can lead to jealous feelings, but dropping a person who doesn’t value you is smart, as far as I’m concerned. Kick ‘em to the curb! If you’re busy getting jealous in such a situation, then you’re gonna get hurt. I have an open heart, but also an open mind.
Feeding the Green Monster is a dangerous thing. Many people use jealousy to manipulate situations. Jealousy feeds on itself to the point where an individual literally loses his or her mind. I can’t, I won’t do that.
Love is perceived as a scarce commodity. People seek it, hoard it, and will do almost anything to keep it – even to the point of extreme humiliation. As long as love is look as a limited resource, jealousy will reign supreme.
Jealousy is a defense mechanism involving many aspects of your personality. If you attempt to tackle just one part of the mechanism, it usually doesn’t work. As an example, if you’re jealous because you think your mate is flirting with someone else and that causes a break up, in your next relationship, you will most likely face a similar situation because of the unresolved parts of your intricate defense mechanism.
What worked for me was fixing the inner mechanisms that made me susceptible toward jealousy. In that way if someone behaves in a way that doesn’t work for me, I can deal with it as information, rather than through a knee-jerk emotional reaction.
Jealousy is actually a process involving vision, self-image, and imagination that has as its foundation a weak self-concept. It comes from that place of “I’m not good enough,” and that once my lover sees who I truly am, they will see my lack of worthiness. This creates a vicious cycle that only serves to reinforce that perception of lack.
Jealousy is found mostly in the relationships of people who experience a lack of love for themselves. Until a person does everything she can do to recognize her true worth, all her relationship will be vulnerable to jealousy. I say this because it is learning to love oneself that one realizes that love isn’t a limited commodity, but rather an infinite source of joy. Too many people are more concerned about fulfilling ego needs and calling that love.
People say, “I want to be loved.” If you, take away the ego (“I”), and desire (“want”) and what are you left with? If you don’t stay focused on the loving, then you may fall into the patterns of jealous accusations, often without proof, but with self-righteous indignation.
Jealousy reveals not only a person’s lack of trust for someone else but also a lack of trust for himself. The fear of losing the love of your lover or that they will love someone else more is a driving force. Jealousy is a highly destructive force involving paranoia as a support system. I have seen people going to extraordinary lengths to justify behavior that was actually a strategy to cover their own unreliable behavior or their own insecurity, which had nothing to do with the other person. For example, I know of a man who came home late from work one night, and when he went to flush the toilet, he noticed two cigarettes. He actually reached into the bowl to pull out two urine-soaked cigarettes in order to see if the brand was his wife’s.
I think the best way to handle feelings of jealousy is to share them with your lover, honestly and in vulnerability, not in accusation. In this way, you take responsibility for your feelings.
I did that once and my lover smiled and hugged me for caring so much. She sat with me, assured me how much she treasured me and invited me to ask her any questions. In that simple way, she evaporated my concerns. I asked, she answered, I felt better and apologized, and she loved me for caring and being honest.
I’m known for being a notorious flirt, and as a single person, I’m totally out of control. I should also note that I’m not the same way when in a relationship. However, a woman can see a good-looking man and enjoy his appearance, as can a man enjoy a woman’s. The point being looking is not the same as touching. Just because we’re in relationships doesn’t mean we lose our eyesight. I remember once a lover pointing out another woman and both of us sharing in admiring her beauty. In this way, gender issues can be resolved. This was her way of acknowledging that I probably still looked at other women’s derrières and that she was okay with that. We would even play around with that in humor. We would take Saturday afternoon walks, point out different men and women, and have fun with that. Humor is probably the best antidote for jealousy. And if you don’t have humor in your relationships, then I suggest you reexamine that because very little in this world lasts without humor.
You can’t resolve jealousy by logical reasoning because it’s not a logical process. You and your partner have to demonstrate trust and unconditional loving by behavior. Do what it takes to improve your own self-image. Do those things that give you an experience of your inherent self-worth. This could include taking art classes, going to the gym, or doing things on your own – whatever works for you.
Jealousy cannot survive in an environment of worthiness, appreciation, and love. Instead of trying to erase the effect of jealousy, you can eliminate the cause at its root by strengthening yourself.