Mothering Monday: Tears, Jealousy, & Tantrums: Oh My! Battling The Green-Eyed Monster.

Tears, Jealousy, & Tantrums: Oh My! Battling The Green-Eyed Monster. 
And the unfortunate reality is I am talking about ME!  Though I am no stranger to diffusing tantrums, being a preschool teacher on hiatus, and currently living with a 23 month old Princess.  From time to time I battle with contentment, jealousy, tears, and tantrums.  I've been fighting feelings of jealousy lately and this green-eyed monster has the gimme-gimmes again.  How do you deal with envy and jealousy?  Is it ever possible for these feelings to even be a little bit positive.  For example, does it give you the motivation needed to set the bar higher and achieve bigger goals?

Merriam-Webster describes jealousy in the following way:

1 a : intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness
1 b : disposed to suspect rivalry or unfaithfulness
2: hostile toward a rival
3: vigilant in guarding a possession
1: a jealous disposition, attitude, or feeling
2: zealous vigilance
Synonyms: covetousness, enviousness, green-eyed monster, invidiousness, envy, resentment
Personally, envy unchecked has never been a positive motivator for me.  Any endeavours attempted from the roots of jealousy or envy have not ended well.  Frankly, they usually end in tears.  Yet jealousy still crawls its way back into my thoughts when I see how successful some people are.  Or when I wish for the nice things I pass while walking through the mall to go to work.  If I don't keep the negative feelings at bay, it really does nag me, and claw at the pit of my stomach some days.  Jealousy can have a negative impact on relationships, careers, and your health.  For the purpose of this post I am referring mostly to my deep desire for possessions and success.  For those that don't know me personally, I run the risk of sounding selfish, petty, and disparaging of my friends' success and such. I love my friends and family dearly, and love to celebrate their successes.  But I do also want to have successes of my own to celebrate.  Isn't that normal?  So how do I tackle the green-eyed monster that brings the gimme-gimme attitude?
It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered.  ~Aeschylus
Adjust My Attitude & Count My Blessings.
It would be nice if hard work automatically equaled acquiring pretty things, big houses, or nice cars.  This hasn't been my reality.  Around here hard work means being able to say; "I just worked hard so I can pay my bills and support my family."  This is the phase that need to force myself to stop and count my blessings.  I have so much compared to some people in my community, and certainly much more than people in impoverished countries.  I need to live within my means, so as not to increase debt and potentially put my family into hardship. That is my reality in a nut-shell.
 Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own.  ~Harold Coffin
Stop the Negative Comparisons.
What's yours is yours, what's mine is mine.  (In this context I'm not talking about greed, generosity, or sharing.)  Meaning, I am unique and could never copy or try to be Jenny-next-door successfully.  I would be a fraud.  Also, what would ever possess me to believe that I deserve a $100 pair of shoes when the $30 shoes serve the purpose just as well?  This whole concept of deserving expensive things is very materialistic and self-serving.  But now we're creeping into darker waters.
If malice or envy were tangible and had a shape, it would be the shape of a boomerang.  ~Charley Reese
Do a Self-Esteem Check list.
Trying to compare myself to other women usually results in damage to my self- esteem.  Remind yourself of the things you do well. I often find that I seek pretty shoes and purses when other areas of my life are lacking or slumping.  Meaning, I am an emotional shopper among other things.  If I find positive ways to build my self-esteem, I am not so vulnerable when the gimme-gimme's show up.
Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value.  Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point - that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you.  There is only one alternative - self-value.  If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved.  You will always think it's a mistake or luck.  Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within.  Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences.  Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security.  Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them.  ~Jennifer James

Set Realistic Goals and Make a Plan to Achieve Them.
If I actually do need that new pair of shoes, I try not to buy them out of jealousy, or to try and keep up with anyone else's fashion sense.  It's best to find a way to fit them into our budget and wait for a sale.  I rarely end up enjoying anything I've bought during an emotional low.  When it comes to jealousy of someone else's career successes, try to take a step back and see what it took for them to achieve those goals.  I certainly don't recommend copying other people.  But inspiration can be born from a healthy respect for another person's work ethic or positive choices.
Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth.  Each of us has something to give that no one else has.  ~Elizabeth O'Connor
How do you battle the green eyed monster?

My series on self-esteem will continue next Monday.

Mothering Monday: Series on Self-Esteem & Confidence, Part One.

Mothering Monday: Series on Self Esteem & Confidence, Part Two.

*Quotes extracted from Quote Garden.

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