The only regrets I have in life have all spawned from actions that came out of jealousy. I think it is the most painful of emotions. It is also the most useless. I've yet to see any good that comes from jealousy. When I am sad, I can sleep and write. When I am angry I can clean ... and write. When I am happy, I can do anything. When I am jealous, I can be jealous.
Jealousy is the emotional product of insecurity. It sneaks in when we are feeling particularly insecure and it finds a situation or person on which to attach itself. If your partner cheats on you, that is a perfect situation for jealousy to creep in. I have been cheated on and it made me question so many things. I created all these reasons why my lover cheated, dreamed up images and scenarios. It was ugly.
I have also cheated. None of the reasons I had dreamed up to explain my partner's actions played any role in my cheating. I didn't cheat because the person was so much greater than my partner. They weren't. They were just there. My reasons for cheating were totally selfish. They had nothing to do with my boyfriend and the fact that I cheated didn't mean I loved him any less. It just meant I wasn't in a place to be with one person. I had no place making an agreement to be responsible to him. I was irresponsible. But, I couldn't accept this rationale when it came to my partner's indiscretion.
My jealousy was irrational. It was the hate-child of insecurity and betrayal. I had made an agreement with someone and they hadn't held up their end. Worse things have happened. But, jealousy didn't see it this way. My insecurities engulfed me and I saw myself as a whole different person. I wasn't sexy, I wasn't calm, I wasn't funny ... I was just jealous.
This is an extreme case. Jealousy takes other forms as well. It creeps in when you get passed up for a promotion, when a friend looks better in an outfit and it blames and picks apart the person that got promoted or the fly friend. These are conditions under which jealousy can grow and flourish. But, in the absence of insecurity, jealousy cannot thrive. Confidence and security kill jealousy.
At times, jealousy tries to creep into my mind; When I see exes with new partners, when classmates get better scores or when I see blogs that are better than mine. The latter two are more likely for me. Since I have cut out monogamy, I have experienced ever-diminishing amounts of jealousy. I have also grown in other ways. It can't be solely written off to cutting out monogamy. When I see a brilliant or beautiful woman, I never feel the urge to pick her apart or cut her down. I usually just feel like thanking Mother Nature for another job well done.
There is one place I still battle jealousy quite frequently. It's in my writing and in my academics, but as soon as I feel it creeping in, I recognize it and I push it out with violent force. Jealousy threatens my greatness and I can't have that. It threatens to consume me in uselessness. If I feel it, then I know insecurity is somewhere nearby. I try to pinpoint that insecurity and figure out how I can be better and appreciate my strengths more.
This is a work in progress. I still have shame around my actions and thoughts that came out of jealousy, but I am working on making amends with myself. It started with recognizing that only I could push that horrible emotion out of my life and refocus that energy. I am working to recognizing my strengths and weaknesses and finding a balance that will allow me to constantly improve myself instead of trying to pick others apart and focusing on their weaknesses.
I realize that we are all just trying to make it. Live and let live.