empathy

Why Jealousy Is Human And Should Be Accepted, Understood And Treated With Compassion

Artwork by Roy Lichtenstein

Artwork by Roy Lichtenstein

The Rod Stewart classic “Some Guys Have All the Luck” goes:

“Some guys have all the luck
Some guys have all the pain
Some guys get all the breaks
Some guys do nothing but complain”

In the same vein, there’s a Romanian folk ballad about a guy who just feels like smashing things because everyone else has truckloads of luck except, of course, for him, who only has half a glass of the stuff.

One could also gender-flip it and say, “Some girls have all the luck.”

A friend of mine went on a short holiday. She met a man from another country and they started a long-distance relationship. Now, they are happily married. Another friend got a book deal when she was discovered by an editor online. Do I want similar things for myself as well? Of course I do. Show me one person who says that they don’t want happiness and success and I will show you a liar.

However, I reached the conclusion that I cannot let myself be drawn into the trap of just sitting down and wondering, “Why can’t I get lucky, like these women did?”

Of course it’s very frustrating to get to a point where you have an idea of what you want and of the steps you have to take in order to get it, and, at the same time, to not see any results. However, the alternative – which is having no idea of what you want and wonder around aimlessly – is a lot worse.

At the end of the day, thinking about what other people have and feeling sorry for yourself because you don’t have what they have is just another way of wasting time. There’s also the fact that no one’s life is 100% perfect. We may think that others are extremely lucky, but we often seem unaware of the fact that they, too, face difficulties. Perhaps, if we were in their shoes, we would not be able to face the same type of difficulties they confront. 

The truth is, life offers no guarantees. You can make efforts to reach a goal, but you still cannot control the future. “I did X, and therefore I deserve to get Y” is not a healthy way of thinking. Life does not care about what you think you deserve.

In yoga – which is high on the list of my favourite activities – one of the first things you learn is the concept of “letting go.” This “letting go” does not mean “stop caring” and it does not mean actively trying to stop yourself from feeling certain things. It means turning your focus inwards and acknowledging your thoughts and feelings without letting yourself get caught up in them. Ask yourself why you feel the way you do, and be honest. Once you’re able to come up with an answer – to, so to speak, put a name to the insidious thing that’s nagging you – it’s bound to lose some of its power. You see, what jealousy really does is keep you from doing your thing. So, all you can do is acknowledge the little monster for what it is, try not to feed it and get back to work.

May the Universe ever conspire in your favour!

Anca Rotar is a Romanian-born writer, over-thinker and caffeine addict. She is the author of two books, Hidden Animals and Before It Sets You Free, both available from Amazon.com. Among her interests, which she finds it hard to shut up about, she counts fashion, yoga, city breaks and deadpan sarcasm. She is also currently studying Japanese, so wish her luck. You can sample bits of Anca’s creative writing here.

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