This past Holiday Season, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be jealous. I have so much gratitude for everything in my life. Yet, I find myself feeling jealous of others’ achievements and wondering “Why can’t I do that or have that?” I decided to sit and to investigate why this is. My yoga studies have taught me to explore the thinking mind and the feeling body. I pondered what jealousy is all about and dove deeper into what I was feeling.
Jealous currently ranks in the top 20% of Merriam-Webster.com lookups online. Wikipedia defines Jealousy as:
An emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of presenting emotions such as anger, sadness, resentment and disgust. It is not to be confused with envy. Jealousy has been observed in infants five months and older.
Wow! So much of jealousy is rooted in the anticipated loss of something. Jealousy isn’t about a real incidence warranting feelings of loss; it’s about observing something and facing how you would feel if you had it and how you would feel if you didn’t. It’s about projecting what you think you should have, but don’t because you feel undeserving.
As I meditated on my thoughts and feelings around jealousy, I realized that what I felt was not a longing for what others had. It was insecurity and fear. I wished that I had the guts to act a certain way and to not inhibit myself while trying to achieve the things in life I so deeply desire.
At the root, I wished I was fearless.
An incident with my family occurred this Holiday Season where I called others out on acting with jealousy, only to realize that I may have instigated the jealous flow in the first place! I asked myself why I felt this way? My answer – I simply desired to feel included in Holiday Plans and validated by others. I took a moment to reflect on these deeply rooted insecurities and my inner wisdom spoke, If I continue to temper my dreams of traveling the world teaching yoga with feelings of unworthiness and the need to feel validated by others, then I am setting myself up for self-defeat.
Today, I will start shifting my thoughts by changing this feeling. I’m exchanging jealous for zealous. My zealous desire to travel and teach yoga is not about me at all, it’s about serving others and within the line of grace, there is no question of whether or not I deserve it or need to be accepted by others, rather, the question is: “How may I better serve others?”
Removing the ego from the equation of life purpose allows one to reveal the truth: Your thoughts aren’t you. No! Your thoughts are only what you decide to believe in and continually reinforce in your mind. You are so much more than your thoughts. We are beings gifted with an inner light of inspiration that shouts the truth of what we are here to do. I feel it loud and clear: I am here to teach the gift of yoga to the world and to you.
Where can you trade jealous for zealous in your life?
Joey Soto has been writing for change over the last decade through her work as a water resources consultant and grant writer, crafting compelling stories to win funding for environmental projects. Breaking free from her corporate career, she became a Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor in Santa Monica, CA. Her experience practicing yoga throughout the world and teaching yoga in Rome, Italy, instilled a firm dedication to foster a global yogic community as well as enhance the local community, one yoga class at a time. Ms. Soto shares her experiences on her website, www.sotoyoga.com.