Ever feel jealous? Less-than? Wish you had what others have? We all go there. Especially we writers… oh wow how it equally kills me and puts me in awe when I read words of magnificence from another gifted writer.
Coveting what others have is probably especially strong for some during the Holidays as well. When we forget it’s not about things but togetherness, love and the light within.
Let’s talk more about this feeling of jealousy, what I covet and how looking at it objectively can help us heal.
I am sharing with you today a post that feels very vulnerable. It’s part of my weekly homework —well the exercise is, but not the need to share it, that’s my choice as I think it’s a valued thing for us all to grow from—as a student in my current meditation Teacher Training, Masters Of Wisdom course with Davidji. Visit www.davidji.com for more of his brilliant insights.
For now, learn along with me. Find what it is we covet in others, what we think we have less of, what it is we desire more of, and how we can let go of greed, jealousy and longing for what is not ours. In a great sense these exercises of practicing the Yamas and Niyamas, the first 2 in the 8 limbs of yoga as written by Patanjali, ultimately lead us to liberation, freedom, a deep sense of wellbeing and contentment with who we are and what we have. They lead us to a life of deeper meaning and great joy.
I, for one, feel this is the truest definition of success in my life. Equanimity. Contentment. Joy. Love. Bliss.
If my path is leading me to those feelings of liberation then I feel on-track, in the flow. When it does not feel so great, as is often the case when being human, then I embrace whatever is happening at the time, while also “adjusting my compass” back in the direction of what brings me the sense of greater peace. This is ultimately what I am seeking to live within… peace.
The conversation today revolves around Aparigraha. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali it’s one of, the 5th actually, Yama— or rules for social behavior. It’s a moral guideline for social behavior that translates as many things… non-coveting, non-attachment, non-greed, non-jealousy and so on.
Here we go readers! I will share openly what it is I covet as guided by my Spiritual Teacher, friend and guide, Davidji. His teachings are deep, fun, transformational, life-changing, quirky, unique, wise, expansive, inspirational and much, much more. I’m happy to share my journey and I encourage you, if you have the opportunity, pursue his teachings as well. Start by reading his new book, Sacred Powers! You can find it on Amazon.
The assignment is to examine daily, for a full week, one thing we covet in 5 relationships in our life. It’s an interesting assignment for me as the first one says to start with our Core Relationships. By definition, to me, that is my two kids.
I honestly feel I have no core relationships beyond that. I am single, sibling-less now, a motherless daughter and estranged from my father. This is going to be raw! Which is great! I am always up for getting to the nougaty-center of my wounds so I can heal and let more light in. I am also up for getting very creative with assignments. Let’s let my imagination run wild… yes? You with me? Ok… I’m going to need the support so feel free to comment your thoughts, what you feel and maybe what you learn from examining this in your own lives.
This post is a bit longer since it sets the trajectory. I will post daily (twice today to catch up) and get truly raw, real and vulnerable with you.
The holidays, for me, are often mixed with the past of family dysfunction, the present with family that is no longer here, and the future wondering what it holds and what it means for my kids to be such a small family unit. My children have grown up almost entirely without grandmothers, rarely see either grandfather -my exes more than my own as he is simply absent-, any aunts, uncles or cousins are distant and my only brother passed away over 14 years ago. My kids are 14 & 16 so they don’t remember him at all. In short, they have me and I have them. Yes, we have more but this is the extent of our Core.
When I write the above, I can see how it lines up with the story of Scrooge. Although it hasn’t taken three visits from the undead, ghosts, angels or whatever such specters visited old Scrooge to have him wake up to his A-ha moment. No, these life experiences for me have always directed me toward loving and appreciating most everything about life. For that I am grateful. It’s often been a very dark road in overcoming death and loss. We don’t actually ever “overcome” grief, it simply finds a way to live within us. My gifts within the tragedies though are so plentiful I can scarcely count them all. I will simply say, I love life… even when I hate it.
Scrooge is a timeless example of holding onto grief, grievance, envy, fear and jealousy. Certainly cost him a lot. It’s also a great reminder that there is always time to start anew and live free and generously.
On to the coveting… Let’s be honest with ourselves. We ALL feel less-than sometimes because of what other people have. We can be jealous of their relationships, looks, jobs, bodies, weight, cars, homes, lifestyle, popularity, accomplishments and so on…
Some people live their lives in a state of jealousy. For most of us we still flirt with it, maybe not even aware. The examined life is a road to freedom. After we examine, let’s accept and let go. After all, it’s not about the knowing… it’s about the living.
Check out Sophia Lauren caught in a moment of Aparigraha! Jealous much! We all know she was drop-dead gorgeous herself. We can all have those moments.
I am asked to spend 5 minutes each day identifying what I feel jealous or coveting about in 5 different relationships. First the core as I stated already. Then within a friend, next work colleagues, then with someone I hold a grievance with, and finally something I actually covet about myself, something I think is awesome about me that makes me smile.
Here goes… Day 1, Christmas… upon deep reflection;
I found myself feeling jealous of my own children. Huge! They have the mother I always wanted, the mother that loves them endlessly, the mother I never had, ever. It’s a bitter-sweet awareness. I am grateful I have gone that route. That I cherish them instead of resenting them. I know a lot of friends who have parents that take out the past on their kids. Familiar to some of you maybe too, or maybe you saw that happen to your own parents, or maybe you see ways you carry it on with your kids. We create the same patterns of parenting that we knew or we sometimes go complete opposite. —- oops, there I go switching into teacher mode. That is a way I notice I deflect my own introspection. Back to me… ugh!
The feeling of being jealous of my own kids on Christmas Day brought a feeling of deep sadness. I chose to put it on the back-burner and write about it today, the day after, and fully enjoy my holiday with them. That alone was huge! Instead of withdrawing from my own demons and by default withdrawing from my kids… I embraced the love we all have and had a truly magical day. Look at what self-examination can lead to! What an eye-opener though. I will pay attention to where this attachment to what I didn’t have creeps into my life and causes me pain.
What I found myself being jealous of in a friend was possibly all the people I know on Facebook posting their family pics, the big dinners, the parties and so on which are not a part of our holiday reality. Right now, that can bring up tears if I let it. It can make me incredibly jealous and with a feeling of isolation or loneliness. I’m often jealous of my best friends family and especially her relationship with her mom. She drove her mom down to Hilton Head Island so her mom could spend the holiday with her best friend. It’s nice to see family doing stuff like that for each other. … and, it makes me jealous! Again, it’s not my dynamic so it’s simply foreign to me. As I write I turn this around a bit as I know it was a pain in the ass for my bestie to drive 6hrs that should have taken 4 and to turn around and drive home on Christmas Eve. Truth… omg, I wouldn’t have wanted to do that!! Not so jealous now lol.
Jealousy, coveting or feeling greed toward my work colleagues may fall under a similar feeling as my kids. I’m the boss, which creates a certain dynamic when we say “colleague”. I close my business for about 5 days every Christmas holiday so my employees can enjoy true quality time off. We had a snow storm here in the South that had my business closed down for two days and I lost about $14,000 !! Yikes! Two weekends before Christmas! It was hard not to have resentment this year when I still gave out hefty Christmas bonuses, gave time off and had to take a lot out of my business savings to make ends-meet. I certainly feel a bit jealous at the freedom they have to not worry about such things. I trust it will all work out and I know how hard they work for me which makes me take a few deep breaths and left go of the grievance. After all it was my choice to be the boss. Heavy is the crown lol. Sigh… What would they think if they knew I had moments of grievance? Would they understand? Does it matter? Can I let that go?
Phew! Here we go… Jealousy of someone that I hold a grievance with! Uh-oh.
In truth I don’t really hold onto grievances… yet, if I am being really truthful here, which is the only way to grow, then I admit, they are there. Those nasty grievances we cling to, hiding deep in the shadows, can cause a lot of pain.
Let’s bring one into the light.
Holy crap this is a 7 day assignment! Some ears may burn a bit out there.
I can’t help it, I have a grievance, or a list of them, with the man I was in my last relationship with. What causes jealousy is the feeling that it was easy for him to simply walk away from me. The tears start flowing and the screen is all blurry now as I type. I am super envious of anyone who can shut things out. Turn love off. Walk away from something they think is not good for them. I am extremely jealous of his ability to not respond while I went on with my deep feelings.
Is that jealousy or simply hurt? I’m jealous that he is extremely supported by his family. I imagine they had a big Christmas gathering, which I will never be a part of.
That seems to be the theme for this Christmas story of Aparigraha.
After I share all of this it easily leads into what I covet in myself.
I am alone often. I am rarely lonely. I have a great deal of freedom.
I am free to be me!!
I spent the holidays with my kids and some of it with their dad over at my house too and that is a huge healing for he and I both. He was over for Christmas Eve for a while and then spent three hours, breakfast and present opening with us on Christmas Day before going home to be with his new, old, high school girlfriend. We laughed, we talked. He shared how he was listening to a lot of my old cassette tapes that I had made myself. He said, “Man I forgot just how cool you are.” This really made me laugh! I said, “You forgot how cool I was after you married me… maybe part of the problem!” He laughed and agreed and said he was glad to see me living for me and being the person I am meant to be.
When I really look at the way my recent ex-lover handled our dissolution… Can I really be jealous of someone who has the ability to shut love out? To ignore others? Hmmm, possibly I need more balance in how much I cling to love. However I will let go of the jealousy aspect that others find it easy to shut out love. Plus I am only assuming he did it easily. I have no idea how he felt or feels. Assuming can get us into a lot of trouble and it is the fastest thing to lead us into jealousy. We assume others have it easier, fuller, richer, happier. We don’t know how other people live or what they have had to go through to achieve where they are in life.
No, I like that I love so deeply and loyally… I will keep that up no matter how often it leads to hurt. In fact loving deeply only ever leads to greater understanding and fulfillment.
Areas of my life are healing every single day! I covet that about my life. I keep learning and as I gather knowledge I am also now letting it go and living with wisdom. I can’t say that about most people I know. It’s not all about what we know, what we have or position and possession. It’s about our experience of living, about our quality of life and about our love for ourselves and others. I feel the only way to get that type of freedom is to journey inward. I am glad I pursue mySelf and I am grateful, immensely, for teachers like Davidji who push our boundaries of Self-discovery and guide us to paths of freedom.
There is a beauty in the fact that I didn’t have to travel anywhere for the holidays. I spent it cozied up at home, relaxed, restful and full of peace and absolutely ZERO family-drama. Who can say that? I hope you can, but I know it’s not the case for many.
Learning to love ourselves and our own lives versus coveting the lives of other people is a huge step toward happiness.
I know I will have greed, jealousy & coveting show up in my life. Maybe through the process of this week I will learn to let it go or at least turn the feelings around quickly.
Take the steps with me, follow this blog and comment below how this post helped or caused you to examine your own way of being.
Get Davidji’s book here Sacred Powers: The Five Secrets to Awakening Transformation https://www.amazon.com/dp/1401952836/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_mZTqAb8RG3D7G
Wishing you peace, love, freedom and Moksha! … and a whole lot of Magick!
©️Artemis On Fire 2017