I believe its important to first address our prejudices about jealousy. It is widely seen as something bad, which upon reflection seems ridiculous as I suggest “How can an emotion be bad?.“ An emotion has a purpose, its the recognition of whats happening through your senses and the reaction to such experience. However, I do see what people refer to when they suggest that jealousy is bad because to start with jealous people are often more inclined to act violently and to show aggression, to add to that jealous people are often thrown ‘logicians’ words – there is nothing to be jealous about! Sometimes I will grant the possibility that there is a rational reason to be jealous but often it is the case that its rooted in paranoid thought and in insecurity (although insecurity is also misinterpreted, ill touch on that later). So, poor jealousy sits in the pool of misunderstood emotions, it bathes in the dark corners of your mind, it so greatly just wants to hold things together, be a part of the team but its blood tight relationship with anger is all too scary for us humans to associate with it. Jealousy is the kind-willed, well-meaning full brother of over protective anger. It only wants to build relationships, it serves to please and not to destroy and ill show you why.
Jealousy arises as a motivational coach to maintain your relationship between yourself and an idea. Yes, the method of the coach may be a bit strong under scrutiny, the coach has a strong hand and he calls upon your every thought to be focused on your objective. Its parasitical, the coach sits in your brain with his heavy load and you feel it. He’s heavy, he weighs down your entire being, the eyebrows arch feels more prominent, your sternum is resisting a pushing hand, your shoulders begin to ache and the inclination to walk around the room in circles is quite the spectacle. The methods of jealousy are indeed of such a nature that can lead you to the abyss, to the realm of chaos itself, the unknown. Logical thoughts only provide a warm rub on the back of a broken spine. Suggesting that though does not conclude that applying rational to a jealous mind is useless, if rational is anything – its reassurance. Which is all the poor jealousy wants. Assurance of its aim, its desire. Although, not just any reassurance, jealousy’s aims are not always whats best, the words to assure should be directed at the care of the being that is experiencing jealousy, not for its aims. Comfort the jealousy and you may be aiding a journey into chaos and delusion, what sounds more horrific than convincing a person that illusion is reality? Theyre not living amongst us that have not been wholly allured away from structure, you see it with drug addicts, they dont live on the same realm as most. Their vision, desire, was assured by drugs, the supply gave them the justification they need to stay in the abyss and pursue their goals, they live in a land where language means less. So, its important to be accurate and careful with speech when we try to reassure and rationally cure a jealousy mind.
I here propose that the nature of jealousy is an extremely important emotion for us humans, it is the mediator for our great Ideas. To give a common example – a romantic relationship, commonly monogamous and polygamy does exclude jealousy in the slightest. You have your partner, in a hierarchal fashion, you and the idea of your partner sit at the top of its triangle that mediates your emotions in any given situation that it comes to mind. What i mean by ‘the idea of your partner’ is that, you could replace your now partner with another person thats of adequate fit with your personality and you could still feel the same emotions as you do with your current partner. Basically, you can feel jealousy, joy, pleasure and any emotion with more than one person. But it is indeed the idea of the ‘partner’ that directs more of those emotions to be influenced by them. If your brain couldn’t make the distinction between a random human and a familiar human with a role within your life then you’d feel jealousy everytime you saw a male and female have a conversation. So that idea of your, ‘Boyfriend me’, which can and does change in many peoples lives, is in a relationship with yourself.
Now jealousy is introduced when there seems to be a threat, a disturbance between you and your precious idea. Such a connection is in the cloud of thought and those are far more vulnerable than matter. Jealousy cuts and tiny slice that you and your idea stand on, a sharp, directed, cold wind seeps through your floor and that is instability, your platform is now insecure. Security is also an idea, something that we all crave for, it pertains to longevity and survival, there is nothing bad about security. Typically it is thought that insecurity is akin to having low ‘self-esteem‘ and to believe that you are not good enough but I suggest it isnt about not being good enough, its the suggestion that your current self might not be enough to hold your current position, whether thats with your current partner, job or your belief that your expected ability in any given any given activity. The distinction is in the details, to be good enough really implies that you are/arent of any quality that is desirable but the thought that you might not be enough indicates that your self could definitely be adequate for others and yourself but youre aware that its prone to change. Insecurity in a relationship sense might just be that you are of a desirable quality for some people and hopefully your partner but a change in wind, a doubt, rustles the bushes of uncertainty and reveals those toxic berries that your mother always told you not to eat.
Lets imagine youre in a basketball game, 10 seconds left of the game, the other team is up by 1 point. Its the championship game to win it all, youve been fantasizing about winning this game ever since you touched a basketball. Youre in a timeout with your team and the reality sets in, youre losing, if you fail to score, you lose the championship, all those fantasies will all fade into romantic thoughts of what-if and never manifest into reality. At this moment, you feel jealousy. It seems strange, but the moment before all competitive drives kick in, that daunting presence of loss, the now implicit possibility of no longer having what you want is very real. Your brain already is holding onto the idea of winning, of possession. You dont need to have a toy in your hand to be disappointed that you dont have it. Those moment of fantasising have grabbed onto the idea of winning, thats the relationship. You and the championship winning you. You want it and in your head, it sits there at the top of your hierarchy due to all the years of thought, youve built yourself a platform that can hold you and the winning you… Thats a lot of weight. The weight of yourself is too much for some to carry throughout their lives, never mind doubling that weight and then adding a championship belt to it. The proposal of loss is jealousy, insecurity opens its doors and all other emotions that follow have the power to lock the door behind you.
In conclusion, jealousy motivates us to hold onto our ideas. Its in the presence of love, its in the presence of money. Thats a elite club of ideas, they are apparent in all of our lives, they each call to an archaic desire for connection, our strongest tool as a human – communication. Love and money both allow us to preserve that tool and jealousy is always amongst the conversation of these great ideas, its an emotion that keeps us on our toes, provides us with energy to win and improve. However, that is the optimistic side, it also is a gusty corridor that can blow open every door to allow all overwhelming emotions to rip you apart. It can fragment your mind into a constant flow of fantasies, chaos and a lack of self awareness. If youre in a true black room you cannot see your hand if you hold it in front of your face. That is the room to which jealousy can lead, when you are unsure in that room, you might grab on and hold the closest thing to you. Because its the only reference you have. Its you and whatever youre holding, you dont know what it looks like, but you feel it and you need it. That right there is an idea. Unseen, but felt, no location but its perspective.
How to overcome jealousy? As any other mindfulness preaches, watch it pass, talk about it, reassure the person experiencing it that it is okay to feel it but do not tell them to trust its logic. Breath, and use that stressful energy to do something productive, write about it, narrate your thoughts and disconnect from that breeze of insecurity, dont stand on the crack, stand in away from it, on something that has firmer ground, like your senses. Feel your hands, count the lines, phone your mother, stroke a cat, listen to uplifting music. If none of this works, then you should strongly consider changing the idea youre so tightly in a relationship with. Maybe ‘boyfriend me’ is better with another person, perhaps ‘championship winning me’ is better as ‘Professional gamer me’. Reconsider and be willing to accept that maybe your ideas are not what is best suited to your personality, avoid the path of what may cause you to be consumed by the gluttonous coach of jealousy but also appreciate its motivation because it will always be there no matter the path you take. You may find that well administered experience of jealousy conspires to self improvement along side many other motivations. You may find that its presence reminds you that you can feel love if you had forgotten. No bond is greater than you and an idea.
4 thoughts on “Jealousy can help love.”
I like this. I believe that all experience, thoughts, and emotions, have value if viewed from attention and with a “bigger picture” perspective. Nothing is useless or wasted. Take care of you.
This post makes me think about human nature and love between humans. I like your thoughts and you way to see the life.
How about if you accept that security in life is an illusion? There is NOTHING (not marriage, nor promises, nor a deep sense of loving someone) that guarantees that person will stay by your side for ever. In fact, anything external that you have in you life you are bound to loose at some point. Everything but your own actions is out of your control. It seems almost impossible to me to reach this stoic state of no attachment to things or people around me, but it is possible to get closer to this ideal each day. The goal (in my opinion) is to prove to ourselves that we are able to keep our own selves safe and secure. Trust that if your relationship falls apart, you will be able to seek support and comfort of friends, family and people around you. Trust yourself to be able to care for yourself as a loving partner would do. The security you long for should be provided by yourself. Of course it is a dream of most of us to find the perfect life partner so we can share our journey, but jealousy and the need for external security will ruin your chances of building that. Love has nothing to do with “winning” or “owning”. Love is free and delicate. If you try to grab it it will break.
You’re right. Insecurity is always present, the nature of change allows this to happen. The nature of change meaning that permenance is a game for attached mind, there is an irony between the attached mind and reality of course but I would suggest that those ‘illusions’ of security are exactly where we find our most incredible human virtues. Will. Having the will to live through that felt insecurity, living as though there is security can lead to genuine trust. Trust is an admittance of ones insecurity and after careful observation, choosing to live as though there is security. That can end in catastrophe or paradise. I prelude to Jealousy not being toxic due to its ability to motivate and it’s competitive nature, as long as it’s under control, with that trust you suggested with yourself. It can be harnessed to help build rather than the contrary. It can’t be disregarded as something of only destructive nature, since it almost has a symbiotic nature with both money and love. It should be looked at more carefully and we shouldn’t only just highlight the people who harness it’s aggressive tendencies.