However we look at intimate relationships, jealousy is always one of the issues that everyone struggles with. We have all experienced feelings of intense jealousy, or suffered from someone else’s jealousy. If we had to believe what romantic movies and literature say, we would have to conclude that jealousy is almost a necessary ingredient of love. But that is not the case. In fact, as I can confirm from my personal experience, once we overcome jealousy we can access a richer, fuller and deeper reservoir of love than we ever thought possible.
I mentioned my personal experience with jealousy. Indeed, jealousy has always been a big issue for me. I used to be extremely jealous; in fact, I can affirm that jealousy was the single biggest problem, the main source of insecurity and pain, in my intimate relationships.
Honestly, I had no choice but face my jealousy and find ways to overcome it; living with it was just too painful.
But my attempts at working with jealousy weren’t always well directed. At first, for a number of years, I tried to take care of my jealousy by making the whole world responsible for it.
Maybe when you read me confessing that I blamed the whole world for my own jealousy, you think, “Oh no, I would never do something like that”. I’d like to invite you to think twice. Blaming our lovers, our friends, the whole world except ourselves for our own jealousy is what most of us do all the time.
Let me guide you through a short exercise
Think about something that makes you a little bit jealous. Not something outrageous, like your partn
er sending you pics of his or her sexual antics with someone else: think about something that triggers your jealousy just a little bit. It could be your partner looking at someone else while walking down the street. Or maybe your partner’s ex-lover contacting him or her on Facebook. Or that night when your lover hangs out with his or her male or female buddies and you’re not invited.
Got it? Great. Now, please ask yourself, with honesty and transparency, if you’ve ever requested your partner to modify their behavior so that you wouldn’t be triggered by jealousy. Have you ever asked tour partner not to look at anyone, not to reply to their ex-partner on Facebook, not to hang out with their friends? I’m going to bet that you have indeed asked such things to lovers and partners. Certainly, I did ask such things from my lovers. I was actually very fond or reclaiming my right “not to be jealous”, which meant that my lovers had to adapt their behavior in many different ways in order not to trigger my jealousy.
Now please don’t get me wrong
Asking a partner or a friend to modify the way they act in order not to trigger us is totally fine—to a certain extent. We all make agreements with our friends and lovers, so that we can cope with our own insecurities and fears, and not trigger their insecurities and fears too much. This is all good and it’s part of the game of relationships.
However, we need to realize that asking others to do things or stop doing them in order not to activate our fears and insecurities is never a permanent solution, but rather a temporary fix, something that gives us time and space to do the real work. And the real work is, of course, the work we do on ourselves.
Working on ourselves is, in my opinion, the only permanent way of dealing with our own jealousy. We need to look at our jealousy straight in the eyes, in order to first understand it and then overcome it— from within. Other people, such as friends and lovers, can definitely support us in this difficult process. In fact, we need our lovers’ help and support, if we want to face our jealousy. This is because, if we are constantly triggered, we can’t find the space and calmness to do some serious internal work. But the real healing happens within, and we are solely responsible for it.
As soon as we stop making others responsible for our jealousy, as soon as we realize that it comes from inside us, then we are left with no other choice but look at it and try to make sense of it. We are compelled to ask ourselves important questions: where does our jealousy come from? What situations triggers it? Which wounds of ours are exposed when we are jealous? Once more, understanding is the first step towards eventually overcoming our jealousy.
he techniques to work with jealousy from within are many, and I cover some of them in my upcoming Omooni online course (Stay tuned!). But the single most important factor in order to overcome jealousy is the willingness to own our jealousy and accept it as our own creation. As long as we put the responsibility of us being jealousy on others, we get caught in a loop that is destined to failure. We keep asking others for reassurance, which can work on the short term—until something goes wrong. On the other hand, once we switch the perspective and take the decision to really face our jealousy and work with it, without blaming anyone else for it, we have given the first step towards overcoming it.
No matter how long and slow the process may be, eventually we will make sense of our jealousy and understand what it is trying to tell us. And once we make sense of our jealousy and understand it, the possibility of overcoming it is just a short distance away.
Raffaello and Mariah will have a free online workshop on how to use jealousy as a springboard to unconditional love, save your spothere or just click on the image below to break free of jealousy: