On Being Jealous // Jealousy, Comparison, & Acceptance

If vanity is my favorite sin, jealousy is the one I struggle with.  I've had a post like this sort of typed up and hanging in my drafts folder for a while now - since August of 2013 to be exact!  I've always wanted to talk about jealousy here on my blog because if there is one thing I struggle with it's jealousy.  It's something that I totally have under control - something I remind myself is really silly.  But it's also something that I have been made aware of now that there are such things as blogs, Facebook, & Instagram.  I'm pretty sure it's something I've been plagued with my whole life but it's also something that I've kept under control.  I don't know that I've ever seen someone who is jealous, what does a person who is jealous look like?  How is this emotion expressed? I don't know what it looks like to express jealousy because it's always been something silent to me.

I don't know when I first encountered a bad bit of jealousy but I think it stemmed from blogging, Instagram, and the all around perfect life we often see from the viewing side of these platforms.  As a blogger and an instagramer I know I'm sharing only the most perfect images of my life.  I'm staging shots - how do I get my coffee, bracelet, bag, aaaaannnnddd feet in this one square canvas?  I look like an idiot posing for 37 shots of myself in front of a coffee shop full of people before I ultimately decide it's not worthy of a post.  So why do I feel like everyone else's life is so much better than mine when I'm the viewer on Instagram?

It doesn't stop there either.  Facebook gives me a really bad case of jealousy because I see some of my really, really great artist friends making something of themselves while I haven't touched clay in probably 3 years.  The latter part of that sentence is my fault entirely but I can't help but feel like I'm a failure because of the choices I've made sometimes.  (None the less I should sign up for a pottery class or something since we still haven't set up the garage yet.)  I see so many of these people in their awesome apartments, creating their awesome creations, and I'm here creating different things.  And that is the point - the things I love making are different, awesome, amazing, and there's no need to compare.  Because, as you may know, comparison is the thief of joy.

When I feel jealous I try to rationalize and remind myself that what I post on these platforms is exactly what others post - only the most beautiful shots of their perfect lives in between cleaning up after the kids, getting over a fight with their partner, struggling to feel successful in their 9-5, scrubbing the dish that's been left in the sink a little too long, and looking at the overflowing trash can and deciding to take it out tomorrow.  These people lead real lives just like I do and just like you do.  You know those weird things you do, other people do weird shit too and it's not posted on Instagram.  Not everyone is living the same life & everyone gets to do what they want with theirs.

I've always channeled my jealousy in to making things happen for myself, into genuine happiness for others, & into sharing things with others.  I've always been proud of the fact that I love to share my success with others in a way that makes them a success too - like a DIY, or a little secret I've learned.  I see it as an attempt, I guess, to fight the jealousy.  If I share how I made something no one will be jealous of it because they can do it too.  I always try to spread my light because a candle loses not of it's light by lighting another.  That is one of my favorite quotes.

I've accepted that I get jealous and when that happens I turn it around and make it my intention to share my success with others in a way that they, too, feel successful.  One of the biggest things I'd like to be known for in my life is that I made others feel like they are worth something, like they are successful, like they can do it, like they are a somebody.

So those are my thoughts on the sin I struggle with, hope you found this post a little bit informative and a little bit relatable!

What do you struggle with?  How do you take control of it and turn it around for good?

xoxo, Moe

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