Hello friends! It’s been a while. BUT to make up for it, I have a special treat for you. One of my closest friends has written this absolutely BEAUTIFUL post about jealousy. He has one of the biggest hearts and most poetic souls I’ve ever had the privilege to encounter. I’m so thankful that you all are taking the time to read his incredible words. So without further ado, ladies and gents, I give you Jonathan Scolare’s I Am Not Mad. Enjoy!
I am not mad; yet jealousy is maddening indeed. It infests itself in the heart and bites at any moment it is given. No amount of hope seems to surfeit the pangs of jealousy to a passive form. You see, jealousy is based in the present. A wise man would know that the past is unalterable and so squandering a good night’s sleep or his head to a headache is pointless. Furthermore, any person who has any concept of time would know that the future is unalterable yet unknown at the same time. It is therefore futile to be jealous over what has not come to pass but rather only guessed upon. Therefore, I say again, jealousy resides in the present.
Why is this important? It shows that being jealous has two sides. Firstly, it shows that a jealous man to be a man of the present. He focuses on what is happening at the moment rather than being whisked away by hypotheticals and focus on the future; yet he also refrains from brooding over the past or – for that matter – reminiscing over it.
Bear in mind, however, there is a pungent side to this prevalent and itching emotion. The ultimate problem with jealousy is that it makes you despise your present situation. You begin to ignore and lessen all that has been given to you because there is that ONE THING that eludes you. It can be easy to avoid by enacting a “Don’t look, don’t hear, don’t speak” mentality. Sadly, as jealousy would have it, this cannot be done when SOMEONE ELSE has. That. One. Thing! This leads to a resentful emotion towards said person which, if fed, can grow into hate.
Jealousy, when confronted, puts up a strong fight. It fights against gratitude and thankfulness because jealousy is the desire to have something not currently in possession. Therefore, being in a state of appreciation for all that you have is the greatest blow you can deal it. However, this depends largely on your “field of vision.” It ultimately comes down to what you see, don’t see, and what you WANT. Please bear in mind, my reader and fellow meditator, that we are entering the “personal reflection” part of this essay.
I believe that a key component of the human condition is the constant search for love and to be loved. Case in point: a boy who lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo runs away to join an insurgent rebel group because his impoverished family cannot sustain him or give him the love that he seeks. At the same time, a young lady begins college. She is independent from her family (to some extent, of course) for the first time and so feels completely alone and alienated in her new chapter of life.
Aren’t they looking for the same thing?
These two beautiful, complex human beings are on a search for a place in this world where they may love and be loved; a place where they may serve and be served.
One of my biggest pet peeves (and believe me, I have many) is when a couple makes it their mission to show the world how deep their “affection” is for one another. Not only that, often times, it is just seeing them HAPPY together that makes me angry. This is more prevalent among couples who are my age (because it is just so hard to be angry at an elderly man and wife as they hold hands while grocery shopping). I believe this anger is sprung from the fact that they have something that I WANT. I then lose all sense of thankfulness and gratitude because I begin to focus my entire being on. That. One. Thing. I do not become mad; yet jealousy is maddening indeed.
This sudden jolt of emotion is due in part to the fact that I have limited my “field of vision” of what I have, don’t have, and what I want. In this case, I have a great multitude of friends who love me and serve me while I love and serve them (at least, I hope I am). My family gives me three meals a day, pays for my private school tuition, and loves and serves me while I (hopefully) return the favor. Through this “scope,” I am most definitely fortunate.
However, I do not have a beautiful, young, female friend at my side who laughs at all my corny jokes and holds my hand for 10 hours a day. And for some stupid, air-headed, hormone-filled reason, that bothers me. I thereby become jealous of any man who is getting all that attention from. That. One. Gorgeous. Formerly-single. Lady. In doing this, I lose all sense of thankfulness and gratitude as I have hone in on only what I want.
I am not writing this in order to give others a three-step, seven-step, or twelve step program to cure yourself of jealousy now and forevermore. Instead, I am writing this to understand and hopefully undermine my own jealousy. As previously stated, I often feel this fiery feeling when I see that one beautiful young lady with…HIM (ugh! Of all people!)! Relationships are one of the most beautiful things about creation. Bearing that in mind, being jealous of a relationship that you don’t have but someone else does is to corrupt the ability to love them for who they are.
So if you are fighting with jealousy, I am going to advise you to do something that has been repeated countless times. I challenge you to love and serve them unconditionally.
It’s hard to do.
It’s worth it!
The moment we let go of our hate, our jealousy, and our self-centered wants and replace it with love, that one couple doesn’t matter. For love in its purest form is boundless. Is that person you have a crush on in a relationship? Cool – show love to him/her! Is that person of a different religion? Awesome – treat him/her with love, too! Is that person in a homosexual relationship? Well…they are looking to love and to be loved…just like you and me.
And now, a few reflecting words about me, from me:
Do I want a girlfriend? MOST DEFINITELY! YES PLEASE! WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
Do I become jealous when I see a girl who I have a mild-sorta-kinda-interested-crush on with another guy? Yeah…often…like, really often.
Do I let that jealousy ruin my love for others? I really hope not.
I have amazing friends and an incredible family. They all love me and I, in turn, love them for who they are. I have been blessed with many beautiful things in my life. So why is THAT ONE THING any more important? When I weigh up all that I have: friends, family, three meals a day, a car, internet access, than a larger income, new shoes, or girlfriend does not weigh up to what I already have. Therefore, seeing how much I already have, and with what I have been blessed, I become grateful. In doing this, jealousy is vanquished. Gone. Poof!
So in conclusion, be grateful for what you have and who is in your life. Love and serve unconditionally because – I believe – that if you do this often enough and fervently enough, you will find someone (or something) who will love and serve you in return.
As for me, I am going to make some tea, take a deep breath, and try to make someone laugh.
It is well; I am not mad.