Social media has given us a window into people’s lives like never before. At any moment in the day, we can scroll through hundreds of people’s personal photos - the vacations, the milestones, and the heavily filtered selfies. We all know we shouldn’t feel jealous, but it’s hard to look at these pristine images and not compare ourselves. With such easy access to people’s private lives, this may very well be the most jealous time in history.
Jealousy can have devastating effects on our lives – it can ruin our self-esteem, paralyze us with fear, or cause us to lash out at people. But as destructive as it can be, it can also be a powerful tool for positive change. It can lead us and inspire us in valuable ways if we know how to redirect it.
Here are 3 ways jealousy can be transformed to help you become a better person:
- It can reveal what is important to you. When we see someone accomplish or gain something that we haven’t, it can actually awaken a desire within us. Sometimes it reveals things we didn’t even know we wanted! Having an awareness of what you value is a vital step in your growth. When you feel jealous, pause and ask yourself what you want your life to look like. What blessings do you want to manifest? Where do you want to put your energy?
We have more control over our thoughts, words, and actions than we usually give ourselves credit for. By shifting your perspective, you can start to manifest these blessings in your life daily. When focused on your own growth, you stop being afflicted by envy. Use your power, focus, and strength to create what you desire.
- It can inspire you to take action. Feelings of jealousy often stem from our fear of failure. We see someone’s success and fear that if we tried to accomplish the same, we would fail. That fear can hold us back from even trying. We might even put that person down to make ourselves feel better.
Instead of getting discouraged or tearing others down, we can choose to transform our feelings of envy into motivation. After all, if someone else achieved something, why can’t we?
Jealousy is an indicator there is something you are meant to grow from. When you see someone else’s success and feel a lack in your life, think about how you can use that feeling to propel yourself to grow spiritually and physically. Ask yourself what can you do to achieve more? Then go out and make it happen!
- It’s an opportunity to trust the Creator. Jealousy can also stem from a fear of losing something we already have. We might worry about losing our spouse, for instance, which makes us jealous of anyone who gives them the slightest attention, or we might even make up stories like they are still in love with their ex. Jealousy makes us feel like we are on our guard, preventing us from being blindsided by loss.
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that no one can take away something that is meant to be yours. For example, if you lost $500, that money was not really yours – you were meant to lose it! What is yours is yours forever, and what isn’t will never last. Likewise, if you do your spiritual work, everything you are meant to have will come to you. In this way, no one can ever really steal anything that belongs to you.
When you feel that something might be taken away from you, it is an incredible opportunity to learn to let go and trust the Creator. Maybe losing that $500 is the inspiration you needed to go start your own business and transform your life. There’s a divine reason for everything that happens to us, even if we don’t always see it.
The more that we transform our jealousy into trust for the Creator, the more we open ourselves up to receiving the blessings that are meant to come our way. The next time you feel a pang of jealousy, remind yourself that the Creator will not take anything away from you that is meant to be yours.
Jealousy can be a powerful emotion. You can’t always control when or where you feel it, but you can choose how to use it. You can let it bring you down and make you feel worse about yourself, or you can use it as a motivator to create change, build certainty, and manifest blessings in your life. The only person you need to measure up to is the person you have the potential to become.