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Four Keys to Overcoming Jealousy

February 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 118

"Time heals all wounds," they say, but that's only true if karma doesn't get in the way.

Before we can look for ways of overcoming jealousy, we need to understand its karmic roots. A karmic pattern is a system of thoughts, emotions, and actions that keeps reinforcing itself by a cycle of repetition. It's a pattern so deep that you fear to give it up even when you desperately want to. Jealousy is the very first in a series of self-reinforcing karmic traps. These traps are familiar and even comforting, which is why we turn back to them again and again even when they hurt us.

How do you recognize karmic jealousy? How does recognizing it help with overcoming jealousy?

Let's say your boyfriend dumped you for someone new, and you're desperately wildly jealous. Well, of course you are! Not all jealousy is karmic, and some negative emotions are just part of the ordinary flow of life. This too will pass, when you're ready to let it go.

But what if you're NOT ready to let it go, and what if weeks have passed and jealousy still consumes you? What if jealous anger overflows into other parts of your life? What if you've turned all that pain and anger against yourself? It's time to get serious about overcoming jealousy at its roots.

You need to do this because karmic jealousy digs itself in deep. It wraps around your heart, it restricts your breathing, it colors every part of your life, until it feels like part of you. Karmic jealousy brings with it obsession, self-judgment, guilt, and regret. You begin to think you're unworthy of love, or you'll never have a good relationship, and on and on you go, digging yourself deeper and deeper into the cycle of jealousy and self-doubt.

Overcoming jealousy is possible, however, and I want to suggest four keys.

Your first key to overcoming jealousy is awareness. Begin to notice as your jealous thoughts spiral out of control into obsession. Notice how much of your day is spent on feeling hurt or angry. Notice how you're tightening up and forgetting to breathe deeply. In this state, you can't welcome the next moment, you can't let yourself be happy, and you might not even recognize a new love when it comes to you. You can begin the process of overcoming jealousy by learning to label your negative thoughts, saying to yourself, for example, "Jealous again." "Angry again." "Feeling hopeless." "Blaming myself again." As you become more aware, you'll notice how these thoughts repeat each other in cycles, as jealousy leads to anger, anger leads to self-pity, self-pity leads to depression, and around and around you go. Awareness lets you catch these thoughts before you sink into them, and little by little you can let them go.

You may fear to let jealousy go, since it is so familiar. That's why the second key to overcoming jealousy is to begin to look more deeply into yourself. You may be in the habit of always looking outward, always measuring your life against someone else's. That habit simply guarantees that you'll never be happy for very long; you can always find someone richer, prettier, or more talented than you, if that's what you're looking for. Overcoming jealousy can begin when you ask, "Who am I really jealous of?" Are you really jealous of his new girlfriend? Not really! You don't even care about her. You only care about the pain in your own heart. So, who are you jealous of, really? Keep looking, and you'll find out something quite astonishing: You are jealous of yourself!

Put this idea to the test. If you're not an athlete, are you deeply jealous of sports figures? If you're not a singer, are you jealous of the latest star? The answer is no. Well maybe a little - it would nice to enjoy their fame or wealth -- but you don't go around obsessing about them or judging yourself harshly because you're not them. You are most jealous of those who have what you could have, if only.... Did you not follow the career you wanted? Did you not start a family, even though you wanted to? And someone else did? Guilt and regret are tightly tied up with jealousy, and now we see why. In being jealous of someone who has achieved your dream, you are jealous of yourself, or who you could be.

You've begun to be aware of the patterns in your jealousy, and you've started to look inside for answers. The third key to overcoming jealousy is to begin to love yourself. You've heard that advice before, but it's not so easy because you may run up against another karmic pattern, that constant sense of never being quite good enough. Ask yourself, not good enough for what? Is someone really keeping score? When you get to this place of unworthiness inside yourself, just stop for a moment. Feel your heartbeat, feel your breath, feel the earth under your feet. Feel YOU! If you give it a chance, the universe will quietly and gently unfold in your heart, and you will know you are indeed worthy of love because you are learning to love yourself. You have begun overcoming jealousy by learning to be grateful for what you have, instead of obsessing about what you don't have.

That's the fourth key to overcoming jealousy: gratitude. Maybe you waste your energy obsessing about your problems, but gratitude is the door to a new life. Right now, think of three things you're grateful for and write them down. Do this again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Even if you feel your life is a total mess, force yourself to find three positive things, even if it's just "I'm grateful that the sun came up this morning." It's okay to fake it at first if you don't really feel grateful. You are building a new habit to replace your old pain and negativity. Karmic patterns are deep habits, so start a new pattern by your own choice. Keeping a gratitude book is a powerful tool for overcoming jealousy, or any other negative thought pattern.

Karmic patterns took time to develop, as I explain in my book The 11 Karmic Spaces: Choosing Freedom from the Patterns that Bind You. Therefore, completely overcoming jealousy may be a long process. Even so, that familiar downward spiral of karma and negativity can be replaced with an upward spiral that goes toward happiness.

Ma Jaya, an interfaith spiritual teacher, mystic, and visionary, is the director of Kashi Ashram at You can submit questions about karma or spiritual life at Ma Jaya's blog about the Karmic Spaces linked in the article above.

Source: EzineArticles
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