Jealousy is a sneaky vice, often taking hold of us before we’re even aware it’s happening. Most of us, at some point, have fallen prey to those awful feelings of envy that are brought about by the false notion that who we are is not quite sufficient.
We live in a world that tells us that more is better and that if ya ain’t first, you’re last. We live in a world in which it’s all too easy to compare ourselves to others, causing us to become filled with desire for what the other has and blinding us to the goodness that’s set before us. We want the body of that model on the billboard, the glamorous lifestyle of that Instagram influencer, the success of that old college classmate whose photos keep popping up on our feed.
Jealousy causes us to look bitterly towards both ourselves and another. It robs us of joy, gratitude, and true contentment. It reinforces the lie that our worth is found externally. Jealousy bars us from living as the beautiful women we were created to be. So, like all vice, it should be kicked out of our lives ASAP. Here are some practical steps to conquering those green feelings:
Take a Break from Social Media
If the highlight reels of others’ lives are kindling jealous feelings within, then perhaps it’s time to give up the scrolling for a bit. Social media enables us to compare ourselves not only to those with whom we’re personally acquainted, but also those who we’ve never met. We can view the airbrushed images of billions of people worldwide. Seeing all of this content can heighten our insecurities and cause us to feel dissatisfied with who we are, what we have, and how we live. If you find yourself unable to keep such negative feelings in check, put the phone down. Avoiding temptation is one of the easiest ways to root out vice.
Compliment Those You Envy
When you feel jealous towards another, you likely also harbor feelings of resentment towards him/her. Combat this with compliments! This is more powerful than you may think. Even if you truly do not want to utter words of praise at first, you’ll soon find that, if you keep doing it, not only will it become a habit, but it will also change your heart. The heart follows the will; by willing yourself to replace envious thoughts with loving words, you may actually find that love has conquered envy. Your outward admiration of the other reminds you of both their worth and dignity and yours!
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
Cultivating a true sense of gratitude in your life will very quickly drive out jealousy. Instead of looking at what others possess and wanting it for yourself, look at all of the gifts in your own life. Begin and end each day by lifting your voice in thanks. You can share with a loved one the things that you’re most grateful for that day, make note of it in your journal, or simply whisper it in the silence of your heart. Any way you go about it, growing in this virtue will surely enable you to overcome vice. A grateful heart simply has no space for jealousy.
Realize Your Worth
Finally, it’s absolutely crucial that you understand, believe in, and affirm your own true worth. If you’re able to recognize that your dignity comes not from your appearance, status, or any other external factor, but from your very being — your very existence as an individual with a unique mind, body, and soul! — then you will find yourself less concerned with what you don’t possess. If you can look in the mirror and marvel at the fact that you have been wonderfully made, then you wont desire to be anybody else. You will appreciate others for who they are and yourself for who you are.
Unfortunately, our society breeds all sorts of vice, including jealousy. Our culture of consumerism, coupled with social media and the constant drive to “get ahead,” works to increase opportunities for jealousy to take root in our lives. It’s important, therefore, that we remain vigilant so that we can quickly identify and overcome this awful habit. Rid of jealous thoughts, our lives will be much more full — full of peace with who we are, love for ourselves and others, and joy because of the many blessings that have been granted us.