Last week I had an interesting conversation about jealousy with a client.
Given that jealousy tends to be socially unacceptable and therefore repressed, I found it refreshing that she was so matter of fact in her admission of past jealousy towards her partner. And she was keen to determine where, and in what situations, this ‘demon’ still sabotaged her life. (The ‘demon’ being the jealousy and not the partner!)
We spoke of comparison, competitiveness, co-dependence and the points of view and beliefs that promote the behaviours.
A couple of days later, a colleague mentioned that the coaching field promotes competitiveness – to be the best, to make more money, to be more visible etc.
As a personal/spiritual development coach I hold to a different vision and purpose for coaching. But, I am not personally immune to falling into comparison and feeling inadequate.
I remembered a conversation I had with another coach last year. She said, wryly, ‘the problem is that the beautiful maiden of coaching was seduced by the slimy salesman of internet marketing.’ (If you want to use that quote, I heard it from Dawn Todd.)
I started to connect the dots between the conversations. The ‘beautiful maiden’ in all of us can be seduced easily, if and when ‘she’ believes ‘she’ needs the ‘slimy, charismatic salesman’.
Such feelings of inadequacy affect all of us from time to time. This is because we all suffer from an existential wound of separation. That existential wound manifests a bit differently for each one of us. For some it is ‘I’m not good enough.’ For others it is ‘I’m unworthy’ or ‘I’m unlovable’ or ‘I’m unwanted’ or ‘I’m useless.’ In the case of my client, she had dimmed her light in the childhood belief of ‘I’m too much.’
When we can admit to our feelings of inadequacy and notice accompanying jealousy, comparison and competition, we are not dangerous. Consciousness is the antidote to dangerous forms of jealousy. Consciousness is the doorway to transformation.
We are dangerous if we claim to never feel this way. Invulnerability suggests a lack of attention to, and continuing suppression of, emotional data. This lack of consciousness is at the root of narcissism.
The world is a hall of mirrors. And part of the magic, for me, has been to learn to use this hall of mirrors for my own growth.
So, this last week, after working with my client, I worked on myself. This is a habit for me. I contemplated when and where feelings of jealousy or competitiveness might have been present recently. I found a couple of instances where my admiration of another person’s achievement, or their apparent ease in situations that I find challenging, were accompanied by feelings of inadequacy.
At least, now, I know what to do with such feelings – take the time to feel them fully. Often this must be done after the event, as part of a personal practice, which is what I did.
Further suppression and the accompanying behaviours that have their root in childhood reactions, can be nipped in the bud when we sit quietly and ask ourselves this question:
Where in my body is this feeling of inadequacy/jealousy?
Welcoming the feeling and being willing to experience it fully counters the old habits of suppression and initiates a process of dissolution.
When I reached this point in the consultation with my client, it was possible to guide her through a releasing process. The work I most love to do is help people to release old energetic imprints which block their freedom to be authentic.
My client understood that when she connects to her inner resources and guidance, there is no jealousy of anyone else. And, freed from the belief of ‘I’m too much’, she can reclaim suppressed parts. She does not need to live in the shadows of another as she learns how to shine her own light and offer her gifts.
May we all understand the root causes of relational dramas and find release from struggle and suffering. Spiritual understanding + energy/quantum tools + coaching skills is one way to make fast progress. This is my offering.
As for me, I will be enjoying a short break to Barcelona with my sister for a few days next week. Sibling rivalry/jealousy is not a problem between us as mature adults. But, it could have been if neither of us had done any personal work. It was present in the previous generation in our family. Having cleared a bit more of the ‘karma’ this week, I am looking forward to a catch up with her!