Jealousy. We have all struggled with it to some degree.
There are constantly things in our lives that we are lacking in or haven’t got, that’s life. When we see someone else with what we want, jealous feelings naturally arise.
In some situations jealousy is fleeting and harmless. But there is another kind - the overpowering jealousy that controls and damages relationships.
In typical writers fashion, before setting out to write about this topic I Googled the definition:
jeal·ous·y (noun): resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself.
The word that jumped out from the page at me was this: rival.
I don’t know about you but the last person I was jealous of was not a rival, nor has it even really been. It was a friend, one that I love dearly and am close to. Life has dealt us both a different set of cards, she has different talents and skills and she is a different person. Not better or worse, just different. And for one of those reasons, I was jealous.
Jealousy is a divider. It can divide best friends and turn them into enemies. It’s dangerous for women (and men? I don’t know). In the community of So Worth Loving we want to combat the epidemic of jealousy because the cause is rooted in our core message: that we all have value and we are all worth loving.
Let me explain the connection. When I was a teenager jealousy ruled my life! I was never content with my personality, looks or abilities and I was constantly envious of everyone else. There were a few particular girls that in my eyes, ‘had it all’. They were pretty, fun and successful. I would never be as great as them.
Fast forward a few years and one day I see one of these girls in passing. We had grown apart and though I can’t remember exactly why, I wouldn’t be surprised if my jealousy was partly to blame. It’s shameful but it isn’t unheard of; I think this happens often in female friendships.
Seeing her was lovely, we chatted and caught each other up on our lives. She was the same beautiful person, but something in our interaction was different.
I walked away confused about why my time with her was so relaxed and pleasant compared to when I was younger. Then it came to me: the envy was gone. I had always thought she was way ‘cooler’ than me and I didn’t measure up. But in the years passed, I had gained some self-esteem and security in who I was. I still thought she was great but that’s as far as it went. I didn’t want to be her, I wanted to be me.
What happened? Simply put, I had grown to like myself. I had started to see myself the way my friends and family saw me. I decided to see the good things in myself and in my life, and truly appreciate them. It changed everything!
We will never truly kick jealousy. It will always threaten your friendships, but it is up to you to determine that the threats are empty. The green eyed monster doesn’t have to win. To tame it, all you need to do is value yourself and live the best life you can.
Look at what you DO have and appreciate those. Pick your favourite part of your body, your personality, your talents, your job, your family, your house, your clothes. Do it now! Focus on the light that has been there all along, overshadowed by your envy of others.
Give yourself a chance to shine.
Let’s be a community that enjoys each other’s successes! Your day will come to get that promotion, job, relationship, home, car or big trip around the world. For the things you cannot change, accept them and guard your friendships because they are precious.
You are valuable and have something to give too, so don’t let jealousy win.
Post by Micaela Hollins
I grew up surrounded by people who hated their bodies.
And so I was indirectly taught to hate my body, too. It wasn’t until I graduated high school that I really took it upon myself to rebuild my self-esteem. I stopped trying to change my body and learned to appreciate it the way it is. These are a few of the things I’ve done consistently that really helped me learn to enjoy and love the body I was given.
Not all of these things will work all the time. And not all of them will work for all of you. But at least give all of them a chance.
And know that this will take time. It takes patience and dedication. Boosting your self-esteem is not something that will happen within a week or two.
It took me a good two years to be completely comfortable with my body. And I still have bad days. There are still parts of my body that I am unhappy with. I still curl up under a blanket and watch Friends, trying to feel better about myself. But I am so much happier in general with my appearance because of these things. I hope they help someone else, too.
Post by Kelsey Griffin!
I don’t know what happened, but something just felt off.
As I was driving I was warring with my mind and trying not to freak out. There was what seemed like a crack in my chest and my heart beat faster out of fear; it was getting harder to breathe. By the time I got to where I was going I felt miserable and I was scared. What was wrong with me? What was happening? Should I stay in the car, should I go home, should I get out? I got out of the car, walked a little ways and was completely ready to pass out. I was hot, I was cold, I was sweaty. Dizziness struck and everything going on inside of me amplified. I turned around and went straight back to the car. I sat there for a while trying to get ahold of what was happening to me, hoping it would stop and I would be okay. Things got worse. My arm started tingling and I didn’t know what to do. I decided to start driving back towards home. I had to get out of there- I wasn’t going to let something crazy happen to me in a parking lot with a bunch of strangers around me! As I was driving the tingling got worse and spread to my other arm and both legs.
I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was so scared that something worse was going to happen to me and I had to pull off to the side of the road, it was much safer than driving in such a condition.
Panic attacks. They’re not fun to talk about and they are certainly not fun to think about or experience. I told Eryn over a month ago that I could do a post on panic attacks and I’ve been sitting blank with this post ever since. There were multiple times when I wanted to talk to her and tell her I just could not do the post, but for some reason I never did. I have experienced panic attacks before… I think my own feelings towards those experiences, and the fact that panic attacks are not readily discussed in conversation with those around me, are what left me at such a loss of how to go about this post.
The first time I had a panic attack I had no idea what was going on with me. Even after seeing a doctor to rule anything serious out, I was still left clueless with no answers. Most people are not taught growing up what their first panic attack will be like or that they will even have to possibly go through one someday. They’re just a part of life that can take us by surprise, but they’re not a surprise that has to scar our lives forever! What really helped me move forward from panic attacks was the simple knowledge of knowing what they are and being able to inform myself whenever symptoms started arising. Sometimes accepting things and acknowledging them for what they are can be really difficult. After I learned what it was that I was experiencing, I was not very amused with the idea of accepting it. Besides not being happy with myself, I was worried about what other people might think of me for having panic attacks. Acceptance should not be wavered for fear. There is always healing and a greater sense of self-love in acceptance which has the power to outweigh any fear.
Panic attacks can form in so many different ways; they and their treatments are often diverse from person to person. If you are struggling with panic attacks please know that you are not alone in this. Reach out- there are others out there going through similar things. Your panic attacks are not meant to keep you from living your life. You are going to shine ten thousand times brighter than any amount of weight they bring on you and your life!! Having one or multiple panic attacks does not make you any less of a worthwhile person; they are not a judgment of your character.
If you’re feeling open, feel free to share with us your experiences with panic attacks and any coping mechanisms you have found to be helpful.
Let’s show this SWL Family that we truly are not alone in our struggles!
*I’m adding a link to an article that Eryn found on ways to cope with panic attacks that would be worth a read when you have time! You can view it here
*Also, Xanna and Ashley have both recently done posts on anxiety. Panic attacks often coincide with anxiety, so if you’ve missed their posts you may want to visit them here and here!
POST BY ROSIE HANKE
if you suffer from panic attacks this is not a solution but something has helped me. Seek a doctor if you are unsure of your attacks.
I couldn’t sleep the other night. Not necessarily in a bad way, I just could not shut my brain off. I thought about who I am, and the type of person that I’d like to be. I thought of where I’ve come from, and where I hope to go.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, of this I am certain. But I’ve also made a lot of really great decisions. My favorite almost mistake that I’ve made was moving to Los Angeles. My whole life, I had always wanted to live in LA. And when my brother made the move 2 years before I did, there was no stopping me. I wanted to do it, too. I wanted to be brave and I wanted to show people that I’m not afraid.
Turns out I was afraid, and I sometimes still am. LA is a really big city. Some of the people I’ve met here are nothing like I’ve ever met before. It was a pretty huge culture shock, for real. My first year in LA I was pretty miserable. I struggled with paralyzing depression. Most days, I didn’t want to leave the house, let alone speak to another human being. I felt completely and utterly alone. The friends that I thought I had turned out not to be anything of the sort, my long term boyfriend and I broke up only a month after arriving in LA. I didn’t have a job, I didn’t know anyone, the streets all looked the same, and the most conversation that I had was with the cashier at 711 when I was buying frozen pizzas. Basically, LA sucked, and I hated almost everything about it.
And then, something happened. Something aligned for me and it was like LA was a whole new place and it was exciting. I realized that my battle was purely internal. Everything that I was afraid of was internal. What other people think of me is none of my business, and why should I determine my self worth based on what others thought of me? I have a lot to offer, I have a lot to say, and I’m passionate.
Have you ever been around a child in the morning? Have you ever seen the excitement on their faces when they wake up and it’s a new day? I don’t know exactly what it is that these kids are always so excited about in the morning, but there is something to be said of that type of excitement. My theory is simple, it’s a new day. And that in itself is exciting.
Everyday is a new day, with new challenges and new opportunities. Every single day is a chance to do something new, to try something different, to meet a new person, to inspire someone around you. I don’t know about you, but the possibilities for a new day excite the heck out of me. And I am just grateful for the chance to be a part of the ride.