Monday, 22 July 2013

Jealousy as an Adolescent: Quest for Compersion


In my previous post, I discussed the first time I was given the notion of what jealousy was.  I was given this term to aid me in dealing with some mean children on the playground.  It fit very simply into the required scenario, thus no further thought was given to it at the time.  Upon further internal debate, I find myself asking, when should jealousy no longer be a controlling emotion in our lives?  Most children learn to share from an early age, with arguably, the exception of the only child and the eldest, as we find tricky work arounds.  We are scolded if we do not share, and yet it seems, praised for cherishing that one particular item.  My childhood doll, named Suzy Baby, was able to come with me anywhere I wanted.  I was allowed to say that no one could touch her, and be as possessive and controlling as I felt appropriate towards her.  She was completely my doll, and at nearly 30 I still have her.  

When I was a teenager, it seemed that possessive female friendship based jealousy was the norm and even encouraged.  It was re-iterated to me time and time again that woman could not have a triad based friendship with women, or even a group of females who were all close, you could only have one best friend.  Whenever I tried and there was a fight, I would be told, that women are too jealous of each other to stay friends in an odd number.  Also, I was never given any tips or encouragement on how to properly develop a real and true female bond, especially in the multiples.  You could have that one special person that you could tell everything to, however there was a catch to that, they had to tell you everything too so that it was fair.  And if any new female came into the picture you were to develop feelings of distrust and suspicion that this new person whom may or may not learn your deep dark secrets.  Fighting therefore begins to feel natural, and to distrust other woman encouraged from a very early age. 

I know there are a lot of people out there who believe the jealousy is a good thing.  That in small doses it can strengthen a relationship, make a person feel loved, admired and even safe.  I think this argument would hold more weight if jealousy was a positive emotion.  But in fact it is negative, and it sucks energy from any relationship.  If you react afterwards in a positive way, see the glass half full after this raw emotion has been displayed, that is amazing.  However I would argue that to have an emotion that strips you of happiness, even in the moment, does not seem worthwhile.  I can put a positive spin on almost any situation, but once I find the root cause, I would prefer to just eliminate sensations that do no yield a positive result.  I want to grow and move past, rather than remain stunted or in a place where I have to rely on fighting reactionary emotions and putting positive spin on situations.

As I write this I am nostalgically looking off into space, and it feels as if a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I have not actually felt that jealous and possessive feeling towards either my male or female friends in a long time.  It is taking me a lot longer when it comes to sexual relationships but the foundation is being laid.  And writing the paragraph above I can really see where the origins came from and why.  For me, discovering where things come from enables me to better overcome them, also to decide which feelings should be kept, and which should be thrown away.  I cannot say this enough times throughout my soul searching and writing, the statement that is, jealousy has never once given me a positive sensation or added any joy to my life.  It is an emotion that is encouraged and taught as a child, and although I know where it comes from and why, my quest to rid myself of that and perhaps even turn it into compersion is truly coming true.  I am finding new ways to feel pride in other people’s joyful relationships.  And the ironic thing is, it makes my relationships with these people so much more fulfilling.  Our discussions are not based solely on the negative thoughts and feelings of others friends and partners.  Instead we can truly discuss real emotions, friendships and experiences outside of our own with joy and laughter. 

I am open to any stories or anecdotes that any of you may have as to jealousy being a positive influence in your life, to it bringing you joy.  Or even if it has ever had a sex positive outcome.  I would love to see the full picture, to understand if maybe as a jealous person, I was just doing it wrong.  Working towards an outlook with compersion is something I am setting my sights on.  I doubt it will be easy, but I remind myself of the payoff that will be the result.  Happiness and peacefulness with anger, distrust, envy or jealousy, and those are goals I am proud to have.

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