I pull into the parking lot and park my beat-up car between a Hummer & a
Mercedes. I let out a sigh and turn behind me to find him sitting in the
backseat between my two children. “You can leave now. You aren’t wanted here,” I
say. He looks back at me, absently, dismissing my request with a blank smile.
We all head into the store and I push my cart through the aisles, walking by
other people who have filled their carts to the brim. They are buying all the
things that I want to put in my cart, but I stick to the basics and whisper,
“Please leave!” as we head to the checkout aisle.
As we load up the car and pull into our house I think of all the unfinished
projects, the longing for more space, the dreams for something newer and
better…and he sits down to join me for my afternoon coffee. “Don’t you have
somewhere better to go? Why don’t you go to someone else’s house?” He just
offers me a green-eyed smile and hangs out in my kitchen for the rest of the
day. I hate him and I hate myself for having him over. He is the guest that will
not leave and I am ashamed that we have this kind of relationship.
Yes, I am referring to jealousy and how it can take up occupancy in my heart. To
say that these moments of discontent have not graced my life would be a lie. I
feel the same urges to shop and the same urges to keep up just like everyone
else. I can honestly say that the green-eyed monster has enjoyed more than one
afternoon sitting at my kitchen table.
The question is how do you overcome your jealousy issues and lead a simple life?
It is easy to tell people to not be jealous, but we live in a culture where
bigger is better and there is a constant need to compete with our neighbors.
While I am as guilty as the next person of feeling like this, I want to share
some of the ways that I have found to ask the green-eyed monster to go and to
help me work on finding that inner peace with what I have.
Caring for the Things in Your Life
When I think about adding possessions to my life, I have started thinking about
what is going to be required of me to care for and maintain them. In the example
of buying a bigger home, for example, I think of how much more space I would
have to clean. Seeing as I have difficulty maintaining and keeping up with the
things that we already have, I realize that adding a new house to our life would
actually make things much more difficult for me financially and the added space
would not be as rewarding as what I already possess.
When I feel the urge to shop, out of boredom or out of competition with others,
I try to think of things that I already have and how I can take care of them. My
house is an endless supply of odd jobs and cleaning or organizing projects.
Making a list of these things, I can try to focus my energy towards these things
instead of the negative energy that I am feeling when I am focusing on what I
Likewise, organizing what you already have can shed light on your shopping
habits and how much you have already bought. My weakness is craft supplies and
each time I drive by a craft store, I feel the urge to fill a cart full of stuff
for myself. When I look at the stuff I already have, I realize there is a lot
that I can already do with what I have, instead of buying more.
I also find that when my house is tidy and organized, that I feel more
satisfaction in what I have. The sense of order, in a house that is usually chaotic, can be a much more
satisfying feeling then buying and trying to find a place for another bag of
Our children may also have trouble with jealousy and that is why we have tried
to take the focus off of buying things for our kids and instead focus on the
traditions that we can create for them as a family. Instead of loading them up
with toys and the latest gadgets, we come up with ideas that we can do with our
kids to show them how important family is.
We create traditions that do not cost a lot of money like having a pizza night,
making crafts together, having a special date night with one parent, reading
stories together, making special holiday traditions, and just being together as
a family. The things I remember from my own childhood include the special
traditions from my family and I have few memories about what they bought me.
These are the kinds of things that I want my children to be focused upon and
less on all of the toys that could fill their room.
Gratitude and Goals
One of the things that have helped me with my jealousy is focusing on my
gratitude for what I already have and making goals for myself for what I want
out of life. I found a pretty journal at our local dollar store and I started
making a list of all of the things that I love about my life already. When I
feel jealousy creeping back in, I start working on my list of all that I am
I also have many goals for myself and for what I am doing with my life, which
take up a lot of my time. Instead of looking at what everyone else is buying, I
am trying really hard to focus on building my business and creating goals for
what I can be doing in the future. I find the work that I do to be rewarding and
it helps me to stop thinking about possessions and to think more about being a
success in what I do.
However you cope with jealousy, do not be afraid to ask him to leave. It is your
home and your heart- not his. You are the only one who has the power to ask him
to go and to fill that empty space with positive substitutes. Do your best to
refocus your energy towards caring for what you own, creating traditions for
your family, and learning to live a life full of gratitude and positive goals.
Before you know it, you are going to be the envy of others around you!