In fact, Jealousy is not a monster at all.
Jealousy is an invisible black mouth with pointed teeth, a forked tongue, and rasping voice. Jealousy whispers dark words into our ears, words that find their way into our souls, words that taint the blood in our veins. Jealousy sits in the shadowed corners of our minds in a chair made of thorns, waiting to be invited to the conversation when we feel threatened. Jealousy feasts on our insecurities and works to poison us from the inside-out.
Jealousy is what told me to speak unkindly of girls I considered prettier than me. Girls with laughing eyes and big white smiles, girls with glowing cheeks and flawless skin.
“Her voice is annoying,” Jealousy would say. “Can you hear her? Can she hear herself? Her voice is high-pitched and probably infuriates everyone around her.”
“She isn’t funny,” Jealousy would snarl. “She probably thinks she’s so funny and clever, but she’s not. She’s narcissistic and probably looks like shit without all that makeup.”
Jealousy is what encouraged me to develop hatred for people I perceived as more talented than myself. People who turned words into art, took sentences and made them sing off the paper.
“She’s not even a good writer,” Jealousy would announce. “I don’t know why everyone gives her so much attention. She’s mediocre, at best.”
“She acts so humble, what a liar.”
“She’s just trying to show off.”
“She’s only getting that kind of publicity because she puts out.”
Jealousy plays dirty. It charades as reason but keeps company with chaos.
Where Jealousy goes, unhappiness and distress follow. It will ruin what you love if you let it. It will turn you against people who are your friends and will ruin potential connections with like-minded individuals. If two people share a hobby, Jealousy will drive them apart instead of bringing them together. It will turn strangers into enemies and teammates into opposition.
Jealousy is what changes admiration into contempt, adoration into loathing.
It took me a long time to realize the only reason I disliked certain people was because I was outrageously, shamefully jealous of them. These people had done nothing to me to warrant such aversion, and yet I could barely come across their names or see their faces on social media without making a sound of disgust. It took me a long time to recognize that Jealousy was responsible for turning hobbies I once enjoyed into activities I avoided.
But as soon as I saw it, as soon as Jealousy crept a little too far into the light, I decided enough was enough. Now I work hard to speak kindly of people who once inspired less-favourable feelings. I stomp out the hate I feel for those I am jealous of by handing out silent compliments, allowing myself to admit that talent and beauty is nothing to feel contempt for. I work hard at things I like to do regardless of whether I’m any good, regardless of how I compare to others.
No, Jealousy is not a green-eyed monster because it doesn’t deserve to be given form. It doesn’t exist in our closets, it doesn’t hide under our beds. Jealousy is something we allow to manifest and exist within ourselves. It’s time to tell Jealousy:
“You aren’t welcome here anymore.”