No, this post is not about becoming environmentally friendly. Let’s get that out there first. It’s about a much more traditional meaning of being green. This is a post about jealousy. Known in old fashioned circles as the “green monster”, it’s that feeling that rears its head when you covet someone’s “cooler” job or “better” clothes or “hotter” boyfriend. You want something someone else has and its hard not to want it. Sometimes it’s really difficult to get over that feeling that “the grass is greener on the other side.” Sometimes you cannot just be the better person and be happy with what you have. We are taught nowadays to want more, to get more, to be more. That is how we get ahead in a tough economy and a competitive world. Jealousy can be a catalyst to working harder to get what you want. Or jealousy can incapacitate you and make you feel like you’re never going to be good enough or have enough.
Well, enough is enough. Literally. It’s okay to be a little jealous. Like I said, it can be what moves you to do better, be greater, to not become complacent with the life you have. Jealousy can make you see your life from a different angle. But if you let jealousy become too big a part of your life, if it starts to bring you down, then you need to walk away from that jealous feeling. It can be hard. You might desperately want that job that seems so cool or makes a whole lot more money than you can imagine right now (believe me, this is a feeling I get quite a bit as people I know get some pretty awesome and high paying jobs). But if you keep this feeling of jealous in your life, it has the potential to cripple you. Jealousy leads to feeling inadequate, to damaging your self-worth and your confidence. Jealousy can be a terrible thing to keep in your life.
With a feeling seemingly so hard to conquer, you might feel stuck wanting. Instead you have to give yourself some tools to move on. You need to put your jealousy into perspective. What exactly are you jealous of? Pinpoint your problem with a person or people or an organization or whatever it is that’s making your jealousy flair up. Then evaluate why you feel jealous. If you’re jealous of someone else’s “amazing” job, are you jealous because you are unhappy at work? Are you feeling green because she or he makes more money than your meek hourly earnings? Now work on finding a good solution. If it’s about a job, reiterate why your job is great (only if you really feel that way of course) or go look for a new one and reassure yourself that greener pastures are coming your way. If you’re worried about your clothes, take a shopping trip in your own closet and appreciate all the “works of art” you have hanging in there. You need to banish that feeling of jealousy on your own, to really conquer it, so you know that it’s not controlling you.
If you’re still struggling with those green feelings, start a gratitude or happiness journal. In college I suffered from some pretty terrible feelings of inadequacy and general unhappiness. I couldn’t figure out how to make myself a little bit happier until I decided to start a three line journal. I picked a few things from my day that were really amazing to me personally. One day I just wrote “My hair was really bright and bouncy today. I’m sure everyone I passed was jealous.” Writing those things and then reading them back made me feel a 100 times better. So grab a pretty journal and spend a few minutes of your day expounding on the wonderfulness of being you and living your life. Just look down, the grass is green right under your feet.