Beware of jealousy and envy

Raj Kumar Dogra
We are all aware that vices and emotions like anger, hatred and greed destroy the soul and its inner strength. They lead us to sinful actions and consequently ruin our relationships, life and destiny. Most people take care not to indulge in actions that are obviously considered immoral, evil or criminal. However, there are many vices that seem to be less evil nevertheless they cause great harm and suffering and lead to total ruin of the human soul. Jealousy and envy are such vices that seem ‘natural’ in human behaviour but they eat away the innate sweetness, joy and goodwill in a person.
Envy and jealousy are often mixed up with each other but they are slightly different emotions. Envy is when we want a possession someone else has. Jealousy is when we fear we may be replaced in the affection of someone we love or desire. Envy means ‘to bear a grudge toward someone due to coveting what that person has or enjoys.” In a milder sense, it means “the longing for something someone else has without any ill will intended towards that person”. While jealousy means “apprehensive or vengeful out of fear of being replaced by someone else”.
Jealousy is often termed as the green-eyed monster. It is rooted in feelings of insecurity, fear, lack of self respect and emptiness. A jealous person will never feel contented and happy.
He or She will be always rankled with thoughts about fear of losing something which they consider precious. A jealous or envious person will be comparing with and eyeing people he is jealous of. His mind will be busy anticipating perceived threats from such rivals and consequently plotting and scheming offensive or defensive acts against them. Jealousy can even lead a person to commit heinous acts of crime such as killing and harming others well-being.
Jealousy is a dangerous infection that eats away the vitals of a human soul. It leads a person to the path of self destruction and constant unhappiness. Even if the subject of their jealousy is removed, a jealous person will always be clouded with suspicion, mistrust, rage and possessiveness. He will not be able to relax and enjoy life; he will not be able to express and share his gifts with others because of the negative feelings that constrain him. He will not be able to think and act with clarity and ease. Negative beliefs grip the thoughts and feelings of a jealous person.
Under the influence of jealousy, a person will always tend to react according to the projected stories and imagined scenarios in their mind. They will tend to control the attention and behaviour of people from whom they expect support by creating emotional dramas so that they themselves don’t feel insecure or rejected.
The emotion of jealousy has to be dealt with at its root. All negative emotions stem from lack of true self awareness. Feelings of low self esteem are based in beliefs that shape a mental image of who we are. Most human beings believe that their self worth and happiness depends on their role, achievements, status and the behaviour of people around them.
As mentioned above, most of the time jealous people are reacting to the anticipated threats in their mind. Changing beliefs about one’s self image will greatly help us to overcome jealousy. Even when there are actual situations that trigger feelings of loss, rejection and lack of joy and love, we need to look within and understand that true happiness and self worth come from self realization and spiritual empowerment.
We can overcome envy and jealousy by understanding spiritual truths. Every human soul is worthy and unique. No two souls can have the same role. We have to appreciate everyone’s qualities and stop comparing ourselves others with anyone. Being aware of and relating to each person as a spiritual being that is essentially pure will create true worthiness.
When we realize that our true self is a complete being that is innately pure and good, that we are eternal spiritual beings whose true nature is peace, joy and love, we will realize that we do not need anybody or anything to change in order for us to feel good and worthy.
Our relationships will then be flowing from completeness and self-worthiness rather than from incompleteness and neediness.
A very powerful way of overcoming insecurity is to connect with God. When we live our lives in the pure awareness of being God’s children, of having the same virtues and powers like Him, then we will not only have very high self respect but also be able to treat others with respect and empower them to reach their own state of fulfillment and joy.
(Author is Meditation and Spiritual Music Therapy Guru).