Jealousy arises when I believe thoughts like, “He has a better car than mine.”
Can You Do The Work on Jealousy?
You can do The Work on any stressful thought. But jealousy does have a few twists and turns that make it seem a little more challenging at first.
The obvious place to start is to question the jealous thought itself. For example, “He has a better car than mine.” Questioning just this one thought can take you the distance from stress to peace.
But There Are a few Potholes to Look out For
The first one is the turnaround, “I have a better car than his.” This is a valid turnaround, but you have to hold it with the original statement to find the balance. If you discard the original statement, “He has a better car than mine,” in favor of the turnaround, “I have a better car than his,” then it still feels stressful.
This is because I’m still putting one above the other. I’m still judging. Now it’s in the opposite directions, but it is just as stressful.
But I can find peace when I hold both together: “He has a better car than mine” and “I have a better car than his.” His is better in some ways, and mine is better in some ways. From this perspective there is a kind of equality I start to see.
In fact, you could formalize this into an unusual turnaround to say, “Our cars are equal,” and find examples of how this is true.
Here’s Another Pothole
Trying to fit jealousy into a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet doesn’t always work. The comparison of “his” vs. “mine” inherent in jealousy statements can complicate things. I often find that my wants, shoulds, and needs are not as clear when I write a worksheet involving comparison. But I have done it, and I’d say it works 80% well for me.
What I tend to do instead, if I choose the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet format, is to boil my comparison statement down to its essence. So instead of writing, “I am jealous of him because he has a better car than mine,” I write, “I am jealous of him because he has a beautiful car.”
This is what he is “doing” to me. This is what I’m a victim of. This is the “offense” that started the war inside of me. I find the rest of the worksheet flows out more clearly when I write it this way in Line 1.
But I Don’t Always Write a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet
Often, the heart of jealousy for me is the hidden want inside of me—including what I think having that car would do for me. So I sometimes just write a list of wants and question them individually as one-liners using the One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet:
I want to have his car.
I want a beautiful car.
I want people to admire my car.
I want my mom to admire my car.
I want to feel proud of the car I drive.
I want to be seen as successful.
If I question these wants, I often find that not having the car can be just as good, or even better, than having it. That’s when the freedom starts for me. I can have the car or not have the car. Both are good.
Again, jealousy falls away when I see the equality of the two.
Have a great weekend,
“How do you react when you believe the thought that if you had more money you’d be happier? You get to be unhappy now.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change the World