There’s no question that you’re jealous. You can’t mistake the anxiety, nervousness, worries and doubts that you’re all too familiar with– they are jealousy rearing up and robbing you of peace and happiness.
What’s less clear is the reason why.
You may think you are feeling jealous because…
Your boyfriend hasn’t returned your text from this morning. Or your wife is having lunch with a co-worker who also happens to be a weight lifter. Or a completely different reason.
But, what if there’s more to it than that?
What if the REAL reason why you are so stirred up and mistrustful is hidden behind what what you think is the cause? What if you’re focusing all of your time and energy on the wrong thing?
The unanswered text, the lunch or whatever it is that’s bothering you, is only a tiny part of your jealousy. It goes much, much deeper…
If you truly want to get past the tension and misery that jealousy adds to your relationship and life, you’ve got to get to its core. The more you understand what specifically triggers your jealousy and why, the more effective you can be in healing, soothing yourself and moving forward in the direction you want to go.
For many, many people, at the core of jealousy is a hidden cause that’s surprising.
It is guilt and shame that can feed and fuel jealousy. It’s guilt and shame that keep you doubting your partner and yourself. It’s guilt and shame that make you expect that you’ll be lied, cheated on, betrayed and abandoned.
The reason why you feel guilt or shame could be because….
- You lied to a past lover.
- You believe you are inferior to others.
- You haven’t been honest with your spouse.
- You were abused and told that you aren’t good.
- You had an affair in the past.
- You’re convinced that your partner is “out of your league.”
Whether you believe you’ve done something “bad” or you struggle with low self esteem or are emotionally wounded from past abuse, you may be carrying around a lot of guilt and shame. That’s skewing the way you view yourself, your partner and your relationship and until you address it, your jealousy will continue.
What’s the best cure for guilt and shame?
Now that you know the hidden reason for your jealousy is the guilt and shame you feel about something that happened in your past or something you think is true about yourself, what can you do about it?
Our answer is…
You can forgive yourself.
Self-forgiveness is a powerful way to heal and release guilt and shame. This is a process and can take some time, but the effects are worth the effort.
When you forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made in the past– for the things you said (or wish you’d said) and for the things you did (or wish you’d done), you’re clearing the way for a new future for yourself.
Remember, forgiveness isn’t about making excuses or condoning a behavior. Part of the process may be that you make amends to people you hurt in the past. It could include you apologizing and doing what you can do to repair the damage done. As you do this, you remove from yourself the weight of self-criticism and self-hatred that you’ve carried for so long.
You free yourself to be present and available in the moment, not just for yourself, but for your partner too.
When you forgive yourself for all of your perceived faults and weaknesses, you actually give yourself the space to make conscious changes in yourself if you choose to– not because you’ll be “bad” if you don’t make a change, but because you are interested to see what it feels like to accept and love yourself AND make that change.
If you’re having a difficult time forgiving yourself, start small. Pick something you feel guilty about that’s more manageable and begin there. Acknowledge the truth as you know it and simply say to yourself, “I forgive myself for ______.” Stick with the facts and repeat the words to yourself until you actually believe them.
This can take practice so keep at it. Move on to what feels like a bigger issue next. Instead of continuing to beat yourself up about whatever it is and rather than convincing yourself that you deserve to be betrayed because of it, face it with forgiveness.