When you look at how you look, it is normal to also look at how other people look. Lets take a look at at that!
Okay, that was a joke, I am not saying it is a good one. But I want to talk to you about how and why we, yes look, at other people, especially when it makes us feel bad!
Obviously if you can look at your friend, who has just lost all of her pregnancy weight and looks stunning in that newly (made) dress, you can feel different things. If you only feel good, for her, than you are fine. But if you look at her and get ideas in your head like, I wish I looked like that, or; if only I could also lose those extra pounds that I carry around, than something needs to change.
I have seen different ways of how people are tackling jealously. For example, they try not to feel it, which is understandable, as you might actually not feel super well about not wishing your friend to feel great. Some take it as a que, they make themselves think of compliments to give to others when they feel a streak of jealously coming up. I imagine telling your friend she looks lovely with clenching jaws still comes across as slightly false. You might want to start a different approach to tackling jealousy.
Jealousy can help you to plot a course for a life that you love. It might make you feel horrible until you realize what you need to change and put your energy towards that. Or it will stop hurting when you have realized that you just cannot change some things and you need to change your perspective.
You see somebody that has something you want and you can feel the “auch” coming up from inside. That might be things that they own, or they have a relationship or a child that you want but do not have. Or it is that girl around the corner that seems to sport the right colours every year, that gets you thinking: “every f*ck*ng season she nails it”, that sort of thing. The feeling lingers inside yourself like a sort of; If only I had or, If only I was….
Hate to brake it to you, but that rocks.
There is something inside you telling you what is not right about your life right now. But that doesn’t mean that all you need to do is get what they have and than the feeling will disappear. Think about it like this, what if you would have that dress that she is wearing, combined with those shoes, would they really look good on you? Or would that simply be her style that you are emulating? So what is it that your jealousy is trying to tell you?
Your jealousy is trying to tell you what you need. In the case of the fashionable girl around the corner, you do not want that dress and those shoes, but the confidence that what you are wearing is perfect for you. You need to feel and think through this jealousy to find out what it is that makes you feel this way. It is never what you think it is about initially. Something superficial will spark jealousy, while the solution is on a deeper layer.
I want to share with you a personal story, to illustrate… I am a tall brown-haired Dutch girl. My family is pretty strong. My grandfather is rumored to have saved his tractor from a ditch in his heydays using only his hands. My brother singlehandedly lifts washing machines up stairs and my mum used to be a pretty good shot putter in college, according to my dad…
Knowing what my genes are, I still used to envy short and petit build women. I felt they were closer to how women were supposed to look. And if I was unhappy with how I looked I decided that eating less was the way to go instead of working out. Working out would make me look bigger in no time, because I would increase the size of my muscles.
Eating less to look more like how I wanted to look had never worked for me, not in the way that I wanted to anyway. I was just too tall to be petit! It was absolutely ridiculous to want to be so different from who I was. I was just unhappy with who I was and decided that the total opposite was the way to go. I had to do some inner work in order to tackle this one.
That didn’t start with how I looked, nor with my wardrobe. I had all kinds of characteristics that didn’t fit in with what I thought a woman should be like. Not just how she should look but also what she should endure, how she should express herself and how she should live her life. And they didn’t make any sense with who I was.
But I had tucked that away somewhere far.
Only until I started to give myself some room to be and show who I was, often starting with what I wore, I started to realize that I didn’t want to be a long haired blond delicately playing the violin. Or the harp. With her perfect long fingers and her long eyelashes. I am a girl that sometimes listens to Rammstein, loves Lara Croft and knows a thing or two about Klingons.
The funny thing is, I always liked Lara Croft. She is more a role-model from my past than my present. Why I gave the idea of the perfect woman being petit more attention that Lara, has to do with feeling insecure and a negative feeling of self-worth.
Now, today, totally accepting the Lara in me, I am working out more than I ever did before. And I love it. It has shaped my body in a way that I would have never liked in the past. But changing my perspective means that I do love how my body looks now. I am not saying it is perfect, but it looks strong. (Want to know something funny, for those of you struggling with your weight, I now weigh exactly what I always wanted to weigh. Letting go of looking trying to look like a skinny model meant I now have habits that work better for who I am…)
It also means that I do not want to look like a petit woman anymore. I still think they look fantastic, and I mean it. It doesn’t make me feel envious anymore. Because they look great, but what the you-know, I look great too. Those things can co-exist. And if you do not feel that I look great, you are not ma thang!