One of my best friends asked me a question recently, “Are you jealous or envious of other women who are pregnant? What is the difference between you feeling jealous or envious?” At the time I had an understanding that they are different emotions, but I didn’t quite know how to explain it…
I came across a fellow blogger on here and love how she explained the two:
“Throughout my work of recovery I have come to understand jealously a little differently. It first started at the Emerging Women conference last October in Boulder when I saw an interview with Tami Simon and Alanis Morissette. Tami interviewed Alanis about the book she is writing and about her work with Relationships First. One of the points she spoke about was what she thinks the difference between jealousy and envy is. She said that jealousy is about connection; that when we are jealous of someone or something it is about self improvement, we want it too. But when we are envious of something we not only want it for ourselves but we want to take it away from the other person, making it not about connection but disconnection. She used a really simple example of her hair. She said something to the effect that she knew many of us in the audience were jealous of how great her hair looked (it was the shiniest most beautiful head of hair I’ve ever seen). She said that some of us were probably jealous of it (for me, she was completely saw my green accurately). She said we just wanted some of the hair gods to shine on us too. So her suggestion was to go out and buy the pomade she used to make it look that gorgeous. She then explained that if we were envious of her hair it would be more about chopping it off her head for ourselves so that not even she could have the luxury of this beautiful mane.”- follow Justine Froelker
So there it is. I feel jealous. NOT envious. I would never want to take away someone else’s joy or happiness. I would never want another woman to feel the pain of infertility. BUT, I do allow myself to feel jealous. I think jealously is a natural emotion to have when we want something someone else has and we don’t.
Justine also points out how healing jealously can actually come from celebrating it. Yes, I know that sounds crazy but celebrating jealously can actually cure it! I didn’t realize I was already doing this. I am curing myself every time I participate in the vary things I want so badly. Every time I go to a baby shower. Every time I hang out with my mommy friends and their babies. Every time I over night baby sit for my nephew. Every time I go to a 1 year old birthday party my jealously ceases a little bit. I actually feel satisfied and good at the end of the day.
It is easy to let jealously and self pitty get in the way of important connections and relationships. The grass is always greener on the other side right? I am sure some of my mommy friends have been jealous of me. So let yourself feel jealous- but only for a little bit. Then put your big girl panties on and embrace this beautiful life you have been blessed with each morning.