QA181 QUESTION: I seem to be constantly caught in feelings of jealousy and anger when I’m with friends that I’ve had separately who then get together. I’m constantly feeling left out and hurt, when no hurt is intended. Could you possibly comment on this?
ANSWER: Yes. I would say that it is very good that you can acknowledge this, that you can even say it, because that is half the battle. Now, the other half of the battle lies in understanding the underlying dynamics, and I will help you here.
When such feelings exist, it is not enough to merely say that one feels inadequate. That is, of course, a truth, but it’s a self-evident truism that in itself will not give you the sufficient answer. The way you have to work at it is the following.
In the first place, wherever you are envious or jealous or both, examine how these are areas where you are not investing the best of yourself in order to obtain what you envy others for. You are, in these areas, passive yourself, possibly waiting to be handed it rather than committing yourself to attaining it through your own labors.
When I say labors, I do not necessarily mean that on an outer level, for one may often be jealous for a fulfillment in other people. That too has to be labored for. There too is required an investment of oneself. And to the degree the investment is total, to that degree envy and jealousy will disappear.
It is similar with this oversensitivity and hurt one experiences. Even though you know it is an overreaction and others do not mean to do this, you nevertheless react that way. Now, on a deeper level, you will find – if you work sufficiently in depth with the help and the guidance that are available – that there is somewhere a level within you where you want to be hurt.
Offhand you may say, “Oh, no, that is not true.” But if you really look deeper, you will see that this is the case: that you want to be hurt; that you do not want to move in certain directions and risk failure or imperfect results, which you attain gradually through learning, through trial and error, as all attainment can only exist in this way; that there’s somewhere an egotistical infant inside you that demands to have it handed to you by the supposedly perfect authority of life, God, fate, others, whatever they may be – it should be just handed out to you.
You should not have to attain it through growth, through insight, through battling, through overcoming unpleasant aspects in the self, through risking error and trial and failure and all the steps that are necessary, through taking each hurt, each step, each disappointment with a very constructive attitude of “What can I learn from this setback?” and not being snowed under by it.
Now, again here, these words, of course, are also directed to others. It is such a general thing that each disappointment immediately creates hopelessness, despair, discouragement. And it is absolutely necessary that human beings learn constructive aggression against one’s own negativities, against one’s own laziness and cowardliness – when you can say that whatever the difficulties are, “I am going to attain this happiness, because I know it is in the scheme of things. I know as a child of God, I should have perfect fulfillment in every respect of life.”
It is a false modesty to believe that you have to go through life suffering. It is a false idea that you are undeserving of it. You should have everything to make you happy. But this has to be attained through your own spiritual fighting – the fighting spirit, in the right way.
The attitude that says, “Yes, I will have setbacks. Of course I will have to grow into it. Of course I have to learn what my own obstructions are. But I can have it if I really invest fully. And I will invest absolutely my utmost in order to have what makes me happy. And if I have to expose my shames in order to have others help me, then this will be my investment.” If this attitude exists, all shame, envy, oversensitivity, hurt, discontentment, unfulfilled yearning will fall to the wayside.