As a child I wanted everything to be fair, as much as children perceive fairness. As and adult I want the same, too. Unfortunately, there are times when I get the short stick and whatever comes with it, as do others around me.
When this happens more frequently than not, jealousy becomes a permanent live-in relative I can't get rid of. It takes a lot of effort to get him to move out and stay out!
In a creative profession (it could be argued for any profession) it's easy to compare what we have to others doing the same thing. It's almost natural to be more concerned with where the grass looks greener.
My friend (frenemy), January, entered an art contest and won first place. I can't even get honorable mention. No fair! My eyes weep green tears.
Tuesday entered a short story competition and it was over the word count like mine, but I got disqualified and he didn't. No fair! Now my green face contorts with envious fangs.
Summer knitted my mother a sweater and it's all I've heard about for months. Why doesn't my mother ask me to make her some pottery? No fair! Now the monster has appeared with its snotty green nose and hairy spikes.
The monster I've become is ready to destroy all that I want.
It isn't fair when we are ignored, looked over or when rules apply only to some and not all. What we really wanted - someone else got. Ohhhh! I'm spitting mad!!!
But I had two ah-ha moments from my unwanted visitor:
#1 How many attempts did it take the other person to win, gain attention or know when the rules can be broken? In my experience I've discovered it's a lot. Rarely, do any creative endeavors come out perfect the first time. Even professionals make mistakes. I like that I have many opportunities to learn.
My mistakes keep me humble.
#2 It takes a lot of energy to be jealous. Actions. Thoughts. They become obsessive and all consuming. This energy isn't directed at my desires. It makes me tired, stressed and then the monster takes over. I attack myself! How awful. I'd rather use that slow build of passionate fuel to improved me, finish what I'm working on or plant a new idea seed and watch the greenery flourish.
My jealousy is a result of believing the monster when she says, "They will take all of your achievements away from you. How will you ever excel?"
The reality is "they" have nothing to do with it. My achievements are all on me. I'm in charge.
So, I've packed jealousy's bags and kicked his butt out of my creative home. He's one relative I can't stand hanging around. Let me know if need help kicking him or her out of your house.