30 July, 2016

Tackling the Green-Eyed Monster

Of the seven Deadly Sins, invidia (envy) is probably high on my for-shame list.

And despite what you've been told, it happens to be a 'healthy' emotion and not as you're-going-directly-to-hell as most want us to believe.

As long as the person feeling this way doesn't act on the negative outcome, that is.

Although voodoo dolls are an acceptable form of anger management whenever the green-eyed monster rears it's ugly head.

Pictures used as a Dart Board are okay, too.

Anything else and you risk being labeled as petty or sounding like sour grapes.

Unlike most other negative personality traits, Jealousy is probably as easy to control as it is easy to let get out of hand.

As with ALL vices, though, it depends on you and how you deal with it.

No, it isn't.

Jealousy can become an issue of self-confidence if you lack self-control -- which can be said for everything else in life that is difficult to overcome.

Overcome it we can, but it won't work by shaming or denial.

It's not as if we invite Jealousy in and ask it to take over our lives.

It just happens, so we are hardly to blame.

Anything can trigger the emotion, and its range can be anywhere from mildly annoying to outright flames licking at an extremely sensitive wound.

But not even the intensity of an inner emotion is a horrible thing.

As long as we don't act on it, let it hang out like an old friend, or wallow in it for a few hours (or longer).

Otherwise known as self-pity (whole other ball of wax).

There are more triggers for my green-eyed monster than there are for my smoking and salt addictions, and that can't be good.

More healthy, perhaps, but not in a good way.

More normal-natural than craving unhealthy things.

I tend to think that most people have it better than I do.

I tend to believe that my hard-fought efforts are a waste of my time since no one recognizes or acknowledges it.

I also tend to notice that if good things happen, it is to other people, and if bad things happen, it is to me.

I am sorely lacking in a lot of ways and know it.

I suppose my childhood had something to do with this jealousy thing being a high VICE.

And, I suppose I did a lot of what the pouty lad in the picture is doing, too.

Being cast aside or ignored for any reason sucks.

No one can convince me that it doesn't affect them to some degree, either.

Any more than they can convince me that they have somehow mastered the art of NOT feeling a single twinge of jealousy from time to time and for any reason.

We're not little kids anymore, though.

So it's how we DEAL with jealousy that matters, not the emotion springing up when we least expect it (or WANT it to).

As artists, we're sensitive by nature.

It is natural for us to see, hear, feel, react, and think differently than the common masses.

When it comes to our creativity; our work; our babies . . . we're basically one and the same.

Touch it, sneer at it, insult it, ignore it, or do anything derogatory with regard to the toil, strife, and heartache I put forth, and you'll wish you'd never been born.

Being a writer, having always wanted to write, loving the art, and letting it consume me are just some of the reasons why I consider behaving overly sensitive about it as having merit.

Learning, growing, changing, adapting, and rearranging my line of thinking about my writing -- mostly overcoming bad habits -- are part of the artistic process.

When I see/hear about others in the profession who are flying past me on their way to stardom, jealousy enters the picture.

It can't be helped.

Well, yes it can.

Avoiding Social Media websites is a terrific way to chase away the blues -- or the Greens in this case.

I know how I am and I know what triggers jealousy, so when I've had enough with the posts about attending conferences, book signings, contract deals, and oodles of 5-star praise, that's when I unplug from today's reality.

Mature thinking and a healthy way to deal with jealousy in order to avoid letting a natural inclination get the best of me.

Not bragging, just stating facts.

Because there are as many instances where hearing about another's accomplishments will usher me into a jealous pity party, but then some things aren't always as they seem.

Best-Seller, Over 500 5-Star Reviews, and Publishing House to name three.

They will awaken the green monster at a moment's notice, but wait!

I really shouldn't ought to be feeling this way because, well, something just isn't right here.

Case in Point -- Jayne Mansfield's breasts.

Or, Sofia Loren's seemingly obvious reaction to them.

Because while it sure looks that way, it actually wasn't a jealous reaction.

She's Sofia Loren, for heaven's sake! What's there to be jealous about?

She's quoted numerous times as having been overly concerned about their popping out and revealing themselves with paparazzi (and men) present.

Who wouldn't want to save a BFF from that kind of humiliation?

So, this is what I refer to as it looks like jealous but is actually a source of accomplishment.

Like being jealous of  some Award-Winning author and then having to back-track the emotion after reading the novel only to discover that a) the editor needs to be fired, b) the award is unfounded, and c) the author has 500 very supportive friends/family.

I call it taming Jealousy by being a Smart Ass.

It works but can also be considered borderline petty.

Not sour grapes, though. Just petty.

Bottom Line: I have way, too far to go in my own journey to stop and think I'm better just because a lot of inadequate writing is making its way onto Best-Seller lists and hundreds of thousands say it is great stuff when it isn't.

And with me still stuck in neutral.

That isn't my goal.

Those aren't my people.

This isn't my parade.

What works best for me is react, realize, breathe, and let go before you move on.

It isn't my concern that some folks always tend to get away with murder while I'm always busted and condemned for every minor infraction.

I can't allow jealousy or Murphy's Law to rule my life in these or any other instances.

It happens, though, and I'm sure it will continue to happen because that's life and Jealousy is a part of it.

I'm dealing with it by turning a blind eye to mishaps, continuing to follow my heart, and striving in every way to learn the craft of writing what I like but in a way that readers want to read.

That way, when my time finally does arrive, it will actually be worthy of 100 5-Star reviews, #11 on a top-ten Best Seller List, and perhaps one brick & mortar Editor might actually notice, acknowledge, and reward my hard-fought efforts.

Because like Jealousy, you just don't know until it actually happens.

Chelsea Handler made me feel good about how I deal with jealousy, and I hope it works for you, too.

Shout-outs to Elle Magazine and Xio for the FB post heads-up.

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