Friday, August 13, 2004

     Ever have a jealous moment? You know, when for a few brief moments, you see red and can't think, can barely breathe because someone that you care for apparently cares for someone else more than they do you? And you hate them and hate the one they care for a lot more.
     Just for that brief moment, you're not civilized anymore. You're a caveman, you're an ape. Some other beast has barged into your territory, and you feel your teeth draw back and your body hair bristles and your fingers curl into a fist.
     I'm having a jealous moment.
     Do you have them, too? Am I the only savage left?
     If by chance you have that beast in you, too, maybe this will help you. It's what I tell myself.
     First, no one belongs to anyone else. You cannot command a person's affections. You can hope they will love you, but they're ruled by their hearts, too. You can't force them to love you more or to love you at all.
     Second, you're still worthy of love. Just because you aren't loved by or not loved enough by the one whom you love doesn't mean that you are somehow less. The odds are good that someone somewhere is loving you more than you love them. That's the nature of this world. The reality of this life. You don't get to have everything; don't let jealousy take away what you have. Nothing in this life lasts forever; you'd better have enough brains to enjoy it while you can.
     Third, have some dignity. It makes you look small to run down your opponent. It won't endear you to your love who will start looking at you and may see that smallness in you. Instead, be friendly. If you can't do that, change the subject. If you can't do that, good grief, just stay silent.
     Fourth, it's okay to talk to a someone about how you feel. I suggest a good counselor. In fact, I trust counselors to keep secrets more than I do family or friends. There's an old poem that goes:
               Love your friends and love them well
               but to your friends no secrets tell
               for if your friends become your foes
               everyone your secrets will know.
      Fifth, if you get overwhelmed -- and God forbid -- think of violence, talk to a counselor immediately. Because once you've gone over that line, you're going to lose your honor, dignity and respect. And probably your love. No one likes a savage unthinking beast. They're nice in zoos and belong in the wild, but not much fun in your living room. I've not ever reached the point of violence, but I understand how people can. So don't be a beast. Be the honorable person that you truly are. Be worthy of the love you receive.
     Does any of that help?
     If not, you can do what I do in last ditch situations. I have a root beer float made with cherry amaretto pecan ice cream. Yummy. I find taking time to have ice cream helps almost everything.


Gloria Williams said...

You left out the most important thing to do: pray. A quick prayer helps me when my emotions run away with me.

Ice cream helps, too, though. :)

Anonymous said...

No, it's just you. No one else has ever felt that way. :)

When I was dating my to-be-husband, his ex showed up at his apartment when I was there. I wanted to tear her hair out. I was a bitch to him for days after, accusing him of asking her to come over. Fortunately he decided to keep me. And me him.


Erudite Redneck said...

An old friend of mine and his wife and two kiddos spent the night at my place on their way from Texas to her family's place in Wisconsin. Their kids, one 4, one 15 months, are lovely, and I have none -- I mean, no little ones, and I want some but it doesn't look like that's in the cards. (My stepdaughter was 11 before I came along.) He makes more money than me. He has lost 50 pounds in the past year. He quit smoking. He's healthier. And in the past couple of years, he has just become a better person -- not by "quick prayers" and adherence to platitudes, and not by fretting over so-called "sins" that will amount to so so much "wood, hay and stubble" when the fires of true righteousness burn away the chaff of our lives, but by his very pitiful, humanlike groping and seeking to be open to God's will, a renewed diligence in meditation, and conscious regular surrender. In my eyes, he has made himself Big by making himself, and his natural petty biases and habits, Small. See, he didn't get a better life because he quit smoking, started eating right and got healthy. It was the other way around. He quit smoking, started eating right and got healthy because he "let go and let God," as the 12-steppers say, on stuff that really mattered, and found he didn't want the cigs and so much greasy food and strong drink. He will be ordained in December as a deacon. I love him. I admire him more than ever. And yep, I'm jealous of most of that. It's worthy of envy. I'm about due for a wrestlin' match with an angel, and another broken hip, myself. I am a living sacrifice. I have not learned not to crawl off the altar.

Joel said...

Re: jealous.
Oh, yeah. Then I take deep breaths, remember my Zen stuff and let the feeling--like all feelings--fade, leaving only nothing.

Trixie said...

Cherry amaretto pecan ice cream...
Where can I find this magic elixer? I am still on the journey to the higher plane, but in the meantime, I need refreshment.

Anonymous said...

It has been so long since I have seen red that I wouldn't know it if it hit me I'm afraid. I have been married too long, but the ice cream sounds good! susan2