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Monday, June 25, 2012

Envy & Jealousy: Breeding-Grounds for Unhappiness


Your friend shows up in a new Audi Spider that you've secretly coveted for years, another friend has dropped 20 pounds, something that you've been trying to do unsucessfully for such a long time, and yet another just landed a deal to expand his/her business that will net millions over the next few years. You read about someone you've never even heard of who signed a record deal recently and now the hit single on the first CD has hit the charts not nationally, but globally ... it went viral. Your best friend of many years never seems to stop going out, another continually fills your ears with how wonderful life is, and a third can't stop talking about the children or grandchildren and how intelligent or successful or proactive they are. An acquaintance met a wealthy widow/widower and is now getting married, the son/daughter of another friend was just promoted to Vice President of the company he/she works for, your golfing neighbour just started going out with an incredibly gorgeous woman about 20 years younger than you, and of course the list of all the good stuff that happens to others goes on and on. And not only does it go on and on, but it's been happening that way every since you can remember. Always.

And although a part of you is happy (truly happy) for them, there is another part of you that is envious, or feels jealousy, depending on the situation. You're aware of it. You don't particuarly like feeling envy or jealousy, but there it is, it pops up all the time when you hear of the good fortune that happens to others. These thoughts are the breeding-ground for your unhappiness. The more they (the thoughts) occur, the more your habit of having those thoughts and hence your unhappiness grows.

Here's what you can do: first, become aware (as you probably already are) that this is happening. Acknowledge that is does you no good. The bacteria of those thoughts continually spread to infest you with unhappiness. Clearly, the thoughts must be tackled. Probably you are thinking that since they pop up unannounced and not because you 'will' them into being, there is little you can do about them. But there is. They have become a habit that started years, perhaps even decades ago. And all you have to do is rid yourself of that habit, much as you might rid yourself of the habit of exploring a chipped corner of a tooth in your mouth with your tongue. At the beginning you would simply explore, but as time goes by, your tongue develops a very sore spot on the place where it hits the chipped tooth. It hurts. So now you pull back consciously each time your tongue wants to go there, and soon enough, your tongue stops doing it. You do this because you engage your conscious mind into stopping the process because of the pain it produces.

In the case of the thoughts of envy and jealousy that lead to unhappiness, you do exactly the same thing. As you hear of the wonderful thing that is happening to someone else, and you notice the thoughts of envy or jealousy arising, you have a short inner dialogue. You ask yourself whether you wish to pursue that thought. Probably the answer is no, because you are already aware of the fact that those thoughts only lead you to unhappiness. You may need to have a brief battle, because it may be that a part of you wishes to engage in the thought (what Eckhart Tolle would call the pain body), but you can win that battle, just as you were able to win the battle over your tongue.

So now you had the thought, but you curtailed it. It lost a bit of its strength. You go on to something else. The next time envy or jealousy arise, you do exactly the same. And again and again and again. As you do this, the strength of the neural pathways that have to do with this particular habit will diminish. Eventually the habit will cease. All you have to do is remain conscious enough to practice this. And of course you have to want it. It's that easy.

For more about finding calm and being at peace, about learning how to take charge of your thoughts and emotions and about the self-transformational process - both in your outer life in the world, and in your inner life with your connection to your inner, divine self, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self (paperback or e-book).

To download the first chapter, click here

From the Description on Amazon: Ask anyone, whatever their circumstances, if their life is vibrant, fulfilling, harmonious and happy. An honest reply is likely to be 'no', because to answer a truthful 'yes' is no mean feat. Only to grow psychologically and emotionally is not enough. And only to grow spiritually is not enough either. All three dimensions need to be developed in order to realize your full potential. If you are willing to assume total responsibility for the self and to start what is an on-going journey, you will quickly begin to glimpse the first fruits of the ultimate goal: inner well-being, freedom, peace, harmony and joy. This book sets out the pathway to self-mastery and self-discovery and walking that pathway will be the most exciting adventure of your life.



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