They say that money is the root of all evil, but I think envy, jealousy is right at the top with money.
I know I’ve got my fair share of being victim to jealousy. For years I had been jealous of my own husband. He has been very successful in the work place. He’s climbed the latter quickly and was always getting recognized for something he had done. It drove me nuts. I felt for many years I wasn’t worthy of his company because I was just a stay-at-home mom. I could out cook and clean him, but who cares about that? No one recognizes moms for the hard work they do. I wanted more than anything to be better at him….in anything. I know it sounds silly…right? I can remember going to promotion ceremonies to pin his rank on with disdain in my heart. Every time he received an ARCOM or AAM I wanted to rip the certificate up and throw the medal away. Every plaque he brought home I wanted to turn into firewood.
My entire childhood I was so focused on the same idea. I felt that my parents praised my sister for her good grades and no matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t get that same praise. This went on for five years after I got married and left home. I couldn’t stand my sister. I hated every ounce of her success in life. I would get so sick of my mom telling me about what she and her husband were doing and what they had and bought. In high school I thought I had finally one upped her. I was the muscle and she was the brains. I could out do her in athletics. The satisfaction lasted for a short time. Until I realized that I didn’t like swimming, nor did I really like track. I longed to be playing and learning music.
Jealousy drove me mad. I wanted to out-do my husband and sister. I think if I really took a good look at things I was trying desperately to get my mother and father’s praise. Granted I had many missteps into my adulthood, but I was trying so hard to show them that I could be just as successful as those around me. It got to the point that I threw myself at any job available. Everything from a telephone book delivery person to a third shift security guard. Part of it was for a few extra dollars, but mostly I was blind and just wanted to put what I knew I had into it: hard work, dedication, and brains. A deep secret: I didn’t want to be known as the mom who stayed-at-home riding on the coat tails of her husband.
Something struck me a few years back. While discovering the root of my jealousy, I wondered how many people had been jealous of me. I was married to an amazing husband and father. I had three amazing kids who were well-behaved and just downright awesome. Our house was almost always spotless and dinner on the table. Then there is me. I’m a tall slender blonde. I know I’m a pretty gal with an optimistic view point. On the outside we are that “picture perfect” family. It was these ideas that lead me to thinking about how I scoff at that picture. Did people know all the bumps in the road between Dan and I? Did they know about the two year old that drew on the walls or the three year old that slept walked and would pee in the corner by the bathroom? Did they know how many times I would have to pick up after kids and how many burned chicken legs I made?
More importantly… Did I understand how much blood sweat and tears went into Dan’s job? Did I understand how much my sister sacrificed to have a job? No. Because I was selfish and just didn’t care. I looked at what they had that I didn’t. I didn’t look at what cost went into what they had. Isn’t jealousy crazy? It breeds madness, anger, and self destruction. It hurts the relationships around you.
34 For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
Now isn’t that the truth?