I heard someone say that you can tell who your friends are by how they stand by you when “the —-hits the fan” and I’m not disputing this, but what I’ve noticed lately is rather the opposite; You can tell who your friends are by how they stand with you when something wonderful happens in your life.
Jealousy is an insidious beast, and gone unrecognized, can ruin relationships and lives. I’d like to think that I’d woken up enough to realize that everyone’s success is really mine and that every happy surprise or gift given to another is just a confirmation that my life is on track as well, and I thought that I had pretty much stepped into this, leaving behind the belief in competition among my fellow humans….until the other day when an old friend emailed with some wonderful news about an opportunity she’d been offered.
As I read her email, I noticed my body tense up. I felt a rush of heat, I felt some anger, and I felt surprised that I felt this way. I began to criticize myself for this reaction until I closed my eyes and said, “Thank you. Thank you for showing me that this jealousy is still in me. It had hidden itself away for quite a while, as a matter of fact, I couldn’t even remember (before this incident) the last time I felt jealous. But there it was. My gift that day. My only question was, “What am I going to do with it?”
I didn’t need to do much. As soon as I saw it and said thank you for the opportunity to grow through this, my emotions changed and I genuinely felt happy for her, and for myself. What a joy to feel true happiness. But before the happiness could “surface” I needed to admit (at least to myself) the jealousy. So many of us on a conscious spiritual path don’t want to acknowledge our unhappy emotions or petty thoughts because it seems like they are showing us that we aren’t as evolved as we hoped we were. My ego does not enjoy these reminders that I am still growing, waking up, and that I haven’t yet “arrived” at total enlightenment. But these negative emotions can be wonderful friends and helpers when we remember to say thank you (and also to laugh at ourselves…just a little).
“‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” Alice Walker