Jealousy… a big ugly monster? NOT!

The largest stumbling block for me in the polyamory minefield was jealousy.  I had learned long ago that situations that make you take a long hard look at yourself are not to be avoided but rather viewed as a gift.  They are the vehicles for transformation if one wants to be free. Initially, my way of dealing with my jealousy was to enter into a relationship as a secondary partner, that is with someone who already had a live-in partner or significant other.  Surprisingly, it kept the emotions under control because I felt in control, but I also realized I wasn’t giving it my all.  These were very half-hearted attempts at intimate relating.  When I did get into a primary relationship with a polyamorous man, every time he started to interact with another woman, everything went to hell in a handbasket! The emotions were so strong and I felt so weak in its throes, that I felt completely powerless and out-of-control.  A very horrible feeling of falling into a dark hole took over my being.

I turned to the words of Osho, my life teacher, for some insight:

People think they know what love is – they do not know. And their misunderstanding about love creates jealousy. By love people mean a certain kind of monopoly, some possessiveness – without understanding a simple fact of life: that the moment you possess a living being you have killed him.

Life cannot be possessed. You cannot have it in your fist. If you want to have it, you have to keep your hands open.

But the thing has been going on a wrong path for centuries; it has become ingrained in us so much that we cannot separate love from jealousy. They have become almost one energy.

For example, you feel jealous if your lover goes to another woman. You are disturbed by it now, but I would like to tell you that if you don’t feel jealous you will be in much more trouble – then you will think you don’t love him, because if you loved him you should have felt jealous. Jealousy and love have become so mixed up.

In fact, they are poles apart. A mind that can be jealous cannot be loving, and vice-versa: a mind that is loving cannot be jealous.

Osho, Sermons in Stone, Talk #13

The concept of polyamory was so very appealing to me because living my life in freedom was my priority.  In my experience of going to support groups, I now realize that I was trying to work out the dichotomy between the concept of polyamory that so fit with my values and the reality that caused such an upheaval of frightening emotions. For years I struggled with this, wavering on the fence with monogamy on one side and polyamory on the other.

In a poly support group it was suggested to me to see my jealousy as insecurities.  It did seem to turn things around.  In jealousy, I was looking toward the other woman as a threat. She was obviously prettier, sexier, more intelligent, more interesting….on and on, and my partner was going to leave me for her and other thoughts that the mind conjures up.  With “insecurity”, it brought my attention back to myself. These were the old bugaboos that reside inside of me… that I’m not pretty enough, not sexy enough, etc. etc.  A huge difference, because then I knew where to look, inside myself.  Taking responsibility for one’s thoughts and feelings is the first huge step in changing oneself.  It was actually such a relief, because if I created the thoughts that created the feelings, then I could also let those same thoughts go, dissolve.

  • First step was deciding what was my intention in all of this…   my intention was to create more peace and love for myself, my partner and those we interacted with.
  • Second step was recognizing the thoughts and feelings that were arising that weren’t in alignment with my intention and be willing to deal with them through catharsis, meditation, humor, exaggeration and any other method that worked for me.
  • Third step was seeing the changes in thoughts and feelings that take place
  • Fourth step was enjoying my own space, my own life

Just to give an example, I remember feeling like a miserable victim one time when my partner was out with another love interest.  I decided to exaggerate my feelings by walking around with my head hanging very low, my face in a scowl.  I used a full-length mirror so I could both be actor and audience.  I encouraged myself to get more and more into this role until I just had to start laughing at myself.  When we can laugh at ourselves, it’s a very good sign that change is happening.

This entry was posted in Emotional Self-Examination, Intimacy, Jealousy, Relationships and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Jealousy… a big ugly monster? NOT!

  1. Jealously is such a relevant issue, no matter what kind of relationship we are in. Osho offers such wisdom on the topic. I love his work as well.

    Jealously only exists when we see ourselvs in comparision to others. When we stop making comparisions there is no fuel for that particular fire. When we free ourselves from the bondage of jealously and the fear it creates, we free ourselves and our partner. It is often the absence of jealously the pulls our partner to us, and the impact of jealously that pushes them away.

    When we can have our feelings but not let our feelings have us, we are much closer to living freely. We often make the mistake that if we have feelings about something than our thoughts related to that feeling must be true. But they are not true. Our thoughts are our thoughts and our feelings are our feelings.

    Thank you for sharing yourself in your writings.

    • Naima says:

      Thank you for bringing up the subject of comparison. It seems to me that “comparison” is something that the mind likes to play with when it comes to people, this one is prettier, this one is smarter. but by whose standards. Then, of course, there is someone who is uglier and stupider. I’ve come to enjoy people in their individuality and their uniqueness, to look for what stands out rather than what is lacking and also am able to recognize my own unique wonderful qualities. What a gift it is to enjoy the wonder of our own being and those that come into our lives in so many diverse ways.

  2. mojogal says:

    Very thoughtful and relevant. Thank you so much for creating space for this important dialogue. I’m grateful for your wisdom. Looking forward to more!

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