If we would have been walking along and some apple farmer offered us an apple, it would have been a prime opportunity for jealousy in my family to appear. Imagine if a farmer said, "you can have an apple, but the only thing is you have to pick it yourself." So, playing along, I went up and picked an apple for myself because the farmer said we could only pick one and no more. My family of course that would be there in the moment with me would say, "but we didn't get an apple". I would respond, "but all you have to do is pick an apple from the tree."
Regardless, they would have been jealous of my apple that I went and picked from the tree. Even if they could have done the same thing, it didn't matter. They became the victim and it always drove me nuts. They would claim that I was the lucky one and that I had an advantage they did not have.
Throughout my early years, I worked hard during the summer doing all kinds of farm labor work. As a result, I was able to save a lot of money for college and buy my first car. None of this money was handed to me. I had to work hard to get it and push myself far beyond my limits at times. Much of the work was rough, dirty, and difficult, but I did it. I built up a reputation with local farmers that kept me busy in the area we lived.
My family would get jealous of me. They wanted in on the money, not necessarily the work. I still remember asking one of the local farmers when they called me if they wanted my brother to work for them. Of course, they politely said "NO!" we just want you. It was there way of saying much more without saying it. You had to want to do the work to get the money.
When I went to college, I was one of the first in my family to get a degree. Instead of being happy for me, some in my family were extremely jealous of what I had obtained. It was not a degree that was just handed to me. I had to spend a lot of hard hours studying and persevering through days in college that would bring you to your knees. Yet, my family who didn't want to do the same thing, somehow thought I got this handed to me and they should have it handed to them. Of course, the label they would throw at me in disdain was that I was an over-educated college idiot. How nice!
Then when I got my first job, I worked hard at interviews and doing all that I could in negotiating my salary and position. It wasn't like they handed me this nice job. I was qualified for it and worked hard to get it. Yet, since it was not given to them, they thought I was the one that had something shoved up my backside.
Never in my life have I asked for a handout from others. I work extremely hard to get everything I have gotten. I push myself hard and so for others to be jealous, it amazes me to no end. Yes, people have helped me from time to time, but not because of me being jealous.
We all have our own crosses to bear, but jealousy really zaps your own personal power. It takes you off your full potential because you're like one of the cows in the pasture wishing you were in the other pasture. You're giving up your personal power to something that will give you nothing in return.
Sometimes we have to be content with what we have and where we are at. Sometimes, it is all up to the decisions we make, how much we believe in ourselves, and what we are willing to do to make it in life. It is often part of our own personal discovery and narrative in life.
It really isn't about what others do, because their actions have very little to do with the choices we currently make for our life.
Growing up with jealousy in my family was quite annoying. It often led me to holding back on sharing with them things that were happening. I just wanted them to be happy, not jealous for me. After all, I had the daily battle scars to show just how difficult it was to obtain some of what I have in life.
Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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