put the feeling in your hands

Jealousy is something I don't handle well. It is quick to transmute into shame and shame is something my brain is triggered to sink its teeth into whenever it has the chance.

This morning I did some things that were bad for me. I snooped around when I should have minded my own business. I compared myself to people who I don't even know, living their lives in completely different universes than me. I pitted myself against people in my own head who, probably, like me, didn't have anything to gain from it. Immediate joys in my life were put aside to make time for self-sabotage. The world has been on pause for a year, yet I still punish myself for not being "where I should be", whatever fictional place or time that may be. I staunchly refuse to act as if the pandemic is getting better and ignore health guidelines, yet I continue to be jealous of those who are "succeeding" by having no such refusal. 

Why am I like this? 

My therapist says that when I don't let myself feel my feelings, or when I ascribe an opinion or judgement to my feeling, I'm creating a breeding ground for shame. My feelings are not indicative of who I am. They do not make me good, or bad, or anything other than a complex, imperfect human being. Feelings are responses that can come from a million different things, but they are there to act as signals. I know that all my feelings are trying to do is keep me in tune with myself, for better or for worse. My therapist says we "name it to tame it" - that taking these feelings as they are is the best way to move through them. That is what I do. 

I pluck Jealousy out of my head. It is lodged deep, through skin and bone and brain matter. I am full of hiding places. Singling it out carefully, in order to keep it preserved. I want to face it as-is. It sits in the palm of my hand, bare, trembling. Weak on its own. It cannot latch on to anger or spite or despair. Under my spotlight it cannot transmute into shame. Just Jealousy and I, what's left, two parts of the same whole. I can see how fragile it is when all alone. It is almost pathetic on its own. The longer I look at it, the sorrier I feel. The more I notice legs shaking under the weight of reason. Jealousy does not stand well on its own.

This feeling and I are one in the same. I look down at Jealousy extracted like a stranger, but I know it is a part of me. What do I tell it? What do I tell myself?

Listen, I know you are hurting. I see you. I see that you tremble because your heart feels weak. I know you wish that what belongs to others belonged to you, and I know it is not because you lack gratitude. You lack love. Love for yourself, for where you're at, as you are. You might be early in some journeys, but you have conquered miles in others. I know you are searching for a distraction - something to take away from your fear, your insecurities. But feeling weakness does not mean you aren't where you should be. I think it means you should take some time for where you are now. 

I make amends with Jealousy. I let it stay so it can leave. I hold it in my hand and it thanks me. I thank it in return.