Professional Jealousy

The kind female voice prompted me from her California mobile phone this morning. I heard traffic driving by and knew she was sitting in her convertible sports car. “So you experienced jealousy during your convention last week. What is your plan to handle that?”

I lowered my forehead to rest on my left hand. “I don’t have one,” I replied, sitting at my kitchen table in southeast Michigan.

After our conversation ended, I let that thought simmer.

What is my plan to handle flares of jealousy?

I kept asking myself the question, and an hour later I remembered another teacher … named Teresa Romain of “Access Abundance! ™”   who is based in Wisconsin.

In 2008 Teresa taught me jealousy isn’t real.

That’s the most concise way I can describe her lesson. Bear with me for a moment as I explain.

In one sense of the word, jealousy is commonly described as an overwhelming feeling of “I want what she has!” The trophy. The designer jeans. The newest model mobile phone.

But in our coaching session, Teresa required me stop and think. Do I really want HER trophy, with her name written on it? Go even further and imagine that the winner called me to stage in front of several thousand audience members and announced, “I am giving this trophy to Lynn. In fact, I want the nameplate changed to read as her name.” Would that make me the winner of the award?

I answered in all truthfulness: no. Her name would still be recorded in the company history as the award winner, and mine would simply be inscribed on a good looking sculpture of glass and metal.

Teresa prodded further. Did that lady do the work necessary to earn the award? I freely acknowledged she had.

And further, Did I NOT want that lady to win the award?

No, that wasn’t my intention either. A worthy winner should be given the fruits of her accomplishment. For me to argue otherwise means I give permission for people to deny my accomplishments and honors and strip them from me.

Teresa pressed the question: So what does jealousy mean in such a moment?

My best answer is, “I want MY VERSION of that.”

In the intervening years since Teresa’s coaching session, I have learned jealousy is one of the strongest ways the Universe can grab my attention. If I had daydreamed, yearned, even deliberately visioned receiving that honor but had not done the commensurate work, then jealousy can be the proverbial screaming-in-one’s-ear to grab my attention and get me to focus on working toward that goal.

Because truly I wouldn’t want another lady’s designer jeans. (I have long legs and would want to start with a brand-new long-rise pair that would mold themselves to my unique shape.) And I wouldn’t want her to give me her smart phone, because it wouldn’t have the apps and setup I would want.

But I surely want my version. And that’s OK. There’s plenty of room in the Universe for two pairs of jeans and two smart phones.

Their having does not equal forever forbidding mine.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

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