I seem to repeatedly describe myself as someone who doesn’t experience jealousy. For a long time, I questioned what must’ve been wrong with me when I didn’t identify with my peers who were becoming shockingly violent when their boyfriends liked someone else’s photo. Why didn’t I care as they did?
When I discovered kink and polyamory, I found the ironic beauty in my inability to feel envious and have since discussed it with many people.
Recently, I realised that this “inability” – as I was deeming it – was actually a conscious choice, most likely to avoid the painful tinge of resentment and envy.
So I think it’s time I explained here how and why I prioritise this aspect of my mental health and how you can find peace using my methods.
.: Why do I block out jealousy? :.
From a causal point of view, the scope is way too big to define – was I ignored as a child? Or was I given too much attention? I don’t know. Ask Freud. But for now, let’s focus on the benefits!
I block out jealousy actively and consciously because of the mindset I have towards the things that I value.
Let’s take the relatable example of an intimate partner for whom you care for: the appropriate societal rhetoric of sharing this partner’s attention is anger, threats, violence, revenge. I observe these behaviours regularly on social media and in “real life” and it always raises alarm bells for me.
Just to be clear, I am not condoning deception towards a trusted partner where loyalty has been agreed. However, my mindset is not one of ownership but one of appreciation.
When we appreciate the things that are valuable to us with no possessive feelings, we see the value of sharing them with others.
When we are confident that we hold equal value in the other person’s life, the threat of shared intimacy becomes unthreatening. This touches on my journey with Polyamory, more specifically – which I will be documenting in Sex Work: 360.
Living by the assumption that we can only control our own choices and that we are not automatically owed loyalty keeps the heart safe and the head screwed on whilst playing. It also encourages a good understanding that respect is earned and deserved – therefore if you’re not getting it, you either don’t deserve it or are looking in the wrong places for it. Ask yourself which and make a change.
Another massive factor of solving jealousy-related problems is to examine where the source of the problem lies – for you!
More often than not, we ask ourselves why we feel jealous and our mind, in a desperate flea of blame, vilifies the thing or person we care about. This is extremely counter-intuitive and leads to hasty decisions that we may regret later when the dust settles.
As a prominent topic of my meditation sessions, the aim is never to allow the people we care about to treat us with less respect than we deserve or take advantage of our good nature; but to allow us to let go of any feelings of ownership and reprogram our reflexive defence mechanisms.
.: How do you block out jealousy? :.
Our brain’s first attempt at protecting our emotions has proven to be quite poor, so I tore down the defences and rebuilt them.
(Imagine flawless craftswomanship and weatherbeaten crumbling arches.)
The process of this perspective shift has been a little bit of a muddle to navigate. Which is why I wanted to lay out a straight route from green-with-envy to not-a-care-in-the-world!
I like to think of jealousy as a fire in the mind: once the flames start, it invades uncontrollably and only leaves destruction in its path. If we can’t control this fire, we cannot prevent our psyche’s reflexive defences acting up and therefore, we are not in full and unbiased control of our actions.
So here are my top 3 tips for truly letting go of subconscious feelings of possession to allow you to find happiness from within:
There’s a reason this one is first. Absolutely, do not underestimate the power of meditation. This does not have to be cross-legged with a shit ton of candles making a low humming sound.
Imagine negativity in the mind represents the oxygen that fire needs to consume in order for the flames to grow. The mind, like oxygen, is always there, flowing in the background, doing its job flawlessly and silently. Both the mind and oxygen represent the canvas on which a fire could thrive – if we’re not careful!
Your meditation should be whatever works for you! And if you’re having trouble getting on board? The Headspace app is a great place to start!
See our full explanation of Why Meditation is ESSENTIAL for Sex Workers.
Interesting is the concept of sharing our nearest and dearest. And equally controversial. Realistically (like anything) when done right, polyamory can be beautiful and sustainable. But when done wrong, the results can be heartbreaking.
Having had my share of the great and the awful, polyamory taught me, amongst other things, that love and lust are even more exciting when there’s more of it to go around! With the right people, in the appropriate environment, polyamory is a source of endless fun!
The heat needed to ignite our metaphorical fire is embodied by the emotional heat in my personal previous monogamous relationships and the absence of that heat is represented by the freedom that polyamory has given me.
Being kind to yourself
When we feel positive about our image and mindset, we can take on the world!
Realising that jealousy is a self-problem (and therefore 100% solvable) was a revelation for me. When I identified the root of my frustration, I saw issues only with myself and the way that I was treating me.
Low self-esteem represents the petroleum in our metaphorical triad: the most explosive and dangerous of all. And when we let it seep through the cracks, the results can be catastrophic.
.: What Should You Do? :.
Having read thus far, I’m pretty sure you might be thinking about making a change in this area! My main piece of advice would be to focus on the positivity around you – this will help you to shift your perspective in general. As you begin to notice positivity flooding into your life, you will become more resilient to negativity and it will be far easier to let go of exhausting experiences of jealousy, possession and resentment.
Comment to share your top tip to a jealousy-free mind!