This morning I said to Erin, “I don’t see how to become jealous. I mean… even if I wanted to try being jealous, how would I even do that?”
Then I suggested, “Let’s be jealous of each other for one day. We’ll try it out to see what it’s like. It could be fun!”
Neither of us had a clue as to how we’d actually pull this off.
I can’t recall a single instance of a jealous reaction from either of us throughout our entire relationship. It just never arises.
Consequently, Erin and I know from experience that it’s entirely possible to enjoy a loving relationship with zero jealousy… at least during the first 15 years together.
Can anyone teach us how to become jealous of each other? What are the steps? What do you have to think, say, or do in order to whip yourself into a jealous frenzy?
If Erin and I wanted to implement our one-day jealousy trial, how would we do that?
Temba, his arms wide.
(If you aren’t a Trekkie, just ignore that last line. Then go on about your sad existence.)
Perhaps if you can walk me through how you become jealous, it will raise your awareness of how you’re doing it to yourself.
How would this play out if one of us actually did become jealous? I guess our conversation would go something like this. Take note that we’ve never done this, so I’m just making this up as we go along.
Steve: Dammit, Erin. I’m jealous! You need to stop doing X, Y, and Z, so I can feel better.
Erin: Awww… are you feeling unloved?
Steve: Well, yes — and it’s all your fault!
Erin: What’s making you feel unloved, darling?
Steve: I feel unloved when you do X, Y, and Z. It makes me think you don’t care about me.
Erin: That’s so sweet to know that you care about our relationship. I really care about you too.
Steve: Ok, that’s nice, but I still need you to stop doing X, Y, and Z. It bothers me.
Erin: What about it bothers you?
Steve: I’m worried that you’ll leave me, and then I’ll be all alone.
Erin: So you worry that if we broke up, you’d feel unloved. And so you see my actions as a threat to your being able to feel loved and connected.
Steve: Yeah, pretty much.
Erin: So you’re looking to me to receive conditional love. In order for you to feel loved, I have to meet your conditions.
Steve: Yes, that sounds about right.
Erin: So even when those conditions are met, you’ll still be a bit worried because if something happens, it could mean a loss of love for you.
Steve: Yes, that worries me very much.
Erin: What would happen if you always knew you were loved no matter what?
Steve: Shaka, when the walls fell.
Erin: Go on…
Steve: I’d never be jealous. I wouldn’t need to get love from you all the time because I’d know I was loved no matter what you did.
Erin: So why not accept that you’re loved no matter what? Then our lives will be much easier, and no one will ever get jealous.
Steve: Sounds good in theory. But what do I do when I’m not feeling loved?
Erin: You can tune into Source and hold the intention to feel unconditionally loved. Or you could just decide to love yourself no matter what.
Steve: I guess I could do that. That doesn’t sound that hard. But it would help if you could reassure me now and then that I’m still loved.
Erin: Sure, I’d be happy to do that.
Steve: Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra!
Whose permission do you need to love yourself unconditionally? Only your own. So why withhold it? The decision is pretty simple, isn’t it? Love yourself no matter what. Go to a mirror, take a good look at yourself, and say, “I love me!”
If you prefer tuning into God, Source, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster for unconditional love, go for it. Whatever floats your boat.
Erin and I know that no matter what happens, we’re both unconditionally loved. So we don’t have to claw at each other for conditional love. We assume the love is always there.
We don’t need love directly from each other. It’s nice to have of course, but it’s not a requirement. Every day we’re bathed in love. It’s everywhere. It’s unavoidable.
The reason we can’t create jealousy is that we can’t escape unconditional love. We can’t run or hide from it. Love is a constant in our lives. The only way for us to become jealous would be to turn our backs on unconditional love or to pretend it doesn’t exist, and that seems like a pretty lame idea.
Another thing you can do is become unconditionally loving. If you don’t feel you can totally love yourself, warts and all, then try loving someone else. Take that crusty old heart, and squeeze as much juice out of it as you can.
Love your friends and family. Love strangers. Love those who hurt you. Love everyone. Love everything. Realize we’re all one and that separation is an illusion.
If you’ve got it really bad, go out in nature and love a flower. Love a tree. Love the animals. Love the insects. They won’t bite… hopefully.
Worst case, don’t try to tell me you can’t love a cute, fluffy cat.
The more love you allow to flow out of you, the more love you have flowing back to you. Love loves to flow.
No matter what you say or do, know that you’re still loved. Same goes for anything your partner says or does.