Let it go

let it go

God’s greatest, most beautiful gift is pure love, free, unconditional, and untainted by fear or envy.

We’ve all felt jealousy’s sting, but we can refuse to let it into our lives. When jealousy knocks at our door, either from our own spirit or delivered by one who is out to manipulate us, we don’t have to accept the call. We can let it go.

For example, I like to write. But for me, walking down the young adult aisle in any bookstore is almost unbearable. I want my work to be on the shelves. I used to shame myself for these feelings but not anymore. I try to work through them. Of course, I feel the disappointment and the rejection, but I don’t wish any harm toward those who have been blessed. Maybe it’s not my time. Maybe there are more lessons I need to learn.

Sometimes I look through the books and check out the blurbs, the opening lines, the storyline. I try to learn. Then if I just can’t take the feeling, I walk away. I don’t have to stay locked in discomfort. I can leave. I can let it go.

I usually think about how I can change my situation. I could give up, or I could choose another path. Maybe traditional publishing is not for me. Maybe I can work harder. Maybe I can try a different type of writing. Maybe I need to do a better job of networking. But one thing is for sure. Envying these writers is not the answer.

Envy corrodes the beauty of God’s gifts.

As much as I hate the envy the oozes out of myself, I absolutely despise the envy others drop at my feet. I’ll own my own faults, thank you; don’t bring me yours.

I don’t like to be involved in a situation in which someone is jealous of me in a personal or professional relationship. I am an extremely competitive person. I strive to be the best. I played sports. I played hard to win. Challenge me, and I will do whatever it takes to beat you. I fight fair, but I do fight.

But there is no room for “winning” in a friendship or romantic relationship. Evoke jealousy, and everybody loses.

Don’t rub it in in my face that you have a better car, a better home, a better job, or a better love interest. Do that to me, and I will say, “Yay you.” If I feel you are trying to hurt me, I’ll walk away. The sting of jealousy is toxic, but I don’t have to embrace it. I can let it go.

And actually, most of the time, I really do mean “yay, you,” or at least I try to.

Again, unconditional love in friendship or romance means you are–or should be–genuinely happy for the other person’s good fortune.

Truth be told, I am slightly jealous of my older son’s career. When I see him follow his passion and choose his own path, I’m reminded of my regrets and failures. I gave in to other people’s expectations. I didn’t do what my heart told me to do. But then I’m reminded that I raised a successful young man who is soaring. I didn’t ground him. I taught him to fly. He’s independent and doing well. He’s living, not existing.

“Yay, you!”

And I mean it.

Maybe someday I’ll get a second chance. And I’ve have a better chance at a second chance if I don’t let envy corrode the good things that will help me achieve my desires.

I also don’t like it when other people deliberately try to evoke jealousy in me.

Nobody likes walking on eggshells thinking they’ll be replaced–as a friend, as an employee, as a partner.

I make mistakes I’m not a super model. I enjoy Starbucks a little too much, and I don’t exercise enough. I’m a faux pas diva. You don’t have to look far to find someone who is smarter, prettier, wealthier, more graceful, better educated, or skinnier than I am. I want to be loved unconditionally for who I am.

Of course, there isn’t such a thing as too much love, but there is such a thing as too much control, better known as the devil’s love child, aka Obsession.

Obsession isn’t cool. People aren’t objects, and their affection can’t be owned or demanded. Love is a gift, given freely, not coerced through mental, emotional, psychological, or physical manipulation, i.e. abuse.

Either you love somebody or you don’t.

Provoke me to jealousy, and I will say take those wings and fly, baby. Do whatever makes you happy. If you love me, you’ll be back. And if you aren’t, then you never did. But don’t be surprised when you discover I may not be where you left me. I don’t hang around for negativity.

Likewise, if I love you, I’m not going anywhere. I’m your friend for life, and I won’t play games with your emotions to coerce you into to acting in a way you don’t really feel.

Yes, in the case of romance, it feels nice and reassuring to know that the person you care about isn’t nonchalant about rivals moving in on you, but playing mind games is simply out of the question.

Sometimes I do dumb things that I’m unaware I’m doing, but I choose to never, ever, do anything intentionally to make someone I love doubt my affection, my honesty, my love. I do not betray.

If you care about another person, why would you intentionally unravel his or her security by suggesting he or she could be replaced? How cruel is that?

I think parents can do significant damage to their children’s psyche by suggesting that they might love them a little better “if only” they can live up to an older sibling’s or a classmate’s achievements.

So much for the “if only.” True love is unconditional.

Nobody can make you love them. And you can’t make anyone, not even your children, love you, so jealousy is pointless.

Didn’t the most beautiful angel in Heaven fall as a result of his own jealousy? Hey, don’t fall into the trap. Give others, give yourself, the greatest gift of all, unconditional love.

My goal is to be confident that it will all work out the way its supposed to. And should jealousy try to take hold of my heart or situation, by golly, I’m going to just let it go.

dirty feet