Spiritual Jealousy is a real thing in the Spiritual community and a very uncomfortable conversation. Be it in any community – Spiritual, Jewish, Christian and even eastern traditions. It happens in groups, associations, assemblies and churches. This is an ugly reality we face walking a true Spiritual path, the jealousy of others. Not to say that we do not experience moments of jealousy of others ourselves.
Personally I am not beyond bouts of jealousy, I don’t strive to be. There are spiritual teachings it graciously offers if I am willing to face it and move on. There are problems that are created by ignoring it. We will amplify the feelings of shame, fear, anger, sadness, depression, insecurity, pretending, over-compensating and unnecessary stress. I have learned to sit with my jealousy and allow myself to understand where and why it is appearing in my life. Often it is an important lesson, which when you are not careful it can repeat itself over and over again. You too may benefit from taking a step back from the situation.
Spiritual Jealousy Directed at You
Today I want to talk about ways to deal with jealousy directed at you. Victim might be a strong word, but I understand that you can be going along doing your Spiritual thing only to find that someone starts directing negativity in your direction. They may be overtly wishing you to fail, talking about you behind your back or working at ways to make you look bad in the eyes of others. They will do everything they can to drive you away so they can shine.
Spiritual jealousy is a reality that we face within our faith journeys. Some of you may understand to what it is that I’m alluding. Nevertheless, I feel that it is necessary to discuss this matter because right now I am experiencing it first hand. Guess, what it is not the first or second time either. I have had conversations with other Spiritual people that are experiencing the exact same thing.
You see, when you walk in concert with Spirit in the purest way, wonderful things happen for you. It isn’t how long you have practiced but the purity of your practice that matters. Someone who studies for years with a poor or less than pure connection to Spirit can become easily jealous of someone just opening up and able to connect far better with Spirit.
Instead of clapping for them they become angry that it has not happened for them. In reality it is just a matter of putting the work in to build that connection. Sometimes they many lack patience to do.
How to Cope with Spiritual Jealousy
I want you to see jealousy the gift of awareness and self-discovery. When we see it in ourselves it is a place to grow. The same can be true when you are dealing with the jealousy of others. Understanding that this is about the other person’s limiting beliefs and that there is little we can do about it is an important first step. The hardest thing for you to do is not get into a battle and express yourself positively. To keep doing what you are doing with Spirit. Trusting Spirit to resolve the issue at hand and keeping yourself centered and grounded.
My Church/Group/Circle are the Problem
When we are watching what others have and we are comparing ourselves to them, we are allowing the spirit of jealousy access to our lives. It is finding the balance in our comparisons that is important. It is normal to say “I wish I could do what x does.” or wish that we hold a position of responsibility. What we forget is what others have done to get to that point. Instead of being jealous let it guide you on a path of development so you can do those things.
Gossip, backbiting and pettiness will be evident in a ministry where the spirit of jealousy exists without measures to eliminate it. Early on I decided that my development circles were going to be inclusive and supportive. There have been people that have been asked to not come back for their behavior caused so many problems because they could not function under those conditions.
Combatting Spiritual Jealousy
Believe it or now, it begins with you. How you behave, encourage others and walk your Spiritual path. I am not saying that you completely ignore others behavior. Look for ways to understand what is going on. There may be a lesson for you in the situation. I have learned to have grace in these situations. That walking away quietly and waiting for what Spirit has next for me has been a beautiful gift.
There are times you may have to face it head on. It is those times that someone is being a bully, or doing harm to someone else, or doing things that are against the prescribed doctrine or acceptable behavior — that is when you have to speak up. Otherwise, remove yourself from the experience. Live in the present moment and carry on with your life.
Take stock and keep true to yourself. Don’t allow anyone pull you into the chaos that entertains them. Trust me it may feel very fair as you experience it. Spirit has a way of correcting the situation in ways that will surprise you.