Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Pour Your Heart Out: Jealousy
So, you know that gorgeous, thin mom with the clean house and the perfect clothes who you love to hate? The one who always has the right kind of wipe in her diaper bag and who is involved with all the activities you said you wanted to do and always knows the right thing to say? The one who goes home every night and cries into her pillow because her marriage is falling apart and she hasn't spoken to her mom in years and she forgot to eat all day?
Oh wait, you didn't know that last part, did you? Of course you didn't.
I've seen a lot of posts lately about mean mommies, and overly perfect mommies, and how unfair and dishonest it is when people try to gloss over the hard things about being a mom, the hard things about being a human being on this planet. And I get it. I do. Being honest about that stuff? Is kinda my thing.
But I am also acutely aware that when someone cleans her house or puts on a skirt and makeup to go to the grocery store or gives her child nothing but organic, BPA free homemade food? I am 99.9% sure that it's not about you.
And before we get to the point where I know we're going. Stop. Don't feel guilty. Don't get mad at me. Because this post isn't really about you either. It's about me.
I know how easy it is to feel jealous. I write about and think about this stuff all the time, and I still do it. I look at someone who looks well put together and who is socially competent, and I feel a little crushed. "Oh, that person isn't going to understand me or be able to be my friend. She's perfect."
But you don't know. You never know. Because I'm willing to bet there are people who've looked at me and been jealous. And lordy, who would be jealous of me? I'm a mess.
It's okay to want things that other people have. It's okay to wish you had qualities you admire. It's normal to feel jealous sometimes. It's natural. It's unavoidable. But it sucks.
So, what is the answer?
The answer, as usual, is kindness. Of course it is. It's so easy for us to be kind to people who we see as inferior to us (even though, good God, we'd never admit that). It is infinitely harder to be kind to someone we see as superior to us. And I mean truly, genuinely, authentically kind, not just kissing butt so that you get something in return. I think it may be one of the hardest things in the world.
So don't be jealous of me because I can't do it either. But I'm trying. Let's try it.