Posted by: scintillatingspeck | July 6, 2013

Jealousy, and a little poll.

If I started writing a blog post right now, would you want it to be about:
a) my current attitude towards Doom,
b) some recent, powerful insights I had in the wake of a small bout of jealousy, or
c) musings on why I think I, and people of similar personality/temperament, benefit from social media and shape it to our own purposes?

That’s what I posted to Facebook this evening, and the responses added up to: write about everything.  Any editor would cringe.  Me, I’m game to do just about anything it takes to sit still and write, while offering a smattering of readers the illusion of choice (because, as you and I know so well, whatever wants to come out will come out, somehow, lyrically or sludgily, or both, and Blogarella here isn’t harboring illusions of choice, either).

Shall I begin with jealousy?  I shall, because it’s hard, and diving into the froth of that experience can rival Doom for the immediacy of fear and overwhelm, and because it all started through social media.  So there: I’m tying all those topics in a bow for you, which will rapidly fray around the jagged edges.

Without getting into too much gory detail, the source of my pangs of jealousy was a very short comment by a stranger on a friend’s thread on Facebook a few days ago.  I don’t ordinarily experience myself as jealous, so it took me by surprise.  Suddenly, a hot rush of fear and anger came over me, and I tried to push it away, feeling ashamed at being jealous in the first place.  However, I had a substantial drive ahead of me, with several hours of unavoidable contemplation time, and I decided to view it as an opportunity for growth.  (While gritting my teeth, and then consciously walking myself through it, my observer self accompanying my in-the-thick-of-it, fractious self.)  It was not a horrible experience.  Indeed, it ended up feeling beautiful.

I examined what had happened.  What words had triggered me, and what parts had I just embellished and imagined?  I was triggered by the words of a stranger who knew nothing of me and my life, and was not addressing me, but rather some other friends of mine.  She meant me no harm, I’m quite sure, but her words brought up a sudden gush of insecurity, a fear that I would lose cherished attention, a fear that I would never be good enough, a fear that I couldn’t possibly measure up as a writer, a fear of not being attractive enough, and a flash of possessiveness that disturbed me.  Whew, all that, in the space of a short sentence or two!  Writing about it now, the heat rises up in my face, and I experience it all again.  And this is the part that makes all the difference: I stay with it.  I don’t run from it.  I let it teach me what I need to learn.  It transmutes, magically, into a benevolent guide, if I let it.

This is the landscape that Jealousy wanted me to walk through:
Wow, you are really afraid, aren’t you.  You’ve been so happy, so much more confident, so full of love, and the prospect of that shifting or changing is terrifying to you.  Do you realize you are handing those sweet, strong feelings over to others to safeguard, looking at it in that way?  Attention is nice, but you can never count on it to be the ground beneath your feet.  Attention is always a bonus; a glorious, rapturous gift, something neither owed nor possessed.  Nobody can make you feel worthy.  When you cling to the idea of not being good enough, you are clinging to an illusion of control: the idea that if only you worked harder, you could be better, more worthy; if only you weren’t lazy, if only you put in the necessary effort, then you would be loved and okay.  It doesn’t work that way.  You are complete the way you are, flawed, mortal, with a much-less-than-perfect body, much-less-than-perfect collection of writings, messy feelings erupting all over the place, a disorganized house, a disorganized life– and all the astonishing beauty that only you can express through your singular being.  It’s more of a relaxing-into than a battling-against sort of effort that you must engage in now.  You must relinquish the beliefs that hold you back.  And possession!  If someone, anyone, is paying attention to you, offering any degree of friendship and love, it’s what they choose to do.  You can’t lay claim to it.  You can’t put it in a bank.  You have been so delighted, so amazed by the joyous cycle of giving freely and receiving freely– you know that the vestiges of possession, ownership, soaked into your skin by culture, tilt the axis of that cycle towards fear, scarcity and greed.  It doesn’t have to be that way, and you know it.  You live it.  All you have to do is remember.

My breathing deepened, my heartbeat slowed.  When I stopped driving, my body knew what to do: I picked black raspberries, alone, absorbed in my beloved task, bare feet on the earth, arms bitten by thorns, not needing to impress anyone, not needing anything but the quiet, the purple juice, my own certainty.

I’m not sure I can write more, tonight.  There’s always more, isn’t there.  I’ll attempt to address the other topics soon.



  1. […] keeping with my promise to write about it here, I’m returning to the subject of Doom.  For those unfamiliar with this shorthand, Doom, in […]

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