Can feelings of envy uncover our deepest needs? That's the question that set me on an unexpected journey, revealing a longing for deeper connections with other women. In this episode I share my personal exploration into the realms of envy and jealousy and I unravel how we often misinterpret our feelings, and how acknowledging our true desires can actually help us grow.
We often associate selfishness with guilt and unworthiness, especially when it comes to women prioritizing their needs. But what if we reframe this perspective? Imagine if recognizing and acting on our heart's desires was seen as a gift, not just for ourselves, but for others too. We have the potential to inspire those around us and break free from societal expectations. Tune in and let's redefine the narrative around envy, jealousy, and selfishness together.
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Full Episode Transcript:
If you're going through a divorce and you've made your way to this podcast, you are in the right place. This is Becoming you Again, episode number 125. Welcome to Becoming you Again, the podcast to help you with your mental and emotional well-being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the grief and trauma of your divorce. We're going to do that by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life, so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. Welcome back to the podcast. My friends, I am so glad to be here with you today. I've been thinking about this episode for a couple of weeks and I finally just decided it's time. It's time to do this episode on embracing jealousy embracing envy. I haven't actually quite decided on what the title is going to be, but I definitely know the topic. It is envy, it is jealousy, and I think that for most of the people who listen to this podcast who I know my audience is mostly women I think that this podcast is going to offer you some insight that perhaps you haven't been exposed to yet. At least, I hope that's what you get from this. So let me just start off with my own coaching experience that I had a few months ago. I was in a session with my coach because, yes, I also have a coach. I think that every human being needs to have a coach or a therapist or someone in their corner, but that is off topic. But I was in a session with my coach and I really wanted to work through some things, some envy, some jealousy that I was feeling toward one of my female family members and I was talking about this with my coach and I had relayed to my coach that me and this female family member, we had both been offered the opportunity or like invited, to go to a women's retreat in France. That was going to be for an entire week and it was like coming up in a couple of months and she texted me and she had asked if I was planning on going and I told her I really would love to go. It sounds literally incredible, amazing. I just don't think I'm going to be able to make it work. And she immediately texted back and said almost the exact same thing. She was like, yeah, I think it would be awesome too, but I also don't think I'm going to be able to make it work, texted about some other things, kind of left the decision at that. So I'm assuming this whole time that she also isn't going to go. Jump ahead a couple of months and I am on Instagram and I see a post about this woman's retreat and I see that she's tagged in the post as someone who is going to the retreat, and I immediately feel shook. I was devastated. This kind of sounds like. As I'm explaining it, some of you might be like who cares? Like what does this even matter? But in that moment, when I found out that she was planning on going to the retreat when she had previously told me that she wasn't I I felt so devastated, I felt betrayed. I felt like she lied to me. And this is what I'm telling my coach. Right, I'm telling her all these things that I was feeling in the moment and these feelings were coming back up for me. I was upset, I was completely jealous that she got to be there and that I didn't, and so I'm I'm actually starting to cry as I'm talking about this with my coach. I'm feeling all the emotions and I don't want to feel this way. I don't want to feel these feelings directed toward my family member. I love her, I think she's amazing and I don't want to feel this way, which is literally why I was bringing it up with my coach, so that I could work through some things. And so my coach is asking me questions and we're kind of digging into my thoughts and my feelings and taking moments to kind of breathe and ground myself and look at things from another perspective and really dig deeper into why I might be feeling this way. And through all of that, through all of the questioning and the coaching and the non-judgmental curiosity that we were able to do in this coaching session, it became very clear to me that what was really going on was so much deeper than the surface envy or the surface jealousy that I was feeling toward my family member. What I really was desperate for was deep female connection, and it was something that I wasn't giving to myself and I haven't been giving to myself for quite a while. What I was feeling wasn't really about her going to the retreat. It wasn't about her changing her mind. It wasn't about her not telling me, it wasn't about me thinking that she lied to me. It really had nothing to do with her, her decisions, her actions, her questions, her texts at all. It was all about my desire for moments of deep connection to friends, to other women, and this is something that I really recognize that I have been missing from my life lately, like if I think back to when I first got divorced seven-ish years ago, and for those first few years after the divorce, I really made it a point to schedule time with my girlfriends, with other women, quite often. It was like at least once a month, and oftentimes even more than that, where we would go away on girls' weekends or we would go to dinner, or we would go get drinks, or we'd go to movies, or we would go shopping or we would take painting classes together or go see live shows of podcasts that we loved together. We did so many fun, amazing things and I really got that connectedness that I have been seeking. I craved that connection and I really went out of my way to make that a part of my life. And then I think it was probably around the time of COVID, like so many other things in everyone's lives changed right. That was one of the things that obviously I'm not going to be doing, especially when we were in lockdown and everyone was staying in their homes and sheltering in and all of that. And once things started to go back to normalcy, the scheduling, friendship and connection outside of my day to day life really waned and I was missing that on a deep level and I didn't even recognize it. And my reason for telling you this story is to try and help you have a better understanding about what is really happening when you might feel envy or what is really happening when you might feel jealousy toward someone else. And what I really wanted to talk about is how to take a deeper look inside if you find yourself feeling those emotions, because, as I just illustrated, when you feel those things, it's never really about what we think it is on this surface level. There is something deeper that you are wanting, that you are yearning for, that you are not allowing yourself to see or admit or open up to. Because, as women, we have been socialized to ignore our wants. We have been socialized to be a selfless woman who sacrifices her own wanting, her own longing, her own desires for her children, her partner, her church or literally anyone else. And this is so ingrained in us as women that it's even very common for us to condemn and badmouth or heap judgmental opinions on other women who we see putting themselves first. We mask this judgment with a feeling of jealousy, but what's really going on is our inability to know how to pause, feel and diagnose what it is that we are truly wanting in our own life. When we see another woman who has decided that it is normal and natural and actually good to allow her wants to be known and to give herself permission to act on them, we judge them, jump on them, badmouth them and tell them that they're doing it wrong because we aren't allowing ourselves to actually open up to the things that we want. It's almost like that illustration of I've heard this before and I'm probably gonna get it wrong, but I'm gonna try and get it right without looking it up. But it's something about like if you put crabs or maybe it's lobster, but I feel like it's crabs in like a pot together and one of them starts to climb out, the others will pull it back down because it doesn't want it to like get out, doesn't want it to escape. It has to stay in the box, it has to stay with the group, it's not allowed to have its own thing going on. And that's kind of what's happening when we've got jealousy and envy going on and we start bad mouthing and judging other women for really going after their wants, really allowing themselves to put themselves first in situations we don't like that. We're seeing that because we judge ourselves for not doing that for ourselves. But it feels better to judge someone else than to judge ourselves, so we'll judge someone else and try and pull them back in. Hopefully that analogy made sense. I'm not sure if it did, but all right, we're just gonna go with it. But I think that it really makes sense that we pile judgment and opinions on other women, because a woman who allows herself to go after things that she wants is deemed selfish by society. If we see a woman who's doing something that she wants, who is putting herself first, we judge her as selfish. I can't believe she's choosing that. I can't believe that she would choose her job over her children, and we deem her as bad and wrong. I can't even tell you how many women I have coached over feeling selfish for wanting to have a job that they enjoy, feeling selfish for taking a night off from their parenting duties and going out with friends. For feeling selfish for taking a vacation without their kids. For feeling selfish for getting divorced because they want to be happy or in a more balanced, loving relationship. The world makes it clear that a woman's role is to be selfless and devoted to the advancement and raising of our children, and a man's role, well, it's to have a job that they love and it's to have hobbies that keep them entertained. And if the family falls in there somewhere, great, we'll fit them in somewhere. But they're not the first priority, like a woman's role is. But I wanna just question that for a minute. Because what if being selfish, instead of it being bad and wrong, especially for women? But what if being selfish and I'm talking about selfish in society's term for it right? What if we looked at it in a different way? What if, when you are being thoughtful about giving yourself permission to put yourself first? What if that didn't actually make you bad or wrong? What if it were possible that recognizing and accepting your deepest heart's desires was actually the most selfless thing that you could do? What if, when you allowed yourself to know what it is that you want and then you make room in your life for those wants, you then were an example to the other women in your life, the other men in your life, the other children if you have them in your life. As it's a good thing to have wants, as it's a good thing to open yourself up to getting to know yourself better, as it's a good thing to go after these wants because when you do, you are whole and you are more complete, which gives unvoiced permission to your kids, to the people in your sphere, to the other people in the world the ability to also be whole and complete and to let them know that that too, is okay. Carl Jung has said that nothing is more influential in a child's life than the unlived life of a parent. Wow, let that sink in for a minute. How many women feel like we have unlived lives? So many. I coach so many women on this. This is exactly how I felt when I was in my marriage. I felt like I had an unlived life that I really wanted to explore. I had wants deep inside of me that for years I did not give myself permission to go after, to understand, to explore. We've had enough moms influencing their children by stifling their own desires and calling it jealousy when they see someone else who's going after it. Let's break this intergenerational pattern by actually accepting that jealousy or envy is a gateway to knowledge that there is a deeper Want, a deeper desire inside of you and that you truly are allowed to want it, to recognize it, to explore it and to bring it into your life. So the point of all of this is to acknowledge that it is perfectly okay good even for you to have wants, to begin to recognize those moments when you are feeling jealousy, when you're feeling envious toward a friend or a co-worker, or that mom that you see on the drop-off or that lady on Instagram. When that happens and you feel those feelings kind of rush in and you feel the tightness in your chest or you feel the heat to your cheeks or whatever it feels like when you feel jealousy, when you feel envious, get curious. What could really be going on underneath that jealousy and that envy? What is it that you're truly wanting that you haven't voiced or that you're glossing over in the name of sticking with the status quo, staying in line with those societal norms? The more open you are to understanding what's really going on for you, the more you will open yourself up to possibility and allowing your wanting to come through. I mean, this is just like me and my example at the beginning of this episode. Once I opened myself up to understanding what I really wanted, what was really happening underneath that jealousy, I was able to open myself up to the possibility of allowing my wants to come through. A week or so after that coaching session, I signed up for a women's day retreat. That was held just a few weeks ago and it was such an incredible, uplifting, fulfilling and lightening beautiful experience. I loved it and it was something that I really needed. It was incredibly healing for me and, literally like the next day, one of my really good friends texted me and invited me to join her books and booze book club, which I emphatically said yes to. I haven't been in a book club for years and I'm so excited to go to the first meeting in a couple of weeks, and I have been intentionally scheduling time every few weeks to meet with a few of my neighbors and talk and spend time together and just enjoy one another's company. I have allowed some of my wants to enter my life again and I'm loving it. Now it's your turn. Thank you so much for listening. I will talk to you next week. Hi, friend, I'm so glad you're here and thanks for listening. I wanted to let you know that if you're wanting more, a way to make deeper, more lasting change, then working one-on-one with me as your coach may be exactly what you need. Together, we'll take everything you're learning in the podcast and implement it in your life, with weekly coaching, real-life practice and practical guidance. To learn more about how to work with me one-on-one, go to KarinNelsonCoaching dot com. That's wwwKARINNELSNCoaching dot com. Thanks for listening. If this podcast agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give me a rating. Wherever you listen to podcasts and for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married. Make sure and check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.