Saturday, June 28, 2008

Jealousy, Envy, and Why I Left the Rant

I posted a rant post last night, part of my personal therapy, I suppose. A few hours later, I pulled the post, feeling like I was at the prom and had just discovered the back of my dress was tucked into my pantyhose.

But today, I put it back.

And here's why.

One of the support groups that helped me get well has this saying "sharing our encouragement strength and hope". That's why I started this blog. To tell my evolving redemption st0ry and to have a place to post my aha! moments. Like I've said before, I am redeemed, and I cannot shut up about it.

So I had said from the start that this blog would have no rants. That I would get my shit togther offline and tell y'all about it later. I made an exception last night, and I have decided to let it stand. My reason for leaving a post up that makes me look like I have my prom gown stuck in my pantyhose? Jealousy.

Jealousy?

Yeah. Let me explain. I received an email from someone I care about, a girlfriend I've known for a little over a year telling me basically "don't call me I'll call you I can't stand being around you anymore because you have everything I want and I'm so jealous I just can't stand it anymore."

I actually didn't feel angered or hurt by this. I felt a profound respect for her. Because I've been there. And mercy is contagious.

I believe there are two kinds of jealousy.

Envy-which says the only good in the world is the good I do not have therefore I will stew in resentment and misery
Desire for more-which says I really want what they have enough that I will get honest with God and another human being about my desire and I will do whatever it takes to have what I desire, one good choice at a time.

So that's why I tattled on myself. Let the rant stand. Because I wanted to show that living alive to pleasure received through the senses and committed to enjoying my man and being enjoyed by him for life sometimes isn't easy. And really, most of the time, the problem is between my two ears. My own thoughts. My own attitudes. My own choices. Something can happen that rocks my confidence, and then I open my own mouth in griping and helpless tantrum anger and make the situation oh so much worse. Which is what I did last night. Chuck Swindoll said "perfectionists are people who take pains—and then give them to other people." Sigh. Raise my right hand. Yep. Here I am exhibit A.

So what happened?

What choices did I make between my fit of woes at 10:30 last night and 9am this morning?

Well, I made a few good choices.

I got honest with God, myself and another human being.

I spilled out my wrath onto the page and asked a few of my girlfriends to read it and pray for me. God, that's what I love about online community. Someone is awake and online somewhere at 10:30pm. I even did what might seem risky or downright foolish. But when desperation trumps pride it's amazing what you'll do to get well. I called my Mom. At 10:30 at night, I called her. I knew they'd be awake, and they were. Eating popcorn and watching a movie with Beloved Child. I told her, "Mom, I screwed up and I want you to pray for me. I had sucky nonexistent boundaries and so I spent what was supposed to be dinner with my husband talking with my mother about my office which I had gone to the salon in a valiant attempt to ignore. Because I didn't want to think about work this weekend. It's totally my fault. You did nothing wrong. It's my deal. I just want to ask you to pray for me because I am really mad at myself for not speaking up. Because I know you and I know you know wives and mamas need Grandma babysitters for a reason. And if I had said "Mom I really want dinner with just my husband tonight" you would have whisked Beloved Child away and bought him a burger on the way to your house. But I didn't. And I'm really mad at myself." "Is your husband mad at you?" "NO! It's me. It's my dumb choice and it's me who's angry at me. Will you pray for me?" And she did. Then she said "you can go have fun tonight. You can forgive yourself. You can do that."

My sweet girlfriend who was awake at 10:30pm and online sent me the sweetest email that said, "Quote >>
And when I'm angry at myself in close proximity to Delighted Husband, it sounds like I'm angry at him. But I'm not. I'm angry AT myself NEAR him.
<< Quote

I hear you. I'm so sorry that the conditioned "yes" response escaped your lips! BTDT. I feel your pain tonight, I really do. You'll do better next time!!!"

It meant the WORLD to me. I began to feel like "Hey Miss Girl. Snap out of it. Forgive yourself. Your unforgiveness toward yourself is hurting your husband. Get off the cross! Somebody needs the wood!"

I walked over to the microwave where I have this little quote from The Message. "Bridle your wrath, cool your pipes. It only makes things worse."

So I crept back to bed. Snuggled up to Delighted Husband and whispered an apology into his shoulder blade. "Did you really have a tantrum and talk all mean and angry, honey? I thought it was just a bad dream."
Ack!
Thus began a second helping of humble pie. My sincere apology. I began to pet and stroke his hair. And with every happy murmur he made, I felt my tension release. I forgave myself my little boundary boo-boo. I forgave myself for my fit of anger towards myself. I can be so mean to myself. And it makes me so mean to the people who love me. Shit rolls downhill.

Why am I telling y'all this?

Because I want you to know that the love I have with Delighted Husband is real. And sometimes hard work. And anything good I have. Anything good I have to share with y'all is mine because of the grace of God, the love and support of some healthy loving friendships, and my one good choice at a time.

Don't be jealous of my life.
Go build your own. One good choice at a time.
I'm just a regular girl who has made a series of good choices and has been humble enough to backtrack my bad choices and let myself be loved in spite of them.
Nobody (besides yourself) will be happier for you than me. Because I will know how much it cost you. And I will celebrate you and respect you so much. Every little victory matters so much.

Lordy! I hope this comes out right. I'm afraid it might sound uppity, but there I am with my prom dress tucked into my pantyhose and there's nothing haughty about that! (smile shaking head rolling my eyes) What I am trying to say is I love y'all, and I want you to be well. Almost as much as I want my self to be well. And I've recieved so much love from this online community. So much support for my halting steps toward good choices. I feel it's the least I can do to tattle on myself and let you know how your love and prayers have made such a difference in my life and marriage.

If this made any sense to you whatever, please have mercy on me and let me know. A girl likes to think she didn't bare her pantyhose for nothin! (laugh)
Love,
SW

7 comments:

Cahleen 何凱琳 said...

You know, sometimes you just need to rant. I appreciate the fact that you left it up. It helps to know someone more when you can see all sides of them. We all get our prom gown stuck in our pantyhose sometimes! Thanks for putting it all out on the table!

Who am I said...

Dear SW,

I sure appreciate you sharing the last three posts.

Several thoughts.

A. I am 50 years old, and my Mother can still trigger all sorts of feelings from childhood in me, lots of times unintentionally.

B. Sometimes I do misinterpret my wife's anger at others, or anger at herself, as anger at me- which makes the mess bigger. Need to be more clued in- to which it really is.

C. I as a husband have at times so tried so hard to be her romantic, knight in shining armor, hoping that she would swoon for me, and then screwed it up myself, by not clueing into her, or making an insensitive comment, or looking a second too long at the girl across the room- or whatever. So frustrating when I do stuff like that in spite of my best efforts.

D. The reason I appreciate you sharing the ups and downs is that I get a more whole picture of you.
On The Marriage Bed, the format is great for getting alot of broad insight on one topic, but unless you spend alot of time, reading multiple topics, it is harder to get a good view of one person's ups and downs. Seeing other women's ups and downs as they strive to be better lovers for their husbands, helps me appreciate my wife's efforts even more and to have patience.

E. I really liked the bit about jealousy, vs. envy- very helpful insight. I am jealous of the sexual passion and desire that you have for your husband. I wish my wife had more of that level for me. I am inspired by reading this and other stuff, to keep on being more of a man that is worth someone being passionate about, and praying for God, to help her also.

Cocotte said...

SW,

It takes most of us many years to learn to say "No"......whether it be no to working at the church bake sale, no to helping out at yet another school holiday party, or no thanks to food that is offered that you just don't like! Saying "No" is just a hard thing to do, despite what our kids might think - LOL!

And then, it takes years after that to stop feeling guilty that did say "No" to all those people. I'm still working on these issues, just like everyone else.

I give you credit for admitting it to your mom. That is something I would have a really hard time doing.

Eleutheros said...

"Don't be jealous of my life.
Go build your own. One good choice at a time.
I'm just a regular girl who has made a series of good choices and has been humble enough to backtrack my bad choices and let myself be loved in spite of them.
Nobody (besides yourself) will be happier for you than me. Because I will know how much it cost you. And I will celebrate you and respect you so much. Every little victory matters so much."

It's no wonder to me that Wisdom is personified as a woman, excuse me, a good woman, in the Proverbs.

There is also an apocryphal book called Ecclesiasticus. I quote from it:
"Happy is the man who meditates on Wisdom and reasons with good sense, who studies her ways in his heart and ponders her secrets." 14:20-23

You are good to meditate on, SW. For all humans.

Glad to know you,

Dennis!

Mr. Practical said...

It's good that you are learning boundaries while you are young, dear girl. It's also good that your mother can respect your boundaries, and can respect you when you have to tell her about the boundaries she unwittingly violated. I am much older and yet I have to keep a thousand miles between my mother and me in order to be able to defend my boundaries without shattering her soul into bits. God bless!

Sensuous Wife said...

I've been away from much computer access lately so it's a real treat to have this many comments to respond to.

First of all, Mr. Practical, you can call me young dear girl any time you like! I'm flattered!

Elyew, you have this talent for finding and bringing out the best in me. Thank God for you.

Cocotte, your BTDT girlfriend affirmation was a real balm. You're wonderful!

WAI, wow I always get so much depth from your comments. The time you spend thinking about the topics I raise and then offering a thoughtful reply really honors me. It makes me happy to know that something I wrote inspired someone to be hungry and thirsty for more in their own life.

And cahleen, my china-livin' friend, you have my undying gratitude for giving me the prom gown in the pantyhose solidarity right in the midst of my situation. Love ya, girl!

Sensuous Wife said...

Oh and mr practical, thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one who struggles with boundary issues with my mom. I hope my kids don't have to go through that with me.