Forgiveness is a Verb and Jealousy is Not Love

How do I forgive? Many people ask me about forgiveness. They read that they just have to make a choice to let go, they think that they just decide to do one day and the weight is lifted. They try this, they intend to let go, and they feel peace.  But then later that day, the next day, or the next week, it comes back.  Why? They wonder, But I let it go? Why is it back I must have not gotten it right.  Or, It doesn’t work for me. Or, something is wrong with me, this proves it. The problem is me.

How do I forgive?  They ask again.

They judge themselves harshly. Feeling more ashamed, alone, and resentful they return to stewing.  Sometimes obsessing.

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They resent who told them forgiveness was a choice. They don’t understand how bad it is for me, for me it cannot be that simple. They feel less than those who can do it this easily. Thinking that the they have some bit of happiness that is out of reach for the rest of us. Basically they feel desperately separate, and afraid they might never feel better.

Forgiveness is a Verb

Making a choice to let go happens in an instant. But the next instant, you have to chose it again.  French philosopher Derrida days that you don’t say yes to something once  (like a partner). You say yes over and over, every moment of every day.  Love, commitment, forgiveness…they are all verbs. It is an ongoing process.

forgiveness is a verbIf an old resentment or lamenting comes again, rather than judge yourself, beat yourself up for not doing it right. Or thinking that you must be holding onto something.  Be compassionate with yourself.  Look at the situation, see what the longing, what the pain says about what you hold precious. (For example, if you are thinking of a lost friendship, or a betrayal. What was precious about that relationship before it was lost, what did you love that you lost.) What is absent in your expression of anger but implicit in its meaning. The Absent But Implicit ebook .

Smile at yourself, celebrate the preciousness and decide to let go again. Judging yourself makes it worse.  So if some thoughts you are trying to get rid of comes back, and you get angry, saying Damn it came again! attaches you to it more solidly. If you can, try not to give it that much attention. Know that this is what happens and let go again, softly, gently. Like leaves falling from a tree. No worries. Only love for yourself. Only love for what is precious.

Don’t take it from me. Read this post on forgiveness Why did I forgive.

Jealousy is Not Love

Jealousy is often confused for love. If someone loves you enough to be threatened by losing you, this means they really care. But jealousy is a fear, and fear is not love.  Usually jealousy is a sign that someone else has not let something go; is holding resentment from a past transgression in the relationship.  (Or often jealousy is there even before something happens. Like when the previous relationship hurt them.)  It is a sign of low self esteem. A deep feeling of non deserving fuels this fear. A feeling that they are not good enough and always lose.

But they don’t want to lose and so hold on in a controlling way, rather than a loving way. Jealousy is a tactic of control. It is a form of abuse.

Jealous people feel insecure at the thought of losing their relationship. They feel that the other thing threatens the relationship and therefore threatens them. It is a felt threat to their personhood. I say “felt” threat, because fear is just an experience. Just because something might happen, doesn’t make fear real or rational. If someone cheated on you in the past doesn’t make your fear more real.) I can talk about this more in another post, remind me.)

“Rationalizing” is just an excuse to hold onto fear, which is never good for anyone. Fear doesn’t protect or save relationships. Fear is fear. In fact, it very often contributes to the very thing one is afraid of, the demise of the relationship. It puts a rift between people, cause one to accuse the other, blame, and build resentment. Never good. Fear is not love.

What do you think of jealousy and forgiveness?

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31 thoughts on “Forgiveness is a Verb and Jealousy is Not Love”

  1. Thank you so much Jodi for both subjects discussed. They both answer my questions.
    Just the fact you answered the other day saying “it’s OK to feel hurt again” was already helping a lot. To know that you who helped me “let go” accept the fact that I can still feel hurt about it, was what i needed most.
    I loved the explanation that jealousy is fear. That is true. It is a fear, and a lack of love. I needed a clear explanation of jealousy. Does that apply to children? Can we blame children who are jealous of the love others are getting while they are deprived that love?
    nikky44 recently posted..Sharing The LoveMy Profile

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      All attack, all fear is a call for love. So we see that for children. They are calling for love. They might call it jealousy but if they are not acting on it, abusing others, it is just an internalized fear. Yes, not abusive to anyone (but the self, of course.) What is absent but implicit is the desire to be included, loved and a sense of worthiness. No blame, just offer love to those children. Or to yourself, if you are talking about yourself as a child. Find and spend energy on ways that make you feel loved, worthy. Love that little girl, also, include her, nurture her.

      1. As a child the three things I was told and that hurt most were:liar, selfish and jealous. I couldn’t understand how I was accused to be jealous whenever I dared ask for some attention. It frustrated me to be accused of being jealous because for me, jealousy would be accompanied by a desire to harm the person taking what we think is ours, and that wasn’t the case at all. It was what you said in your comment :”What is absent but implicit is the desire to be included, loved and a sense of worthiness.” I wanted to be included, not to have exclusivity. Now I say and repeat that I am a jealous person. It’s a word I started lately to use a lot, but I never mean it in a wrong way. I mean as if I was saying:”you’re so lucky, and I’m happy for you”
        Nikky44 recently posted..Sharing The LoveMy Profile

  2. Deciding to forgive is like deciding to get a trash can. It’s a good start towards having a clean room, but you still have to throw the trash into it as you generate it.

  3. Harleena Singh@Freelance Writer

    Great topics of discussion Jodi!

    Letting-go isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t something most can do, but yes, those who are able to let go and move ahead in life are more at peace withe themselves. Similarly, a certain amount of jealousy is still alright, but when it starts harming the relationships and going to extreme levels, it just causes bitterness and insecurities in relationships.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Thanks Harleena!

      Everything is alright, allowed, not judged, yes. So when you say jealousy is allowed, this is what it means to me. Allow everything, everything belongs, because judgment holds us on in the painful way. If we allow it we move through it faster, easier, smoother. We are human after all, we will have human experiences. Forgive and move on!

  4. Thanks you for a whole new perspective! I couldn’t figure why I had to keep choosing to forgive so often – every day, all day long. 🙂 I’m still in the situation! To use Harry’s analogy my trash can is filling quickly and will continue to until I am out of the situation. I feel so much better now!

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Oh, Kelly, I am so glad. Our judgment really does a number on us. It if can invite people to stop judging themselves, most if not all of our problems would cease!

  5. Hi Jodi 🙂
    I myself am still learning about forgiveness and you’re absolutely right–it is a verb. It is something we need to persevere doing. But yes, based from my experiences, it is not easy to do most especially when the past hurt created a huge impact in our lives. Which is why I’m so glad you also talked about showing compassion to ourselves at times we fail to forgive.
    I, too, used to think that jealousy is a form of love. But I’m glad I learned that it is all about insecurity instead of love. And the presence of jealousy in any relationship hinders that relationship to blossom.
    Thank you so much for talking about two important topics in this post, Jodi. Very thought-provoking and enlightening. Take care and God bless 🙂
    Irene @ Inspiration From The Little Things recently posted..Thank You For The Friendship, Corinne!My Profile

  6. Wonderful post, Jodi. That statement about having to choose over and over again really hits me. I think I have wanted to find a way to “let it go” and be done with it in one fell swoop. But it doesn’t work that way, apparently. I will remember that and try not to get angry again. Just . . . . let it go. Again. And again.
    Tina Barbour recently posted..Will God zap me if I’m too happy?My Profile

  7. Very interesting post, Jodi.

    You’re spot on with both forgiveness and jealousy. Both can be very difficult for people to deal with.

    Personally, unless someone wrongs you so horrifically – some sort of physical or mental abuse – forgiveness is not difficult. Maybe because I’m a guy and I can let things go, I don’t know.

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      It can be, or this can be an excuse, can see it either way. It can be easy. We suffer so much holding onto resentment. So much!

  8. I had not thought about the relationship between jealousy and forgiveness. When I think about forgiveness, I think about the concept of radical forgiveness that leads us not only to release the perceived hurt, but to find the gift in it and experience gratitude. Jealousy. I’ll give that some more thought.
    Galen Pearl recently posted..Fabulousity FactorMy Profile

  9. Jodi, this is such an interesting topic. Letting go is indeed difficult. Like you mention, we oftentimes have every intention of doing just that, until the next day rolls around. Ruminating gets in the way of healing. It takes commitment and discipline to silence the critic inside of us; to ignore the inner voice that prompts us to continue to beat ourselves up. I’m glad that at this point in my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to understand how important it is to let go. I’ve had to learn that the toxicity of guilt, blame, and anger are not good for the spirit. And let go I have. Against all odds. I’ve had to choose inner peace and my emotional, physical, and mental health. But it has taken a lot of work to get where I am. I’m glad I’m here! 🙂
    Bella recently posted..The heralding of summer, Part 1My Profile

  10. I too agree that letting go is important and learning to do that can be very difficult. I have been working very hard to let go of the hurt, pain and anger. After a while you just have to take a deep breath and say’ “I’m over it”, because if you don’t it wears you out to the point of exhaustion.

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Jim, welcome to my blog! Glad to have you! It is so exhausting to hold onto things, for sure! And then such a relief to let go!

  11. It’s really a great topic.. thank you so much for discussing this issue..
    Forgiveness in general is something not that easy to do.. it needs a lot of strength, and self control.. many people think that forgiveness is just for losers or it’s a sign of weakness, the truth is they have no idea that the forgiveness is just the key of the ultimate happiness, without it we can never feel in peace, relieved in this let me say tough life.. thank you again for this topic 🙂

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