How I let Jealousy Steal My Joy

One of My Biggest Regrets

Jealousy wants you to believe that you're victim.

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I can think back to at least five conversations where one of my friends was excited to tell me some news and my response was less than enthused. I somehow was able to come up with every reason in my mind why they should tone down their excitement, as well. Why was this? Because I was overcome with jealousy. I wanted what they had: excitement, joy, something to look forward to. I let jealousy speak for me, and it manifested into trying to manipulate others to become as low as me.

Jealousy wants you to believe that you're victim. It tries to convince you that another person's success is meant to highlight your shortcomings. That's why it feels nearly impossible to be happy for someone when you're feeling so low yourself.

This played out most obviously in my life right after I graduated college. I was really struggling to find a job and my two closest friends were working full time in jobs they really loved. To be honest, I was really jealous of them. I was happy for them, and I wanted them to have jobs they enjoyed, but I wanted a job, too! I deserved to be happy! That want for a job turned into self-pity. My best friends were really sensitive to the time I was going through, and I'm really blessed to have people in my life who care so deeply for me, but I regret the way I let their success make me feel. I really regret not putting aside my feelings for a few moments to celebrate in their happiness.

Looking back, a year and a half later, all of our timelines are perfect. They found their jobs at the right moment and I found mine when I needed it. If I could go back in time and say anything to myself during those months, I would explain that everything is going to work out the way it's meant to be. I would remind myself that I don't need to be jealous of someone else's happiness. I can, instead, take part in their celebration and be happy with them.

See, jealousy is such a liar, that it not only tries to damage our relationships, it tries to make us thing less of ourselves. It tells us that we will never have what someone else has, and that will be an issue. The truth is, you may not have what someone else has, but you will have something else that is designed perfect for you.

I'm not dismissing hurt that people feel when something is missing in their lives. That pain is so real. When you have to watch someone gain the thing you've been hoping and praying for, it honestly sucks. But it may be time to push the pain aside and celebrate others, just for a moment. Hopefully, you have people in your life who are sensitive to your feelings, like my friends were. Recognize when pain turns into jealousy. When you can't be happy for someone, simply because you don't have what they have and if their success makes you feel less, check your heart.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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I Went From Losing Weight To Lifting Weights, And Now I'm In The Best Shape Of My Life

How a change in my fitness goals changed my life.

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I am in the best shape of my life...or at least I think so, and that's what truly matters.

I look in the mirror and feel confident.

I finally feel comfortable wearing crop tops, and I'm even starting to show visible abs. But getting here has been such a difficult journey filled with eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and other physical and mental struggles that hindered my ability to achieve my goals.

I have been on this health and fitness journey for many, many years now. I've been a size 00, a size 12, and every size in between.

Through it all, I have learned so much about myself, as well as fitness and nutrition in general. My biggest takeaway that led me to overcome all these obstacles was learning to let go of my perfectionism. When I'm old, I don't want to look back on my life and realize that I spent it all trying to lose weight. So, I changed my mindset.

My new focus was to be as strong as possible—to lift the heaviest weights, rather than losing the most weight. If you too, want to be in the best shape of your life but have struggled for so long, read my tips below.

1. EAT MORE

I know, it sounds crazy. As women, we are constantly told about diets and cutting calories. If you just want to be skinny, you can do that. But if you want to be strong, you need to eat to be able to put on the muscle.

2. ALLOW YOURSELF TO HAVE CHEAT MEALS

If you have struggled with eating disorders like me, satisfying your cravings will prevent you from having major setbacks.

3. LIFT WEIGHTS

Get your butt off that elliptical and into the weight room.

4. DON'T WORKOUT EVERY DAY

Again, especially if you want to build muscle, you need rest days. These are the days where your muscles are "actually" growing.

5. DON'T RUSH IT

You will not see abs overnight. It takes a long time. But if you want sustainable results, you must treat your body right.

I hope these tips are helpful. With positivity and patience, you can achieve anything.

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