I’ve recently been writing a lot about my experiences of living with infertility and if I were to be completely honest then I would have to admit another truth in living with infertility; I get jealous. I sometimes get jealous of the friend who gets pregnant or the compete stranger at the grocery store patting her pregnant belly as she pushes her cart full of kids down the aisle. Or sometimes it is just the smallest of comments made by another woman regarding her newborn baby or her baby-to-be and suddenly I feel that gut-wrenching jealousy sprout its ugly head inside of me.
I think there are 3 responses one can have to feelings of jealousy:
1 – Ignore it, stuff it and hope it goes away
2 – Sit in it and let it engulf your heart
3 – Let it reveal to you where you have pain
It is so easy to become consumed with guilt after feeling jealous and we try to just quickly move our thoughts to something else, anything but the jealousy swelling up inside. But, in doing this we miss an opportunity to let that jealousy lead us to the reasons why it has raised its ugly head. I think when we experience jealousy, it is fueled by a hurt, a pain deep in our heart.
Over the years of dealing with infertility and the myriad of emotions that come with it, I have learned how to deal with jealousy. There was a time when I battled fertility jealousy every day and sometimes I felt like it was eating my heart completely, but as I have experienced continued healing in my life regarding our infertility I have noticed that the jealousy monster does not frequent as often. Even still, I have my moments and my days when I feel incredible jealousy.
This has become my battle plan for jealousy: When jealous feelings arise I first, confess it to God. Secondly, I say a quick prayer for the woman I am feeling jealous of, such as “God please give her a healthy pregnancy.” When jealousy has you turned inward to thinking of yourself, praying for the other person is a great way to unleash the reins that jealousy has over you in the moment by turning your attention on someone other than yourself. And finally, I pray for God to heal the wound in my heart, the infertility wound.
Jealousy is a part of life. It’s what we do with it and how we respond to it that is important. What wound is your jealousy pointing you toward?