Day 60: The Green-Eyed Monster Sees Red

Editor’s Note: Welcome to the third installment of Dear Life! We’re following Bisi through her post-injury journey as she tries to pick up the pieces and get back on her feet. She’s sifting through the physical, mental and emotional challenges she’s come across so far and her real-life struggles might just inspire you.

 

Merged Jealousy_1024One of these days I’m going to write about the unicorns and glitter-n-gold rainbows that come with rekindling a dream. One of these days I’m going to tell you how I skipped through defenders untouched, while picking daisies and singing Pharell’s “Happy” on my way to scoring a try. One day, but just not today.

If you’ve come to gather your inspirational story quota, tune in next month because again, today is most certainly not that day. Today, I am addressing a hindering flaw that might be hindering you, too. My enemy of the month is deep-fried jealousy served with heaping sides of steamed anger and sautéed nostalgia. Today, I am dressing down the woman in the mirror because I don’t want to become a walking, talking recipe for bitterness.cheap water slides

I am a competitor.

No one likes to admit they’re envious; no one likes to be associated with envy. However, I am of the opinion— and feel free to disagree—that all competitors are inherently envious individuals. The nature of competition deems that you should want to possess something belonging to someone else or you should want to show that your desirable attributes are greater than someone else’s. Competition is the breeding ground for envy, but thankfully, the spirit of the game curbs unbridled envy. The spirit of the game dictates that you play with honor and you win or lose with grace.

In the past, I won with grace. In the past, I lost with grace. I always strived to play honorably. Today as I write, however, I can’t even step on the field and play. At heart I am still a competitor but nothing is curbing my envy.

I can’t watch strangers and friends playing in touch games—the rugby equivalent of pick up games. I can’t watch old teammates and peers resplendent on my television in international matches. Don’t get me wrong, my friends have all earned their place on these teams and in no way can I compare myself to them nor can I take away from their hard-earned efforts, but I cannot smile and cheer for them like I used to.

Now just watching a game makes my blood boil. My body screams I want to play! I want to compete! I want their health and vitality! I want to be able to just step on the field!

Poof.

Just like that I am instantaneously filled with anger and envy so intertwined and so overwhelming that I cannot champion the successes of my closest friends because I cannot bear to watch what I have been hindered from doing. I cannot applaud the interest others are finally taking in rugby because I am reminded that I cannot partake. In this moment, the spirit of the game is beyond me.

But that’s not the worst of it. Unbridled jealousy hinders everything and everyone. It is a twisted and unyielding, viral addiction. Your anger leads to more envy, leads to more anger and even rage. All the while you never feel better. It poisons your motivation—the same one that I just found—and you feel wholly unsatisfied. You lash out against the people that love and care about you because the pain is so heavy that it only feels right to have someone else carry the burden and feel your pain, too; you want to drag them down with you. You let your insecurities overtake your reality. Before long, you’re bitter, alone and you can’t figure out why you never succeeded. You. Have. Failed.

I caught a glimpse of myself the other day and just knew I had to stop the jealousy before I let the bitterness set in. But jealousy isn’t something you quickly shrug off. It really is like an addiction and you first have to admit that it exists.

What better way to hold myself accountable than to tell all of the Interwebs? So here I go:

I am jealous. I am angry. I am resentful. I don’t want to be back at the beginning. Starting over is hard. It’s painful. The progress and rewards are not coming fast enough. It just sucks!

Great. So what now?

Well for one, I don’t have all the answers. The best I can do right now is to address my insecurities…another post, another time. I have to work at keeping jealousy at bay. I have to:

  • trust that my time is coming and my diligence will pay off.
  • remember that I was once there, but not linger on that fact. I should be motivated by the fact that I can and will surpass where I once was.
  • redirect my attention when I feel my optimism shifting towards envy and orient it toward my central goal and vision.
  • remember that I am not alone and I cannot drag others into the abyss. They don’t deserve it.

Last but not least, I have to remember the spirit of the game. I have to curb my envy because it’s the noble thing to do and it’s what I signed up to do as a competitor.buy commercial inflatable water slides

This is adieu green-eyed monster.

Author: Bisi Ibrahim

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