The 6 Parts of Jealousy

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It comes on fast, and it comes on strong.






And, anger.

These are all parts of jealousy.

I cannot define jealousy without including each of these feelings.

I’ve carried these feelings my whole life, and to be honest, they make me weary.

But, there’s something else.

A strange feeling in jealousy.

In a lineup, you’d quickly pick it out as the one that does not belong.  But, it does.

I know, because jealousy is a feeling that has been there with me, my whole life.

It was there when I was a little girl, in yet another foster home, starting yet another school.

When I was locked in the dark room with the dark person, with the dark marking pooling onto his shirt.

I know, because it was there as I was unpacking strangers’ Christmas ornaments, studying them for the first time, yet again.

It was there when I was hiding in a battered women’s shelter.

It was there as I looked upon the ultrasound monitor, as I looked upon my lifeless baby, bobbing gently in his waters of my love.

It was there when I sat, crutching my broken womb in the shadow of my car waiting for my husband and his  father to come to the hospital to pick me up after I learned that our baby was not alive.

It is here, as I meet with jealousy today, my lifelong teacher, my invisible twin.

Jealous, I am, for husbands who have not received the phone call my husband did that day.

Jealous, I am, for children, who do not have to share their mother with bereavement.

Jealous, I am, for women who bask in naivety in pregnancy and birth.

For people who do not know what I carry in my heart.

For people who feel simplicity.


What a rich sorrow when I allow this jealousy a place to manifest in full emotion.

When I heave, when I crumble, when I sob and cry loudly and weep unabashedly.

When I slip to my knees, collapse in tears, when I moan, when I groan,

“What is this supposed to mean?”

What is the purpose of this jealousy?  What is it for?  What good will it do?  Bring?  Grow?

I do not yearn for others to have this pain – quite the opposite, I instead simply want their simplicity.

In shame, I try to push this jealousy away with logic that there is no room for jealousy in gratefulness and humility.

Oh, gratefulness and humility, my weaknesses.  How I desire to have poise and grace and humility!

But, I allow myself this meeting with jealousy.  Not all the time, but, sometimes.

On a day, such as today.

I encounter it, and I invite it in.

For a time, the wailing and the crying fill and float and linger.

And then, on the floor, soaked in tears, throat and soul raw, something happens.

A stillness creeps.

The sixth feeling, it quietly appears.

It’s presence, a whisper.

It doesn’t answer the questions – at least, not immediately.

And, I’ll tell you, it often brings with it, even more questions!

It’s a part of jealousy that is as real as the others.

What is it for?  What will it do?  Bring? Grow?

I don’t know.

But this part of jealousy is as real as the others, and so I sit with it, this stillness, this whisper.

Strangely, it draws me into community, simply by it’s feeling, without answers, without solutions, without reason.

Community, that I felt abandoned from, forgotten from, neglected from.

Community, that I so, very, achingly, desperately, wearily, need.

By it’s own simple merit and by it’s own intrinsic goodness, it soothes and heals, this often unaccounted for, sixth part of jealousy.  It is:



May you listen for the whisper.


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  1. Caroline Nelson says:

    This is haunting and beautiful. Thank you for putting words to exactly how I am feeling.

  2. Beautiful, Heidi, and hitting home…. I am reminded again by you that I am not alone. Why do I forget that….? Love to you, Mama.

  3. Of all days, I needed this today. Thank you.

  4. This is very real and very raw.

    You have a very special way with word.

    Thank you for also sharing the ‘the darker side’ of one’s journey.


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