Jealousy is generally the way some people experience a FEAR OF LOSS. I have put that in capitals, as Fear of Loss is a core concept that drives a lot of poorly understood behavior. It underpins a lot of the conflict that arises in the realm of interpersonal relating. This fear is central to so much of the dynamic that plays out in the realm of relationships, that for the freedom to arise it needs to be addressed in a deep, self-reflective and sometimes therapeutic context.
Possessiveness can also be an expression of Fear of Loss, but it can also come from an egoic notion of ownership, entitlement and a sense of power over the other… all of which point to an undeveloped and insecure ego structure that seeks to make itself feel ok in the world through external representations. In this case, self-reflection is highly recommended in order to become aware of and free from the underlying causes in the psychological makeup of the self.
In my experience, there are no healthy causes or expressions of Jealousy and Possessiveness as they are the manifestations of damaged self-worth and insecurity. They point to the need for inner work to heal the aspects of the self that are causing these to arise. This is valuable and needed work for any individual who suffers from these experiences. Doing this work will facilitate greater freedom and comfort in the experience of self which will also extend into the realm of relating.
I did this self-reflection and it has helped me become liberal in my relationship and also give space to my partner. As they rightly say life is the biggest teacher, I also get to assess my reasons for getting jealous or not jealous in the real circumstances when my partner interacts with the opposite gender.
Just a week back, I and my partner went for our post-dinner stroll in the nearby park. Moonlight glistened on the leaves and crickets chirped among the dense bushes. Because of our differing views on sexuality and desire, most of our time gets spend on debating and discussing sexual desire as a topic. In the course of our talk, my partner got a call from a female friend of his. He spoke to her as we kept walking, but something happened that I didn’t expect. He signaled me to be there, while he walked ahead to speak to his female friend. Being someone, who is aware of her each and every mental and bodily sensation; I immediately took that moment to reflect on my feelings at that time. I felt a clean space in my mind. One that is devoid of any questioning or suspicions. Though I felt an urge to become closer to him. It was not my anger but a yearning to dip in his love. I waited for him to finish the call. When he came back, I caressed the back of his neck and murmured in his ear.
“I love you loads and I know that you love me too.”
So I was jealous : ) but a little jealous. And from my experience, I feel that a little jealousy is good, it is one of the manifestations of love and sometimes acts as a catalyst to improve relationships as I saw that day. It made my own partner more appealing to me, because I felt, for a moment that there is an imaginary rival who can have him. But extreme jealousy is obnoxious and can result in controlling one’s partner, insisting them to cut off their social connections; and super-monitoring them.
The reason I dislike extreme jealousy
One who is seeking to explore their sense of Freedom in the world may find the spectrum of experiences that arise through Diverse interactions nourishing to the self. The range of sensations, feelings, and reflections that are possible through diverse interactions can heighten and fast-track the learning curve of self-coming to know itself, particularly when these interactions have a degree of intimacy.
Intimacy can be understood as the longing for “In-to-me-see”… that is, the yearning to be seen by the Other so as to reflect back the self to the Self. This can happen both through diverse encounters where intimate sharing is involved, as well as through deep explorations with a single other.
The choice as to whether to explore the self from the safety, comfort and sanctity of a secure one-on-one relationship dynamic (as encouraged by social norms) or whether to do this from the potentially expansive and highly insecure dynamic of multiple connections is up to the individual, usually through hard-won experience and a degree of trial and error.
The self longs to know itself, and ultimately the deepest connection that is sought is the self with the Self. Through interactions with the ‘Other’, we come to see and feel our inner world play out in the external world. In the realm of sexual and romantic dynamics in the context of relationships, we have an opportunity to explore specific aspects of the self which long for clarity, insight and integration. The inner drive for intimacy with others is often the externalised longing for this same self longing to know Self. As such, it can be a useful tool on the journey towards self-knowing, and it can also be a distraction if one is ready and able to simply go within and find that which one is deeply seeking.