together-we-rise

Once I loved
a girl
so very much
I thought my heart might burst
She was everything I am not
And at first I was jealous of her

She seemed like the carefree girl
I so wanted to be
She had traveled the world
had so many boyfriends
laughed easily
and literally drew people in
just by being her
She simply sparkled

It was not uncommon for me to sulk
in the corner of the dining room
watching her surrounded by people lit up
by how she spun stories so playfully
She was beautiful and bright
funny and charismatic
She could move her body
to just about any beat
And to me she was everything
I wished I could be

People were repelled by me
or pitied me
I lived in dirty hooded sweatshirts
and shredded elastic pants
I hid my eyes at all times
refusing to connect for fear
they would see my suffering
I hadn’t genuinely laughed
in what felt like years
and the boy who broke my heart
left me terrified to move on
or trust anyone
ever again

And while I know
she had little awareness of me
her presence in my world
was literally painful for me
like fire in my veins

My shame
and envy
so consumed me

You see, I was sick
and trying to pretend
I was finally healed
But I spent my days starving
my evenings with my head
half way down toilet bowls
and any free time I had
climbing for hours on stairmasters
literally never going anywhere

One day we landed up alone in my car
It was the first time we had been this close
and I felt the familiar heat in my body
I turned on my CD so as to avoid talking
It happened to be one of my chanting CDs

At the time
I was listening to chanting compulsively
hoping that mantras
and Kundalini yoga
would save me

I had the volume on full blast
and as the music rose and fell
I began to feel more and more space in me
till it was like I was levitating

I was afraid to look her way
for fear she would see
I was floating
but curiosity got the best of me
And as our eyes met
I realized I was her

She was no longer this girl I envied
She was a sister
She was a part of me
looking back at me

She reached for my hand
and we sat there
for what felt like hours
tears streaming
down our faces
feeling everything

It was the first time
I remember connecting
so deeply
with another woman
without words

I am a word lover
But this was a different way
to speak

And I let her in
so deep in
we became dearest friends

Years later
she told me she was jealous of me too
and I remember thinking
how tragic
It is just so sad
how we let envy keep us
from connecting
with those
who could likely help us
grow the most

I was so consumed
with wanting to be her
I forgot that learning from her
was a possibility

I was so freaked by how much
she was everything
I wanted to be
I forgot
that she was a human
just like me
with her own pride
and insecurities

So now
when I meet someone
I find myself jealous of
I lean in
I look at why
and get clear
is it because
they are not what I am
and I feel threatened by that?
Or is it because
I want what they have?

Generally when envious
we are in some way believing
that someone shining bright
is taking something away from us
or harming us in some way

I choose to see it as an indication
that there is work to be done
on my part

After all
the only person
you can ever really change
is yourself

And more often than not
jealousy
is inviting me
to create more
of what I am wanting
for me
and those around me

We shine differently
that is part of our beauty

And as we learn to embrace
what makes us uniquely us
And as we become willing to change
anything
and everything
that doesn’t reflect the best in us
jealousy often resolves
of its own accord

I am no longer friends with her

Some friends come for a season
I am discovering
And I’m learning
not to throw out or dismiss
all the good that was there
when hurt comes in
to tint my memories

That moment in the car
I have forever
etched into my heart
as a reminder of what is possible
when
we drop assumptions
we allow ourselves to be be seen
and we prioritize connection

When we feel the love
that is always there

Let your jealousy teach you
about your desires
and what you truly want more of in your world
Let your envy guide you
to the places you need to grow

And please
never
turn your back
on a sister
because she threatens you

The divisions
were never real
Together
we rise

❤ Emily Joy Rosen

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Emily Rosen is the co-owner and CEO of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations, and keeps a pulse on the fields of eating psychology and nutrition to ensure the Institute’s position as a leader worldwide. Emily makes things happen. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to speak and present internationally and be at the forefront of a new generation of women leaders committed to making a heartfelt difference in the world. Her tireless work and faithful commitment have touched the lives of millions of fans and followers worldwide.