By Toni Spearman
A lifelong friendship can be an extraordinary affair; a priceless treasure, very hard to find. If you are blessed to discover that one special friend ‘that sticks closer than a brother,’ kudos to you!
You are among the few.
But any friendship, as beautiful as it is, can be destroyed by a poison that, once planted in the heart, will slowly grow like a cancer, meticulously eating away at the core of your peaceful alliance.
That tiny, but deadly seed is called jealousy!
It’s an ugly, nasty, green-eyed monster of an emotion that can separate lifetime partners, forever.
Of all the things I’ve encountered in my friendships over the years, jealousy, by far, has been the most hideous.
How to detect jealousy among your friends:
Do any of these comments ring a bell?
“Girl, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. I would be careful with that guy, he’s cute but you know all men are cheaters. Why did you spend that much money on those shoes? For real? Can you really afford to get a new car right now? I know you just got that promotion, but I hope everything works out for you. I’m just sayin.”
Sometimes jealousy can be detected in the way your friends act.
They may never utter a word, but their body language will speak volumes. They may appear nonchalant, uninterested or even irritated by positive things happening in your life. They may offer excuses why they can’t attend special functions or events that highlight you or your success or accomplishments.
Their jealousy or insecurity will cripple them from celebrating with you, not realizing that when you shine, they shine, and vice versa.
I remember when I got married years ago; all I wanted to do was give my ex-husband, children, and a bunch of them. It never happened, and to add fuel to my low simmering fire, my very best friend at that time became pregnant (three times) and I had to pretend to be happy for her.
I was insane with jealousy.
I smiled in her face but despised her childbearing ability behind her back. As the jealousy grew thick in my heart, my friendship became estranged.
It wasn’t until many years (and a new man) later when I relaxed in my skin, celebrated life and love for what it is, that I was able to release my insecurities and eventually give birth to my own beautiful children. I also learned to rejoice when my friends rejoice knowing that one day, my time will also come.
We do not have the power to control the feelings of others but we do have the ability to choose not to harbor fear, anxiety, anger or resentment, which are all characteristics of jealousy.
An unresolved negative emotion will one day explode, destroying everything and everyone in its path. If you detect jealousy among your friends, or perhaps your own heart, deal with it.
Don’t let it destroy something as precious as your friendship.
A wise man once said, “Love is strong as death, but jealousy is cruel as the grave.”
–Song of Solomon 8:6b