Jealousy Question

Ask Gary,

I wrote to you about a week ago about how my jealousy issue and how I have a problem with my girlfriends past, and how that is very hypocritical of me because my past is less pure then hers. I have taken your advice and picked up “The Four Agreements” and “The Voice of Knowledge”. I am half way through “The Four Agreements” and I am very pleased with it. I have also listened to the “Gratitude” and “Abdication of Power” Self Mastery lessons. Once again very pleased.

The question I have is about the “Abdication of Power”. I understand that when I am getting angry, jealous, or frustrated to take a look at what exactly is going on in the current situation in the way you describe. But what I don’t understand is why take a look at a situation as to where I’m happy? Why break down that situation to change my emotional state?

For example I just got off the phone with my girlfriend and like usual we get along and we love talking to each other and this of course makes me happy. So why break it down to get away from being happy. When I am mad, jealous or angry I want to break the situation down to get away from that…so pretty much kind of confused..
Thank you for your time, SK

Hi SK,

First of all email is a really poor communication medium. It’s too easy to misunderstand what you are specifically talking about, and then too easy for you to misinterpret my reply.

As I understand your question, why break down where all the happy feelings come from? I don’t think I directed you in the Power Sessions to do that.  But basically happiness comes from expressing love. No problem there.

Making sure I hit the point, I don’t think anywhere did I mention to get away from the happy feeling.  That’s not the direction I’m suggesting. If you got that impression from somewhere let me know and I’ll go look at my material and make the clarifications.

The question about Abdication of Power, is, …. Do you attribute your happiness to be created by your girlfriend, or is your happiness created by your expression of love and everything else in that conversation, or something else?

Don’t try to understand or dissect what isn’t broken.
Apply the exercises to the emotional reactions that you don’t enjoy for starters.

Understanding all the sources of our happy emotions is a bit more challenging and should be done later. Why would you even do it later?

One advantage of doing it is that you discover that you express love and are happy from certain triggers. Suppose someone says to you that are very smart and good looking. If your reaction to that compliment by way of your belief system is to feel good then your emotional state of happiness is dependent on compliments from other people. By this belief structure you are likely to feel poorly if they comment to you in derogatory way.  This isn’t a very empowering way to live.   You will be at the mercy of having to fish for compliments from other people. If they are having an emotionally down day then they won’t be as likely to serve them up.

We are then trapped because our happiness relies on that trigger from other people verbalizing their opinion. This can make us a slave to other people’s opinion. Maybe we do it just a little bit, but why do it at all.

But this is all a bit more advanced. Start with the emotional reactions that are unpleasant. You will be more motivated to dissect and find the false beliefs behind those emotional reactions.

Not sure if I’ve clarified the questions you might have. This is my long range stab via email. It’s much easier to address these types of things in a session over the phone.




  1. warbonnet April 10, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    I have been reading the “Four Agreements” also, and it has been very helpful. Changing the way I think from moment to moment is extremely difficult though, so here I am, trying to learn more.

    I wonder if when you can see ahead, having self-awareness of your own weaknesses, knowing that you will not handle a situation well… with jealousy.

    Should we avoid even trying relationships that we know ourselves we are going to end up being the green eyed monster?


  2. Gary April 11, 2007 at 12:05 am

    The assumption in your question is that you won’t change over time. I don’t think people can predict who they will be in the future. Nor does it make sense to assume we won’t change.

    Self Awareness doesn’t mean being able to predict how the relationship will turn out. The value in awareness is in being aware in that moment when the situation arrives to not believe the thoughts of the green eyed monster.

    If you stay out of relationships because you have made an assumption about what your behavior is like is giving up before you even try. That is an option I wouldn’t choose.