Do you remember the Gin Blossoms? Admittedly, I’m even a little too young to have appreciated them in their prime. I heard their music on the radio, but was far too innocent and wide-eyed to appreciate their angsty pop melodies. But in 2007, on the road trip where I got my first and only tattoo, I was at a used CD store in LaCrosse and found a copy of their album “New Miserable Experience” and had to buy it. It was put on immediate rotation in my Pontiac Grand Am (along with the George Michael Anthology I bought at the same CD store).
One of their most popular songs from 1992 was “Hey Jealousy.” You may not know many of the lyrics to that song, but I’m sure you know the catchy two-word chorus that repeats the title over and over.
But that cheery tempo disguises a sad story of a no-longer-love. Juxtaposition, right? Cheery melody, sad words. Sound familiar?
Ok, go with me here. I’m sure we can all relate to that theme of cheery melody, sad words. Everything can seem like it’s going wrong, but we still plaster on an insincere smile, telling the world that everything is fine. We all do that.
Oh, you don’t? Liar. Ope - maybe we don’t know each other well enough for me to say that, yet. Please don’t leave. Well, even if you leave, know that I called you out in love, okay?
Have any of these scenarios ever been true for you?
She has nicer clothes than me. So I smile when I’m with her and act like everything’s fine, but inside I feel less than.
Their vacation looked like a dream. I comment how amazing it looks and that I’m so happy they enjoyed it, but inside I wish I had been there or that I could provide that for my family.
He got a promotion at work. I go and congratulate him on his success, but inside I’m wondering how much money he’s earning now, and rethink every business choice I’ve ever made.
My feelings of joy for them aren’t insincere. But they’re met with judgement of myself. I let my insecurity take away from their joy. Jealousy is ugly, guys. It assumes that only one of us gets to have nice things. And that’s just not true. The great thing about success is there’s enough for everyone. HER success does not equal MY failure. And I already know this is going to be a hard thing for a lot of you to accept, because it definitely runs counter to what a lot of us have practiced throughout our lives.
Here’s an example. I am super competitive, guys. That may not be super obvious to many of you since competitive sports definitely aren’t my thing. Even when I take my dancers to competition, we are not out to “get” anyone else. We are there to show up and do our best, right? Well, let me invite you to the next game night at my house.
I’m ruthless, y’all. It’s probably the only-child in me - I have to win. And if I don’t win, I’ll probably pout. And then I won’t want to play anymore. Or I’ll make you play until I win a round. (That’s a true story that Hubs likes to tell, about when I made him play Rummikub until 2am until I finally beat him after no less than 368 rounds. He was so annoyed with me). Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t how success works. Yes, I can love to win; to succeed. But that doesn’t have to mean I want you to fail. Remember what I told you last week? I love to watch people succeed. Because I understand that doesn’t mean I have to fail.
In The Message translation of scripture, 2 Corinthians 10:12 reads like this: “We’re not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they’re our superiors. We wouldn’t dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point.” Other people are going to do things, guys. They’re probably going to do good, impressive things. It doesn’t mean they’re better than you, more important than you, more impactful than you. It means that they did a good, impressive thing. I mean, can you imagine - what would have happened if James Wright, inventor of silly putty, got into a Twitter-feud with Richard James, inventor of the Slinky, over who’s toy was cooler? Y’all - they are both good, impressive time-wasters. Let’s just let them both be good, okay?
I’m not sure if you know this, but — there are other dance studios in the world. I know, I know - It’s shocking. And what’s even more shocking is I’m too aware of my flaws to propose that I’m the best out there. And I’ll tell you, I know some truly fantastic dance teachers. But just because they are great doesn’t make me less than. What it means is the world has some amazing options for their dance needs. The more people there are teaching dance in the world, the more people will be touched by the power of dance. That is a beautiful thing, guys. Here’s a great example. My dear friend Brennan runs a show choir studio called BEAT in Indiana with her wifey, Ly. They have built an outstanding business, where their students are taught well, loved well, and pushed to be their best. I am in constant awe of what they’ve created. Their success inspires me to be all of that for my community. They have done a good, impressive thing. I am so proud of them.
Okay, here’s the wrap up. BE PROUD OF EACH OTHER, GUYS. Be an encourager; be a cheerleader. Let’s revisit those earlier scenarios:
She has nicer clothes than me. So I smile when I’m with her ** and tell her how much I like her style.
Their vacation looked like a dream. I comment how amazing it looks and that I’m so happy they enjoyed it**.
He got a promotion at work. I go and congratulate him on his success**.
The extra isn’t necessary. Now, those feelings and impulses may not go away by tomorrow, but be aware of them and start to flip the script. We can celebrate one another without tearing ourselves down. We can and we must. Instead of saying “Hey Jealousy”, let’s learn to tell it good-bye.
My name is Miranda and I'm a mom, spouse, dance teacher, and entrepreneur. I’m going to share my life with you. The good, the bad, the weird. I hope to inspire you, encourage you, make you laugh. I’ll be honest. And I can’t wait to learn more about you through it all.