Jealousy inhibits growth

My new creative obsession is macrame. I’ve finally decided to get serious about this artform and I just completed my first “real” piece this past week.

In the last year or so, I’ve begun to view my artwork as not just something pretty to look at and experience, but as also expressing spiritual principles or an aspect of my personality that I’m currently examining. I often start with an idea and then try to convey it in some way. Sometimes the creative concept and spiritual component come to me at the same time. And then sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing, and either as I work or once it’s finished I will discover it’s meaning.

My original plan for this piece was scrapped because I failed to cut my cords long enough (I’m still trying to figure out how much cord is needed for each project!) and so I was forced to improvise and and create a new design as I went.

Because of my fixation with the color green this past week, I decided to attach green stones to the piece. I put the darkest colored piece on bottom and the lightest colored one on top because this felt most visually and viscerally pleasing to me. But then I realized it represents moving from heavy darker levels to the higher lighter levels.

Green agate

As I worked on this piece, I wasn’t sure what it’s meaning was. The color green was the dominant theme, which represents growth, but that felt a bit vague. I was ok with simply accepting a piece that represents (and perhaps attracts?) personal growth and healing, but after I completed it, a phrase came to me as I stared at it upon waking this morning:

JEALOUSY INHIBITS GROWTH.

We live in a world of duality, and therefore, all things have both negative and positive qualities. The color green is associated with growth and wealth, but it is also famous for being the color of jealousy. “Green with envy,” is a common phrase. 

It was just last night that I again realized my struggle with jealousy. It’s always been a vague issue for me because I’m not a materialistic individual. However, when it comes to relationships, I have always been prone to jealousy. I’m jealous of how easily others interact and make friend and connections, I’m jealous when the people I love show interest in other people, especially when I’m having a rough time. My heart grows cloudy and bitter and I have a difficult time being happy for others’ happiness.

I stared at my macrame piece this morning and I distinctly felt the phrase, “Jealousy inhibits growth”. It seems so obvious now that I think about it: one cannot grow personally when one is fixated on the abundance and wealth of others. Jealousy turns the focus outwards and wastes valuable energy on what can never be obtained. But if we turn our focus inwards and examine our own gifts and abilities, we nurture our souls and encourage true growth.

Being that the color green is associated with the fourth/heart chakra, I picked up Caroline Myss’ book “Anatomy of the Spirit” to see if jealousy was connected to the fourth chakra. Unsurprisingly, in the beginning of her chapter on the fourth chakra, Myss states that, “Loss of fourth chakra energy can give rise to jealousy…” 

I don’t like living with jealousy. I feel as if it sucks all the green growth out of my heart and leaves instead a grey mist that I cannot see through. It’s clear this is an area I need to work on in order to expand and grow the way I deeply want to. I will most likely continue working with the color green for a while (I have several project ideas!) to meditate on its truth and great capacity for healing. Art has always been a primary way for me to connect with my true self, and I am thankful for the lessons I have been learning through creativity.

(PS, I was listening to Audrey Assad’s song/album “Evergreen” while working on this piece, and that’s what sealed my decision to use green stones. I absolutely love that album and find that her music helps inspire spiritual contemplation and creativity within me. Go check it out.)

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