I recently had a conversation with a dear friend who is intelligent and funny. Her life is so bright right now – her business is thriving, she’s going to have her first child, she has a loving husband, and a beautiful home. It warms my heart to speak to her and know that she is doing well.

But, there is something else that turns around in my head – why am I not like her? Why haven’t I tried for those things or been successful when I did?

As the conversation continued, I realize that jealousy and envy are creeping into my voice. Trying to conceal them with fake laughter didn’t help. Trying to sound supportive, no luck. Changing the subject, nope.

Oh the resentment I felt toward someone I genuinely love. I found that I was trying to subtly undermine her and her life.

The feelings turn into self pity. Oh poor me! Life is just so unfair! I’m just too stupid to make my life better. I will never be like her, she’s beautiful and smart and funny and went to college. That’s right, I couldn’t even graduate from college, even after multiple attempts!

I’m ugly, I’m fat, I am as far from her as I can be. In fact, all of your friends are so accomplished! So beautiful! So intelligent! They have families and significant others! What is it that you have, again? (Crickets.)

This would be my by shadow side.

In the coaching course that I’m taking, we are diving deep into the ego. The lesson being that we are, and are not, what we think we are. For example, if I say that I’m generous, I am that, but I’m also selfish. It’s the shadow and the light.

Another lesson is learning what triggers me and why. Also, that that feeling is my own responsibility and belongs only to me. The other person or circumstance bears no responsibility for how I feel.

And then there is the projection. Not only can I project my feared shortcomings, I can also project my more positive traits onto others as well. So when I see my friends as fabulous and successful, can I be that too?

After the conversation, I was so deep in my feelings, just wallowing in them. The funk followed me into the next day. I was dragging it behind me.

I meditated, I drew cards for direction, anything to help me through. I’m still not sure I’m on board with the “if them, then me”. It’s going to take me going deeper and deeper and deeper. I hope I don’t get the bends on my way back up.