Jealousy is defined as: resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself.
Jealousy is also defined as: vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.
(Thank you dictionary.com)
And then I read Proverbs 14:30 this morning “A tranquil mind gives life to the body, but jealousy rots the bones.” There is something about jealousy and it’s effect on quilters that really rocks me to the core. I know I’ve written about this before, however I love quilters and want them to see the best not only in others, but more importantly in themselves. Years ago I remember a moment where I made the decision not to be jealous of others quilting skills. This was, in part, in recognizing that in order to be that skilled as a quilt maker has spent a lot of time at their machine, making a lot of mistakes. They’ve “wasted” a lot of fabric, rotary cutter blades, cutting mats, rulers, batting, thread, needles, wear and tear on the machine. They spent a lot of time on line, in classes asking questions and getting the information needed to improve their skill level. They’ve embraced the seam ripper as one of the most essential tools in their tool box as they’ve realized that taking stitches out is as important as putting them in.
There is also the jealousy that is protective of our work. Being protective of our work is a good thing. It allows us to be proud of our work and honored when people appreciate our work. This kind of jealousy is a good healthy kind of jealousy. We should protect our work. This is something I’m guilty of not doing. By not watermarking images of quilts that I put on my blog and fb page I’m allowing people to use them for their own purposes. I found an image that another quilter is using as her cover page. I tracked the source and essentially can’t do anything about it as there is no contact information to get this thief to take the image down.
And as I write I realize that while I gave up jealousy over others skill….there is another form of jealousy that it’s time to let go. It is the jealousy over the “success” of others. And the judgement of person that goes with it. Yes. I think too, this is part of the journey of growing and becoming better at the craft of quilting and the art of teaching. I can enjoy and celebrate the success of others. By doing that I recognize that they have something to offer…even if that is, in my world, what not to do. And so, the work begins. The work to let go, to appreciate more deeply, to be kinder, to become a better quilter and teacher. It’s time to focus in on what I need to do to achieve the goals and dreams.