She’s the girl with the perfect figure who turns the head of every man she walks by. She’s smart and sexy, but low-maintenance and full of self-confidence. She’s not threatened by anyone or anything. And I really hate her.
Fortunately (or maybe sadly) she’s a character on the television show Bones. She’s Hannah, Booth’s new girlfriend. As any follower of the show knows, it’s Booth and Bones who are supposed to be together. In television time (i.e., between seasons) Booth and Bones go their separate ways for a while. When Booth reappears at the beginning of this season, he’s got this hot new girlfriend.
I’m sure there are all kinds of things going on here. I’m sure the writers or producers or whoever want me to hate her. Maybe there’s something “irrational” (Bones’s favorite word) about hating her. Hannah is wonderful, Booth is happy, and Bones herself seems to be okay with it. Maybe there’s even some sort of social or gender question about why we hate beautiful, intelligent, sexy women. Or maybe that’s just me.
The thing is, I’m terribly jealous of her. And I don’t like it. It’s ugly. And it seems so… so… irrational! It’s not like I myself want to be with Booth in some weird fantasy where I can’t distinguish television from reality. I want Bones to be with Booth. So what’s my deal?
I wish I had some clear answers here. I’m aware that these visceral reactions of jealousy are indications of my own insecurities. And I’m well aware of what those insecurities are. I’m just not quite sure what to do about them. I know that just telling myself not to think or feel a certain way doesn’t work very well. My “self” can be very stubborn. I do, however, have a hunch that those subterranean issues are among the many things that regular practice of centering prayer chips away at over time.
For the present and immediate future, I am reminded to be more cautious in my attitude toward others in real life, and that my dislike of someone may not really be about them at all. They just happen to be the one’s who are holding up the mirror. When I project feelings of hate onto someone else, I have to ask what it is that I’m hating about myself.