The creator of the blog I Am a Love Addict (and on twitter at @iamaloveaddictgenerously shares her experiences with our Overcoming Jealousy 23-day online course. After taking the course, she says, “I feel like a new woman!”

What was your experience with jealousy before you took the course—why were you interested in taking it?

Too often we get caught in our own preconceived notions of how we believe things ought to be. In the past, I spent a lot of time trying to modify my feelings and actions in an attempt to influence someone else’s behavior. I believed I needed to act a certain way in order to receive the love and acknowledgement I desired from my partner. Through this belief, I lost authenticity. I must have appeared to have a split personality, as I could never be consistent with this facade.

"365 Days of Happiness" by Qiqi LiThe need to be myself, but the inability to do so is when jealousy peaked.

The truth is, playing so many different characters throughout my life had depleted my knowledge of self. So, I was drawn to partners whom seemingly were true to themselves and could possibly show me the way.

Much later, I realized their appearance of self-confidence was a disguise, masking more pain than I had ever experienced in my entire life. You can imagine my surprise when these choice partners were emotionally unavailable. Astonishment quickly turned into unhappiness, which encouraged more jealousy due to my dysfunctional way of thinking about relationships.

I believed I was not good enough, or that I must have done something wrong. Perhaps, they finally noticed my lack of self-confidence. My thoughts continuously revolved around, “it must be me”.

I chose to take the Overcoming Jealousy course to free myself from this emotional prison. I felt stuck.

What was something surprising you discovered about yourself through the course?

Surprisingly, I learned that in most cases I was more envious than jealous. I envied the qualities I believed my partner possessed.

The more distant my partner became, the more unattractive, unintelligent, uncertain, uninspiring, unimaginative…envious, I felt.

What was the most significant thing you learned through the course?

Through the course, I am learning to observe the actions of people (leaving all preconceived notions at the door). I am no longer seeking a partner that will define who I am.

I am also learning to forgive. Forgiving myself for the mistakes I’ve made is giving me strength to stand and not become a doormat in exchange for my shortcomings.

Finally, with the tools I have from this course, I am learning not to measure self-worth based on how good or bad someone else treats me.

"Spring Romance" by Qiqi LiNow that you’ve taken the course, how are you inspired to approach your relationships differently in the future?

I am confident that I will approach, romantic and platonic, relationships with a renewed outlook. I am truly excited about the type partner I will attract due to my new acceptance of who I am.

How might what you learned through the course affect other areas of your life?

Learning to put a positive spin on insecure feelings that may arise will grant me the spirit I need to keep moving forward in all aspects of life!

As I journey toward recovery from what is considered “love addiction,” I am moving toward total positive mind, body and spirit health. I am proud to say that I have always taken pride in developing good/healthy eating habits. I do believe that food is medicine. Currently, I am working on incorporating, eating and fitness tips on my blog. This will help keep me on track, and perhaps bring others along for the ride. I look forward to continued growth and seeking education on healthy relationships with others, but most importantly myself.

Artwork courtesy Qiqi Li, www.etsy.com/shop/QiQiGallery.

In gratitude for your willingness to share your experiences so that others may also free themselves from this often-debilitating emotion. ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover