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ASK ALICE: Seek compassion, not jealousy; turn interests into life choices
Editor’s note: Ask Alice is a new feature for our online readers. Alice is a certified therapuetic massage professional with an extensive background in relationship psychology. You can Ask Alice your questions at DearAskAlice@gmail.com.
I wonder what it would be like to not be jealous of my best friend. She is perfect. In every way, flawless and perfect. She always has guys hanging all over her, she never has an off moment, never has a rough time. I hate it. She's my best friend and I love her like a sister, but I know that deep down I'm seriously jealous of her and I wish she would have some crazy messed-up and awkward times in her life like I do. What the hell? Why do some people get all the luck, while I feel like a loser and get far more B.S. than I deserve? Help!Signed,Loserville
Dear, dear, dear, sweet L, I have a secret to tell you, and it's one we each must learn in order for life to get easier and feel more and more flawless: no one has it easy. No, I'm serious! No one has an easy life! Sounds like cliché, I know. L, you're probably saying, what about rich people? They don't have any problems! Well if that were true, then why do the bankruptcy, divorce and suicide rates go up along with one's income? Sean “Puffy” Combs said it best: “Mo' Money, Mo' Problems.” It's truth.OK, so what about beautiful people, like your best friend? They must have it easy, yes? One thing I've learned, L, in my time on this earth is that each of us are presented with obstacles. Some have health, poverty, education, or interpersonal obstacles that recur throughout their lives. Some have self-loathing or self-hatred or self-destructive tendencies to constantly overcome. Some have wicked stepmothers. Some have mood disorders. Some have dysfunctional families. Some have alcohol abuse issues.Do you see where I'm going with this, L? You are jealous of your best friend. Her life appears easy and free. I urge you to look beyond this, though. What are her obstacles? Truly, we all have 'em. Where do hers live? Does she have a great family? Is she able to allow any of those guys hanging all over her to love her, to let them in? Is she flawless and perfect as a reaction to controlling parents that demand perfection? Right now, what I see from your words is one of your obstacles: jealousy. And the antidote to jealousy? Compassion. She's your best friend. You are you. Both of you deserve compassion and respect, and jealousy doesn't bring that. Try to see your friend as a human, as we all are: crazy andmessed up and awkward and perfect and beautiful, all at once.
I’m 23 years old, I’ve never had a real relationship, I don’t really know who I am or what I want, except that I love my dog, reading books and spending hours on the Internet. I don’t even know where to begin. Help?!Signed,Loveless and Lost
You are in the best place right now! Twenty-three-years old and asking all the right questions.What excites you? What do you wake up in the morning, open your eyes, and feel from the previous night’s dreaming? Clues are everywhere as to who we really are. What makes you happy? What do you spend all that time on the Internet doing? Here in Alice’s Wonderland, I spend my free time on the web looking at celeb gossip (dirty secret, don’t tell anybody), reading the news, researching health remedies that I can use in my healing practice, and looking up celeb birthdays.Random? Well, maybe, but also not at all. Why? You can see a thread running through these topics: I like people. People fascinate me. I want to know more. I am interested in health and health-related issues. I love astrology, so when an interesting celeb catches my attention, I usually immediately Google his or her birthday. Robert de Niro? A Leo, born in August.What does all this tell you, L&L? From what you told me, you like dogs, books and hours of Internet research. Looking at what? If you say porn, then we have another conversation, one that entails me telling you to stop that and talk to real women out in the real world instead. But if you tell me, no, Alice, my Internet time is spent looking up historical facts and travel websites and blogs, I’d tell you all you need to start with is right in front of you: history, travel, and personal writing can move from your idle interests into potential college majors or places you go with the Peace Corps or inspiration for you to start writing. L&L, the world is your oyster. Go find your proverbial pearl.