Get a Life Q&A Feb 9 2014

I’ve owned and run my own business for 15 years. My parents depend on me and I have 20 staff who also look to our business for their livelihood. Now I just feel tired. I feel I want to do something different. Problem is, I feel guilty for wanting to pursue my own dream. What will happen to the other people involved? How do I live with myself if I don’t make as much money I do now?

I’m hearing you say you feel tired now that you’ve run your business for 15 years. I’m hearing you say you feel responsible for all those people who depend on you. I’m also hearing that you want to pursue your own dream but you feel guilty for wanting something for yourself.

How long have you been feeling this way? How much passion and inspiration do you feel when so divided in terms of what you want and what you feel you have to do? How much longer do you think you’ll be able to continue living this way?

Stop a moment. What if you wake up tomorrow, and a miracle occurred to bring you what you want, what would your life be like? And if you released the idea of being responsible for all those people and did for them what you could… while still living your dream, how does that sit with you?

Think where you can invite more flexibility in the equation. Because there are many derivatives that can pop up, so why not invite conversations with your parents and colleagues? What are you assuming about your parents, your staff that keeps you stuck?

Sometimes getting a little distance helps us get a better perspective. Why not consider a trip, take a break, or speak to people outside of the situation to see more clearly what next?

My close friend is in a relationship with another woman. I’m hardly surprised because she had previously admitted those tendencies to me. The point is, this woman couldn’t be any more wrong for her. Observing them, there is no connection, no closeness – it almost seems like both want companionship. How do I tell her what I see isn’t real love?

What are you most uncomfortable about – that your friend is now openly bisexual or that her partner isn’t right for her? Or perhaps what upsets you is knowing how this will all turn out in the end, knowing it won’t be a pleasant ending?

You know the saying: We see the world not as it is, but as we are? How is this matter about you? How is it your place to say anything at all? And as you reflect on your thoughts and feelings, your values, what do you now realize? Things important to you in a relationship may not be demonstrated here, but then again, it’s not your relationship, is it?

I acknowledge you for your caring and concern for your friend. I know you’re coming from a good place. You want to see your friend happy and settled I’m sure. Do you know what she wants? Have you spoken to her about what she needs? Sometimes being a friend simply means we show up for the other person no matter what their choices are. What does friendship mean to you?

Sometimes I play this game where I have 3 hats. The first hat is the judge’s hat. When I wear that hat, I have permission to say what I like or dislike. The 2nd hat is the observer’s hat. When I’m the observer, I’m just the reporter. I don’t get to choose what I feel, I just tell the story. The 3rd hat is my “best self” hat. This is when I’m the friend, the cheerleader, the supporter. What role are you playing?


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