Dear Diane — January 29, 2011

Dear Diane,

I’d like to start a meet-up group of other single mothers like myself, but I’m not sure how to handle my friend, Julia. We have known each other for eight years, and she is a true friend. The problem is that she takes over everything when we are in a group, and she sort of dominates the conversations. Just once I’d like to do something where I can shine without feeling like she’ll take over. I care about her, and while I don’t want to leave her out, I need to have my own friends too. If I let her join, how do I keep her from taking over?

Vanessa

Dear Vanessa, 

I pick up that Julia comes from a large family, and was often fighting for recognition. Her way of being included was to “get everyone organized.” She doesn’t realize that this behavior upsets you, as it’s quite natural to her to take charge. She may actually feel that she’s helping.

You are right to want to have social connections that are yours alone, and if you feel strongly that Julia does not belong with this group , be honest with her, and let her know that you need to “test your social wings” without her. She may be hurt, but you are entitled to fly solo now and then.

If you wish to include her, suggest a job for her so that she knows where she fits in. Perhaps you can put her in charge of a membership list, or let her put together a monthly outing. Any job that you would rather not do yourself will suffice. Just make it clear that YOU are starting the group, and that you need her to respect that fact.

I feel that you and Julia will know each other for a very long time to come. Friends, like family, can get on one’s nerves, but in a pinch, they are the people you can count on. Congratulations on having found a true friend!

Diane

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Dear Diane,

Mom died almost a year ago, and I still grieve her every day. My sister has dreamed about her, and my daughter swears that she saw her standing at the bottom of the stairs. I feel cheated because I don’t think she’s around. Is there a reason why spirits would go to visit one family member and not another? I’m confused, as I miss her so much. I went to a psychic but I don’t feel like he connected with her. I’m so sad.

Ruth

Dear Ruth,

I’m so sorry that you lost your mom. Sometime such grief takes years to heal, and I know that you have a long road ahead.

Please know that your mother would never abandon you. She has been with you many times since her passing, but sometimes pain can keep us from seeing, hearing or feeling a loved one. While your sister came to terms with your mom’s transition, you are still struggling to make sense of it. You might benefit from attending a support group for those in the grieving process. Your local hospital may be able to refer you to such an organization.

In time, you will begin to make the connection with mom once more. You will be together again someday, but until then, know that she is with you. Talk to her about your grief, and know that she will listen.

Diane
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Dear Diane

This is a strange question, but how do I get more connected psychically with my cat? He and I are very close, and it’s like I know when he’s hungry or wants to play. He senses when I’m sad, and comes up to me purring. I don’t have to say anything, because he already knows that I need him. How can I understand more about him?

Kelley

Dear Kelley,

Like you, I have so much respect for animals and the way they impact our lives. I’ve had cats, dogs, hamsters, and more, and every creature was a wonderful friend and teacher.

Years ago, I realized that my cat, Nemo, could communicate in pictures. I’d be sitting on the couch reading when suddenly I’d see a can of tuna in my mind. I’d look up to see Nemo in a seeming state of concentration, staring at me.

I decided to try an experiment. One day, while he was fast asleep in the den, I walked down the hall to the bedroom and sat down with a magazine. A few minutes later, I formed a picture in my mind of the sleeping cat.

“Come on Nemo!, “ I called with my silent mind. “Wake up, walk down the hall, jump on the bed!” I showed him a visual movie of the actions I described, ending with his jumping up to be cuddled.

To my amazement, I saw a head coming around the corner and through the bedroom door. Nemo jumped onto the bed just as in my vision.

I continued to practice this game with him, and we became quite adept at mental communication. Try it with your cat. You might be surprised!

Diane

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