Monday, April 30, 2012

Is jealousy really wrong?



For the record, jealousy is not envy. They are not interchangeable, because they reflect two different emotioal states and social situations.

Envy is when you want something you don't have. Jealousy is the fear of losing something you already have.

 For example, if you want your friend's boyfriend/girfriend then you are envious of your friend, but if you see your boyfriend/girlfriend getting along with someone else, and you fear being replaced for that person then you are jealous.

Between the two, only envy is considered a sin. The only way jealousy becomes a sin is when it turns to wrath where you would go to extreme measures to protect what you feel belongs to you.

Remember, if you want what is not yours, you are envious. If you are afriad of losing what is yours to another, you are jealous.

Not everyone experiences envy. Some people simply do not wish for what others have; they are either perfectly content with what they do have, or feel they will get something similar eventually.

They have the ability to be genuinally happy for people without feeling sad or less-than because they don't have the same thing.

Thus, while envy is a common sin, it is not experienced by all. The term "they do not have a jealous bone in their body" should actually be "they do not have an envious bone in their body."

Jealousy is far more common than envy. Even someone who does not envy can feel jealous. It's animal nature to fear being replaced, losing something that is important, or giving up something you feel belongs to you.

 Highly jealous people may be clingy; they may not share often; and may act possessive or entitled to the things and people in their life.

A jelaous boyfriend won't like the idea of his girlfriend having other male friends, because even if he trusts his girlfriend, he views the other males as a threat. All throughout the animal kingdom we see displays of jealous behaviour. Whether it is a fight for resources, or mates, virtually every animal want to protects what they feel is theirs.

In some cultures, jealousy is actually promoted. It is seen as a healthy way to create competition and encourage others to improve themselves. After all, if you feel someone might take your position, you'll most likely work harder to keep it.

These cultures inject this fear of being replaced heavily so the people are constantly investing time, energy, and money into keeping hold of something forever.

Think of the idea of youth. Americans are so bombarded with the idea of being young and fresh that even a 25 year old would feel aged. They begin to feel jealous of those who are still in their teens not because they themselves want to be 16, but they don't want to lose some of privilages that Americans associate with being young. Jealousy comes in many forms.

It is also used to teach people not to take things for granted. Perhaps you have made someone jealous in order to remind them how important you are to them.

Where jealousy becomes a negative is when we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep what belongs to you.

Much like an envious person who goes to great lengths to steal something away, a jealous person can react in the same negative way in order to keep it.

 We've heard of the jealous lover that kills her opponent, or even the jealous friend that spreads rumors to make the other person look bad. When jealousy causes us to behave negatively: lying, cheating, hurting; or when it begins to rule us making us anxious, depressed, suspcious all the time, then it is wrong.

Envy in any stage is wrong, but a little jealousy is not wrong.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Favoritism in friendships Pt 3

If you've ever felt as if you've been put on the outside of a friendship, forced to watched your friends act out their lovely friendship then you may relate to this.

Often without warning, you start to notice one or more of your friends treat each other better than you. You feel left out, unloved, and as if you are losing your friends. It's not that your friends don't care for you but you notice that perhaps one of them is playing favorites and unfortunately, you're not the favorite friend.

This favoritism is seen in a number of ways: better gifts, longer and more frequent hangouts, shared secrets, being asked to attend important events, doing more favors, letting them get away with more, taking their side in an argument, constantly praising them, and simply being a different person (perhaps bubblier or nicer).

At first you don't want to think your friend is opting for another friend besides you; after all, you're all friends so why should they act so different towards them. Then you may question just that, why are they acting so different? Then you begin to get jealous and insecurties form that you are being replaced or demoted.

It's not a matter of being jealous of your friend but being resentful of the situation. Why is it alway them and not me? Why are they being treated so well and not me? I thought I was your friend too.

I've seen how a jealous friend can react in more than one incidence. They may try to sabatoge the friendship. They may act possessive over the friend playing favorites. They may decide to end the friendship with both parties or ask the favorite friend to choose.

Friendships are serious things and if you've ever felt like you were losing yours you'll know you it's not uncommon to act irrational.

However, before doing something that may end your friendship for good, consider talking to those who are hurting you. Explain that you feel left out and no longer part of the team. Let them know that while you are happy for their friendship, you don't want to lose the people close to you because of it.

You cannot always avoid becoming that friend that gets left out or second best, but you may be able to keep your friendship from going down under by talking about it. 

Favoritisim in friendships Pt 2

Groups of friends can always be a challenge. It can get cliquey; there may be backstabbing, and you may notice that you're being left out or leaving someone out.

But what do you when you are the friend playing favorites and don't see anything wrong with it?

Several years ago, I met a girl that would test my friendships. For the sake of this, I'll address her as Ann. She was not a backstabber, or a gossip, she didn't try to hurt anyone.She was sweet, caring, and thoughtful. In other words, she was a perfect friend and I'm blessed to know her. In fact, there were 2 other girls that were blessed to know her.

The issue was how each of the friends felt about the other. I had my best friend who I had known for years; the other girl knew Ann the longest, and Ann regarded me as her closest friend. So although there was a general attachment to eachother, there were different bonds being formed between all of us.

Where the problem grew was when Ann's long time friend began to feel jealous that Ann and I were so close. I had noticed that there was a connection between her and I that was different from her and our other friend.

The problem was Ann was not afraid to make it known that I was her closest friend. One day, I told Ann that our other friend was getting jealous of our friendship and I suggested we try to equalize the way we treat eachother when we all hangout. Ann's response still stays with me "Is it wrong that I like you best? You're my best friend!"

The way Ann viewed me, was the way I view my own bestfriend. I wanted to talk to her first, see her most, help her first. It made me think, is it actually wrong to treat another person better if you feel a closer connection with them? It's one thing to be the jealous friend who feels they may lose their friend, but it's another to be the person playing favorites and feel justified to it.

Sometimes you don't know you're playing favorites. You simply gravitate to a person without notice. This is how it begins in most cases. Slowly, without notice or even concern, you grow closer to someone until you can't help but feel a tight bond between them.

Ann was not able to hide her feelings towards me. What's more she didn't feel the need to. To her, bestfriends should not have to censor how much they care for each other simply because someone is jealous. But our jealous friend did not understand how someone she knew first and longest could not have the same bond with her. She told me, I already had a bestfriend and to not steal Ann away.

 The situation was only remedied when I decided I'd let Ann and our friend have their hangouts without me, while Ann and I would hangout separately. My jealous friend was still jealous but she was at least saved from watching Ann act sugar towards me.

Ann tested my friendships with both my friends. For one, I found her company so enjoyable that at times I preferred seeing her over others; Also, there is a feeling of knowing someone is very fond of you that makes you want to see them even more. I felt I was neglecting my other friendships at times. I began to get irritated with my jealous friend because she began to dictate when I could and could not see Ann, and made me feel guilty for spending time with her. Finally, I was taught by Ann that some people cannot hide or tame their affections. It's as if they like letting everyone around them know who is the most important person to them.

Ann and I are still good friends; she's still the same; still regards me as her bestfriend and does not feel the need to hide it. For someone like Ann, it may be best to have your cute little friendship away from jealous eyes.

Favortisim in friendships Pt 1

She doesn't treat me the same way she treats you. Have you ever been in a friendship where a game of favorites was being played?

Even when I was younger, I never liked big groups of friends. I preferred to have one absolute bestfriend, a few close friends, and some acquaintances. I usually kept my hangouts small (one or two people) and would prioritize according to the deepness of the friendship. (If my best friend and my acquaintance were both having a party I'd attend my best friend's and set up another hangout date for the other person)

But when you're young, such as in junior high, the idea of a tight group of friends is appealing. A bit like sex and the city, you have more than one person to lean on, spend time with etc. It was around my preteen stage that I decided to test out group friendships and having more than one best friend.

However, psychologically we connect better with some people more than others. Perhaps we feel more free to share with them, have more in common, or have a better time. Even in a group of four friends, you'll have that one person you feel most connected to. That doesn't mean you don't all get along but you may not interact in the same way.

Of course when you're young you don't understand this and I didn't always see the slight favoritism that can happen in friendships.

When I was young, I was very close friends with two girls. Both were important to me and neither was more my friend than the other. But one day one of them confessed she was having a hard time in the friendship, because she felt our friend was treating me better.

I didn't see it from my friend's point of view at first, but after a while I started noticing little things that confirmed my friend's suspicion. Our mutual friend had a tendency to react sweeter towards me, share more with me, and invite me out me more often. This caused a tension between me and my hurt friend where a jealousy built up to the point where my friend said she no longer wanted to be friends with either of us.

At that point, I was very young. Too young to know how to fairly deal with the situation. But as I got older I realized many people go through this and even encountered it when I was a few years older.

The second time it happened, I asked my friend why she treated me different trying to explain how it hurt our other friend. She said she didn't notice a difference--that she liked us both the same. But her behavior contradicted the claim. Interestingly enough, I ended up being closer friends with the girl that felt left out.

Recently, I find myself in a similar situation. And have begun to notice a pattern when it comes to these situations

1. It's never simple one thing. A serious of events take place that the jealous person notices. As these little moments build up so does the tension.This habit of letting it slide until you're ready to burst makes it difficult to approach the person hurting you. A problem that can be fixed early on, turns into a large fight that leaves people deeply hurt.

2. The jealous friend rarely confronts the friend playing favorites, instead they confide in or even take their anger out on the favorite friend. In one case, I was the new friend and was accused of trying to breakup the friendship. While I don't oppose saying something on behalf of someone else if the situation does concern you, I believe more that people need to talk to the person that is actually hurting them. There is no possible way someone can know how you feel unless you say something. If you are not sure how to go about, let someone help you come up with a diplomatic way to address the situation but it has to be you that expresses your feelings.

3. The favorite friend may wrongly take sides or passively sit in the middle. It can be easy to see one side more than the other, but this puts you at the risk of ruining your friendships. It's also not always best to have an "oh well" attitude. In all vain honesty, it's nice being the favorite friend but it doesn't feel nice to lose a friend over it. It's a good idea to let your two friends have some one on one time. They may need to rekindle the friendship. Also, bring it to your friend's attention that they do play favorites and it makes you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes a person is doing something wrong and they don't even know.

It isn't wrong if you connect with one person more than another, but it's not fair to blatantly treat someone as if they aren't as special. 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Always be a flower



In the search for love or friendship look for someone who see your beauty in all stages of your life. Look for someone who will say “I will be there when you are no more than a budding seed; I will be there when you begin to blossom, and I will be there when your petals begin to fall because no matter what you will always be a flower.” Don’t look for someone who only wants you at your best-- blossomed with your full beauty too obvious to miss. Their eyes will turn away when you are not a typical beauty. Don’t look for someone who wants you as a seed: fragile, vulnerable, and needy.  Their need to be depended on will make it difficult to grow and find your own. Look for someone who appreciates and see all your beauty and awe in each moment of your life. 

The process of becoming perfect

“Call me when you have your shit together” I’ve never liked this phrase, because although it implies that you won’t settle, it also imposes a certain amount of pressure to be perfect on the person being told to “get their shit together.” When my friend said it recently, I wasn’t able to hide my dislike for the phrase and replied “do you know how hard it is to get your shit together?”

“Do you have any idea how much support it takes to get your shit together?”

“People don’t just magically wake up with their shit together. They have to go throw a very trying, difficult, challenging and sometimes insecure periods of their life in order to become the person they want to be.”

I look at humans at works of art in progress and let’s be honest most us appreciate the final product of great art. But no great art magically got like that. Someone put a lot of time and effort to create it, so as much praise as the final product should get an even greater amount of appreciation should go towards the actual process of its creation.

Like any goal, it takes work and hours of commitment to that goal. If you’ve ever achieved any level of success you’ll know what I’m talking about. You have to go through an unglamorous period where you’re building yourself whether that be your self-esteem, your skill, your knowledge etc.

The problem with many people is they don’t always take time to appreciate the process.  They don’t get enthusiastic about becoming who they want to be; they simply want to be it.

They don’t decide to like themselves until they have reached that goal. When they look in the mirror and see someone worthy of their love then they like themselves and feel more confident in seeking love from someone else.

 This imposition of perfection on themselves seeps out where they unknowingly expect it from others. They don’t want to deal with the “seed” of a person they want the blossomed flower—pretty and perfect. 

The frightening part about this is you are not given permission to fail and go through the “unpretty” stages of life freely. You’re just supposed to somehow “get your shit together. But unless you are able to go through the process of creating who you want to become with as much freedom to fail as you would have to succeed, it’s very difficult to successfully do it.

Humans are always under construction; we are never “finished products.” We become and desire different things in different stages in our lives. In other words, we will never truly have our shit together. All we can do is try and if you are diligently trying then what more should you ask of yourself or even anyone else.

What I think the world needs is less demand on being super beings and more acceptance of being who we feel makes us happy.

I asked my friend, “Wouldn’t you want someone who was willing to be with you in all stages of your life so long as you were trying.  Whether you’re a master in your field, up and coming or are picking yourself up after a heartbreaking fall, wouldn’t you like someone that is willing to be both encouraging and sympathetic.”

We should be patience and enthusiastic about our life and with others. We should see that the seed of a rose and the last decaying petal is still a rose—not demand that it quickly grow into its beauty and then remain like that forever. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Are some people born with all the luck?



There are some people who appear to be extremely lucky. They are born into a financially stable family; they have two loving and supportive parents; they live in a location where they have access to ample resources; and the have no major health issues. If life is a race then these types of people have a head start as opposed to  someone who struggles financially; was born or raised by people who don't treat them well, have little access to resources and opportunities, and are battling a difficult or threatening disease. These people seem as if they are doomed to come in last because they have a very poor start.
 
However, if you have ever watched a race, you know that those in the lead don't always finish first. Life is a challenge for all. Whether you are rich and famous or poor and forgotten, it rains in all our lives.

What some people have is an early luck, where they have a number of things in their favor. It seems as if because they have such a great head start the course of their life should run easy, while others must work twice as hard to catch up. But that does not mean those with a head start have it easy, and it doesn't mean their luck won't run out.

Those who endured difficult and traumatic experiences early in their life, often have a resilience and endurance that makes them continue to run a race they know they might loose. This push and willingness to succeed can take them from the back of the race to the front line.

This is not to say that those with a lucky head start don't try, but that desperate instinctive need to survive may be tamed down.

In addition, life has a way leveling the playing field. The person who was born wealthy can make poor financial decisions when they get older; the one that has always been loved can fall in love with someone who hurts them deeply; the healthy one may become tragically injured. It is not uncommon for someone to trip and fall, pulling them back or completely out of the race.

There is another thing which is pivotal to success...emotional stability. Despite having it all some, people can't get happy. They go through bouts of depression. They may feel anxious all the time. Regardless of their lucky head start they fall behind emotionally, always feeling stuck and never truly experiencing joy.

On the other hand, there are some who have very little but have great emotional stability. They are mentally and emotionally at peace.

The unfortunate part of life is no one is born knowing where they will stand at the start mark. If we could, I'm sure we would all want to be the person who had everything working for them. But we are all born with the ability to make something out of our lives. And it is not really a matter of who finishes first in the race of life, but who finishes content. If in each stage of your life (good or bad) you are grateful and feel a sense of contentment then you will always run a good race and will always have a special kind of luck.  
 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Sweet April



If March is a lion then April really is a lamb. It is more gentle towards me; more understanding, innocent and calm. I can handle April and it's challenges. I feel content. I don't know why I never achieve this level satisfaction with March, but I suppose everyone has their "winter."

The winds are brisk this April. There are still patches of snow and ice, yet I feel no disain for the slow coming of spring.

I look at April fondly, like that friend that is gentle and calming. The one you can spill your heart to without feeling judged. The one that smiles sadly at you knowing what a long a journey you've had and how much further you have to go.

 It says rest here, catch your breath. I won't over disturb you. March is demanding. March has expectations. March forcefully wants me to succeed. April wants me to try but not exhaust myself. April is courteous. It listens; tell me your woes; speak to me of your adventures.

 If you ever meet someone like the month of April, someone who is gentle and warm, someone who is patient and uplifting thank them--for they are like spring giving you a kind of renewal by implanting confidence and hope into your garden of life after a long winter. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter


There is a lot I could say, but I think I'll keep it short. Thank you Jesus. 

Dress: eBay
Cardigan: Thrift

Alloy.com haul and review



Buying shoes online is always nerve racking for me, but when they come at such an affordable price it's hard to not take the risk. I recently discovered Alloy.com, a retail website that sells both women's and men's apparel. The clothes don't really do it for me, but the shoes are cute. When on sale, you can find some nice items for very reasonable prices. I took the plunge and bought 2 pairs of shoes: some lace black flats and some black platform heels. I figured since it was my first time purchasing from there I would not do a crazy shopping spree.

The Good:

Alloy.com has well priced items. Both my shoes came up to 21.23 before shipping. I'd be thrilled to get one shoe for that on sale!  Even before sale prices, Alloy.com's items are reasonable. They also do frequent promos allowing you to get even more off.

Shipping did not take long. In Canada, everything takes forever to arrive. 10 days for an item to ship is considered fast. Alloy did not give me a tracking number, but the estimated date was correct.

The items are nice. While they are not the best quality, they are fine for the price. They are comfortable and they look cute with outfits. The heels have a rubber grip which makes it easier to walk in and the flats are nicely padded.

The bad:

The biggest complaint I have is the shipping prices for international countries. If you are in the States shipping is not outrageous and they often have promos for free shipping. Sadly, these promos do not apply to locations outside the U.S.A and the price of shipping is steep. For my two items shipping was 21.95. That's more than what I paid for my merchandise! I would highly suggest doing a bulk or group buy in order to make the shipping worth it.

Overall: For their ease of shopping and great prices I will definitely shop there again and would recommend it to others. In the future, I'll purchase a greater quantity of items so my shipping fees balance out with the item fees.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Unwelcomed sounds



Classical music plays in the background, Johann Strauss II, to be precise. The melody is a nice distraction from the random hums, rings, and gentle bangs heard throughout the house. Normally I don't mind. The sounds are welcomed, comforting almost. But today the slightest sound that I myself didn't make or invite irritates me. The noises grate at my nerves and I wonder why is there so much noise? Why can I hear the sounds of living so clearly? I turn up the volume to the stereo and try to drown out the symphony of life playing so loudly around me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

 I am looking forward to Easter, spending time with my family and springtime. What are you excited about this weekend?

Je suis impatient de Pâques, de passer du temps avec ma famille et au printemps. Que faites-vous heureux de ce week-end?



Silver Book Locket Necklace- Enchanted Love Garden - By TheEnchantedLocket



Betsey Johnson Women's Alexsaa Platform Pump



Ivory Cotton Crepe Dress