Monthly Archives: October 2015

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Best Frenemies

frenemies friends

Have you ever noticed how certain friends never seem happy for you when you accomplish something? Do you find that it ruins your day when a friend gets something that you were striving for?

If there is someone in your life who you to tend to compete with in certain areas, chances are, you have a “frenemy” not a friend!

A frenemy is a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry. They are people who you feel are more foe than friend!

How can you recognize or identify a frenemy? First step is to recognize how they make you feel when you’re around them or interact with them. How do you respond when things are going well for someone you don’t really like? Think of how a person responds to you when things are going well for you, and you’ll be able to tell if that person thinks of you as a frenemy, too.

If you are highly competitive and always strive to out-do someone and be bigger, brighter, or bolder, then this person is probably not a true friend, and to be honest, you’re not a true friend, either!

Observe whether your competitive nature drives you to work harder and achieve success, or if you are driven out of feelings of jealousy. Jealousy usually morphs into anger and resentment, and most of the time it surfaces when your frenemy is recognized or celebrating a success.

These roots of jealousy can destroy friendships, because they create barriers and inhibit closeness.  The first step to combating negative emotions and toxic friendships, is to recognize the signs and symptoms. Be mindful of your thoughts and words when you are feeling a stab of jealousy.  Oftentimes,negative feelings such as anger can arise after contact with someone you regard more as a frenemy.

If we are honest, we can usually recognize this behavior in ourselves. The next step is to try to be happy when someone else accomplishes something. You can only do this if you take yourself out of the imagined race or competition that you have set yourself up against with this person.

Others will fail and succeed in life, and your job is to be there as a friend, and to help celebrate them or support them in times of need. If you can’t do that, it’s time to end the frenemyship.

It be wonderful if we could celebrate each other’s successes, rather than express anger and contempt for one another.  I was always moved by the benediction that I heard at my Lutheran Church, and I believe that this guiding principal should be one that  we all strive to follow: “Seek to bear one another’s burdens and share one another’s joys.”

If we can do that, we can go back to being a friend, instead of being a…

frenemy

Thanks for reading!

Karen Stabley, Art Therapy (ATR)

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Feeling Safe in A Gun-Loving Society

mamiverse.com
mamiverse.com

In light of the recent shooting in Oregon, I have noticed a general feeling of defeat in the wake of this tragedy. People are beginning to feel overwhelmed by the number of shootings and our inability to stop them. It seems too easy to buy a gun and this fact leaves us all feeling vulnerable.

As a parent, President Obama, immediately pictured himself caught in the heart-wrenching aftermath of a shooting. We all did. How do we cope with the uncertainty and the continued images of pain and suffering that could easily affect our families?

Some people choose to cope by ignoring this crisis, because it’s too difficult to process and it’s something that we have absolutely no control over. We think that we’re ignoring the problem, yet we’re a nation full of anxious, hyper vigilant, over-medicated individuals. This is most evident in our youth.

Our children suffer the most. They bear the burden of a nation that will not protect them  from mass shooters. Our government’s refusal to enact common sense gun laws deprives our children of a carefree childhood. Young adults are busy dealing with the effects of an overspent economy, crushing student loan debt and the uncertainty of landing a job in their field. How can we, as parents, help our children at a time like this?

One thing I know for sure is this, we can easily become consumed by the darkness if we allow ourselves to be. Instead, we must consciously look toward the light and the luminaries — those people who shine a light amid the darkness. People are naturally drawn to the Pope, the Dali Lama, and even Oprah for comfort. Why? Because we lean on those who have the best interests of the people at heart and who provide hope for humanity. We realize that goodness and kindness are the only keys to escaping this crushing weight of hatred, violence and self-serving interests of politicians.

To move forward, we must act on this knowledge and teach our children how to do the same. This requires mindful consciousness. When we realize that companies, politicians, and the media respond to our demands, we can make better decisions. What we watch, click on, purchase and consume directly affects whether these sources supply us with goodness or negativity. Each decision is a vote. Each moment requires us to make a choice to support what we want for our children, family and friends.

We are naturally drawn to stories and products that feed our fears, but we must make choices to constantly look toward the light for the sake of our children – the most vulnerable members of any society. Every choice we make matters.

With Love and Comfort,

Karen Stabley, Art Therapy (ATR)

Learn more on my Website!

Please visit and like my Facebook page!

Visit my Etsy Shop for my hand-crafted healing items.

Email me!

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