Q: My best friend just got engaged. I’m really excited for her, but at the same time, I feel a bit sad that our relationship won’t be the same. We won’t be talking about our dates anymore or spending as much time together, and I’ll miss that. I’m also feeling a bit jealous—I want so badly to get married.
Am I a selfish friend for having these thoughts and feelings?
A: First of all, Mazel Tov on your friend’s simcha!
Second of all, you’re human, and Hashem created you with the ability to have contradicting emotions at the same time. All emotions—joy, sadness, excitement, fear— are ‘energy in motion’, and they ebb and flow like the ocean waters. It’s very important not to suppress these emotions or ignore them because that can cause Mindbody pain symptoms like headaches, digestive problems, etc. Since these emotions are energetic in nature and can flow, by being honest with yourself and by noticing them, they can give you information.
It’s important to remember to be kind to yourself during this time and not self-judgemental. Load on the compassion. Self-kindness strengthens the body while self-criticism weakens the body, G-d forbid.
I invite you to try this: notice what feeling-sensation you have in your body when you criticize yourself for being sad or jealous. Do you feel yourself shrinking?
Now, try asking yourself this question with your hand on your heart: How can I love myself today more than yesterday?
Listen inward, and you may notice a dialogue of compassion flowing in your mind, and a sense of expansion felt in your body. This is a gift to yourself, and you will hear your intuition, which can guide you through this situation. Also, you will lower your stress level.
So, what to do with the sadness? When you feel the sensation of sadness emerging in your body, just gently notice it. Is there a heaviness in your chest or a tightening in your stomach? That’s ok. Just sit and allow that sadness energy to flow. It will cycle and pass. Sadness is a sense of loss, and you are feeling that with the change in the relationship with your friend.
Do the same thing with the feeling of jealousy. Just sit with the feeling-sensation of it and let it be. It will also flow, rather than get stuck. Ask yourself that kind question, and then listen.
The jealousy is pointing you in a direction that you’d like to go in, kind of like a compass. You would also like to get married, and that is a beautiful thing. Hashem has the perfect someone and the perfect timing for you. If there are action steps to be taken to make this more of a reality for you (even patience is an action step), then kindness to yourself will get you there in a healthy way for your body and soul.
What you’re doing here is having Mindbody awareness and compassion for a change and loss that’s taking place in your life. And most likely, you will continue to go through a range of emotions as your relationship with your friend shifts. When you are willing to allow all your emotions rather than resist them, you’ll be able to adapt to the changes, as well as feel sincere excitement and joy for your friend.
Wishing you hatzlocha!