I have a close friend who’s been doing something illegal that could land him in jail and cost him his job. When he told me what has been going on, I burst into tears. Should I: (A) stop being friends because the friendship might shed a bad light on me; (B) tell him to call his 12-step sponsor and make a full admission so he can get some clear guidance about the issue; (C) rat him out to the authorities; (D) consider the two decades of friendship, pray and tell him I love him like my own brother. Please respond.
Your heart is broken. Let yourself grieve the man you thought you knew so you can be present with the man he is. Don’t judge him. Be grateful he told you about his struggle. His confession is a cry for help. It’s also your wake-up call. Over the years, you may have been overcommitted to seeing his perfection. The golden halo—that’s what Carl Jung called the tendency to project only positive qualities on someone. Honesty is difficult for the person wearing a golden halo because they fear disappointing others. But here’s something truly beautiful—for the first time the two of you are in an honest relationship. Breathe into that when your grief threatens to engulf you.
The only way one person can truly know another is to see that individual in the fullness of light and the depth of shadow, simultaneously. That’s what love really is: meeting a person in their wholeness, rather than maintaining the implicit social agreement and interacting only with the mask they show to the world. True emotional intimacy is complicated, but fulfilling. You’re gaining a taste of it right now.
Your next step is to splice your options. Like this: Invite your friend over and tell him that you (D) love him like a brother and that’s why you’re staging an intervention. Ask him to take out his phone and (B) call his sponsor and confess his illegal activity. If he refuses, tell him he has 24 hours. Let him know that, post-deadline, you will (C) call the authorities and tell them what you know about the illegal activity. You do not have to give law enforcement your friend’s name, but you are responsible for protecting victims, if there are any. After all, what use is friendship if we don’t invite each other into becoming the best we can be? And aren’t we all responsible for protecting our communities?
I’m 20 years old and want to be an actress, but Hollywood is run by the Illuminati and I don’t have the money to buy my way in. Advice?
Open your mind. I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories but can see why they’re popular. If you aim for success and don’t achieve what you hoped for, it’s on you. But if there’s a secret society in power, you have someone to blame, right? Hey, manifesting any dream takes focus, determination, commitment and some talent. So decide whether your dream is valuable enough to pursue, or whether it’s better to blame others for keeping you down.