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Randi Rabin: Letting Go of Dark Thoughts; Birthday ‘Boy’ Wants Friend to Split the Bill

Dear Feelings Doctor: I have been trying so hard to focus on letting go of the dark things and the sad things in my life. Every day I tell myself that today the negative things will not get to me and that I do not want any of this heavy sadness that I am carrying around anymore. Nothing is changing. Things are not better, and nothing is helping; the negative keeps finding me.

— Dark Days in Santa Barbara

Dear Dark Days: When we put all of our attention on what we do not want in our lives, we continue getting more of it. You can change that by shifting your focus on the new place you desire to go — the things you desire to have!

By turning your thoughts and attention on what it is you do want instead of what you don’t want, your life will take on a whole new dimension of possibilities. When we focus on what we want to leave behind, we are still carrying all of that with us.

Walk outside when you are done reading this and look up at the wonderful, beautiful blue sky. The world is yours today to create peace, fun and excitement — so get to it! This will instantly fill your heart with joy and hope. Do that daily — oh, let’s say, how about forever?

Dear Feelings Doctor: I have a friend who has been in my life since grammar school. It's been over 40 years! The problem is, certain habits he has are extremely annoying. This last one I feel I need to address.

He is throwing an extravagant birthday party for his 50th. He mentioned the date to me, and I said yes I'll be there. Three months later, he informs me it will cost $750 for each person as he totaled the cost and divided it by the number of guests! What kind of man does this type of thing their entire adult life? I could tolerate it in our youth, but quite frankly I'm fed up with it! What do I say to this lifelong friend?

— Lifelong Friend in Santa Barbara

Dear Lifelong Friend: You say this friend has been in your life for 40 years. That’s a long time to know one another, and also to adapt and accept or not accept each other’s behavior. If you feel this last maneuver he attempted needs to be addressed, absolutely bring it to his attention.

Certain things we overlook in our younger years are no longer tolerable as we mature. It sounds like this is one of your growing moments. If your lifelong friend wants to throw himself a birthday bash, good for him; he is responsible for footing the bill or perhaps charging a cover at the door. That said, a party usually costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 per person at the most. So, $750 per person — come on! Reeeeaaaaalllly!

Got a question for The Feelings Doctor? Click here to submit a question anonymously.

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Imagine This ...

Patience is an act of confidence ... knowing that life is unfolding as it should. Patience is not laziness or indifference ... it is trusting in life and adding a dash of hope in the mix. Patience is a silent energy ... a calm positive look into the future. As I joyfully focus on sharing kindness and love, my life is filled with pray and I am patient. I am patient and present to witness the masterpiece that is revealed before my eyes today.

— Psychotherapist Randi Rabin, M.A., MFTI, answers reader questions in her weekly Noozhawk column, The Feelings Doctor, and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and completed her master’s degree in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute under the guidance of renowned psychologist Stephen Aizenstat, Pacifica’s chancellor and founding president. She has worked as a counselor with a number of local nonprofit organizations and schools. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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