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issue: Unless there is an unforeseen emergency, I require that people handle their own basic needs, and I can help them with the extras. It really doesn’t help people when you do for them what they need to do for themselves. If they can’t cover their basics, it is a clear indication that they may have a problem that money will not solve. It also means that providing the money for them will not appropriately address the underlying issue.

Q I know my family members want what’s best for me, but they interfere with my decision-making too often. What should I do?

Beloved, is it that they interfere with your decision-making or that you do not trust the decisions you make on your own? You are the only one who gets to make decisions in your life. If you did not invite their input, they would not continue offering it. And if you are not inviting or requesting it, there is no need for you to feel obligated to take the unsolicited advice they offer. To suggest that someone can interfere or impose his or her will on you makes you a victim. You are not the victim of anyone or anything unless you choose this mindset. It might be time for you to take a stand for and within yourself, trusting that you know what is best for you. When you receive uninvited guests in your decision-making process, you can simply say, “Thank you for sharing, but my mind is made up.”

Q My best friend and I fell out over money, and we haven’t spoken in nearly two years. I miss the relationship, but I want my cash. How do I get both?

Beloved, my daddy taught me a very important lesson when he said, “If you don’t have it to give, don’t lend it.” Money destroys more relationships than any other challenge in human interactions. The hard, cold truth is that very often, we value money more than we do people. It is also true that we put our money where our hearts are. You didn’t loan the money just because you had it. You loaned it because you had given this person a piece of your heart, and she or he handled it carelessly. In the scenario you have presented, there is no way you can rebuild the relationship while holding onto the desire to have the cash, because the real upset is how [that person] handled your heart. Release your attachment to the money, forgive your friend and rebuild the relationship if that is your desire. On the other hand, what your friend has demonstrated is a lack of personal integrity. The failure to repay the money indicates this person does not honor his or her word, refuses to keep agreements and breaks commitments. Knowing this is far more important than having the cash. The real question is, why would you want to be in a relationship with a person who takes personal integrity so lightly?

Q I love my mate, but my best friend hates him. How can we all just get along?

Beloved, it is not clear to me how your best friend came to believe that she or he should have a vote in whom you choose as a partner. This raises a few questions: Have you created an inappropriate boundary with your friend? Is your friend afraid that you don’t have enough love to share with two people? Or can your friend see something in your mate that you are acting like you don’t know? The latter issue, I believe, is the more important one. A really good friend is one who will tell you that you have something green in your teeth before you take the group picture. You will listen and be grateful because you know your friend has your back. It would be interesting to know if you have listened to your friend’s objections about your partner, receiving them as a genuine concern, or if you are in denial about who your partner is. This is a question only you can answer.