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June 27, 2014 / submitted by Sheena, Philippines
Q.  TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #174
Yesterday was my birthday, and I found out that my estranged dad was undergoing a bypass operation. I don't celebrate my birthdays because my dad was never there. I grew up kind of hating him. But now, I just don't know what to feel. I still care about him, despite him being not much of a father to me. Yet, I still remember how he made my mom cry all these years, and the side of me that hates him just resurfaces. And I know that's wrong. What to do?

Happy belated birthday, Sheena. It's completely understandable why you have these feelings towards your Dad. He may be your Dad biologically but he certainly hasn't been a father to you.
I'm sure it wasn't easy watching your Mum suffer but you also had issues to deal with so don't ignore your feelings. I do think it would help you to talk to someone outside of the family - a counsellor perhaps. You're obviously holding on to a lot of negativity and maybe now is time to let go and be in a position where your birthday becomes a celebration of your life rather than an unwanted reminder of who gave that life to you.
You don't owe your dad anything but if you feel you should be there for him, do it IF that feels right for you.
There are many options moving forward. Forgiving him but having no contact, being there during this time of sickness or to continue as you are. It's up to you. You can't change what happened but you can change how you deal with it.
Over to you.

Hey there Sheena , I know what it feels like to hate someone you love. But at the end of the day, your dad is still family. And we stick to the end for family , because no matter what , we don't give up on family.

Sheena I think in this situation you have to put yourself first. How would you feel if the worst happened and you didn't get another chance to speak to your father? If you have unanswered questions or things left unsaid then now is a good opportunity to clear the air. You may worry about upsetting your Mother but remember the breakdown in their relationship was not your fault, maybe tell her first if you can. But go with your instincts and if you feel you would gain from making contact with your father then take a deep breath and go for it.
Best of luck with whatever you decide.
Tanya UK.

When it comes to how we feel toward those in our family, I find it goes both ways. For example, when someone makes a stupid mistake or just feels terrible for some reason, the family is often the only people who will love them unconditionally anyway. At the same time, it is often harder to get over feelings toward family members who have hurt you or others in your family than if it was someone you know outside of your family. So I understand you when you say that you care for your father but that it is hard to get over the old feelings toward him. If you find it too hard to get over those feelings, try looking at him as a person who just underwent bypass surgery and needs support for that, and not as the father who hurt you and your family. A short phone call just to make sure he made it through the operation ok can mean a lot to him without either of you having to confront past actions. Gavin.

Sheena, go see your father before/after his bypass surgery. He may have not always been there for you, but you can be there for him. Don't fight fire with fire or you might burn your relationship down. No one ever truly won by getting revenge. You can be a light in this dark world to him. Life is just too short to harbor hatred Sheena. It won't be the easiest thing to do, but it will be the most rewarding. Who knows? Maybe the relationship between you and your father will become stronger. You have much to gain by going and seeing him and you also have little to lose if you don't. Hope this helps! Nicholas.

I see you feel very hurt from your father and it's hard to forgive or to understand. But it is easy for us to judge other people based just on what we see from outside. You saw sad things that made you hate him, but you you cannot see what he has been passing through, or why was he never there. Maybe there is more than you actually know and it would be good to give him a chance to talk to you. Sometimes listening to the other side can be really surprising and changing. Don't let this chance go, maybe you did not have good memories about him, but you could start new ones after this moment. Wish you all the best! Mariana, Brazil.

First of all, Happy Birthday! Please don't let another year pass by without sitting down with your father and telling him exactly how you feel. The anger and resentment you are holding onto against him is doing much more damage to you, physically and psychologically, in the long term. (Let's not forget, not celebrating your own birthday!) Once you are able to tell your father everything you want to say, I'm guessing you will feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders. You will know in your heart if he is truly remorseful for his actions and willing to change. If so, maybe there is the possibility of your forgiveness? We are all capable of change and deserving of forgiveness.
There is always the possibility of a redefined father/daughter relationship that you never imagined. But, if he has not grown as a person or is stuck in his old habits, then you will have to accept the gift of forgiveness that you are giving YOURSELF and keep it moving. The Buddha once said that holding onto anger is like holding a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. Some people cannot keep themselves from their toxic behavior(s) and we have to choose to love them from a distance, even if they are family. Either way, talk with your father and get whatever support you need around you to deal with the situation. Best of luck! Holley

Don't feel bad about hating your dad. You are conscious about it, and that matters a lot. It's not your fault for the things that happened to you or to your family. Maybe your father also feels bad about the situation. Even if he seems not to, I'm sure he just wasn't conscious enough to realize that you and your mother would suffer that much. And no matter what kind of things you feel towards him remember it's no one's fault, because sometimes the events throughout life just happen without anyone being able to control them.
If you look to the past you'll see things that happened and not you or anyone can change, but if you look to the present, you'll eventually be able to find a way to change things, to make everyone feel better, because everyone suffers, and since you and your mother suffer because of him, you probably never thought that your father might suffer too. Maybe you should talk to your dad and explain how you feel without letting the hate come to your words. It might be difficult to think about facing him but if you feel it's the best thing you can do, then do it and you'll see that it won't be that hard. After all he's your father and even if he acts like a cold person, he's human and every human has a heart, just like yours.
From someone who was in a similar situation, Cris, Portugal.


I'm sorry to hear you heard such sad news on your birthday. Nevertheless, I hope you had a great day and your father's operation went successfully. It seems only natural to hear of your bad feelings towards your dad that sometimes crop up, so don't be too hard on yourself, just begin to focus on how you cope with those feelings and how you want your relationship to pan out in the future. Remembering what's happened in the past will be easy, but coming to create a new future between you and your dad will seem really hard, but it's kind of essential. Ignore him and you'll feel like a bad daughter. Smother him and you'll feel like the past doesn't matter.

Finding the ground between the two extremes has to be essentially found by you, judging the dynamics of your own relationship. Forgiving your father for the past might seem almost impossible, but it might just ease your load and help begin to reconcile you both. He might not have been much of a father to you, but you have the chance to show that you are his daughter and to show love to him. No matter what someone has done, showing love to them will never hurt either of you.
Happy Birthday for yesterday, Tom.

Sheena, you with your father are going through tough times. No matter what kind of pain was caused, no matter how tall walls you built: everything fades at the moment when you realize that you can lose him. This is the most evidential thing to feel. If you really are worried about him, everything's not lost. You both deserve a happiness. Make a step towards him, and you will know the answer for sure: you are needed as strongly as he is needed to you. You don't have to be brave enough to cross out some person from your life. But you need to be as brave as possible to confess that nothing can push you to deny the person you love. As they say, you love not for a reason, you love against the reason. Step forward, and smile from the step in answer. Andy.

Sheena, please don't ever let your dad determine your happiness. We as individuals determine our own happiness. You can choose to let your father's absence make you unhappy, or you can choose to be happy regardless of the circumstances. You should never allow him to steal your happiness because you deserve to be happy regardless of him. Celebrate your birthday! You have so much to be joyful about, so why let that all drain away because one person won't be there for you? You're worth more than that.
I'm also in a very similar situation with my dad. My dad is very unhealthy (emotionally and mentally), and thus he's never really been there for my family. Yes he comes to birthdays and such, but he's not there when we really need him (emotionally). He's caused my family so much grief, and as a result none of us really like him. I have feelings of resentment towards him, and I can understand how you do, too. It's ok to feel that way; he's hurt you. It's human nature to feel pain and resentment when someone hurts us. However, for both of us, it's up to us to move past the pain and choose how we will react to it. Both of us have so much life to live, so why waste it feeling hurt and not allowing ourselves to be happy amongst the pain?
It's ok to still care about him, you should. Just don't let him steal your happiness. Brooke.

Sheena, Your birthday is a celebration of you! You are not defined by your father, his mistakes, or his problems. The best gift you could give yourself is to realize that you are the most important person in your world. Allow yourself your feelings, with no judgment, but do not be controlled by them. You are a caring wondrous human being so of course you "still care about him". We all have our paths to walk in life your direction and your destiny belongs to you alone.
The empathy that you have expressed for both of your parents shows the warmth of your heart, show yourself the same kindness and boldly set your bounadries. Though you may feel a bit wounded you are not broken, or bent, you are Whole! Celebrate life, celebrate Sheena, and let the world see you shine. You are here to do great things.
Be Well-Be Blessed-Be Yourself (everyone else is already taken).
Cheers to you, Dani USA.


I understand that the rejection your father has shown you has been painful, and often people live with resentment for long periods.
While this is understandable, it is not helpful in the healing process.
In order to heal you must move past the anger and resentment. You need to learn to forgive. If for no one else other than yourself...learn to forgive and let go. I believe it is the only way for a person to have peace in their life.
There is nothing you can do about what is in the past and you have no control over his actions.
However, you can move forward and create a better life for yourself in the future. You do have control over your thoughts and actions and those are powerful.
Don't dwell in anger over what other people have done or said. Try to focus more on who you are and the person you want to become.
Whether positive or negative, which ever thoughts you feed will grow.
Finally... don't let what someone did to you (and your mother) in the past, prevent you from having a bright future. Celebrate your birthday. Celebrate your life with hope and belief that it can and will get better.
Be well. Dawn

First off your feelings are not wrong they are yours, you have years of anger and resentment toward your father. Now you are perplexed as to whether to reach out to him. I wonder if this is to please a relative or perhaps you feel a sense of duty or obligation? I would suggest if you do reach out to him keep it light and not too personal and make it clear you are not reopening the lines of communication, but merely wanted to wish him a speedy recovery. Maybe one day you can address all your issues with him, but be cautious. Don't let him off the hook for what he did to you, you deserved better. It is sad that you don't have a relationship with him but that is not your fault is it? So don't feel guilty and do what your heart says you should. Best of luck! Name withheld.

Sheena, although the things that happen in the past can remain with us, there comes a time when freedom is more desirable than the bondage of hanging on to what is already done. When I was a Hospice nurse, working with people who were terminally ill, the most common thing I encountered was feelings of regret. Families who had "unfinished business" left unsaid had the most difficult time moving on with their lives. Forgiveness is everything. To forgive is not to enable or agree with another's actions. Forgiveness is about setting yourself free. Sometimes, we need to let go of one story in order to create a new one. We can never really know what drives people to do what they do. Your father did things that were hurtful. Hating him will only create toxicity within you. Hate does more harm to the person hating than the person hated. You now have the power to choose the path you're going to create. Choose Love - it's all that really matters. Alia, USA.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.



June 27, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
Q.  WHO'D LIKE TO JOIN TEAM ORACLE??
As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to theoracle@coldplay.com before midnight Thursday 3 July.

I've gotta admit I am kind of depressed right now. You see, I have a huge crush on this guy, and well, he is soooo out of my league. He plays tons of sports. And here I am. I have cerebral palsy. It isn't severe, but it's enough to make me different. Noticeably different. And I feel like nobody is ever going to love or want me because nobody wants someone with a disability. How do I move on? I just feel ugly and unwanted. Laine, USA.

Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

Please email your replies to theoracle@coldplay.com.


June 20, 2014 / submitted by Leandro, Philippines
Q.  TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #173
I would just like to ask a question about something. So, I am Leandro, 18 years of age, and I've been having problems lately. Well, family wise, we're all fine. But, love... love's just... I don't know... tormenting.
Anyway, here's the question, do you think people deserve a second chance? I have sinned, yes. I cheated on someone. I failed to keep promises. I just can't believe that I, myself, was able to pull that off, and I regret whatever I've done with all of my heart.
But then whenever it's time for me to move on, and find someone to love, why is it that this feeling of guilt? This very feeling from the start of my road down to hell... Why do I always feel it? Why does it pull me down all of the time? I don't know what to do. Have I forgiven myself as well? I can't answer all of this.

Stop being so hard on yourself, Leandro. It's obvious you regret your actions so it's time to put it behind you and move on.
There is no point sabotaging every future chance of happiness because of a mistake you made. The only thing you need to do is not repeat that mistake and learn from it.
Your actions have made you unhappy and I think you have learned a hard lesson but there is no need to keep punishing yourself.
You're human and temptations will come your way but you have the choice to give in to them or not, so choose not to. Give yourself the second chance - you have proved you deserve it.
Over to you.

Since you're from the Philippines I'm going to assume you're Christian. Anyone can change. Just have faith. No matter how far you've gone astray. Whatever you've done that you regret. Ask for forgiveness from those you've harmed and from God. Also, if you can, undo the wrong you've done. Don't forget that you've already changed a lot. Admitting your sins is a big step towards repentance. I've been to the Philippines and learned bisaya and some tagalog. Ang diyos magmamahal sayo! Ingat!
Eric, USA.


Yes, everyone deserves a second chance. Nobody's perfect; we've all sinned and we are all unperfect. If you've sinned, wouldn't you want a second chance? To redeem yourself and to prove that you are worth something? Everyone has a place and everyone is loved, even if they do or do not know it. Love is a strange thing. Everyone longs for it and are willing to sacrifice anything for it. When we break other people's hearts or they break ours, we have that feeling of doubt or guilt in ourselves that we could've given the other person better and that we could've proven to them that we were the ones for them. Besides, everyone has their heart torn apart. They are just one less broken heart away from happiness and true love.
There are different stages of love from just liking someone to be willing to sacrifice everything (even your life) for that one special person. That's true love. You must feel sad because lost a piece of your heart, but it will be fixed by that special person who's waiting out there for you.
My advice to you would be to stop being guilty for things in life that you can't control and start focusing on the good things in life. True love is out there for you. You can change your perspective on life. You may not be able to fix your mistakes, but you can remember them for next time.
Good luck! Hope.

Our one true choice is to plunge into the mystery of that uncontrollable force.
We could say: 'I've suffered greatly before and I know that this won't last either,' and thus drive Love from our door, but if we did that we would become dead to life.
We love because Love sets us free.
We don't close our eyes to the Universe and then complain: 'It's dark.' We keep our eyes wide open, knowing that the light could lead us to do undreamed-of things. That is all part of love.
Love is only a word, until we decide to let it possess us with all its force.
Love is only a word, until someone arrives to give it meaning.
Don't give up. Remember, it's always the last key on the key ring that opens the door. Penelope.


What I always thought in situations like this is that sometimes to heal, you have to go through hell. Yes, it was a shameful thing that you cheated and broke promises, and it is good that you realized that what you did is wrong, but you I would think if you want to stop feeling guilty, you should do something good to balance out the bad. Have you apologized to the girl you cheated on? That would be a great start, so you can try to build back burned bridges. If you have already done that, nothing is better than trying to help others. Do some charity work, help out a neighbor, donate money or time for a good cause, because nothing feels better than doing something good for others. And from the sound of it, you seem like a great guy, you have just made a few mistakes, and you have realized they are wrong and want to fix them, which is amazing. Some people, no matter how obvious it is, will sometimes never admit they were wrong about something, so in my opinion, I think you do deserve a second chance, and hopefully God will give you one. You do not have to take my advice but I would really hope you would at least listen because I think it will help. Good luck to you Leandro, and Salaam, which means peace in Arabic. Catherine.

You ask yourself if you have forgiven yourself. I don't think you have. If you still have contact with the person that you had cheated on I should recommend you to tell this person how you feel and ask if this person can forgive you and let you move on. If the answer is yes I think that you can forgive yourself. You say that you regret this with all your heart and if you do you absolutely deserve a second chance. I have also asked my Tarotcards for an advise and the card I took says: "A significant relationship is on your mind. It may be romantic in nature, or it may be an intimate but platonic friendship. Communication is key right now, and it's important to develop trust within the relationship. You can safely share your feelings with someone close to you". The name of the card is "The Lovers". Good luck! Love, Ann-Sofie, from Sweden.

Love should never be tormenting and full of pain. Guilt is an emotion that's associated with act of manipulation. The fact that you are seeking advice and feeling tormented leads me to believe that you are on the receiving end. Manipulators don't leave (maybe threaten to leave), but you have to disconnect from them because they are like parasites sucking the life force from you body.
We all make mistakes. It's how we grow and evolve. But the manipulator, they are skilled in learning every mistake you've ever made which becomes their shield for when they wrong you. You begin to self-reflect and give them the benefit of doubt by which you project your own values and morality on to them. Cheaters, Con-men, abusers etc. would do less damage if people asked themselves the right questions when deciding if someone deserves a second chance.
True or False 1. This person inspires me to be a better version of myself. 2.When they are angry, I still see the person that loves me and not another person I don't recognize. 3. They treat all people the same despite their class, religion, race etc. 4. I never have doubts about their love for me. If you can't answer true to all of these questions, my advice is to RUN. Then, figure out why you are attracting these types. Be Well, Leandro. DH.

I'm sorry for your pain. Yes people deserve a second chance. That's the beauty of forgiveness. Whether forgiving someone else or forgiving yourself, while counter-intuitive, by sincerely doing so, you free yourself and the person you are forgiving.
Of course if someone habitually wrongs another, who repeatedly forgives him / her, then this is different. Or, if someone habitually takes advantage of other kinder or more vulnerable characters, who each in turn tend to forgive before he / she moves on to the next person, then this again, is different.
Guilt can be a useless erosive emotion if triggered by outdated ethics like say, no sex before marriage (something once sensible before contraceptives). However it can also be useful, like all emotions can be, at drawing attention to an area of one's life that needs to be examined and constructively adjusted.
I don't know where you fit on these points, as I don't know you. You will know though.
The worst lies are the lies to one's self. Be sure to be honest with yourself and you will know where you are and then, you will know which direction is forwards. James.


Leandro, to answer your question, here's my reply: every people deserve a second chance. It took me a while to realise it too. I do understand the guilty feeling that you are talking about. I once had a 4 years relationship with someone that I really loved, until I went to another country to study and we had a lot of fight and every single day the guilt feeling tortured me, saying that I'm not good enough and many more. At one point I decided to quit the relationship and just let life in. Then, from that, I learned a lot. I learned how to see the world in a different perspective, I appreciate myself, my family and my friends who are there and always support me, I'm being thankful for everything. Then, a new love comes along. A new opportunity open for me and I try as much as possible to embrace it. Here's my suggestions to you: let life in. Be thankful for everything. You have to stop for a second thinking about whether there's a second chance or not, about your guilty feeling and spend your time with people who are always there for you. Appreciate them, appreciate your good and bad. Listen to Ghost Stories (it helped me a lot), then I'm sure sooner or later you will find love again. Yesy.

We all make mistakes in life. What is important is that we learn from them so that we grow and do not repeat the same mistakes again. You feel shame now for having cheated on someone that you loved and did not want to hurt. Here's what I suggest to help you move on and forgive yourself.
First, try to apologize in person. (If this is not possible, do it in writing with a letter or email). Take full responsibility for what you have done, say you are sorry for causing them pain, and ask for forgiveness. You cannot control how the person will respond, and you need to accept that response whatever it is. You may be forgiven or never forgiven, but let that person know that this was in no way their fault.
Second, give yourself some perspective. Ask yourself why you chose to cheat. Try to write down how you were feeling before, during, and after you cheated. Be honest with yourself and do not make excuses for what you did. Hopefully, by getting a better understanding of yourself, you will be able to see warning signs in the future and avoid making the same mistake.
Lastly, release your pain, guilt, and suffering. Forgive yourself, but never forget what you have learned from this experience. Feel confident that you will not hurt another person this way again. You have a kind heart, Leandro, and will share love again.
Best of luck to you! Tracey.


Feeling guilty is a good sign. It means you are an honest person. Always keep that in mind.
Well, if you want to get rid of feeling guilty, you have to ask the persons you cheated and you lied to to forgive you. If you are honest, they will do that. After that you'll feel much better, believe me. When you feel better, you will find someone you can love without feeling guilty.
Goodluck. Isabelle.

We all make mistakes and when we do, we must learn from them. And the first part of learning from our mistakes is accepting we made one. Your mistake was cheating on someone you loved. You have accepted it and have since been living with the guilt of it. The next part is for you to forgive yourself. Without doing so, the guilt that is eating you up, will never go away. We cannot live in the past or in the future. We can only live in the present. Learn from the mistakes of your past. Let it guide your present. Forgive yourself and move forward.
Love is as easy or as difficult as we believe it to be. It is like a puzzle. For some the pieces come together so easily and naturally that we can call it magic. For others, it is like a complex process of finding the right pieces to go in the right places without much luck. The comfort is in knowing that the right pieces exist and it will reveal itself sooner or later.
There's a life full of experiences ahead of you. Let not your fears and your guilt take away from you the life that you can live and all the love that you can give.
Rex, India.


Everyone deserves a second chance and it sounds like you truly regret what happened. You can't keep blaming yourself forever. It happened and you can't turn back time. All you can do is move on. Have you ever told the person you cheated on that you're sorry? Maybe that will help give you some closure. And most important of all: Don't ever cheat on anyone again! Good luck, Amanda.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.



June 20, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
Q.  WHO'D LIKE TO JOIN TEAM ORACLE?

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to theoracle@coldplay.com before midnight Thursday 26 June.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I found out that my estranged dad was undergoing a bypass operation. I don't celebrate my birthdays because my dad was never there. I grew up kind of hating him. But now, I just don't know what to feel. I still care about him, despite him being not much of a father to me. Yet, I still remember how he made my mom cry all these years, and the side of me that hates him just resurfaces. And I know that's wrong. What to do? Sheena, Philippines.

Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

Please email your replies to theoracle@coldplay.com
Including your twitter address may result in a follow back.



June 13, 2014 / submitted by Trina, Spain
Q.  TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #172
My husband and I are from two different countries. When we got married we chose to stay in his birth country because it would be easier for him to obtain a job. We love each other and are soul mates. Though, everyday is misery for me living in another continent and country. I feel homesick and get depressed easily.
I'm struggling to learn the language and to get a job. I feel like an alien with no life here. I have made friends but I continue to feel this emptiness inside, torn and confused. I love my husband so much but living here is so difficult for me. I keep believing I'm just on an horrible vacation that's going to end soon but that's far from the reality.
Is it normal to feel like this? Will I ever be able to accept that this is going to be my life forever?? Of course true love is about sacrificing your happiness for the people you love - I'm doing it, but I feel like I'm dying everyday. Help.

It's obvious from your words how unhappy you are and I feel your pain. I don't know how long you have been married so I don't know whether to venture that it will probably get easier with time - once you have mastered the language and found a job. I also don't know what your country of origin is but maybe you should find if there are other people from your country in your area or jobs that require your language to be spoken.
If not, your independence is going to be important to you while trying to forge a life for yourself. You've made some friends but perhaps you now need to join a Spanish class or meet other people in a similar situation to you. You won't be the only foreigner in the country so seek them out.
Find things you like and enjoy - spend time doing them. Make sure you keep in regular contact with your family & friends back home. Try not to dwell on the sadness, but the joy at speaking with them.
If you think your depression is a medical issue for concern, do visit a doctor.

Finally, who said true love is about sacrificing your happiness for the people you love? How about it being two people working out a mutual compromise for each other?! Marriage is a partnership, a team, a couple - it's not about ONE person and what is best for them. You must talk to your husband and tell him how you feel. Consider options for the future as there may be a solution you haven't discussed yet. Good luck, Trina.
Over to you.

My Mum moved abroad with my father when she was in her fifties. At first she felt completely lost, like you she struggled with a new language and culture and felt she'd never adjust. She also felt very homesick and guilty that she'd left me behind. However over time she began to find her feet, she actively searched out other women from her home country especially those in a similar situation. Through them she found employment, a social life and learned a lot about her new home and how to deal with the changes in lifestyle she had to make. We stayed in close touch by phone and email and she gradually accepted I could manage on my own. I advise you to try to do the same if you haven't already. There are bound to be people from your own country who have felt exactly as you do now, there must be clubs or online groups you could join. As for feeling homesick, if you are missing family and friends make use of modern technology and use Skype regularly to reconnect with them. I don't know how long you've been away but try to give yourself time to acclimatise, it won't happen over night. Stay as busy as you can and try to remember why you moved out there in the first place.
Best wishes to you for the future. Tanya.


I was so moved by your post. I, myself, had to leave my country two years ago. It was for a different reason, though (studies). I must say that I felt the same way at first. The first day here, I woke up with tears in my eyes. I felt like I'm abandoned and alone. It was hard - but here is how I managed to start enjoying life in here. First, I believe you have to go back to your country very often (like on holidays), it really helps when you know you'll be home soon and you'll share some of your memories with your husband. Then, I started opening to people and I made friends. I used to tell myself that real friends are the ones in my country... this might be right, but it doesn't mean you can't have new great friends. Also, I have to say that you're very lucky to have the one you love beside you. When I first moved here, I would dream of having someone to stand by me, someone to hold me when I'm down... I believe finding love will make it easier for you. Just remember, wherever you're going with the one you love, you're already home. One last tip: listen to Coldplay a lot, it just makes everything easier and "I have no doubt, one day the sun will come out" (Lovers in Japan).
Saad, Morocco.

Living in another country is hard at the start. I've seen more people like you who came over here, to the Netherlands. First of all, it would be wise to choose between these things to set your primary goal: the language or a job. When you go for the language, it will be easier to find a job which fits to you, and making friends and contacts will also be easier. When you choose the job, you'll also make friends, don't worry, and your language will follow as well. When you use another language a lot, you will learn it easier. But without the language, finding a fitting job will be harder. When you made your choice, you must go for it. Let me give you a last advice: stand open towards other people. Most people want to help fitting in the society.
Good luck, Isabelle.


First of all, you are a very strong and selfless person for doing this for your husband. Hopefully he expresses his gratitude for you if he notices your struggling.
My personal belief is that a marriage can't thrive unless you work as a team. Would it be better if you tried to work with your husband at learning the language, or even taking classes? There's a lot of fun ways to learn a new language. Try to keep things positive and learning will come very easy. Another great way to learn a language is to live in a country where it's spoken every day - so you already have that advantage. Just never, never give up. Everything improves upon practice.
With learning the new language, a job will also come in time. It's something you'll have to work at tremendously, also depending on what field you want to work in. Say you want to work in the tech department. In that instance, learn vocabulary in terms of computers and machines and such. Again, never give up. That's the equivalent of betting against yourself.
Lastly, it's hard living away from your family and not seeing them regularly. Try keeping in touch as often as possible. Let them know how you're doing, and ask them questions. Keep up with Skype, texting, phone calls, etc. Communicate at least once per day. Send packages in the mail.
It will get easier. I promise. But you can't submit to your doubt and worry. Don't give up! Everly.

Be Brave. Eyes on the horizon. "...Two wholes when they coincide, That is beauty, that is love." - Lillian Darr
True love is about building happiness together. The sacrifice part should be on an as-needed basis, not necessarily continuously and interminably (from either member).
Perhaps a different perspective, such as a trip home for a couple of weeks, would help you see what you are homesick for when you are in your mate's birth country.
If staying in your husband's home country is the right thing for both of you, you may want to seek out and surround yourself with living 'elements of home' that you can put together. For example, if you had a friendly elderly lady as a neighbor at home, volunteer at a senior center. Find a place that reminds you of home to take a time-out in. Regardless of the language barrier, exploring kindness in other human beings is imperative. When you notice a warm feeling from someone, seek it again and follow up on it; ask to have tea or coffee with the checkout woman at a grocery store you've been going to regularly, for example. Create some memories to start your life, embrace your new place of living...or, find the place and/or career in which you are be happy to reside, establish yourself there, and let your husband join you when he is able.
Also, for depression, check into adaptogenic, herbs such as Rhodiola Rosea and Gotu Kola, supplements of Omega 3-6-9 and sunshine. Tristin.


Sorry you are not happy. It must be very hard to live in a new country especially when you don't know the language, and I am sure you are not alone in your struggle.  If you really have found your soul mate though, you are very lucky to be together as I feel this is rare.
If he really does love you, as I'm sure he does, then you need to talk to him and tell him how you feel  When you spend your life together with someone, there has to be some balance and mutual agreement on the big decisions in life as far as possible, so that you are both happy. 
I am sure your happiness matters a great deal to him, so perhaps there is something he can do. Perhaps a visit back home, or a trial stay there. True love is not one sided, and sometimes means some sacrifice from both persons. 
On the other hand, maybe you need to give it some time to settle down there. Feelings and concerns can change a great deal over time and you may come to love it someday!
Best wishes, D.

You are in a really difficult situation. My first advise: Listen to your heart! Is this what you really want? The second advise: Have you been away from each other for a longer period? Maybe you should try and after that decide if a life with your husband is worth all sacrifices. The third advise: ask yourself, what is your biggest dream? Maybe you should study instead of getting a job? Do you like to write or/and take photos? Maybe you should get a blog. This could be the start to get in contact with other people in the same situation.
My last advise: Ask your husband. Would he do the same thing for you? If the answer is yes, you should move back to your country for one year and see how things solves. Maybe your husband gets a good job and then you both ends up happy :-)
The answer is in your heart.
I wish you good luck!
Love, Ann-Sofie, Sweden.


I really feel for you. It must be so lonely to be in this situation. I'm assuming that your husband has a job and is gaining experience in his chosen field. Could it be that he has enough experience to be able to get a similar position but maybe in another country? Life is all about compromises and it works both ways, it sounds as though you've made a lot of compromises and it's not unreasonable for you to explore the possibilities of your husband compromising for you.
If it's too difficult to move back to your home country, is there a middle ground you can reach? Somewhere you'd both be happy?
As for getting a job yourself, we live in times where the world is incredibly small and global opportunities exist that mean you can work from anywhere providing you have a computer and a good internet connection! 
Ruth, UK.

First of all, I think what a great thing you have done, to be able sacrificing your own life in order to get a better life with your husband, that's what a beautiful thing about marriage is. I believe when you enter a marriage, you begin with one which is yourself, but ends with one which are you and your husband. My parents had the same problem with culture differences, moved to another city with a completely different culture and custom which is sacred in our country. But they always managed to get through whatever came in their way. The key is to never keep it to yourself, always share it with your partner.
It is normal to feel like an alien in a different world, that's natural. But to accept the life you will live forever with feelings like that? It's gonna be hard thing to do. True love for me is not sacrificing your life for your loved one, it is about sharing the same feeling, experiencing troubles and happiness together, and find a way to work as a partner for life. You have to let him know what you feel all this time, that you don't feel same way as he does. Work the way out as a partner for both of your happiness, not just for one of you, and keep supporting each other. When you and him finally share the same misery and happiness, that's true love. Lavina, Indonesia


Vacation is a temporary situation. Seems you are actually living there. So live! Am not kidding about this or ridiculing you.
Not at all. I lived abroad for three years, have been here for over fifteen years and my husband has been asked to transfer to head office which means a transatlantic move for all four of us in about a year. I don't want to leave my friends and family and uproot our kids but also know we'll be fine. This is how I look at it. Get a large piece of paper and colourful crayons. Draw a big mindmap of all things that make you happy, energize you. And work from there. In my case it's having fun with other people, enjoying pretty or tasty things, happy boys, feeling fit. In my case this works out in joining some group of people (work, volunteer, committee), indulge myself in (or try to create) art and good food, get involved in a soft landing for our boys and join a gym. For me it's important to be in expressive activities, as I do recognise the emptiness and feelings of being far away from all that is dear. Sitting at home does that. So. Go. Out. Meet. People. Laugh. Paint. Sing. Dance. Life is for living!
Love, Dorine, The Netherlands.

I heard someone say short sayings last through the ages because they are profound, and the one that comes to mind:"Home is Where the Heart Is". I have a sister that moved to the mid-west 25 years ago when she got married, and she has been home maybe 5 times within that time frame. However, I hear two possible scenarios from your description that could be masking as homesickness for you to consider.
Is it the transition of learning new skills that is making life so difficult? When I first went to undergrad, I was miserable. It was a cultural shock, and I was depressed and wanted to quit. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I had not weathered the transition. My environment required me to learn new skills, but I did not have to become another person which leads me to my second point.
Home may be the last place that you felt like yourself which could be what you are really longing for. Isolation with minimal adult contact is enough to make anybody feel depressed, but forcing yourself to accept this as your life will turn what was once love into resentment. This can be especially difficult when you lack the financial ability to return home for any respite/ reflection. I urge you to volunteer or start/join a group with other women transitioning into the culture until you can figure out what's best for you. Be Well, Trina. DH


Normally I'd say homesickness tends to pass, though it might never go away completely, but that rule doesn't apply to everyone. I don't know how long you've been living there, but if you're feeling miserable and things aren't getting any better, I suggest you talk to your husband about this matter. Maybe he can find a job in your home country too and wouldn't mind moving there? Or maybe you can visit your country more often? True love isn't about completely sacrificing all of your happiness, its also about compromises. Both of you will have to give things up and I'm sure discussing these feelings with your husband won't make him love you any less. Good luck! Amanda.

Trina, my heart is with you. 11 years ago, I also ventured away from my homeland in the States to accompany my husband to his homeland of Indonesia. With a 5-month old baby and nothing familiar, it was the most challenging thing I've ever experienced. I lost myself in the loneliness and isolation. My marriage did not survive, yet my son and I stayed in the country for 10 years.
Please know that what you are feeling is very normal. It's like being uprooted. Part of you is still in the place you left and part of you is where you are now. It takes time to find our place in a new land. We often think that love requires great sacrifice. Often with sacrifice comes resentment a breeding ground for toxicity. The most beautiful expression of love is to be honest with yourself, listen to your truth, and share that truth with the ones you love. When we sacrifice our happiness for others, we're not giving them the fullness of who we are.
Allow yourself to feel the feelings that arise with this. Share with your husband and reach out to other expats. There is always a hidden gem in the most challenging situations. I am so grateful for my decade on "the other side of the world." I uncovered things about myself that I never would have if I didn't experience what I did abroad. There is beauty even in the pain of it all. Sending you love. Alia, USA. *Alia also sent a link.


I'm in a very similar situation and it's been hard. We had to move because of my husband's job and have been here for four years. We moved from my "soul" country... the place that I love and dream of and want to be forever. When we found out that we would be moving away from everything I love I was devastated. There are times in our lives when we have to make sacrifices, especially for people we love. It may sound harsh but the only way you can and will be even remotely happy over there is by deciding to be happy. Nobody can change things for you. You have to dig deep and find the strength to make it through. If that is too overwhelming and you just can't help yourself then you should go talk to a professional, like a doctor. You also need to do things for other people... get your mind off of you and your situation. I have learned that I won't find another best friend in my new city but I have some pretty amazing friends there that I have learned to be so grateful for. You will always have those times of despair and depression. Don't push those feelings away but at the same time don't let those feelings determine the direction of your life. You have the strength to push through this. You can do it. You've got to try. If you never try you'll never know just what your worth. Carrie.

While I have never moved to a different country, I can deeply relate to how you are feeling because seven years ago, I moved from one state to another. My family and I moved nearly 15 hours away from my old home, far away from everything I knew and loved. The sea and the forests, a major part of my life, vanished into thin air and I was trapped in this new place that appeared to have nothing going for it. I hated this new place and convinced myself that I would never be happy where I lived now. I felt depressed and torn, and my relocation and the culture shock haunted me for months, even years. And then, suddenly, without me even realizing it, I began to get used to my surroundings and even like them. The constant pang of homesickness happened less and less until it only arose here and there. I made friends, friends I wouldn't trade for the world. I had opportunities here that I would have never had where I used to live. In the end, it all turned out, and while I still get homesick sometimes, it's never as bad as it used to be. Give it time, Trina, and I promise it will get better. It feels miserable at first, but everything improves. Remember, too, that your happiness is just as important as your husband's. Talk to him about how you feel.
Be happy, Trina. You've got so much life up ahead. Brooke.


Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.



June 13, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
Q.  WHO'D LIKE TO JOIN TEAM ORACLE?

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to theoracle@coldplay.com before midnight Thursday 20 June.

I would just like to ask a question about something. So, I am Leandro, 18 years of age, and I've been having problems lately. Well, family wise, we're all fine. But, love... love's just... I don't know... tormenting.
Anyway, here's the question, do you think people deserve a second chance? I have sinned, yes. I cheated on someone. I failed to keep promises. I just can't believe that I, myself, was able to pull that off, and I regret whatever I've done with all of my heart.
But then whenever it's time for me to move on, and find someone to love, why is it that this feeling of guilt? This very feeling from the start of my road down to hell... Why do I always feel it? Why does it pull me down all of the time? I don't know what to do. Have I forgiven myself as well? I can't answer all of this.
Leandro, Philippines


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The Oracle.

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June 6, 2014 / submitted by Orlagh, United Kingdom
Q.  TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #171
I'm completely lost at the moment. It seems as if every person I know leaves me. My father left before I was even born because he didn't want me. I just helped a guy get over self-harm; he said that he loved me then promptly ditched me after he was better. I keep trying to look after others and block out my own feelings. I bury my head in academia and yes, whilst this is good as I could, potentially, have a shot at getting into a university such as Oxford, I feel that I am placing no importance on my emotions whatsoever. I don't know what to do.

A lot of this will stem from abandonment issues with your father's departure and that is something that you may need to talk through with someone - like a counsellor.
Perhaps people are not leaving you, but a situation.
Your Dad left but not because he didn't want you but because he didn't want a baby. Yes, the baby was you but in the time before you were born, to him it was probably the responsibility he didn't want. I know it's not as easy as that to dismiss what happened but what I am trying to say is you sound like an amazing person so don't take that selfish decision of your dad's personally.
If you're a regular reader, you know I'm not a fan of labelling people selfish. To me it means doing what you want with total disregard for others. People can be selfish and the damage they leave behind can be catastrophic but I urge you to not let this shape your future.
You are offering support and love to people but maybe you are not showing that you'd like the same. With what's happened in your past, you may be unaware of a barrier you've created that prevents you from receiving the same? Maybe people think, as you're so capable of giving that you don't need anything back from them?
Also, if you always expect people to leave, they have a habit of doing exactly that.
Studying hard is being kind to yourself and definitely a step towards a better future but don't hide behind it - you need to look after your emotional needs too.
Don't be afraid to tell people what you want and need. If you want a hug or a shoulder to cry on, ask someone. You don't always have to be the rock for everyone else.
That said, different people have different things to offer so the guy who you helped get better needed something but might not be capable of giving you anything back. It's not always a reciprocal arrangement. I have friends that my role is to listen, comfort and help. I have other friends I go to if I need support. Try to seek out who is there for you - they will be there. If you struggle to recognise them, start by speaking to a professional for the support you need.
You're not alone in this I assure you. You need to make time for yourself and I mean schedule it if you have to. In that "me time", do things that make YOU happy. Sometimes we don't need other people to give us what we need, we can get from within ourselves. The more you do that, the more it will become habit and hopefully you will begin to place importance on it.
Over to you.

That sounds really tough but you mustn't feel that it will always be the case. You need to focus on you and the rest will fall into place. Bad things happen, but really good things happen too, if you let them. The important thing is to look forwards, not focus on the past. Allow the past to help you become the person you want to be, but don't dwell on it. Rather than thinking about all the people who have left you, focus on the ones who haven't. Look for the positives, the great relationships that you have with family and friends, think about why they're in your life, what you love about them and what they love about you.
It sounds as though you have an exciting future ahead of you and there's nothing wrong with burying yourself in academia. I sound like a grandparent here, but it will stand you in good stead!
I look back on the people from my past, those who have come and gone and I have regrets. Regrets about the way I allowed myself to feel, the time I spent on being sad that they weren't in my life anymore. 20-odd years on and what's important now is those who are with me now, the rest are insignificant. Ruth, UK.


Let's start with your father. His lack of commitment and immaturity and who knows what else isn't about whether you were lovable. His issues were instilled in him before he created a life without stepping up to nurture that life. He may have contributed to your DNA, but he is not a father.
Children base their self worth by seeing themselves through their parents eyes. What people often do who haven't received this, is find people like the parent they feel rejected by and try to win them over. Which means, you may be looking for people who lack commitment and a sense of nurturing and then try to change them into what you hoped your father would have been.
Decide to find healthy people who can have a healthy relationship with you. It may not be easy, but, remember, people show you, pretty early on, who they are. Often, people in your situation will excuse behavior in order to continue to try and fix the person who reminds them of their parent.
Volunteer with an organization which speaks to you. You might find people there who are givers and also have things in common with you.
Find an activity which brings you satisfaction and participate, even when you don't feel up to it.
Move forward and shake off people who drag you down. Be for yourself what your biological parent didn't have the guts to be for you. Love your self, nurture yourself, respect yourself. Prove yourself. You are worth everything. Jamie.

Sometimes the answer lies in the questions we ask. You said, 'I keep trying to look after others and block out my own feelings.' It is time you pay heed to your own feelings first, before you begin to look after others. Charity, they say, begins at home. And it really does.
No matter how tragic things have been, please realise the act of your father or this guy does not define who you are. Revel in the person that you are despite the circumstances. You have clearly shown you can turn the negative energies into something positive like in your studies and find yourself standing at the threshold of a great future. Celebrate that.
Look after yourself for a change. Indulge in things that make you happy; whether it is gardening or dancing to Coldplay or whatever you fancy. Be more of you. Enrich your 'self'.
Often in our miseries we fail to notice the people around us who truly care for us. Appreciate them. Don't let them feel neglected like you are feeling now because of someone else.
It can be hard to believe that so much suffering can come to one person. But when we see, how we don't even compare to the sufferings of people in other parts of the world, we realise how fortunate we truly are to be alive at all.
Perspective is a tricky thing. But it makes the life we live all the more easier to understand and appreciate.
Rex, India.


I really think I know what you are feeling; I have experienced similar things. I had a close friend who was in a dark place. I did everything I could to help her out of it but once she recovered she seemed to forget about me. It really is painful to be left behind like that. I too had swallowed all my pain and focused my energies on school.
However, one of the things I have learned from listening to Coldplay is that you have to let yourself feel the pain. Sometimes you need to have a good cry, go for a long jog in the fresh air, write about your feelings, or whatever it is that will help you let it out. Then it isn't stuck in the back of your throat; you'll be able to breathe. This is when it is easier to understand what you are feeling more clearly.
In life, no matter who you are, there will always be people who forget to appreciate you. You have to let these people go. Although it is a loss for you it is also a loss for them. There are others out there who are lovely like you, and will appreciate you and treat you like you deserve. And you really do deserve it. You focus on helping others and your studies which is great but you also need to take time for yourself.
Wishing you all the best
Alex, Canada.

You find the person who really loves you as you want. Do not feel bad because in any place of the world anybody destined for you exists. Sometimes you can go so far as to think that this moment will never come but believe me, I have had some problems with my relations that neither came to a good end nor had the beginning that I wanted but of the errors it is learned. As many people say "if you fall down you can get up and continue". Do not stop your life for anybody who could not value you as you deserve it to yourself. Fulfill your dreams and sees the university that will help you to forget all your problems and know more persons. I am sure that there are more people who love you so much. Look well and fulfill all your dreams. Hugs and greetings enormously from Argentina, Daniela.

You can get through. Things may make you feel like happiness is hopeless, but your trials and tribulations will allow you to be happier in the future. This may seem difficult, but let all of your feelings in. Why? You'll have a clean slate in your mind. You will accept your feelings and it will be easier to move on.
Also, emotions are very important. But, you are not shutting out your emotions, just letting in the wrong ones. People unfortunately accept their insecurities before their beautiful gifts. You are smart. You have a chance to get into Oxford. Only a small percentage of people get that chance, which shows that you are special and greatly needed in this world.
I don't know you personally. But, just know that I love you. No matter who you are and what you've done. I love you and there will be one person that will stay with you forever. You're just finding the right person that will really understand you. You're not lost. You're just waiting to be found, and someone will most definitely fulfill that need. So, don't worry, be happy. If you are able to help someone else get through his or her personal trials, you will too. You are a wonderful person and you will find your way. Amy.

I'm sorry that you're going through this rough patch! You mentioned two different problems, so I wanted to address them separately.
Part 1
I cannot pretend to imagine that I understand how you feel, but I can imagine that it's heartbreaking to feel as though every time you turn around, people are leaving you. However, if you focus on those who leave you, you'll never be able to focus on those who are standing right in front of you. I like to think of people as flowers. Some people in life are like annuals; you can take care of and nurture that flower to the best of your ability, and it would still die within a year. It's fickle and leaves, just like some people in life. Others, however, are like perennials. You could leave them alone and they would still return year after year. Cling to the perennials in life because they will stay by you, year after year, even in the rough patches. Annuals come and go, and while they might seem lovely for a time, they are soon gone and leave no trace. Don't waste your energy trying to get annuals back, but reach out to the perennials in your life.
Part 2
Balance is the key to happiness. You are more valuable than your academics. It's healthy to sort through your emotions; if you bury a piece of a broken watch, is it ever really fixed? Take time for you.
Good luck! Brooke.


I can understand why you're lost and might feel abandoned. You went through some tuff times, but you should not let that get in the way of your life and happiness, and most of all you shouldn't try to block your feelings by studying. Our emotions are one of the things that make us human it's a part of us that can make us really happy or really down. Don't be afraid to tell people how you feel because of what happened. Talking about how we feel is something that connects us with each other and who knows things happen when you at least expect them. That fact that you're going to university is great and you should be proud of that. It's a place where you meet new people who can end up being friends who will last a lifetime, it's also a place where people find themselves. You might miss out on that when all you do is keep your nose into your books. You can be smart and enjoy yourself. Don't let what happened in the past control your future. I went through a rough patch myself a couple years ago and once I realized that how I choose to live my life going forward is a way I can honor his memory I became happier. Maybe you can contact your friend and ask him why he did what he did and that might give you some closure and help you move on from it. Amal.

I've read your story, and it made me kinda sad because it seems that I've encountered the same chronology as yours. Well, not very similar. God gave me a loving parents that took care of me, and He gave me many potentials of many things such like linguistic ability and musical sense. But I always underestimated those gifts because of my behavior that always consider things easy, I'm afraid that He'll take everything from me. Meanwhile, I always think that my contribution towards life seems unrequited. Even though I'm an apathetic kind of person and I don't tend to talk to people, I have a principle about helping people regardless everything. There was one of my friends, I often taught him language-related subjects. Until one day, our teacher demanded us to team up to solve a group test. I was sick the day before and he ditched me and he grinned at me " why would I team up with a weirdo like you?". I silenced, then I sincerely took the portfolio by myself. The results were quite surprising that my grades were higher than him - with his troops. Later, he respected me till the end of my middle school years. Well, I just wanna tell you that it's true that what goes around comes around. But never hate those who've hurt you no matter how wretched they are in your eyes, because it makes you same just like them.
God bless, Joshua.


From your description, you sound intellectually gifted, but emotionally, you are still the little girl who was abandoned by her Father. As a result, you self-identify as someone nobody wants instead of someone who could potentially get into Oxford which is huge. I have also used my academics as a coping mechanism which is better than drugs or other harmful behaviors. School can provide a support system that home life may not be able to provide.
Your Father not being present in your life is not a representation of you not being lovable rather than a reflection of his inability to care for anybody other than himself. Sometimes, parents stay away because their presence could actually do more harm than being absent, but this does not alleviate the hole in your heart. Right now, you are filling that hole with more damaged people.
Adulthood is about learning to evolve from the damage that was done to us as children. We are all experiments in some way because parenting does not come with a how to manual, but the jewel is realizing the root of the damage in order to create a plan to address it. With the compassion that you expend on people who leave you, you could use that same compassion to be a wonderful advocate for at-risk-youth who grew up without a parent like you. Be Well, Orlagh. DH.

Reaching out is such a courageous thing to do, Orlagh. It's often so much easier to help others with the challenges they're going through, and much more difficult to ask for guidance when we need it. The core of what you're going through likely stems back to feelings of abandonment at such a young age. When we experience traumatic events, so much of it gets stored deep within us, without our awareness. We unconsciously continue to play out patterns that reflect those earlier wounds, such as the situation with the guy you helped recently.
Just being aware of the root cause, as you are, is the most powerful step to take in choosing a different pattern for your life. Feel the feelings that are coming up, let them pass through you, allow your emotions to be there without judgment or the need to push them away. Emotions are simply "energy in motion." They need to move up and out in order for us to heal.
It's often helpful to talk these things out with someone as well. Remember that you are not alone in this. We're all here for one another, even across the seas. Sending you love and intentions for healing. Alia, USA.


Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.



June 6, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
Q.  WHO'D LIKE TO JOIN TEAM ORACLE?

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to theoracle@coldplay.com before midnight Thursday 12 June.

My husband and I are from two different countries. When we got married we chose to stay in his birth country because it would be easier for him to obtain a job. We love each other and are soul mates. Though, everyday is misery for me living in another continent and country. I feel homesick and get depressed easily.
I'm struggling to learn the language and to get a job. I feel like an alien with no life here. I have made friends but I continue to feel this emptiness inside, torn and confused. I love my husband so much but living here is so difficult for me. I keep believing I'm just on an horrible vacation that's going to end soon but that's far from the reality.
Is it normal to feel like this? Will I ever be able to accept that this is going to be my life forever?? Of course true love is about sacrificing your happiness for the people you love - I'm doing it, but I feel like I'm dying everyday. Help. Trina, Spain.


Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

Please email your replies to theoracle@coldplay.com
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May 30, 2014 / submitted by Bradley, United States of America
Q.  TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #170
I have had an absolutely wonderful experience sending in answers for Team Oracle, and it's something that I am very thankful to have been a part of, but now I come to you with a problem that has really affected my life. Back in December of 2013, I told my best friend that I was in love with her, because she was dating my other best friend. He was present when I told her.
You see, I told them because I had been hiding these feelings for two years, which had put me in a deep depression, and it hurt them seeing me like that, and I didn't want my problems to get in their way, so I had to tell them to fly on without me.
It's been six months since that happened, and so much has changed in my life leaving me at the lowest I've ever been. I took the previous semester off from school to try and get myself where I need to be, and I cannot fix things with my friends.
She refuses to speak to me, and I can't look him in the eye knowing I hurt her. They have written me out of their lives.
I thought I was ready to move on, but now as I'm getting ready to move back out and back to school, I've fallen apart completely. I've lost all of the confidence I've had to build up in the past six months in a matter of days, I'm horribly insecure, and I'm very anxious all of the time. I hate myself for running off my best friends, and I'm afraid that if I somehow manage to find new friends, I'll run them off too.
I have absolutely no idea how to try to put things back together. Any help or insight would be extremely valuable right now. Thank you for everything.

Firstly, I want to thank you for all the help you have offered to others in the Team Oracle feature. I hope we can now offer support to you in your time of need.
Usually when you hear about love confessionals, they're done to the object of one's affection. I think it's brave to confront your feelings as you did in this way. You didn't do anything behind anyone's back; you were simply honest with both of your friends. I know it doesn't feel like it now because you're hurting but you must have been feeling so conflicted hiding your feelings that it will get better.
At least by putting your cards on the table and opening up, you all know where you stand. Right now they may still be feeling uncomfortable and not how to treat you in this situation. Perhaps they don't want to rub your nose in it. Maybe they just need longer to adjust. Perhaps they're trying to protect you by distancing themselves. I'd hope that's the case but if it isn't, you did what you felt was right and if they really can't accept that then I'd argue they're not really friends at all. That said, being around someone you love when they're with someone else is very hard. Why would you want to put yourself through that just now.
What you need to do is focus on putting this behind you rather than putting it right.
I suggest you look into coping strategies for your anxiety. Don't try to rush it, take small, manageable steps.
When you're back at school, hold your head up high knowing you're a good person with a good heart. We all know that from your Team Oracle answers so I'm sure others see that too.
Don't be too hard on yourself, Bradley. You WILL make new friends and they'll be luck to have you.
Over to you.

I'm so sorry for the terrible situation you're in! You've taken a very brave decision when you decided to open your heart to your best friends and I honestly don't now how you've been able to keep those feelings inside for two whole years. But I also think that it's not fair how your friends have treated you, because, even in such an uncomfortable situation, a good friend would have been able to forgive you. So, I believe that the time has come for you to go on. I really hope you can leave the past behind and try to make new friends, without thinking that you will run them off too, because if you keep thinking this way you will never find a way out, which you have to do instead! I understand that in this moment you're afraid of making new friends as you don't want to disappoint people anymore, but life is about relationships and dealing with people, even if sometimes it seems the hardest thing to do. I'm sure you will be able to overcome this period of your life! I wish you the best. Ilaria.

Do you know anyone that has been through a similar situation? You could talk to them and find out how they got through it. If you don't know anyone, you could watch a movie or read a book about someone that was in a similar situation.
A good movie would be Bridge to Terabithia. It's about a guy that lost a friend and learned to move on. You can really put yourself in his shoes and feel empathy for his loss. While your still in his shoes the movie will help you get through it like he did in the movie.
I know Bridge to Terabithia is about death and your story is about just being left behind, but you can make enough connections for it to help. Eric.

I know what you're going through. A couple years ago I had these really good friends. We were close. Then something happened and I haven't talked to them since. How I delt with it was I had gotten in to a new school,
The year started and I didn't know the place. A really nice kid who had started going there a few years before took me under his wing. We became good friends and I almost forgot about my old friends. Don't worry I'm sure you'll find new friends. Remember: No matter what happens in life look on the positive side. Good luck. Hailey.


I know what it's like to have lost friends like that. I'm currently in a rut with now a former friend of mine because of the same guy we like. I backed off because of being a good friend, and she didn't tell me they were going out until I found out from another friend. There were some other issues that also starting to distance our relationship and this added another level, so we are no longer on speaking terms.
I think that it was brave of you to confess to the both of them about your feelings. It is very sad that they, instead of looking at it as a way understanding why were you depressed and as a sign of respect and honesty in your friendship with them, just turned a blind eye to you. They are not really true friends of yours if they did that and do not support you. It may be hard, but a fresh new start is the best way to go. Try something new, like a different hobby or a fashion style. Do not be afraid to do so because it is important to see these kinds of obstacles are reflections to make you a better person. For me, I understood that friends come and go and regardless of the circumstances, you cannot stop such things. Embrace your life and friends as they come and go, just remember the good and reflect upon the bad. MeiT. USA.

I'm pretty much sure your means are you were trying to be honest to her and your best friend as well. That's one good point, you have to be true to yourself and others, you did the right thing. But, even the smallest action have its own result. You don't have to be sad because they written you out of their lives, you can do good things to make them accept you again, and as time goes by, they will learn to forgive you. Be happy and carry on.
Syifa, Indonesia.


Wow. Let me just say that you've been through a lot. Much more than I think we expect to ever go through in our lives - and you're doing okay. It's hard; I know what you're feeling and the pressure and the helplessness you can be feeling is immense. Nobody can judge you for being honest and though maybe what happened was a little bad, it's a little good too. I think the best thing for you to do is to find someone close to you and let it all out - tell them why you're anxious and what happened. Although it might be tough to share these things with people close to you, it's better in the long run. Make sure this person is someone you trust and love, that way they have your back and with either catch you if you fall or support you while you battle on. I think you should lighten up on yourself - I know that it's easier said than done but you're a beautiful person no matter what you think of yourself. If you can be happy with yourself, even for just a little while, people can be happy with you too. You were a good friend, and told the truth - just like friends should and perhaps the pair were not as 'best' as you think. You're a good person and deserving of better friends, just remember; your heart is beating and the world is alive - be aware of the little things. Good luck. Paige.

Your question really touched my soul. Here is what I think:
you were very courageous to tell them your feelings. Even if they actually decided to keep you out of their lives, you made the right choice. Because this is feelings. You can't control them, and maybe your friends are keeping you away so they don't hurt you. Now, just move back to school. You ARE courageous, you proved it, and so you won't run off new friends. You're someone true-hearted, and everything will be fine.
Finally, don't worry about the future, Don't Panic, this is the best advice I can tell you. Your friends will be there for you when you'll need them, they aren't your best friends for nothing. Maybe they're simply waiting for you.
I hope I helped you,
Matthew J.


When grieving the loss of a friendship, especially if you blame yourself for them no longer being in your life, it's painful, and there is a natural tendency to want to go in hiding or try to anesthetize your pain with food, alcohol or other harmful behavior.
It took guts to come clean about your feelings and taking risks aren't easy, so you deserve some major credit on that front. However, if you don't let go of people who let go of you, you can't make room for new friendships and new love. The origin of your insecurities and anxiety may stem closer to home from family relationships which may be manifesting negatively in your extended relationships.
I would encourage you to do two things. When you go back to school, connect with your counseling support services center to help you identify the root cause of your insecurities/anxiety. Until you can view yourself the way you want others to see you, you will have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships. Secondly, volunteer with an organization using the compassion you have shown to Team Oracle. Helping someones less fortunate than yourself is the best medicine for helping to heal yourself. Be well Bradley. DH.

Relationships are tough to build; harder still to maintain. And honesty is of paramount importance in any relationship. You were honest about your feelings and how it was affecting you and your relationship with both your friends. You were not wrong in doing so. Lying and pretending that everything was fine would have been far worse.
You have done your part by being honest and open about what troubled you. If they truly are your friends they should have at least understood the predicament you were in and realized how hard it was for you. You can only try and tell them why you did what you did. Even after this, if things do not change then you need to let go.
When something affects not just the way you feel but the way you function, you have to seriously evaluate your life. You need to be 'the core' of your own life. Without you everything else will fall apart. Your life cannot revolve around someone else. Understand that everyone else is a part of your life. Trust that in time, the right set of people will surely be drawn to you.
Our lives are a series of choices and the priorities we choose to give to certain aspects of life. You have your dreams and a whole lot of life ahead of you. Follow the light inside you and know that you'll get through this too.
"Leave a light on".
Rex, India.


First and foremost, I have to say that what you did, in my opinion, was amazing. It was incredibly courageous, and despite the fallout from the event, you should be proud that you were so truthful both to your friends and, most importantly, to yourself.
I personally think that it is a real shame that neither of these individuals talk to you any longer. You have been hurt by an incredibly hard situation.
My advice for you now is to force yourself to get back on your feet. You feel awful, most likely heartbroken, but you cannot spend the rest of your school life feeling like this. I am 17 and also still at school.
Try and get back to acting normally. Do the things that you would have normally done before all of this happened; if some of the stuff that you would have normally done was with these two friends, try and do it with other friends. Mix with more people.
It was be incredibly hard to begin with, but you will get there.
You're not alone in this situation, Bradley.
Best of luck, Orla x

The story of loss you have told is indeed a sad one and I am sorry you are going through such a difficult time, yet grateful for you sharing it with the Oracle.
I believe the answer to your question is that you seek to gain insight and understanding of what happened, rather than anyone else.
Chris Martin asked himself this very question in a recent interview, around the album Ghost Stories.
"How do you let the things that happen to you in the past - your ghosts - how do you let them affect your present and your future?" & "if you sit with your experiences and the things you've been through, they alchemize."
I invite you Bradley to sit with your experience, with compassion, and trust that your answers will eventually come. Allow your 'inner guide' to seek the insight you are looking for, whilst understanding You are the best friend you will ever have.
To arrive at your own clarity, rather than someone else's, will then resolve your feelings of insecurity and anxiety.
Go well. Steve.


I know there's nothing any of us can say that will take away the pain you're feeling. Know that it's okay (and part of the healing process) to allow yourself to fully feel the hurt and sadness. Let it move through you and crack open any barriers you've placed around your heart. This is how the light gets in.
You deserve to "fly on", just as you wish for your friends. You are so much stronger than you may believe right now. "Speak your truth, even when your voice shakes." Your courage to let honesty take center stage is remarkable, even with the pain that followed. This is the process of true inner transformation. The extent of joy we experience is in direct proportion to the extent we're willing to sit with the pain, and allow it to flow through us. We cannot have one without the other. It is all a beautiful part of this journey of life.
I admire your courage, honesty, and willingness to open up to guidance and support. Know that you are loved, and are never alone. Alia I. USA.

First of all, you did the right thing by telling them. You were only being honest about your feelings, and their is nothing wrong with that. They should not have written you out of their lives - they were you're friends and they should have tried to help you get over her.
Don't worry about your confidence. It might take a year, it might take a week, but it will return. The only thing you can do now is not be so hard on yourself. They were your friends and you told them what was wrong with you. Also, as long as you never tried to make this friend cheat on her boyfriend then you are blameless and there is nothing wrong in what you did.
Finally, you need to learn to trust yourself. You were being honest. People won't judge you for that. You will find new friends, and you will not run them off. If these two friends of yours rejected you like this, then they don't deserve to be your friends. You need to believe that everything will come together. It won't be easy, but it won't be fruitless. If you have done mistakes, learn from them, but don't beat yourself up over them; everyone does mistakes. Just trust yourself, and it will be ok. Much love and I hope everything goes well for you. Emily.


Honestly best friends are going to come and go. If they truly are your best friends they should try to understand where you're coming from, if they can't do that they either just need more time or they aren't really as great friends as you think.
I've had a similar thing happen to me where my best friend completely out of nowhere stopped talking to me (I found out later it was because her boyfriend was jealous of our group of friends). I was devastated at first, I never thought I would be able to find a friend as awesome as her (oh how wrong I was). And like you I thought that if I did find another friend I would just make them leave me too (I was wrong once again). Now I have some really amazing people in my life that help me and understand me and truly care about me. So don't be in a rush about getting it solved it takes time to get to know people who really are amazing.
Don't beat yourself up for saying how you feel, you have every right to feel it and every right to say it especially if it is hurting you not saying it. Just try to focus on good things and do good things and you will feel much better. Sofia.

First of all a hug for bravery, it takes courage to talk about all this and put it all out there. That is the first step to coping with this. The second depends much on you. Clearly you need some help to deal with this, and to realize that not all your friendships will end in disaster. We make many friends in the course of our lifetime, and you will too.
You were in an impossible situation with no way to please anyone, you did what you thought was best. No regrets. Now mentally you are paying the price. It will get better. You may need to get some help, talk to a counselor or other professional, because you sound like this is maybe a major depression. You would do well not to ignore it because you need to get better for yourself first and because you have a whole life left to live, and many more lasting friendships to make. Take care, Laurie.


First of all allow me to offer some form of sympathy for your situation. It sounds like an incredibly tough thing to have to go through, and to lose two great friends through the process can't have been easy. Unfortunately, you can't change how your friends feel about this awkward situation, but I think it was incredibly brave of you to tell them, rather than stewing in your own depression which could well have lead you down an even darker path. Perhaps with time they will be able to forgive you. I don't think you've done anything wrong here. You can't control who you love, and it wouldn't have been fair on them or you to have gone through life hiding your feelings, especially when they may well have emerged further down the line causing more damage.
I think your best course of action now (easier said than done, I know) is to get back to school and finish what you started. Try to put the past behind you and focus on the future. Yes it might be awkward to be around mutual friends, yes you may even bump into your friends at times, and yes it absolutely will be painful if you have to see them together. As much as it hurts to lose these friends, perhaps it will be good in the short-term while you deal with these unrequited feelings, but try to shift your efforts into your work, or a hobby, or whatever else takes your mind off these things. Speaking from experience of unrequited love in close quarters, it may feel like you'll never love again and can't deal with seeing these people happy, but just when you think it will never end, it does. One day you're going to wake up and feel just a little bit less sad about the whole situation. And then a couple of weeks later you'll feel less sad again. And then after time, it won't hurt quite as much and you'll wonder why you ever had such a huge problem with it. It's funny, but trust me, that's how time works. But time takes time. Nobody said it was easy, as a famous songsmith once crooned, but dig in and focus on the rest of your life and I promise you, this will pass.
Good luck & God bless. Peanut, UK.

I'm afraid I have to confront you with this: that it probably has no sense to try them make your friends again. And that's not your fault, it's theirs. Knowing someone is in love with your girlfriend is no reason to ignore him. Accept you have no reason to miss them.
Now we arrive at the second thing: finding new friends. Well, try to remember how you met them and how you made friendship with them. Those will also work with other people, it's just how humans work. If you don't remember, here is some advice: join a sportclub or something like that. There you'll find people with the same interests. Be nice, and you'll find someone (or some guys) who like you. Isabelle.


I think the best you can do right now is focus on yourself. Confidence is not achieved overnight, and it seems to me like you need to be making some changes. First of all, don't blame yourself for what's happening; you fell in love and that is something no one on earth is able to control. Then, try to see the situation differently; you are guilty of nothing, therefore you should not blame yourself for what is happening. I think it's in your best interest to go and talk to your two friends, and explain the way you have been feeling. You should also know that self confidence is not achieved overnight. It takes time to win it back. Try to practice something you're good at; a sport, and art thing, whatever will make you feel better - even though it has nothing to do with the situation, it will make you feel powerful, and you might gain more strength to confront your issues. You can also talk about it to somebody - a friend, a parent (a pet?) you'd be surprised how much good this can do to you !! One last thing- keep in mind that through life, friends come and go, but best friends stick together. And even though you might be in a bad place right now, they just might get over it, and soon things will all go back to normal.
Valentine B, France.

I'm sorry you're feeling so low. What's happened between the three of you is unfortunate, but its important to remind yourself why and how it started. You opening up to them was you trying to accept the reality of what you'd been feeling for so long. It was you being vulnerable and hoping for growth in your friendship. It was you being true to yourself. That itself is incredibly brave, and I don't see how you could have done anything differently. Them not knowing the truth would have only distanced them from you anyway, so I feel you only made the best of that situation. You should accept that its not your fault and you didn't really do anything wrong, it's just something that happens in life. That being said, you'll still feel that emptiness until you find ways to fill it. You've chosen to acknowledge the darkness in your life,(taking a semester off to work on yourself), which is great because it means you are working to be in touch with your emotions. But, you have to learn to accept the light in your life as well. You have to work on knowing that you're worthy of feeling happiness, and that this isn't the end of your life, its just a chance to become a stronger person that is whole all by themselves. This will help you in future relationships. Right now you are broken, and you have to fix yourself before you can fix your friendships. I myself have also lost friends and people I love, but I've also found love in other things, even myself. There's nothing like feeling magic with another person. But you have to know there's magic within you, apart from anyone else. Be your own best friend. Hope this helps. Wish the best. Love, Darem.

First, I admire you. It took quite a bit of courage to be open and honest about how you were feeling to your two best friends. However disappointing the consequences may have been, it was the right thing to do.
I am surprised by their reactions though. I would have thought they would be more understanding.
This is one of those times when you have to realize that you have no control over how they will react. You only have control over your heart and your mind. Now, comes the time when you have to think less about the past and more about the future your future.
I think getting back into school will help you move forward. It is a positive step and will give you something more to focus on. Please remember that putting your life back together takes time and patience, but it is possible.
Since you are a Coldplay fan, perhaps you heard Chris talk about Kintsugi or Kintsukuori - the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. As painful as the consequences have been, you know you did the right thing and that took courage. The confidence you have been building up is still there, but you also feel vulnerable and that is ok, because that honest revelation has set you free to become who you were meant to be.
Go for the gold and be well, Dawn.

First of all, I think it's very brave of you that you told them the truth about your feelings.It was the right thing to do. But it sounds to me like you did all those things for the sake of your best friends(telling them what caused you to be depressed, telling them to go on without you), which makes me wonder; what about YOU?! what about your feelings? It's really nice that you don't want to hurt your best friends feelings, but sometimes you just have to be a bit selfish and put your own needs first.Who knows maybe your best friend wants to talk to you and work things out, but is just afraid to make the first move. Try and reach out to him. If you're afraid to face him, start with a text or a phone call and see what happens from there. And if he won't talk to you: We can't help who we fall in love with and if being honest about that makes your friends write you out of their lives, you should wonder if they were ever truly your best friends to begin with. Please don't be afraid to make new friends, I'm sure there are plenty of people at your school who'd love to talk to you, if you give them a chance. You can do it! Amanda.

I would like to congratulate you for your courage, you were true to yourself and took a huge risk by telling your friend how you felt about her. I'm really sorry it hasn't worked out but don't let this stop you from being brave and sharing your beautiful soul with the world. Somewhere there is a special one for you and perhaps in time you will be able to patch things up with your friends too.
Much love, Sanet.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.



May 30, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
Q.  WHO'D LIKE TO JOIN TEAM ORACLE?

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to theoracle@coldplay.com before midnight Thursday 5 June.

I'm completely lost at the moment. It seems as if every person I know leaves me. My father left before I was even born because he didn't want me. I just helped a guy get over self-harm; he said that he loved me then promptly ditched me after he was better. I keep trying to look after others and block out my own feelings. I bury my head in academia and yes, whilst this is good as I could, potentially, have a shot at getting into a university such as Oxford, I feel that I am placing no importance on my emotions whatsoever. I don't know what to do. Orlagh. UK.

Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

Please email your replies to theoracle@coldplay.com
Including your twitter address may result in a follow back.



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