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How to Handle a Frenemy

What do you do with a Frenemy?

A frenemy is a person who pretends to be your friend or once was your friend, and then turned on you. Just because I teach and share the spiritual teachings of Aloha every day, doesn’t mean all of my relationships are filled with Aloha.

Over the holidays, I had a message from a former frenemy who is now a very dear friend. Our story goes something like this…

Bill (not his real name), was someone I respected in the community. He was connected to teachers and colleagues I admired. Over the years, I started hearing reports about Bill spreading negative comments about me in the community.

It hurt. Especially because I felt I wasn’t deserving of that negative criticism. Still, I sent him referrals, clients of mine, because I acknowledge his gifts.

One day, I sent a student of mine to him for healing. She literally came away weeping because there was so much negative commentary about our work and the lineage we are a part of throughout her session.

This wasn’t the first hostile interaction and it wasn’t the last.

I kept hearing different things from different members of the community over time, and I just put my hurt on the back burner.

I decided, “You know what? I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing. I know that I’m doing what my teachers have asked me to do. I’m honoring the protocols my Kupuna set out for me.”

Some time later, I got a call from one of my teachers. Bill had gotten sick very, very quickly and was in need of a miracle. My teacher was being summoned to help and asked, “Would you join me to hold a healing space for Bill?”

My teacher had no idea what he was asking. No clue about my history with Bill.

I had a decision to make: focus on the past or focus on my kuleana, responsibility? I took a breath, brought in the HA- breath of spirit and made up my mind:

If spirit needed me to step in and hold a sacred space, then I was going to do it no matter what. I went there with complete aloha and love in my heart for him.

I held space.

I chanted and prayed for him. I supported my Kumu in whatever he needed of me in this time. And for me, it was a deep healing on so many levels.

Afterwards, a miracle happened.

Bill was able to come out of his illness after a long period of recovery right before they pulled the plug. After several weeks in the hospital, he was finally home and improving. And then…he fell down a set of stairs.

After six weeks of laying in bed, barely able to move, he wrote to me. Told me about his accident. Shared that it had been six weeks that he hadn’t been able to walk.

I wasn’t sure why he had written to me but of course, my first inclination was to write him back and say, “I’m so sorry this has happened to you. How can I help you? I’d be happy to come and work on you. Let me know when a good time is.”

And to my surprise, Bill said yes.

So, I made my way over there, again, just only feeling love for him.

When I walked into a room, I saw a man who had once been very strong and vibrant and healthy, now definitely was in need of support on every level. He had lost a ton of weight. He had this horrible injury on his knee. Hooked up to a machine with a tracheotomy and definitely in a vulnerable state.

I determined to give my best. I brought some medicine for ho’oponopono which is made with Limu Kala, the seaweed of forgiveness. A salve comprised of awa to relax the area and dull the pain. I lovingly worked on him.

At the end of the session, Bill said, “Thank you so much. I’ve just been wanting for someone to work on it just the way that you worked on it. I’ve been trying to get others around me to work on the knee but this is the best that it has felt. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

I replied with an offer to come again. The second time I went back, I had an opportunity to really do my work. We began to work through some of the spiritual and emotional aspects of what he had going on.

Why do you think you fell ill at a time when you were really on the road to a vibrant recovery?

Bill shared with me that he had been really angry at his community. He had felt like they weren’t serving each other in the way he thought that they should. He was discouraged. Angry. Lashing out at the community in different ways.

“Kupuna just wanted to teach me a lesson of humility…

because that’s not the place that I was at. And I guess I didn’t get it the first time. I think that’s why, before I could move forward, my knee was injured to the extent that it is.”

And then he said, “You know, I really got it this time, I get it.” He looked up in the sky and held his hands open like he was looking up to Spirit Source and said “I get it, I got it. I got the lesson. I’ve changed.”

My response, “You know, I can tell. I can see that you have changed.”

I didn’t need to go into the story of my feelings. I didn’t need to say, “Oh yeah, I remember being on the other side of that anger, I remember you talking stink about me.”

In fact, it wasn’t even in my thoughts whatsoever.

Going through the process of loving with all my heart had washed the slate clean.

I just confirmed and acknowledged that he was a new man. I told him I loved this version of Bill. In truth, I was honored to be there to work with him. Honored to have been chosen to serve and in the serving humbled by the power of healing. Not of his healing as much as my own.

Months went by, and then I saw him at the beach in his wheelchair. When I thought on him for the following months, I only thought on him with positive thoughts and healing energies.

Last month, I got an email from Bill.

“Love you and thank you for your support when I needed it most. Eternally grateful. Aloha pau’ole (undying love) Hauoli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year)!!!

This email made my year. There was much more at work than just offering a technique. Loving touch, and care is what had made all the difference.

This is what happens when we stand in a place of Aloha, no matter what.

My Auntie Mahi Mahi calls it the mercy seat. No matter what has happened ever, or whatever will happen, all is forgiven. A space of unconditional love and aloha.

I want to know..

what situations are challenging you with a choice – to swim in a negative thought process or fill your heart with aloha?

I read every post. Post a comment and let me know.

With aloha,

image of kumu Jeana Iwalani Naluai

PS: If you are ready to access the power of Forgiveness, Hope, Love and Compassion in your life…

Free video training on Ho'oponoponoSign up for my FREE masterclass,  Ho’oponopono: The Hawaiian System for Living in Harmony with Yourself, with Others and with the Divine.

You will learn to connect with ancient wisdom to co-create your dreams in life, love and business. Click here and watch this training at a time that’s right for you.

You will also enjoy reading:

Overwhelmed to Overcoming  |  Face Your Fears

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27 thoughts on “How to Handle a Frenemy”

  1. Thank you for this powerful story of Aloha healing. I look forward to gaining more steadfastness in standing in Aloha, not being distracted by the drama of other stories. I deeply appreciate that this Aloha and Ho’oponopono is an integral part of the healing practice you teach. 💗

  2. I just started recently reading this blog. And I have to say that I feel as if I can hear your sweet words and teachings. Thank you for all the Love and dedication I received from you, Im extremely grateful for all the Wisdom I carry from your teachings.
    Once again Im struck with wisdom from this reading! Im facing change and of course fear is creeping in! But reading this and almost hearing you helps me to understand the YES! To move on. Thank you Jeana for being a Light in my Life. Love you to the Moon and back ❤️

    1. Aloha Marcella, keep shining your bowl of light onto the path and you will have nothing to fear. Change is part of the evolutionary process so think of it as just another great adventure of life. South America is really calling me. Big hugs to you

  3. Marcella Montoya

    I just started recently reading this blog. And I have to say that I feel as if I can hear your sweet words and teachings. Thank you for all the Love and dedication I received from you, Im extremely grateful for all the Wisdom I carry from your teachings.
    Once again Im struck with wisdom from this reading! Im facing change and of course fear is creeping in! But reading this and almost hearing you helps me to understand the YES! To move on. Thank you Jeana for being a Light in my Life. Love you to the Moon and back ❤️

  4. Hello,
    Thank you for sharing this story. My whole body was warm with love while I was reading it. Good for you for always being of love. I have just recently found your site, videos and now blogs. I just started my first class in massage therapy, we had to write a paper on a modality of our choice. I picked Lomi Lomi at the last second on my gut instinct , I am so glad I listened to myself that day. I have learned it is so much more than just a modality, it is what I have been hungry for, I have been searching for this and didn’t even know what I was missing!!
    I am excited to learn from you, I am saving now and will see you in 2019!! Love and light !

  5. What a Beautiful story of you truly living a shining example of “Aloha”. The more I read from you on your blog and website, and see you in videos, the more I love you. I look forward to meeting you in person in July. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Beautiful story illustrating strength, courage and awareness of the energy one brings to a situation. It shows we are connected as one life force. I admire how focused you were on being in the moment with Bill and supporting him during his illness. How do you block out life’s distractions to do this ?

    1. Life’s distractions are many at the moment. 4 kids, 3 businesses…..I like to drop in to my Piko na’au (belly-gut instinct), take a moment to breath, quiet the mind, and ask my high spirit what to do. When I say high spirit, this is the wise, deliberate, spiritually connected aspect of yourself. Different than the impulsive, reactive, everyday mom running around just trying get to the finish line with all I am carrying. My best times to do this are in the early morning hours when the house is still quiet, and I can be with my thoughts in meditation. Sometimes I have to conjure this energetic space in the moment and I have to say that the breath really helps.

  7. Thank you for this, Jeana. It brought tears to my eyes and your presence to my heart. I’m so grateful to have studied with you on Maui and I hope to again. Carrying a piece of your spirit with me, in how I navigate this world with its challenges, and in my work. Mahalo nui loa

    1. Aloha Kristin, mahalo for reading and responding to this post. So happy to support you in your work and to help with the navigation in any way I can .

  8. This is just a question. Only post if you think it will help others. Otherwise, when you have time… I’d greatly appreciate an e-mail.
    I am seeing others make comments on facebook about Ho’oponopono. They said it is not traditional Hawaiian teachings to forgive self. Only to practice Ho’oponopono as a group or more than one person. I was under the understanding it is traditional teachings….at sunset to face the sun, acknowledge to yourself and to Spirit of any wrongdoings and hard feelings toward others and to then forgive self and others and let it go. And to have Ho’oponopono with anyone who you have hard feels with or a disagreement. Please give enlightenment in this area.
    Much Aloha,
    Joan Haney

    1. Aloha Joan, I am happy to answer this. I was taught by my Aunty who learned traditionally and she would agree with your feelings and practice. That before the sun goes down to make Pono with all interactions, release fear, guilt, anger, resentment. What you have read about Hawaiian teachings may be semantics. That to ask forgiveness would be to admit to wrong doing and this goes against the thought that everything is in alignment. What your understanding is, is exactly what I was taught. The best thing to do when you come up against something that causes you to question, is to feel into your Piko na’au,your gut instinct, ask for spirit guidance and you will find the Pono path. Blessings.

    2. Aloha Joan, all of the ways that Ho’oponopono is shared in your writing above are ways that I have experienced in my family, with my kupuna. We do have a free masterclass in Ho’oponopono that can help with this question. Go to to learn more or email the team:

  9. Aloha. What a beautiful example and lesson to all to strive to increase our mana daily and always have unconditional love for others.
    Mahalo for the reminder to forgive and let go.
    Mahalo nui loa,
    Joan Haney

  10. Aloha Jeana,
    Forgiveness is one rollercoaster ride that’s feels more like a battle. Love how you Aloha your way through the victory line.
    Hearing your story was very helpful.

    My relationship that requires the most love and forgiveness is the one I have with Myself. It’s been a challenge for past actions and reactions. Which is causing some strains in my relationship with my mom, family & my Best friend.
    What I take away from your story, Is you showed up and Loved despite it All.

  11. thank you so much for sharing your life lesson and pain and forgiveness. It made me think about a situation I have with my husband and placed a thought in my mind and heart to send love and positive energy to someone even though it may not be given to you. I believe the lesson is brought to us to help us help and understand others whom may have or are dealing with the same thing. I guess it’s wisdom and humility we are taught sometimes. thank you, love and blessings to you

  12. Thank you for sharing, Kumu Jeana….this story was a wonderful example of why I am feeling so pulled to get back into Lomi Lomi training with you. Not just to practice the lomi massage techniques, but for the healing and spiritual gifts involved that you bring and teach so beautifully. Mahalo for sharing and teaching through example.

  13. Mahalo! Just what I needed to read, absorb this morning. There are people in my life that I have been struggling to forgive let it go …. Your story brings me hope and courage to continue in aloha.

  14. Hi dear Jeanna, I wish you a happy year 2018. I do not often face bad talking about me, but when it comes to that point I try to understand what it means, why do I effect people to talk like this about me. When I can’t find it out, I ask my soul and do forgiveness practice, because very often it comes from a life befor this. many times people change their talks after i do forgiveness with their and my souls. I always have a deep wish to heal myself and help others to find their healings- it is often a big step into the right direction (it feels for me) because good things come after challenges. I know that heaven loves me and everything I go through is for only one reason. To become a more loving, compassionate, obedience, lightfull person and I get more tools for healing. Mahalo from Austria Petra Lackner

  15. Reminds me of Michelle Obama. “ When they go low, we go high.” Someone else’s negative talk it’s only a reflection of where they are inside. Our behavior reflects who we are inside. Choosing to be nasty can bring other people down. Choosing to be loving, brings everybody up!.

  16. I am struggling with finding forgiveness towards my recent former landlord. We were great tenants and he recently wrote me a letter explaining that he will not be returning our rent deposit to us. It’s $3,000 that my family deserves back.
    I am usually a karma believer and keep saying that karma will deliver. I just can’t help but wanna seek some kind of revenge. Especially because we bent over backwards for him, and he is “sticking it to us” now.
    I feel hurt, embarrassed (because I feel foolish for thinking he respected us the same manner we respected him), angry, defeated, and resentful.
    I am a good person. Not perfect, but I try to live my life with good intentions.
    Anyway, I thought I would share my story because I feel conflicted. My anger wants to slash his tires, lol. Then my good side wants to just let karma handle it.

  17. Very beautiful story and so much Love…. I feel it. I can see that we are ALL called in a way or another to serve the Truth, the Love with one another. I feel this call very brutal, but necessary in order to align with the shifts — A better humanity at large. Much Aloha and Kupuna ( a new Hawaiian name I learnt today) Thank you for sharing 🙂

  18. This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing! I was going thru the same sort of hurt when a loved one cut me out of their life. None of it made sense to me, I was really hurt & sad, and admittedly angry too. But I’ve since come to realize that being angry was counterproductive to my well-being. I’ve since realeased that negativity and am sending unconditional love & positive energy to that person.

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