Category Archives: Enjoying Life

When Tough Times Happen

Sometimes life is so hard.  It seems like things go wrong constantly & you are stressed, hurt or frustrated.  In those times, God seems far away.  Not only because of the problems you’re going through but also because it can be so easy to get caught up in them & forget to keep God first.  It is in those times that we need to stop behaving like the person Jesus described in Matthew 13:22 in the parable of the seeds sown in various types of soil.  That person is the one who is distracted from his relationship with God by the things of the world like personal problems.  Unfortunately no one is immune to behaving this way sometimes.

When you’re distracted by problems, it is vital to turn back to God as soon as you recognize what you are doing.  He deserves first place in your life after all!  Doing so also will help strengthen you & help you to figure out ways to handle your situation.  It may teach you some other things as well. God truly wants the best for His children, so He often uses circumstances to protect, teach & guide us.  Following are some examples of when He does these things.

Anything that isn’t Biblical, God will close the door to.  If you have to lie to get a new job for example, God will close that door so you don’t get the job or allow you to get it but you will be miserable with it.  It can be difficult & even painful in the moment, but truly it’s for the best!  You have learned not to behave that way, & He has something much better planned for you.  Seriously consider your situation.  If there is anything about it that goes contrary to God’s word, chances are it’s going wrong because God is trying to close that door to keep you away from that bad thing.

Sometimes God closes the door on relationships too.  Some people may look good on the surface, they may even be very good people, but they aren’t good for you.  God knows better than you what is in their hearts, so trust Him to lead you to people that are good for you.  It never hurts to ask God to give you good, healthy & Bible believing friends in your life.  If you’re looking for a romantic partner, this is an especially good prayer to pray.  Being a believer married to an unbeliever is not a good place to be!

Sometimes God uses difficult circumstances to teach us things.  We learn forgiveness when we are wronged by other people.  When we go through hard times, we learn mercy for others who go through similar hard times.  When someone tells us what we did hurt them, we learn humility.  None of these situations are fun at the time, but they do help us to learn some pretty valuable things.

There are also times God uses difficult circumstances to punish us.  Hebrews 12:6-7 in the Amplified Bible says, “For the Lord disciplines and corrects those whom He loves, And He punishes every son whom He receives and welcomes [to His heart].”  7You must submit to [correction for the purpose of] discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”  Obviously those times aren’t exactly pleasant, but they can be beneficial.  For example, your spouse tells you that they are upset about how disrespectfully your family treats them, but in spite of seeing evidence your spouse is correct, you ignore your family’s behavior or worse yet, make excuses for it.  Then you get a new coworker.  This person is very disrespectful to you.  They push you aside so they can deal with customers instead, or talk badly about you to other coworkers maybe even your boss.  You go to your boss with your concerns.  The boss tells you he doesn’t see this behavior as a problem or you have to let this go because this person has some sort of personal problems.  The way you feel in that situation mirrors much how your spouse feels.  God still loves you, but He is punishing you for treating your spouse badly.  Also, He uses this as a good learning experience.  Now that you know how your spouse feels, you are going to be more sensitive the next time they come to you with a complaint about your family’s disrespectful behavior.

The next time you are in a situation that is challenging or painful, I want to encourage you to try your best not to be so distracted by it that you ignore God.  Instead, turn to Him.  Ask what is going on, what is He trying to tell you & to help you get through it.  He absolutely will do answer your prayers!

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Filed under Mental Health, Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life

How Surviving An Abusive Childhood Manifests In Relationships

When you come from an abusive childhood, that can create a lot of dysfunction in your life, but in particular in your relationships.  Today, I want to discuss some of the ways that dysfunction plays out.  Recognizing the dysfunctional behaviors may be painful at first, but it will help you by showing where you need healing.  That is valuable knowledge!

Many abused children struggle with having relationships with any genuine intimacy.  Even with those they are closest to, they aren’t comfortable sharing their innermost thoughts, feelings. desires & dreams.   They may listen to the innermost thoughts, feelings, desires & dreams of those they love, but they still won’t share their own.  They also may change the subject or deny any negative feelings they have if questioned because they are terrified of being this vulnerable with anyone.  This behavior comes from having a parent or two who ignored, mocked or rejected their emotional feelings.  When the most important person in your life who is supposed to love you unconditionally ignores, mocks or rejects something about you, it’s only natural to be afraid other people will do the same.  It takes time, prayer & good, loving, safe people in your life to overcome this behavior.  It also helps to remember that any parent who would do this to their own child clearly was the problem, not the child!

Many abused children have an intense fear of abandonment.  When a child grows up with parents whose behavior was inconsistent & unpredictable, they become afraid they would be abandoned at any moment.  They also assume other people are the same way as their parent.  This fear manifests as a person being clingy with the people in their life, even to the level of being co-dependent.  It also can manifest as being controlling of others with whom they are in a relationship.  My mother was like this.  Her parents divorced when she was very young, & her mother was a narcissist who kept her from her father.  I believe that left her with a deep fear of abandonment that manifested as being very controlling of my father & I.  Conquering this fear of abandonment isn’t easy but it is possible.  The more a person heals & becomes more functional, the healthier their self esteem becomes naturally.  As a result, a part of that is a person becomes more willing to end toxic relationships even if that means they are lonely for a season.  They also begin to attract healthier people who won’t hurt or abandon them, which helps to heal that fear of abandonment.

When parents show their children that their love is conditional, based on the child’s behavior & accomplishments, those children become people pleasers.  Children in this situation assume that unconditional love doesn’t exist, & to be loved, they must earn love.  It’s as if it doesn’t occur to them that the other person in the relationship should earn love though – only they must be the one to earn love.  Unlearning people pleasing behavior is TOUGH!  I’ve been there.  I did find that the more I healed, the less prone to it I was.  I’ve also found that slowing down & asking yourself why you are saying “yes” when you want to say no, or volunteering to do something you want no parts of to be helpful. 

Most abused children have dysfunctional relationships with abusers.  Friends, coworkers & even romantic interests often use & abuse these children until they reach a point in their lives where they start to focus on their own healing.  Possibly the most difficult part of breaking this pattern of behavior is to stop beating yourself up for getting involved with such toxic people, in particular, if you married one of them.  Just remember, you did the best you could with what you knew at that time.  If you didn’t know to do better, how could you expect yourself to do better?  That would make as much sense as expecting a toddler to know how to replace a car’s engine! 

If you find yourself in these situations I have described, it’s ok!  There is hope for you!  Focus on your healing, & the healthier you get, the healthier your relationships naturally will get as well.  I have found God to be vital to my healing.  Psalm 23:4 says that God walks with us through “the valley of the shadow of death” & I firmly believe that to be true!  He will be there for you during the hard, painful times of healing as He was with me. You’re not alone.  Lean on Him & let Him help you to heal!

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Biblical Meekness  Not Necessarily What You Think

Most people are well aware of Matthew 5:5 where Jesus states that the meek are blessed because they will inherit the earth. How many people know what it means to be truly meek though?

Most people hear the word meek & think of someone who is timid, mousy & always extremely submissive. This is actually a more accurate definition of the word “weak” than “meek.” As the saying goes, “don’t mistake my meekness for weakness.”

The original meaning for the word meek in Greek was a description of war horses, believe it or not. War horses were supposed to be extremely powerful yet also very willing to submit to those in authority over them. This is power that is kept in check.

In people, true meekness manifests in a person well aware of the power that they have as children of God, but they choose to submit to Him, doing His will for their life. 1 Corinthians 10:23 in the Amplified translation sums up the way this person thinks quite well: “All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].” The truly meek are also far from cowardly, trusting in God completely even when in their darkest hours.

Jesus was a perfect example of living with meekness while He was on the earth. He obviously possessed great power as evidenced by so many miracles He performed, yet in spite of His position & power, He never used it improperly. He lived His life submitted to God, willing to do anything He was asked to do, even to the point of death on the cross. And, when He knew the cross was going to happen soon, in spite of His fear & desire not to do it, He trusted God either to prevent it from happening or enabling Him to face it.

At the same time, Jesus was no pushover. Matthew 21:12 tells the story of Jesus driving out the moneychangers from the temple, & the Amplified translation says He drove them out “with force.” He also had no problems calling out people on their bad behavior, even the highly esteemed scribes & Pharisees. He called them hypocrites many times, & even called them “white washed tombs full of dead men’s bones” because although they appeared Godly, their hearts were full of things that went against God.

Christians are supposed to imitate Jesus in their behavior, & that includes being meek. If you aren’t sure exactly what this means to you, I would like to offer you some food for thought today.

Being meek means standing up for what is right in the right way. This doesn’t have to mean a big production. It means living a life of integrity, doing is right & what needs to be done. It also simply can mean saying, “This is wrong.” That sort of statement said to someone suffering at the hands of another can be life changing.

Being meek means being gentle in interacting with other people. It means you don’t have to be heard while quieting others, & allowing others to speak to you without fear of your judgment or criticism.

Being meek means accepting your limitations. That doesn’t mean you don’t try to improve yourself, of course. It means that you know you can’t do everything, & that is OK.

Being meek means realizing you don’t know everything, & admitting that rather than pretending to know everything. People respect those who are genuine. Even if they may be frustrated you don’t have the answer they’re looking for, they will respect you more for admitting than they would if you pretended to know.

Meekness is a truly undervalued attribute. Why not be someone who helps bring this admirable quality into the lives of those you love, & be a good example of meekness?

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.)

I’d Love Your Thoughts On A New Idea I Have

I’ve been toying with the idea of creating some digital ebook type courses, maybe printables. Nothing overly expensive of course. I always try to minimize costs of everything I write & these would be no exception to that. (Kinda weird to do, by the way.. I want costs to be cheap but not so cheap people see them & think “This can’t be any good.. it’s too cheap!” lol)

I need your thoughts on this idea.

First of all, is this something you would be interested in? I know written type courses aren’t as popular as audio or video, so I wonder if this would be appealing.

Second, if you like the idea, got any ideas on topic matter? I have a few but still would love to hear your thoughts to see if I’m on the right page (so to speak) with my readers.

If you’d like to answer my questions, feel free to comment or email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com

Thank you for your help, everyone!! I love & appreciate you! 😘❤️

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism, Writing

You Are Not Responsible For How People Feel About You

As the adult child of a narcissist, I can’t count how many times I have felt overly responsible for other people in so many ways.  One of those ways was how people feel about me.

If I met someone who didn’t like me, I felt it was my responsibility to change so they could like me.  If someone felt envious of something about me, I had to downplay that thing they viewed that way.  If they felt I was a snob, I had to prove to them that isn’t the case, & I am just quiet.  If they thought something was wrong with me because I love my cats & old cars, that too had to be trivialized around them to make them feel better about me.  And honestly, it got old.

As I healed more & learned more about people, not only narcissists, I realized something.  How someone feels about me isn’t my responsibility.

People are often quick to judge others they have just met.  I do it myself.  Upon first meeting someone new, I pick up on someone’s energy & the subtle cues they display quickly & that determines if I am willing to speak to them more or not.  Unfortunately mistakes can be made with snap judgments.  As I mentioned earlier, people have thought I’m a snob because I’m quiet.  My one sister in-law told my husband this many years ago, & she was far from the first one to make such a foolish assumption about me.  And interestingly, she also wasn’t the only one who behaved in the manner in which she accused me of behaving. 

When people make judgments about other people, often they can do as my sister in-law did, & project their flaws onto another person.  Narcissists haven’t cornered the market on projection, although they definitely do it more often than the general public.  The average person will do it too sometimes, & their projection makes them feel negatively about the victim of their projection.

Insecurity is also a reason people may feel negatively towards a person.  Their insecurity makes them feel threatened or badly about themselves.  If you are someone in a minimum wage job who dropped out of high school, for example, imagine how you would feel around a biochemist.  Clearly they make a lot more money than you & have a much more advanced education.  You easily could feel inferior.  Most people would be uncomfortable in this situation but wouldn’t act out on their feelings.  Some insecure people however, wouldn’t hesitate to let the biochemist know they dislike him or her, are unimpressed with their intelligence, etc.

Along the lines of insecurity is envy.  Envy can make a person feel badly about themselves, & wish to make the person who made them envious feel just as badly.  Women in particular are known for doing this.  Some women see another woman that they believe is much prettier than them, & they will talk negatively about her behind her back.  Their envy makes them behave badly.

No matter what someone’s reasoning for their negative perceptions of you, their perceptions are just that – theirs!  They chose to see you a certain way & not learn the truth.  A person who is unwilling to learn the truth about another clearly has issues, & those issues have nothing to do with you.  So the next time you find out someone thinks badly about you, just remember that you are NOT responsible for how other people feel about you.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

15% Off My Print Books Until October 7, 2022

My publisher is having yet another sale! 15% off all print books when you use code PUMPKIN15 at checkout.

My print books can be found at the following link:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Animals, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism, Writing

Doing Another New Thing

Recently as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve decided to get into doing podcasts. I just decided to add them to Instagram. They are the same as my podcasts on YouTube- a picture of my logo with a podcast audio attached, just on a different platform. Lots of people like Instagram, so I figured it’s a good outlet for them.

Not sure what else, if anything I’ll do with Instagram. I may add the memes about NPD I’ve made & any future ones I make. I don’t know just yet. God will show me what to do though, of that I have no doubt.

If you’re on Instagram, & want to check them out, then follow the link below. I only have uploaded 1 so far, but hubby is on vacation so I simply haven’t had the time yet to do more. I will after he goes back to work.

https://www.instagram.com/cynthia_bailey_rug/

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When People Refuse To Acknowledge Your Growth

One common thing that many victims of narcissistic abuse struggle with is how so many people treat them as if they are forever the same person they were during the height of their time as victims of the narcissist in their life.  It can be incredibly frustrating!!  I understand this as I went through it too.  I felt like during my entire adult life, my family & in particular my mother though I never grew up.  It was as if they thought I was perpetually 15 years old, no matter my real age. 

For years, I wondered why this is.  I think I have the answer to this dilemma.  Not just in my situation, but in general.

Obviously narcissists aren’t the only dysfunctional people in the world.  Their flying monkeys & scouts are at least as dysfunctional if not more so.  As a result, they don’t face reality the way healthy people do.  Instead, they try to keep reality as they want it to be.  A part of their so called reality is keeping certain people in a box. 

Doing this means that these people can convince themselves that they are truly the smart, sane, functional people who have their lives all together.  Clearly that must be the case, they think, because just look at how amazing they are compared to that person that they have decided is so weak, stupid, dysfunctional, mean, selfish, horrible, etc.  If they can convince themselves that their person of choice is terrible, by default, they also convince themselves that they are pretty spectacular by comparison.  By pushing another person down, they build themselves up at the same time.

Another reason dysfunctional people try to keep certain people down is so they have power over that person.  While not all dysfunctional people are narcissists, they do want things a certain way in their lives.  If they have control over someone, that can help them to maintain their status quo.  They can push this person around until that person does whatever they want so they can convince themselves that nothing has changed.  This comes in especially handy if their victim has been learning, growing & healing.  Clearly such things threaten the delusions of someone who wants to remain dysfunctional.  If a person like this can be subdued enough to reject their new growth, learning & healing, they will return to the old, dysfunctional patterns & that will help the dysfunctional person maintain their comfort level.  People who are comfortable in their dysfunction have zero desire to move past that place, & they have plenty of desire to return formerly dysfunctional people to their previous unhealthy lifestyle.

Another motivation for such toxic people being able to control others is the high that having that power over others provides.  Whether the person in question is a narcissist or not, chances are they will enjoy feeling that they are powerful enough to control another person

If you are in the position of dealing with someone who wants to keep you as the dysfunctional person you once were, know that you are NOT alone, & this is a typical problem for many victims of narcissistic abuse.

Naturally, the best thing you can do when faced with this situation is to pray.  Ask God to keep you from sliding back into old, toxic habits & to be aware of why people are treating you as they are so you don’t do that.  Praying for those dysfunctional people as well certainly is an excellent idea!  They clearly need prayer, whether or not they realize it.

Also remember, their behavior is absolutely no reflection on you.  It is a reflection on them.  They are comfortable in their dysfunction.  That is their right, of course.  However, you have rights, too & one of those rights is to protect yourself from toxic people.  Keep your distance from such people.  You may need to sever ties with them, & there is nothing wrong with doing that no matter who those people are!  Protect your mental health however is best for you!

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What Makes A Good Person Truly Good

So many people think that being a good person means that someone is very caring, willing to do anything for anyone, sacrifice anything & everything of themselves to others which includes those who treat them badly, & someone who never says or thinks anything negatively of other people.

The truth is that this isn’t the definition of a good person.  This is the definition of a doormat.  A person like this is going to be used & abused.  Naturally this will make many people who try to be good people think being a good person is a waste of time & sets them up for being mistreated.  They naturally prefer not to be so called “good people” over being treated so badly, & who can blame them?

Let’s consider what it’s like to be a good person rather than a doormat that people claim is a good person.

A good person is realistic.  If someone mistreats people, is arrogant, entitled or deliberately hurts other people, a good person recognizes these things & treats that person accordingly, even if that means eliminating that person from their life.

A good person also has standards.  They don’t tolerate just anything.  They give their best to others in every area of their lives, & they expect others to do the same thing.

A good person has boundaries.  They will respect your space, wants & needs, & act accordingly. They also expect you to return the favor to them.  If you cross certain boundaries with them, they won’t hesitate to call you out on it in a respectful way.  They also will care for you & watch out for you but they also have no problem saying no when they believe it is best to do so.

A good person shows respect to everyone, but also expects others to respect them in return.  This isn’t because they demand people respect them, but because they are aware that they are worthy of respect.

A good person is patient.  This doesn’t mean that they are weak nor are they willing to tolerate others using them.

A good person is very compassionate, but is not naive.  They will be very kind & gentle with a person, but if they realize that person is trying to use or abuse them, they won’t tolerate it.

A good person always will encourage you & build you up.  That doesn’t mean that they will tolerate you trying to tear them down as a way to build yourself up, however.

A good person will tell a person what they need to hear, even when it’s not necessarily what they want to hear because showing others God’s love is more important to them than building up their ego.

In short, being a good person isn’t what many people assume it is.  A good person can be truly good without being willing to tolerate nonsense or abuse.

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How To Stop Being A People Pleaser

While most people have a desire to please other people naturally, no one is born a dysfunctional people pleaser.  Crossing into being dysfunctional means that pleasing other people reins supreme in your life, even above pleasing yourself & taking care of yourself.  It results in toxic relationships with abusive people who take advantage of you.  It also can cause many problems in your own life.  Your finances, mental & physical health can be severely damaged or destroyed by being a people pleaser.  Clearly, the life of a people pleaser isn’t a good life in any way!  Breaking free from people pleasing ways isn’t easy but it is possible, & that is what I hope you will learn from this post today.

To start with healing from any dysfunctional behavior, I firmly believe it’s best to heal the dysfunctional thoughts & beliefs that started you on this road.  Doing so will change your behavior naturally as you heal.

Learning how to be a people pleaser often starts early with children whose parents were narcissistic.  These parents don’t have normal expectations for their children, such as wanting them to learn, grow & one day become independent adults.  Instead, they teach their children some very dysfunctional & toxic things, & those children need to unlearn these things.

One thing they teach their children is that their love is conditional.  They are only worthy of love if they please their narcissistic parent in some way.  This belief ends up transferring to other people as well, & these children try hard to earn the love of people in their lives by doing anything they want them to do.  Children who grew up with parents like this need to learn that no matter what they do or don’t do, they deserve to be loved.  And, anyone who insists they do things to earn their love truly doesn’t love them.  Someone who genuinely loves won’t demand anyone earn their love

Another toxic lesson people pleasers learned early is that they only deserve attention when they are accomplishing something that pleases their narcissistic parent.  If these children aren’t doing something that pleases their narcissistic parent at all times, they believe they are unworthy of attention.  The truth however is that is completely wrong!  No one should feel they have to fade into the background just because at a certain moment they aren’t doing something.  Your actions & behaviors alone don’t make you worthy of attention from anyone.

Narcissistic parents teach their children that they are only worthy of praise & kind words when doing as they are told to do.  The more a child ignores their own wants, needs & feelings & focuses on doing whatever their parent wants, the greater chance they will be shown some kindness.  Since that kindness is so rare, children in this situation focus more on their parents & less on themselves.  This is so unhealthy!  Everyone needs to have balance between doing for themselves & other people.  Contrary to what these children learn, it is NOT selfish or wrong to take care of themselves & do things they want to do sometimes.

These sick, twisted beliefs need to be rejected & healthier ones need to take their place.  When you’re in a position of people pleasing, ask yourself why you feel you need to do what you feel you need to.  Is it because you genuinely want to do this for someone or do you feel obligated to?  Are you trying to earn favor with this person?  Answer yourself honestly!  If you are unsure, then pray.  Ask God to show you what your true motives are & to help you get healthier.  He will be glad to if you just ask.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism

My New Shop On Facebook Is Open!

I have just created a shop on Facebook! Most of my books are currently available for purchase in there, & soon all will be. I opened it to make a central location where all of my books can be purchased, & is easy to find. Each link on the books takes you to a universal link, showing you all places where it is available for purchase.

My shop is connected to my business page, The Butterfly Project, which is why my name doesn’t appear on the shop, just FYI.

I hope you like the shop! Come check it out at the link below:

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You Matter!

Since my readers & followers consist primarily of people who have survived narcissistic abuse as I have, I naturally try to provide information to help either in dealing with narcissists, going no contact or healing from narcissistic abuse.  Simple encouragement, however, doesn’t happen all that often, & that is wrong on my part.  Everyone needs encouragement sometimes, & that is what I want to do today.

Victims of narcissistic abuse usually don’t realize their true worth & value.  How could they when narcissists do their level best to make sure their victims’ self esteem is utterly destroyed?  When a narcissist reminds you constantly about all of your faults, even ones you really don’t have, maintaining any sense of self esteem is nearly impossible.  So today, I just want you to know that no matter what a narcissist has told you, you matter.

You may think God made mistakes when He made you, but He certainly didn’t!  He made you as He did for valid reasons!  Ephesians 2:10 in the Good News Bible says, “God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.”  And, Psalm 139:16 says, “you saw me before I was born.  The days allotted to me. had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began.”  Clearly, God knew what He was doing when He made you, so obviously you mean so much to Him.

You may think no one would notice if you just disappeared from the lives of the people you love, but that isn’t true.  They would miss you & be devastated if you were no longer a part of their lives.  You fill a special place in their lives that no one else but you ever could fill.  You matter a great deal to them.

You may think the man or woman you love needs you to be low maintenance, to avoid “bothering” this person with your needs, wants or feelings, but that isn’t true.  Someone who truly loves you wants to know all about your needs, wants & feelings.  And, believe it or not, they will be happy to do things for you.  This person is with you because they don’t love anyone like they love you, & they want to share their life with you.  You matter so much to this person.

If you have children, you are of the utmost importance to them.  Children love their parents automatically.  I’m sure you have made mistakes raising your children & think that makes you an awful parent, but you’re wrong.  All parents make mistakes.  There is nothing wrong with that so long as you apologize & make things right to the best of your ability.  You taking care of your children, showing them love & protecting them makes you a wonderful parent, & you children love you.  You matter more to them than you realize.

If you have pets, I can promise that you matter a great deal to your pets too.  Animals may offer unconditional love, but even so, they aren’t happy with people who dislike them or mistreat them.  If your pet greets you when you come home, snuggles up to you while you watch tv or sleep, or just generally wants to be in your space, those are just some of the signs that say you matter a great deal to your baby.

Today, just remember that no matter what any terrible, cruel narcissist has said, you matter.  You matter much more than you know to those people in your life.  You aren’t whatever the narcissist told you that you were.  They only said such things as a way to hurt you.  In fact, what narcissists criticize most is what they are the most envious of in their victims.  They criticize those things to make their victims feel those special things about them aren’t really special, not because they mean what they are saying.  They know they are lying, even though they won’t admit it.  Just remember that, & give their lies no credibility. 

Starting today, please start reminding yourself often that you matter, because you truly do matter!  And while you’re at it, ask God to show you that you matter.  He will be more than happy to do so!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism

My Podcasts

As I mentioned some time back, I decided to give up making videos & just go with podcasts. I have added them to a bunch of different podcast sites, so I thought I would share them here for those of you who are a fan of podcasts. I hope you decide to check them out sometime! If your favorite podcast site isn’t on this list, then please let me know. I’ll try to add it.

Amazon Music:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/636257ca-b20e-4c80-b0c4-76c6da81d4b6/cynthia-bailey-rug

Anchor By Spotify:

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cynthia-bailey-rug/id1632080095

Castbox:

Google Podcasts:

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Animals, Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.)

Habits Of People With Anxiety

Living with anxiety is so incredibly difficult for many reasons.  Following are some of those reasons that most of us don’t usually think about.

Feeling relaxed makes anxiety worse.  When you are accustomed to living in a state of hyper-vigilance, feeling relaxed is very abnormal.  It can make you feel so abnormal that you immediately return to your anxious state.  If at all possible when this happens, remind yourself that there is no reason to be anxious at this time.  Take a few deep breaths & focus on how they make your body feel.  This calms the mind & body.  If you can, enjoy feeling relaxed as much as you possibly can.

External validation is of the utmost importance.  Everyone needs validation.  That’s simply how God made people.  Anxious people crave it like oxygen, because we don’t trust our decisions & have such an incredible amount of self doubt.  However people, being imperfect beings, will fail to give you all of the validation that you need.  Learning to validate yourself is so important!  Doing so requires a great deal of leaning on God & questioning yourself to decide if your beliefs are truly yours or those of some dysfunctional, abusive person. 

You are an expert at hiding your anxiety.  People with anxiety know how awkward & uncomfortable we can make other people feel.  Rather than do that, we learn to hide our anxiety to the best of our ability.  Some of us become so skilled at this, others have no idea we live with anxiety.  This isn’t always a bad thing, since some situations are made worse when someone recognizes another’s anxiety.  There are also times when it will behoove you to let someone safe know that you are struggling & ask them for help.

Along those same lines, we also hide our emotions.  Hiding emotions seems to be a natural side bar of hiding anxiety.  People may think we are naturally happy or even confident.  They see what we portray ourselves as, not the bundle of negative emotions that we truly are inside.  Similar to hiding anxiety, this can be beneficial in some situations but there also is nothing wrong with showing them to safe people & asking for help if needed.

Overthinking is normal to people with anxiety.  Overthinking can be beneficial.  When you’re packing for a trip, it helps to pack if you consider every possible scenario in that trip.  You’ll think of bringing things with you that you might not have considered otherwise.  But, overthinking in day to day life?  Not always so beneficial.  It only adds to anxiety that is already there.  When it happens, if at all possible, it’s best to take a little time to yourself.  Breathe slowly & deeply in & out a few times.  This slows down the mind & heart rate, which allows you to think more logically about the situation.  Often, it shows you that what you’re overthinking doesn’t require nearly so much thought.  Or it helps you to get a grasp on the fact that something is completely beyond your control, so there is no point in worrying about it.

Lastly, some folks with anxiety depend on certain inanimate objects to feel comforted & safe.  Remember as a child how you felt safest when you had that special teddy bear, blanket or baby doll?  That happen in adulthood now too, except now, it’s ear buds, cell phone, purse, wallet or something else.  I don’t know why this is exactly, because logically you know they won’t protect you.  Yet somehow, leaving home without this security item can lead to downright panic.  I barely even use my cell phone but if I leave home without it, I feel absolutely lost. 

If you exhibit any of these behaviors, know you’re not alone & you’re not crazy!  You simply are showing signs of having anxiety.  Work on them as you feel able to & pray for God’s help in healing.  They can improve in time!  I promise!

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Showing Your Emotions

It seems to me that many people consider people who are free with showing their emotions weak, “drama queens or kings” or even crazy.  Not showing emotions is often looked on as a sign of strength.  I really disagree with this thinking.  There really is nothing wrong or bad about showing what you feel inside.

Years ago, I remember my mother telling me about her mail carrier.  She hadn’t seen her for a while, then finally saw her one day.  She asked how she was doing & where she had been.  Turned out the lady’s husband committed suicide.  My mother thought her composure in discussing this topic was admirable.  I disagreed!  This lady could have been in a state of shock & was unable to show emotions due to that.  But, she also could have been glad he was gone & didn’t miss him.  Her lack of emotions gave no clue which was how she was feeling about her loss.

Showing emotions is a healthy thing to do.  It helps you to process them in healthy ways.  Did you know many people who don’t process anger often end up with health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease & digestive issues?  They also can suffer from depression since sometimes repressed anger manifests as depression.

Showing emotions also helps people to know where they stand with you.  If you weren’t obviously happy that your spouse brought you your favorite coffee as a surprise sometimes, how would he or she know how much you appreciated it?  Or, if you held in disappointment, how would your child know that he or she needed to work harder to get better grades?

The Bible even describes times when Jesus showed His emotions.  When Lazarus died, Jesus knew He would raise him from the dead, but even so, He was emotional & let that show.  John 11: 32-35 says,  32 When Mary came [to the place] where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who had come with her also sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit [to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death] and was troubled, 34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept.”  The Gospels also tell the story of Jesus becoming enraged when He saw people buying & selling in the temple.  He drove animals & people out & flipped over tables.  Hardly the actions of someone afraid of showing their emotions.

Showing emotions is truly a courageous thing to do.  It shows you aren’t afraid of the opinions or judgment of other people.  It shows you are brave enough to be vulnerable.  It shows you are in touch with your emotions, which is a very healthy way to be.

What is not courageous is hiding all emotions behind a mask of stoicism.  This often is a trauma response created by those who have been exposed to cruel people who criticize them for how they feel & invalidate their feelings.  If this describes you, please know that you don’t need to be that way anymore.  You are an adult & allowed to feel your feelings & yes, even show them!  That doesn’t make you oversensitive, overreacting, stupid or even crazy.  It makes you human. 

If you’re struggling to get in touch with your emotions, I suggest praying, paying attention to how you feel about everything & journaling about your experiences.  Read over your journal entries periodically too, don’t simply write them & forget them.  They can help you to have insight. 

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Getting Back Your Zest For Life After Narcissistic Abuse

Like so many other victims of narcissistic abuse, I spent most of my life trying to be less me to please other people.  I think of it like I was trying to shrink myself to please other people.  I became less opinionated.  I turned away from things that I liked that they didn’t approve of in favor of things they thought I should.  I tried changing my appearance too, dressing differently, coloring my hair & losing weight. 

Eventually I realized just how ridiculous this was.  Changing to please people who demand you change never works.  The one demanding the changes is never pleased, & the one doing the changing is miserable because they aren’t being true to themselves.  I could see no good reason to continue this behavior, so I stopped it.  I figured let people be mad at me for it.  They would be anyway!  This was a good decision of course, but it also was only half the battle for me.  I knew who I wasn’t, but I didn’t know who I was.

Over the years I did get to know myself, but still something was lacking.  I wasn’t sure what that something was.  It finally hit me.  I lost my passion, my zest for life.  I certainly can’t be the only person in this position, so I thought sharing what I have learned would be a good idea.

After enduring narcissistic abuse, it can be overwhelming to realize just how much damage has been done to you.  Healing is absolutely possible, but it takes a lot of work & time.  Often, I think it’s a life long process.  It can be easy to get caught up in healing work & not even notice you haven’t got that zest for life you once had.  Or maybe you never had it.  Either way, this should change.  You deserve to enjoy life!

As vital as healing is, it’s also a lot of work!  You need to take time frequent breaks.  They are good for your mental health.  Thinking too much about such intense topics can wear you down, & that is never good.  Take times where you flatly refuse to think about the abuse or focus on your healing.  Instead, do things you enjoy. 

Remember times in your life when you had that zest for life.  Think about them in as much detail as you can.  What were you doing?  What was so enjoyable about the situation?  How exactly did you feel?  Meditate on those times.  Remind yourself that this was you!  You were capable of being that person before, so you can be like that again. 

Consider things that ignite your zest for life & indulge in them often.  If it’s reading a certain genre of books, read all you can find.  If it’s a certain type of music, listen to it often & dance around your home.  If it’s supporting a certain cause, give your best to supporting it in every way you can.

Get creative.  I believe creative outlets to be absolutely vital to enjoying life.  Whatever you enjoy doing, make time to do it often.  I have learned if I don’t set aside time in the evenings to knit, crochet or cross stitch, it doesn’t take long before I become anxious & irritable.  Participating in these creative hobbies I love helps me to enjoy life more while helping my mental health.

The most helpful thing I have found though is the value of maintaining a close relationship to God.  Psalm 16:11 says that in His presence is fullness of joy, & this is so true!  Pray often & remember, God isn’t just God but your father as well.  You can talk to Him familiarly.  I know when your earthly father isn’t good it can be hard to relate to God in this way but it is possible.  Ask Him to help you & remember, He is nothing like your earthly father at all.  He is so much better!

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Nostalgia After Trauma

The definition of nostalgia is a longing for the past, in particular a time that is associated with good memories.  People who have experienced trauma may have a predilection for having an appreciation for nostalgia more than the average person.

When a person experiences trauma, such as growing up with abusive parents, often times as adults, they long for certain things that take them back to a happy time in their life, in particular in their childhood.  I admit to being one of these people.  I have a small collection of toys from my childhood that I love, & I regularly listen to music from my teen years in the 80’s.  These things bring me a lot of joy. 

Eventually though I thought this was strange behavior on my part.  My childhood wasn’t exactly the best time of my life, so why would I want reminders of it?  Finally I realized why.  The answer is simple.  Security.

Whatever trauma you have experienced, it changed you & your perception of life.  That is how trauma works.  It can make you feel very insecure & skeptical, even cynical.  A natural coping skill after trauma is to want to find some sense of security wherever you can.  Sometimes finding that security manifests as mentally revisiting a time when you felt comfortable & in control. 

Consider this.  When growing up with narcissistic parents, you have very little control, especially if your narcissistic parents were the engulfing type who had to control every aspect of your life.  Those few rare moments of having control over your life felt empowering.  For me, my most empowering times of my younger days involved music.  Either listening to the radio while alone in my room as a teen or when I drove my first car while listening to any music I wanted to.  Now that I’m an adult, music still gives me that feeling of empowerment.  I frequently still listen to similar music as I did in my younger days.  I also have added more music to my repertoire that makes me feel that same feeling of empowerment.  And you know something?  There is nothing wrong with that!

There is also a comfort in knowing that not every single thing in your past was terrible, that there were some good times too.  Thinking that there was no good in your life is a dreadful feeling!  It can feel as if your life had no purpose.  Reminding yourself of the good times, even if they were few, is very comforting. 

Not to mention, only thinking of the bad times is simply depressing!  Reminding yourself of good times is much less depressing & conducive to a better mood. 

If you find yourself longing for certain things from your past, please know there is nothing wrong with you.  Even if your past was full of terrible & traumatic events, there is nothing bad about waxing nostalgic for the few good times.  Just enjoy the nostalgia when you can.  Listen to those old songs & remember your first slow dance or sharing songs with your childhood best friend.  If you see a toy at a flea market that you used to enjoy playing with as a child, why not buy it?  When you see it, it might just make you smile, & that is a lovely gift to give yourself.

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25% Off Sale On All Of My Ebooks & 15% Off Sale On All Of My Print Books!!

My ebooks are going on sale for the entire month of July! From July 1-31, 2022, all of my ebooks will be 25% off! The discount is applied automatically at checkout, so there are no coupon codes necessary. If you have wanted any of my books, this is a great time to grab them cheap!

My ebooks can be found at the link below…

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

If you prefer print books, you can get 15% off of them by adding code HUSTLE15 at checkout. This sale ends July 1, 2022. My print books can be found at the link below…

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Best Friends

“Best friends” is a term that is used pretty freely & often without much thought.  I don’t do that, however.  I have a best friend that is incredibly special to me.  We met just before our senior year of high school in August, 1988, & in the years since, she has taught me so much about the real meaning of best friend.  I believe that others can benefit from what I have learned, so I want to share it today.

True best friends have healthy boundaries & they respect yours.  They know what you are ok with & what you aren’t, & they respect such things.  They don’t use you or are NOT ok with anyone else using you either.  They will remind you that no one has the right to mistreat or abuse you, especially when you doubt it.

True best friends are honest.  They won’t lie to you just because it’s easier for them.  They will be honest & if that means it hurts your feelings a bit to get you to a better place, they will be honest.  They will be as gentle as they can in their honesty so as to minimize the hurt because they love you, but they still will tell you the truth.  They know honesty is best & they want what is best for you.

True best friends stand the test of time.  Close friendships are somewhat like a marriage.  You love & support each other.  You have fun with each other & also are there during the hard times.  You work through disagreements & can agree to disagree.  You don’t just run at the first sign of problems.  You do your best by your friend & they do their best by you.  A wonderful friendship like this lasts for more than a few months.  It can last a lifetime.

True best friends are there for you, period, even when it isn’t easy for them to be.  I called my best friend as soon as I had a moment after receiving my mother’s death notification, & she was there for me from that moment on.  She even attended the burial & was at my side even when one of my cousins raged at me during the burial.  She listened when I was dealing with estate matters & overwhelmed.  None of that was pleasant or easy for her, but she was there for me anyway.  That is what a best friend does.  They are there for you even when it’s incredibly difficult for them.

True best friendships aren’t one sided.  There is a mutual give & take in the relationship.  There will be trying times you are needier & your best friend is there for you, but there are also times when the reverse is true, & you are there for your needy best friend.  As a whole though, your friendship is very balanced.  You both love & support each other as needed rather than one person being the only one to offer love & support.

True best friends know you very well & accept you without judgment, yet still encourage your personal growth.  Your best friend should accept you as you are because they understand why you are as you are, but they also encourage you to improve yourself.  They share things they have learned that can help you.

True best friends are a gift straight from God, & if you have a wonderful one in your life as I do, you truly are blessed!  Never forget to tell your best friend how much you appreciate them being a part of your life & that you love them.  Never let them feel you take them for granted!

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Making Assumptions About People

It’s amazing to me the assumptions that people often make about each other.  Some people assume someone with tattoos & piercings can’t hold down a good job, for example.  Others assume women with blonde hair are all ditzy.  There are so many other assumptions that are equally ridiculous.

I’ve always been an introvert, & pretty quiet.  Around people I’m very close to, I can be fairly chatty, but those I’m not comfortable with or don’t really know well, I’m very quiet.  This has led to some pretty stupid assumptions about me from other people.  One of my sisters in-law told my husband I obviously think I’m better than their family & treat them like “trash.”  The accusation was astonishing since I really tried hard for years to be civil & even nice to her.  Guessing any of you introverts reading this have experienced similar accusations.  People often think being quiet means we feel superior. Some even think it means we’re depressed, whether or not we truly are depressed.

With the prominence of social media, assumptions have become even more commonplace.  Since many people share so much on there, they assume everyone else does.  If a person doesn’t share a lot, ridiculous assumptions are made.  In my life, people seem to think I must not have much to do each day since I rarely share anything personal.  I just see no point in sharing my plans for whatever I plan to do each day.  I also don’t complain about my physical & mental health concerns, so people assume they aren’t a daily struggle.  People also see pictures on social media of a happy couple or playing children & assume these people are living happy, care free lives.  They don’t realize that there could be a lot of pain hiding behind those smiles.

Assuming things about other people is so unwise.  People may be absolutely nothing like what you assume they are.  That big burly biker guy may have a baby at home that makes him melt into a big teddy bear every time he sees her.  That woman in your church who appears so pious & volunteers constantly may be abusing her husband & children at home.  

Making assumptions is so bad that the Bible discusses the topic in several locations.  All Scriptures are from the Amplified Bible.

  • I Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
  • Proverbs 18:2  “A [closed-minded] fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his personal opinions [unwittingly displaying his self-indulgence and his stupidity].”
  • John 7:24 “Do not judge by appearance [superficially and arrogantly], but judge fairly and righteously.”
  • James 4:11 “Believers, do not speak against or slander one another. He who speaks [self-righteously] against a brother or judges his brother [hypocritically], speaks against the Law and judges the Law. If you judge the Law, you are not a doer of the Law but a judge of it.”

The next time you are tempted to make an assumption about someone, I would urge you not to do that.  God frowns upon it pretty seriously, as these Scriptures point out.  Even if He didn’t, by behaving this way, you may be missing out on knowing some pretty awesome people.  Matthew 10:16 says, “Listen carefully: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves [have no self-serving agenda].”  I believe these words to be incredibly wise when dealing with people.  Spot the signs that they are either safe or unsafe & act accordingly.  Yet also be willing to be kind to everyone.

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Pay Attention To Your Dreams

Dreams are much more important than I believe most people realize.  They help the brain to process everything that happens to us, both good & bad, which helps to keep our sanity in tact.  Sometimes they also are a good problem solving technique, because you can dream about some scenario you never considered before about a problem you face in your waking life.  They also are a fantastic gauge for our mental health, which is what I want to focus on today. 

For many years, I had a recurring nightmare.  The details would change slightly but the theme was always the same.  I was an adult, but needed to repeat high school.  I also needed to rely on my mother to get me there, but she was running late &/or screaming at me, much as she did during my final year & a half of high school.  In the early days of the nightmare, I was in a blind panic because I was going to be late & had no choice.  I also would get to school to find out I had a test on something I hadn’t studied, couldn’t find my locker or some other unsettling scenario.  I also was embarrassed to be the only adult in high school classes.  I often woke up in a terrible panic from these nightmares.

As time went on, I began to work on my emotional healing, & as I did that, the dream changed.  Sometimes I wouldn’t care that I was running late, or I could find my locker.  Eventually I started to realize I had my own car & didn’t need to rely on anyone to take me to school.  Once that change took place, it wasn’t long before I realized I had already been through high school & had no need to repeat it.  Finally, the nightmares stopped altogether. 

At the time of this recurring nightmare, I started to work on my emotional healing.  I also learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder & how to deal with my C-PTSD.  The more I learned & healed, the more the nightmare changed.  It also became much less frequent.  Eventually, the nightmare stopped altogether.  I don’t remember the last time I had it, but I do know it’s been years. 

As it was changing, I realized that it was a reflection of where I was in my healing journey.  The healthier I became, the more power I took back in my nightmare & the less upset I was when I woke up. 

Not everyone has recurring dreams or nightmares.  If you do, they are absolutely worth paying attention to.  I firmly believe they repeat because there is an important message in them.  Just look at mine as an example.  It showed me the state of my mental health.

Even if you don’t have recurring dreams or nightmares, the ones you do have are still important.  It’s wise to pay attention to them.  I sometimes know what my dreams are trying to tell me right away, but if not, I pray & ask God to show me.  I also look up everything I can think of in a dream dictionary, such as people, places, colors, objects, or numbers.  Any detail at all can be very helpful, no matter how small.  There are plenty of free dream dictionary websites online.  Usually after prayer, once I start looking things up in a dream dictionary, things start to make sense & I can figure out what the dream meant.

Also, there are plenty of dreams you will know you had, yet you don’t remember any details at all.  It may be just a vague feeling that you dreamed something about a particular subject.  Don’t worry about that.  Those dreams are normal.  They are simply the brain processing something.  It isn’t important enough for you to remember the details, so you don’t. 

A dream journal is also a really good idea.  At least write your dreams that you feel are important in your usual journal along with the date.  Looking back over your dreams can be an interesting & educational experience.

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Suggestions For When You Feel Overwhelmed

We all have those incredibly frustrating times of feeling overwhelmed.  Sometimes the only thing you feel you can do is sit down, stare into nothing & panic.  Not productive but it happens probably more often than any of us care to admit.  Today I want to share some tips on how to get through when those times happen.

If you know anything about my writing, you know the first thing I always suggest is prayer.  Why?  Because it works!  Talking to God helps your relationship & it helps you by getting these things off your chest.  He also can help you to formulate a plan to accomplish what you need to, which will reduce that panicked, overwhelmed feeling.

Next, try committing to doing what you need to do.  Making up your mind that you will do this task may not sound important, but it is.  It puts you in a different, better mindset about the task. 

Then try to formulate some goals on how to accomplish your task & make those goals small.  Let’s use the example of moving to a new home.  Your major goal once your stuff is in this new place of course is to unpack, but that goal is overwhelming when you’re surrounded by boxes.  Instead, set small goals, like unpacking a minimum of 3 boxes after work every evening.  If you have the desire to do more, each evening great!   Do it!  But, keep your goals realistic so you do NOT do less than your small goal.  Accomplish at least that & anything above that is a bonus.

If you need things to accomplish your goals, gather all supplies you may need.  Using the moving example again, that could involve cleaning supplies such as chemicals, rags & paper towels.  Probably also a large trash bag for the packing paper & bubble wrap.  If you are doing some type of research, that could involve your laptop, pen, paper, & something to drink. 

From here, you need to figure out how to accomplish your goal.  Take small steps.  If unpacking from a recent move, consider which boxes to open first.  Move those into the room where they need to be unpacked.  Move only a few at a time.  If you are trying to accomplish something else, it may involve more steps.  That is fine, just don’t do too much at a time.  In fact, it may help you to write out each step you need to take to accomplish your goal, then cross off each step as you do it.  Seeing your accomplishments in writing can be motivating because you see evidence that you are able to do what you need to do.

As you tackle each step, you will come closer & closer to your goal.  This not only helps you to accomplish what you need to do but helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed because you are tackling it one small piece at a time.

Also as you work through this process towards your goal, try to focus only on one small step at a time.  Avoid looking at the big picture for now.  Focus on only the task directly in front of you to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed.

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People Who See Things A Bit Differently

I am one of those people who sees things differently than the majority of people.  I believe this different perception comes from not only my natural personality but also surviving narcissistic abuse.  One way this perception manifests is I often can spot problems quicker than most people.  Some time ago, I noticed one of my cats was acting a little bit standoffish.  I mentioned this on Facebook & said that I was concerned about her.  A friend said, “She probably is just having an off day.  Don’t worry about it.”  I ignored this comment because I just knew something was wrong.  When my cat saw the vet, he diagnosed her with an over active thyroid.  If left untreated, it could have caused her serious problems or potentially even killed her.

This also happens with people.  If someone I’m close to introduces me to their new boyfriend or girlfriend, I almost immediately pick up on whether or not this person is a good person or not & in time, I’m usually proven right.  One former friend of mine married a guy who I didn’t particularly like on first sight.  I couldn’t put my finger on it that day, but something felt off to me even though the guy said & did all the right things.  It didn’t take long & I realized this guy wanted to isolate my friend.  I knew he was going to end our friendship soon.  In less than one year after we met, my friend married him & only two weeks after the wedding, the new husband started an argument with me that caused me to lose my friend of over 20 years. 

To me, this different way of looking at things is a gift.  In those two examples I provided, I was able to get my beautiful kitty the help she needed before her thyroid caused her more serious problems & I also wasn’t blindsided by the dissolution of my friendship because I could see it coming long before it happened.  Good stuff if you ask me!  However, other people don’t share that opinion.  Many people can be critical of people like me who can spot things easily.  I want to help you today.

One thing people have said to me is I’m just looking for problems.  Spotting problems easily isn’t “just looking for problems.”  It’s being aware, which is not a bad thing at all!  Being aware helps you to know how to deal with people & situations. 

Similarly is a comment about trying to start drama.  So much no to this one.  Nothing about the truth is starting drama.  The truth really does set you free like nothing else & it is a very wonderful thing!

Another comment people have said is that it’s too negative to be like this, because I only see the bad.  This is another thing that is not true!  People who are highly in tune with potential problems also are equally in tune with good things.  I spot red flags in people just as quickly as I spot “green flags”, those things that show someone is a good person.  The green flags cause me to relax, unlike the red flags that get my guard up.  On the outside it can look as if I’m ignoring the good & focusing on the bad.  This isn’t the case though, as those of you reading this know since you probably do the exact same thing!

If you are someone who sees things differently, then ignore the nay sayers.  Enjoy this quality about yourself & use it no matter who disapproves of it!  God has given you a great gift, so use it & use it well!  It will help you time & time again & also enable you to have good relationships, so why shouldn’t you use it?

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One Way To Add A Little Joy To Your Daily Life

I recently heard of something I was unaware existed before.  It’s called the errand hang.  Basically it involves spending time with someone while you take care of errands.  Silly as it may sound, I really think this is a great idea in several ways.

Obviously, you being able to get done the errands you need to is a benefit.  It can be easier to accomplish such mundane tasks as going to the grocery store when you know you’ll be spending time with someone you care about however.  My best friend & I have done all kinds of things when together, not just go out to lunch & shopping.  I enjoy those times spent with her just as much as the lunch & shopping dates.

If you don’t have much time for social activities like going to the movies or parties, errand hanging is a way to fit in social time while not losing time you need to accomplish certain tasks. Spending time with a good friend also makes those mundane tasks seem more enjoyable, so that’s another bonus.

Or, if you’re someone who dislikes some traditional social activities like parties, the errand hang is a good way to get some one on one time with your friends rather than trying to talk to them over the noise of loud music & other people at a party.

There is also something about sharing errands with someone that draws you closer together.  Maybe because doing so gives them a look at your day to day life, not only what you want another person to see.  Maybe too because it gives an opportunity to talk with this person without the constant, intrusive distractions of televisions or phones. 

There is also a potential for spontaneity, which is beneficial for those of us who aren’t good with being spontaneous.  I have a friend who is way less rigid than me & quite spontaneous.  When she lived near me, she called pretty often to ask what I was doing that day.  Then she often would talk me into doing my household duties later or maybe sooner than expected so as soon as I was done, we could hang out, often while running errands.  It was good for me to push myself out of my little box sometimes, & I wish she still lived close!  Those times were a lot of fun for me.

I had another friend who used to call & ask what I was doing.  If I needed to go out, he’d ask if he could come along.  Or, if money was tight for me he’d ask if I wanted him to drive so I could save gas.   I would do the same if times were tight for him.  It worked out well – one of us could save a little money when needed & we’d have a ball laughing & listening to the music we grew up with as we drove around.

There is another bonus for the errand hang too.  If you are struggling somehow, say with grief over losing a loved one or depression, the errand hang can help motivate you to get out, do what you need to do & have some fun while doing it.  Or, maybe you have an unpleasant chore you need to do but really don’t want to.  Having someone with you can be good moral support which will help you to accomplish that task.

If you think this errand hang stuff sounds weird, it really doesn’t have to be weird at all.  Just ask!  The next time you need to do some errands, text a friend in advance.  You can tell them this might sound weird, but you need to do these things & would like some company, then ask if he or she is busy when you need to do the errands.  In my experience anyway, most people are fine with asking them to do errands together. 

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Receiving God’s Comfort

God created people to need relationships not only with Him but with each other.  A part of that is the need for consolation & comfort during the tough times.

There were many times shortly after the death of my mother that I received God’s comfort.  It was such a horrific time, undoubtedly the hardest of my life.  I was overwhelmed with everything I had to do as well as processing her death & the fact she chose me to be her personal representative after her & my father saying otherwise years prior.  His comfort & strength enabled me to do the impossible at that time & come out on the other side even stronger than I went into the situation.  It gave me a new appreciation for His comfort.  It also showed me that people, even the most well meaning ones, can’t offer the kind of comfort that God can.

People can’t understand your pain exactly.  Even if they have experienced similar situations to yours, you are different people, which means you feel pain & process it differently.  God created you, so naturally He knows you better than any human can.  This also means He understands your pain better than anyone else.  He has experienced things that humans have such as rejection, betrayal, being taken for granted & more.  His comfort comes from the place of truly understanding how you feel, which is something no human being can manage.

God’s comfort is truly something special.  His comfort creates a deep intimacy with Him, a feeling of truly meshing with Him, because you know He truly understands.  He also gently gives words of encouragement in ways no human can, such as by calling your attention to song lyrics or a Scripture that you never thought of quite this way before.  There is also comfort in knowing that He is working in your situation on your behalf.  This deep intimacy with God comes from no means other than allowing Him to comfort you.  It is one good thing that comes from a pain that causes you to run to Him for comfort. 

Another good thing that comes from that is once you have received His comfort, you become more able to offer comfort to other hurting people.  Your empathy has increased & naturally you want to help others.  You also have experience in receiving God’s comfort & can help other people to do the same.  2 Corinthians 1:3-5 in the New International Bible says, 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

If you haven’t asked God to comfort you before, why not try it now?  There are plenty of verses in the Bible that show He is willing to do it.  In the New International Translation, Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  And, Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  Clearly, God wants to comfort you.  Let Him!  You won’t be sorry!

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

My Newest Mini Book & Crochet Pattern Are Available

One question I have been asked with disturbing regularity over the years is “How can I honor my narcissistic parent?” I decided to write my newest mini book, “How To Honor Abusive Parents” to answer that question. It includes practical advice as well as plenty of Scripture to help the reader understand what it truly means to honor parents, even abusive ones. The ebook can be found here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1133395

And, because thinking about issues like Narcissistic Personality Disorder all the time is unhealthy, I also took some down time & created a new crochet pattern. It’s a scarf made from a pattern that resembles kittens. It works up fast & is super cute, if I can brag a little. That pattern ebook can be found here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1129714

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism

Being A Highly Sensitive Person In A Relationship With Someone Who Is Not

Highly sensitive people, also known as HSPs, are rather looked at as if we have some supernatural powers & are extremely fragile.  We are often perceived as freaks of nature that must be coddled through our daily existence.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We are exceptionally sensitive to our surroundings & people in our lives, but we also are surprisingly strong.  We can handle a great deal provided we have our down time to recharge & people in our lives that accept that about us.  Yet somehow, we often end up romantically involved with people who don’t understand or accept that about us.

When you’re an HSP in love with someone who isn’t one, life is going to be a challenge.  It is so easy to assume that all conflicts in the relationship are your fault.  After all, you’re the sensitive one, so couldn’t you be over sensitive?  That’s certainly a reasonable question to ask!  However, did it not occur to you that you may see yourself as over sensitive because your significant other is rather insensitive in comparison? 

Your partner may not be an insensitive jerk, but rather an average person regarding their sensitivity level.  That isn’t a bad thing.  Most people are that way.  But, for the sake of your sanity, if at all possible, you need to accept your partner as they are & also ask them to accept that you aren’t like them.  You are more sensitive & being that way means your needs are different.  You need some things much more than your partner.  A partner who can accept such differences without judgment & try to accommodate them is a true gem!

Sometimes, non-HSP people tend to be thoughtless.  They may come home from work & turn on the radio or television with the volume way up when you need quiet.  Yes, this is very frustrating, but it doesn’t mean you need to be subjected to it.  Ask your partner to turn the volume down some & go into a separate space where you can have silence or your own preference for music or television set at a volume you prefer.  One of you in the living room & the other in a bedroom may work well.  If your home is too small for this, then consider going for a walk or a drive. 

Another helpful tip is to remind yourself often that not everyone is as sensitive to everything as you are.  Your partner may be a lovely, caring person but still can make insensitive comments periodically that upset you.  If your partner isn’t trying to cause you upset by such comments, if possible, let them go like water off a duck’s back.  Remember, not everyone will think like you, & that is ok!  If your partner is trying to upset you deliberately however, that is a very different scenario!  That is cruel & needs to be addressed.

You can blossom in a relationship with someone who isn’t a highly sensitive person, but there are some things you need to do.

Make time just for yourself, without your partner.  Enjoy whatever brings you joy – music, art, or your favorite hobbies.  Explain to your partner that it has nothing to do with you not wanting to spend time with them.  You simply need time alone to recharge.

There can be good things to remember about being with a non-HSP partner.  Your partner won’t struggle with being around other people while you enjoy your solitude, & you can introduce him or her to the beauty surrounding us every day.  The balance you bring to each other can be wonderful.  However, if your partner is too extroverted & frequently tries to convince you to socialize more often than you are comfortable with, that can be a problem.

Teach your partner about what it is like being a highly sensitive person.  This will show you how healthy your relationship is or is not.  Someone who truly loves & wants to be with you will be more than happy to learn about such things.  This also can help your relationship grow closer & increase your mutual love & understanding.

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Being A Joy Thief

So many people are quick to squelch the things that bring other people joy.  Granted, narcissists seem to have cornered the market on this behavior, but other people do it as well, & often without even realizing how discouraging their behavior is to others.

Here is one example of joy thief behavior I can give from my life.  Years ago, I shared a picture of some shoes I really liked on Facebook.  I’m not a big fan of shoes like many women, but these were an exception since they were simply gorgeous & unique.  As soon as I did, two of my aunts attacked me for my supposed poor taste.  Immediately, the moment of joy I felt at seeing these lovely shoes was ruined.  Thank God for good friends though, because a wonderful friend of mine came to my defense immediately, which made my aunts back off quickly.

Another way people do this is by showing holier than thou type behavior.  When a person thinks something is an answer to prayer, others can be quick to point out it isn’t exactly what the person asked for or it’s something rather unique, so it probably isn’t really an answer to prayer.  Or maybe you are like me & believe that there is nothing wrong with asking God for signs.  When telling some folks I got a sign, some people have told me, “You know that’s not really from God, right?” or, “Nowhere in the Bible are there any examples to support He would send a sign like that.”  Such comments are so discouraging & can make a person doubt they heard from God properly.  They can even damage a person’s faith, in particular if they are new Christians.

While these events are hardly the most traumatic a person can experience in their life, they still shouldn’t happen.  People deserve to experience their joy without the unnecessary shaming from other people.  There is no good reason to rain on another person’s parade.

What harm could possibly come from someone enjoying something that you dislike?  No harm could come to humanity because one person prefers autumn & another prefers summer, one person dislikes holidays while another listens to Christmas music in July or even one person prefers tea to coffee.  Seriously, issues like this are silly & not worth arguing about.

Even when it comes to someone’s faith, many issues aren’t worth disagreeing over.  Every Christian is at a different place in their walk with God.  While you may be further along than another, you are still well behind yet another person.  You don’t know everything, so why act like you do?  If someone believes something that you disagree with, unless you can back up your belief with Scripture, let it go.    Romans 14:12 & 13 in the Amplified Bible have this to say…  “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Then let us not criticize one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block or a source of temptation in another believer’s way.”  

Please consider your behavior & avoid being a joy thief.  It will be good for your relationships as well as for your peace of mind.  Being burdened with trying to change other people only makes both people in this situation miserable.  Why behave that way?  Enjoy your life instead & allow others in your life to enjoy theirs as well.

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My Newest Venture

If you recall some time back I mentioned I wanted to focus more on enjoying life in my writing & putting that into practice in my own life. I have done something that will let me do just that.

I decided to make & sell homemade beauty products & perfumes. I used to do this years ago, before being an author took precedence in my life, but recently decided to get back into it, along with continuing to write of course.

Making these products is a lot of fun for me & a great creative outlet, but as one person, I can only use so much! That’s why I decided to sell these products. That gives me an excuse to do something I love. Bonus if I make some extra money at it.

The link to my new website is below. Check it out! 🙂

Heaven Scent Creations

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God Plans Our Lives With Love

There is no denying that live can be exceedingly difficult sometimes. My readers know this as well if not better than anyone due to experiences with narcissists. This can make anyone wonder where was God during the abuse? Did He even care about what was happening to me? Does He really love me? The answers are He was right with you, He did care & was deeply upset about it & yes, He absolutely loves you!

I was considering writing my own post on this topic but found this one on an amazing blog that explains this topic much better than I can. I decided to share that post instead, & I hope it blesses you tremendously! The link to the post is below.

I did want to say one thing though… for years now, Romans 8:28 has helped me during the especially tough times & I think it may help you as well…

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

Romans 8:28 AMP

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health