Category Archives: Enjoying Life

Print Book Sale!!

From now until October 22, 2021, my publisher is offering a sale on all print books. Simply use code SPOOKY15 at checkout & get 15% off your purchase.

Visit the link below to see my print books:

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

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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.)

Best Friends

God gives His children many gifts.  One of the finest ones I’ve ever received is my best friend. Although since we met in 1988, truth be told, she’s more of a sister than a friend.  She is one of those rare people who is absolutely beautiful, inside & out.  She has taught me about what a best friend really should be just by being herself, & I thought I would share that with you.

Best friends should always help to strengthen your faith.  People are often quick to say, “I’ll pray for you” but honestly, how many people who say that also help to remind them that God is so much bigger than their problems?  As good as it is to have others pray for you, it’s also incredibly helpful to have someone encourage you to pray, to remind you what the Bible says regarding your situation & remind you of times in your past when God has came through for you.

Best friends should be encouraging.  They shouldn’t just encourage your faith but your soul too.  If you have doubts about your abilities & your best friend knows you have no valid reason to doubt, they should be your cheerleader.

Your relationship should be balanced.  During trying times, it’s normal for a close relationship to be out of balance as one friend helps the other, but this shouldn’t be the norm for any relationship.  Relationships should involve two people supporting each other, not one person constantly doing all of the work, constantly helping the other or one person not caring about what is happening in the other person’s life.

Best friends should know each other VERY well.  My best friend knows me better than anyone else in the world with the exception of my husband.  This means she not only knows my likes, dislikes, interests, morals & beliefs, but she knows how to relate to me well.  I know her probably just as well.  If we disagree about something, we can work it out easily because we know each other so well.

Best friends are real with each other.  My best friend has seen me at my worst.  I don’t mean just seeing me without makeup.  I mean seeing me as I recovered from the carbon monoxide poisoning, after arguments with my parents & husband, after flashbacks, & going through very hard times like abuse at the hands of my parents.  Not once did I ever feel I had to tell her I was fine.  I always can tell her today was awful & this is why, knowing she wouldn’t judge me for being too negative.  I also can count on her to tell me if I’m wrong about something.  Thankfully, she is kind about it, but she will offer constructive criticism or correction if necessary.

Best friends should love each other God’s way.  What I mean is that love isn’t superficial.  It is deep, it only wants what is best for each other, it is courteous & full of respect. 

Best friends shouldn’t shy away during the hard times.  The night I got the death notification about my mother was an extremely terrible night.  My first thought once I was at my mother’s home & starting to deal with the police was to call my best friend.  Immediately she said she’d pray the moment we hung up & asked what else she could do.  A few days later when my mother was buried, guess who was at my side?  Even when one of my cousins screamed at me, she didn’t budge.  It couldn’t have been easy for her to be there during these scenarios, especially at the cemetery, but she was there offering her unwavering support.

If your best friend isn’t like this, then it may be time to find one who is.  God made people to be in relationships of all kinds, so why settle for less than the best He has to offer?

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

God Meets Us Where We Are

A phrase came to mind recently.  God meets us where we are.

What I mean is that God has ways to connect with us however & whenever reach us best at any particular time.  For example, when I turned my life over to Him, I was dabbling in the occult & witchcraft.  I was told the witchcraft I was interested in was based on the Bible, so since I wanted to be good at it, I figured I should read the Bible & learn.  What I learned first was God did NOT approve of witchcraft.  Then I learned about the love & saving power of Jesus.  Until that time, I had never opened a Bible or knew anything about Jesus.  I was taught that if you’re good you go to Heaven, bad you go to Hell, without even a real definition of what good & bad were.  I didn’t believe in God or if by some chance He did exist, I certainly wanted nothing to do with Him.  That was until I started reading the Bible for the first time.  That was the first time God met me where I was, even though it was a terrible, dark place.

There have been other times too, that He has reached me in some awful place.  During times of intense darkness & despair, He has given me signs that all would be fine by sending butterflies, a specific song began to play or I’d see a message by the side of the road that says something that felt as if He was speaking directly to me.  Every single time, those times have offered incredible comfort.  They strengthened me to keep pressing on, no matter how bleak things looked or how impossible things seemed.

I want to encourage you to know that God can do the same for you.  He will meet you where you are as He has done with me.  All you have to do is be aware. 

I realize there are people who don’t believe God speaks to people, that it only happened during Biblical times.  I can tell you from personal experience that isn’t the case!  He may or may not speak audibly, but He still speaks to His children all the time.  He may speak in the still, small voice spoken of in Kings 19:12.  He may speak in other ways, too & there are plenty of examples of that in the Bible.  God spoke to Moses in the form of a burning bush in Exodus 3:2, & to Job in the form of a whirlwind in Job 38:1.  He speaks often in dreams, visions & in the form of the Holy Spirit to the hearts of those who want to hear Him.  He used a dove to communicate to Noah & a donkey to Balaam.  He even sent a dove to the baptism of Jesus.  He speaks in whatever way the person He is speaking to will best recognize His voice.

God also gives signs as I mentioned.  Remember the story of Gideon in Judges 6?  He asked God to give him two signs that he had heard God’s voice correctly, & God did so.  For Gideon, that sign involved a fleece.  For me, as I mentioned, butterflies are a sign God uses to speak to me often.  Dragonflies are too. 

If you are currently struggling & unsure if you are hearing from God, then why not ask Him to help you?  Ask Him to help you to hear His voice better, to give you clarity & yes, even send you signs if you want.  He answered Gideon’s prayer when he asked for a sign, & since God is no respecter of persons according to Acts 10:34, He will answer your prayer.  Then, just wait for something special to happen!  When He speaks to you or sends you a sign, you will have no doubt it’s Him!

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life

10% Off All My Print Books Until October 1, 2021

My publisher is having another sale. 10% off ALL print products, which naturally includes my books. Simply use code BUY10 at checkout. You can see my books at the link below:

lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

If you’re interested in checking out the other great selection of print products my publisher sells, simply visit lulu.com & use code BUY10 at checkout

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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.), Writing

Being Judgmental

Some years ago, I used to sell bath & beauty products I made from all natural ingredients.  I got an email one day about my products.  I was surprised that this wasn’t the usual email asking if I could make some specialty product or make a unique scent for some perfume that the buyer wanted.  Instead, the person emailing asked if I practiced witchcraft.  Apparently because I used natural products & openly discussed my preference for herbal remedies over man made, this person assumed I was a practicing witch, not a Christian.

Several years after that, I had met someone online.  We shared a love of crocheting, so we discussed it often.  One day, she shocked me by saying, “I know why you don’t have kids.  It’s because of your mother!  You shouldn’t let her make you feel that way!”  Since we never discussed children in depth other than I had none & she had a son, her saying this was astonishing.  She also didn’t know me well enough to make such a judgment, but she then scolded me for feeling the way she assumed I felt.

Not long ago, someone my husband & I have known for years thanked my husband for doing something for her, then told him to thank me for “letting” him help her out.

I’m sharing these strange little stories because I wanted to show just how utterly foolish judgmental people can be.  People other than witches like natural things.  Consider how many people of all religious backgrounds like a cup of chamomile tea to help them sleep.  The second person assuming my mother is why I don’t have children isn’t any better.  My mother had nothing to do with my feelings.  And as far as me “letting” my husband do things for someone else, that is simply laughable.  Having been subjected to controlling people in my life & being very aware of how awful it is, why would I do that to anyone, let alone someone I love?  Yet, in spite of the ridiculousness of these assumptions, these & equally stupid ones happen to people every day, all the time. 

While it can be easy to judge someone, that doesn’t make it right.  The Bible tells us not to judge each other.  We are only supposed to judge in a discerning way.  John 7:24 in the Amplified Bible says “Do not judge by appearance [superficially and arrogantly], but judge fairly and righteously.”  In other words, appearance isn’t everything!  Judge by the things a person does.  Their actions dictate their heart, & the heart is so much more important than appearance!  Some of the kindest people you can meet are covered in tattoos & piercings while some of the cruelest people you can meet wear modest clothing, volunteer or attend church every Sunday. 

You may think that you aren’t a judgmental person, & I hope you aren’t.  But please look honestly at yourself.  If you see a homeless man, do you deliberately avoid giving him money because you assume he will use it for drugs or alcohol?  He may use money for drugs or alcohol, that is true, but he may use it to feed his dog or get a pair of shoes since his are worn through.  He may be struggling with mental illness or lost his job then his home.  Such things don’t make him a bad person.  They make him a person with a problem.  You may be his answer to prayer, but you won’t be if you judge him by his appearance.  Whatever his story may be, if you don’t try to offer him at least a little help, that says more about the condition of your heart than it does about him. 

I just wanted to encourage you today to take a look at your behavior, & if you recognize you can be unfairly judgmental sometimes, then please change that about yourself.  Not only is being judgmental ungodly behavior, but it also steals your peace.  There is no point in weighing yourself down with opinions of people & things that aren’t even any of your business in the first place.  Focus on what you need to, & don’t worry about the things that aren’t your concern.

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

How To Enjoy Life With C-PTSD

Electronics are a huge part of daily life.  If we aren’t scrolling through social media or responding to emails, we’re often streaming music or movies to entertain us.  None of these activities are bad by any means.  However, it can be easy to get caught up in them. 

For those of us who have experienced trauma such as narcissistic abuse, electronics can be both a blessing & a curse.

A blessing because they help us manage the C-PTSD.  Calendars & other reminders help so much when we forget things way too easily.  Mostly though, the access to information about the trauma we have experienced, ways to cope with it & meeting others with similar experiences are huge blessings.

Electronics also can be a curse.  They offer a means of escape by mindlessly playing games, scrolling through social media or surfing the net.  While there is nothing wrong with distractions, after trauma, it can be too easy to get caught up in them & avoid dealing with the damage from past trauma.  A common sign of C-PTSD is doing mindless activities like getting lost in social media or tv shows.

Today I want to offer some suggestions to get you started stepping away from electronics while adding some substance & joy in your life.

First, consider what you are doing with your time. Is your electronics time valuable or necessary?  If you are unsure, pray about it.  God will help you to see things clearer. 

If you can cut back on that electronics time, such as not needing it for your job, cut back.  There are other things you can do with your time that are much more mentally healthy & productive. 

Also consider what you are doing online.  Are you wasting time playing games or scrolling mindlessly through social media?  Are you obsessively looking for information about Narcissistic Personality Disorder?  Neither are bad activities but they can be when done too much.  Why are you doing what you are doing?  Are you avoiding something?  Again, pray if you need insight.    

If you feel you have been spending too much time staring at your phone, computer or television, there are so many other good things you can do that can add more joy to your life.

Ban electronics for a set time each day.  Don’t stare mindlessly at the television or your phone while eating.  Instead, have your meal with another person & talk with them.  If you’re eating alone, go out to eat & watch the other people in the restaurant.  Or do some of the following suggestions during your anti-electronics time.

Spend time in nature.  If you enjoy camping, go camping.  If not, wander around a local park.  Sit on your porch & listen to the birds while watching wildlife in your yard.  Sit outside at night & admire the beauty of the stars & planets.

Play.  Play board or card games with your friends & family.  Go bowling.  Play pool or ping pong.  Try crossword puzzles or word find puzzles.  Put a jigsaw puzzle together.  Purchase nice colored pencils & a coloring book that strikes your fancy.

Don’t neglect your hobbies.  What have you been neglecting?  Painting?  Drawing?  Woodworking?  Playing a musical instrument?  Cross stitch?  Crochet or knitting?  Get back in the habit of making time for your hobbies.  If you don’t have any, then it’s time to find a hobby that appeals to you.  A good place to start is by asking yourself what did you enjoy doing when you were a child?  Wandering around a craft store is also a good idea.  There is plenty of inspiration to be had in such stores for both men & women.

As useful & wonderful as electronics can be, it’s important to have balance in your life & not be too dependent on them.

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

Showing Appreciation To The People In Your Life

Entitlement runs rampant today.  Granted, narcissists lead the way with their ridiculously overdeveloped sense of entitlement, but even people who aren’t narcissistic can be too entitled sometimes as well.  This can lead to failing to appreciate people in your life, because it can feel like there is no need to show appreciation for something someone is just supposed to do.

Failing to appreciate people in your life can lead to being taken for granted, resentment, anger, depression & ending relationships.  Why let this happen when it is so simple to avoid?

Start by showing people you are grateful for the things they do for you.  When someone does something for you, no matter how small, thank them.  Make that into a habit that you do constantly.  I don’t care if the task was something small like passing the salt at dinner.  Thank the person who did that!  Your husband put gas in your car because he knows you dislike that task?  Thank him for thinking of you & saving you that trip to the gas station.  Did your best friend call to tell you that your favorite movie comes on TV at 9 tonight?  Thank her for remembering that you love that movie & for thinking to let you know about this.  People like being thanked for what they do, even for such small things.  It makes them feel appreciated & like you don’t take them for granted.

While you’re at it, return the favor to people who bless you by being a blessing to them.  Doing thoughtful little gestures for them will make them feel the relationship is balanced, & they aren’t just doing things for you.  If you aren’t sure what to do, pay attention to people.  If someone mentions wanting to read a new book, buy them the book.  If they like coffee, surprise them with a cup of their favorite coffee periodically.  If they complain about having too much to do, then offer to help them complete some tasks or at the least accompany them when they run errands.

Tell those in your life often that you love them.  Say the words often.  Growing up, my wonderful grandparents always ended conversations with, “I love you.”  I don’t remember all of the details of our final conversations before they passed on but I can promise you our last words to each other definitely were, “I love you.” 

Complement people & do it often.  Tell your loved ones how much you admire their intelligence, kind heart, fashion sense.. anything & everything you admire about them!  A sincere complement can make even a very bad day better.

Be a cheerleader!  When someone you love is struggling, encourage them.  Let them know you believe in them & why.  And, when they accomplish the thing that was originally a struggle, celebrate with them for a job well done.

In fact, celebrate whatever accomplishments they do that bring them joy no matter how big or small.  Tell them you’re proud of them or happy for them or whatever is appropriate in the situation.

Don’t just be there in the good times either.  Be there to help them through the tough times.  Listen non-judgmentally to them while sharing a pint of ice cream, offer to clean their home or go to the grocery store for them. 

Normalize showing love to every person in your life that you love.  Normalize making people feel like a priority in your life rather than an afterthought.  Normalize checking in just to say hi & see how someone is doing.  Normalize talking about your dreams & innermost, private thoughts together knowing there won’t be judgment or criticism.  Doing things like this will enrich the relationships in your life immensely & bring both you & the other people in your life great joy.

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

15% Off My Print Books Until Friday, August 13

My publisher has been having some really good sales this year. Here’s another one. Just use code CREATOR15 at checkout when you buy any of my print books from now until August 13, 2021

Here is the link to my books:

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