My publisher is offering 10% off my print books until August 5, 2022 when you use code MAKER10 at checkout.
My books can be found at the link below..
My publisher is offering 10% off my print books until August 5, 2022 when you use code MAKER10 at checkout.
My books can be found at the link below..
As I mentioned some time back, I decided to abandon making YouTube videos in favor of podcasts since they are much easier for me to make. And thankfully, they have been well received!
Because they have been doing well, I decided to expand where they can be accessed. My podcasts now be found on many platforms. Those links are below. I hope you will check them out!
So far, I’m still figuring this all out as I go. Not entirely sure what I’m doing at the moment, so please just bear with me! Plus, writing is my top priority & has been since God told me many years ago it was my purpose. This means podcasts aren’t going to get as much of my attention. I don’t have any particular schedule with them, so I won’t release new ones faithfully every day, week or even month. I release them a few at a time periodically. I have been pretty lazy about doing this over the last year or so, & I apologize for that. It’s changing, I promise! I just had so much happening in my life in the recent past, my work has fallen too far behind.
So anyway, here is the list of where my podcasts can be found. I hope you find a platform that you like, & will listen to them. Thank you as always for reading & supporting my work! I hope it blesses you as much as you bless me!
Anchor By Spotify:
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Print versions of my books can be found at the link below..
Many people who have survived an abusive relationship, whether the abuser is a family member or spouse, have been told they must forgive their abuser if they truly want to heal. It is often said like forgiveness is a magic wand – once you decide to forgive, you do, all damage caused by the abuse is gone, the abuser has an epiphany about their horrible behavior & abuser & victim live happily ever after. Sadly, this is absolutely NOT the case!
Forgiveness can be an absolutely wonderful thing. Unfortunately though the topic is misunderstood by so many, & the people who believe wrongly seem to be the loudest about the value of forgiveness.
To start with, forgiveness doesn’t mean forgive & forget. There are many Scriptures that mention forgiveness in the Bible, but nowhere is “forgive & forget” mentioned. In fact, I consider it to be a very un-biblical concept. Jesus says we are to be as wise as serpents yet innocent as doves in Matthew 10:16. Forgiving & forgetting to me seems completely unwise. If someone is abusive, then their victim forgives & forgets abusive incidents, the abuser readily will repeat their abusive behavior because they know there will be no consequences. However, if you give them consequences for their behavior, there is a much better chance of them changing. Clearly that isn’t always the case but it creates a much more likely scenario than forgiving & forgetting, & allowing them to abuse you repeatedly.
Many people think that forgiveness & reconciliation are the same thing, but clearly they are not! Luke 17:3-4 in the Amplified Bible say, “Pay attention and always be on guard [looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him. 14 Even if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him [that is, give up resentment and consider the offense recalled and annulled].” Notice how it states that the offending person repents, you are to forgive him. It doesn’t say you must forgive no matter what.
Many people who misunderstand Godly forgiveness are also quick to quote the part of Ephesians 4:26 that says not to let the sun go down on your anger. They quote only a small portion of the verse. In reality, it says, “Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down.” According to this verse, anger is acceptable as long as you don’t allow it to motivate you to doing something shameful or sinful such as doing something vengeful to hurt the person who hurt you.
Another interesting point to consider about Ephesians 4:26. It shows what actions are acceptable reasons for feeling anger. Sin, immorality, injustice & ungodly behavior. There should never be a point in a person’s life that such things don’t make them angry! Feeling neutral about them or accepting them would normalize some pretty terrible behavior that should not be normal under any circumstances. You can forgive a person while still being furious about the wicked & cruel things they have done to you. I can tell you that I have forgiven my parents, but I still despise the cruel things they did to me in my lifetime.
If someone tells you that you need to hurry up & forgive your abuser or even “forgive & forget,” then please disregard what they say. Forgive God’s way when you are ready to take that step. Don’t let anyone make you feel as if you aren’t forgiving fast enough, as doing that can slow down the healing process. Take the step when you feel ready to do so & only then. And, never forget that you are always going to feel some anger at what was done to you because it was wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling that way! It’s a healthy way to feel & yes, even a Christian way to feel!
My publisher is offering a sale.. 15% off all print books when you use code SELFLOVE15 at checkout until May 20, 2022
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Cognitive dissonance is a term used to describe the very uncomfortable feeling of having two conflicting beliefs. As an example, let’s say you believe that your mother was a caring, loving mother & you also believe that any problems in that relationship are completely your fault. Then one day you learn that she is a covert narcissist. In such a situation, facing the truth feels awful. You grew up believing this one thing & were comfortable with it, even if it was painful thinking you were the problem in the relationship. Learning this isn’t true creates anxiety & confusion about what is really true.
In speaking with a follower of my work one day on the topic of cognitive dysfunction, she mentioned that she believes it can be demonic. At first, this concept sounds very far fetched, I realize, but the more we spoke, the more it made sense.
As Kavya said, when faced with the truth, many people’s core beliefs come back & they believe the lies instead. This could be evidence of demons at work. This also could be people operating in the spirit of fear, because they’re afraid to step out of their comfort zone of what is familiar. So afraid, in fact, they are content to stay with what’s familiar even when it’s wrong & toxic. That spirit of fear comes in & keeps them in toxic situations.
Another good point she made is evil is against rational thinking. These spirits want to stunt growth. They want to keep people miserable & down. So when people lack good rational thought skills, there can be a demonic influence.
Evil is also against truth. They worked through the people in Jesus’ time on earth to hide the knowledge of who He was & what He could do. That hasn’t changed today. They instill doubt in people or find ways to make the Gospel message sound impossible. They also work to hide the truth about other things. Creating cognitive dissonance easily could be a part of that. They make people so despondent that they return to their original beliefs, in spite of how obviously wrong they were & how miserable they were while functioning in those beliefs.
Even good, caring people can end up supporting narcissists because they lack critical thinking skills. They don’t recognize that there is evil influencing them. They go with their feelings rather than facing the evidence in front of them, because the truth is making them so incredibly uncomfortable. Doing this opens the door for evil to work in their minds & lives. After all, who wants to face the fact that someone they are close to or even love is an abusive monster? No one! Doing that is extremely hard & painful! Some people lack the strength & courage to face painful truths, so instead, they take the easy way out. They continue in their denial out of fear of facing that pain. I believe that fear can open a door for evil to enter their hearts, because sometimes in this situation, even a good person can end up so focused on protecting their denial that they mistreat & abuse a victim.
If you experience cognitive dissonance like many victims of narcissistic abuse do, then please keep this in mind. I don’t think it is always demonic, but it has that potential to be. Protect yourself, & face the truth, even when it’s hard.
My print book publisher is offering 15% off all print books until April 8, 2022. To take advantage of this sale, enter code COOKBOOK15 at checkout.
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After surviving narcissistic abuse at the hands of parents, when victims turn to God, many struggle with feeling that God truly loves them. It’s not that they think God is a liar or they doubt what the Bible says. Many have strong faith & believe every word in the Bible to be the word of God. They also believe that God loves & forgives other people. Yet, they struggle believing this is true for them. This is because of the narcissistic abuse they endured.
Narcissistic abuse at any age by any person is a terrible thing, but it seems to have the most profound effect on those who grew up with narcissistic parents. Children look to their parents to be their everything – their source of love, nurturing, food, shelter & more. Basically parents are like a god to children. When that “god” is abusive, it distorts a person’s reality terribly. One of those ways is making them believe that authority figures aren’t trustworthy, even God.
Not to mention, children’s brains aren’t fully developed. This means they process things differently than adults do. Adults realize that someone being abusive towards them doesn’t mean something is wrong with them. It means something is wrong with the abusive person. Children don’t realize that. They think when someone abuses them, in particular a parent, that means something must be wrong with them to make that parent treat them badly. This is a huge blow to one’s self esteem, & makes them believe they are unlovable.
When that child grows up & decides to turn their life over to God, that doesn’t mean their dysfunction vanishes. That dysfunction is still a part of their life, & it will show up in their relationship with God.
Although that adult child may truly love God, chances are excellent that he or she doesn’t completely trust God. God being a father figure means that people relate to Him as they did their earthly father. That relationship automatically starts out mirroring the relationship a person has with their earthly father, good or bad. This is a wonderful thing for those with great relationships with their father. It’s a terrible thing for those with dysfunctional or even abusive relationships with their father. They may love God, but fail to trust Him completely, exactly as they did their earthly father.
People also relate to God as a child relates to a parent in many ways. The abused child as an adult will relate to God as they did when they related to their parents when they were children. If they felt that they were unlovable as children, they will struggle to believe God loves them. After all, if a person’s own parents didn’t love them, how could anyone else, including God, right? WRONG!
Although it can be extremely hard to believe for a child of narcissistic parents, God does love you & He also forgives you for everything! It seems impossible, but it’s true.
If you are struggling in this area, the best thing I know to tell you to do is to get to know God even better. I don’t care if you’ve been a Christian for 50 years, do it anyway! Spend time in prayer, ask Him to talk to you then listen to what He says, read the Bible, read books, listen to Christian music.. whatever helps you feel closer to your Heavenly Father, do it. The more you get to know Him, the more you will realize He truly does love you & forgive you. Psalm 27:10 is one of my favorite Bible verses, & is an excellent one to remember. It says that although my parents forsake me, God will adopt me. Isn’t that amazing?! Clearly He loves you so much more than you realize, & His love for you will never change!
Many people believe that hate is a terrible thing & to be avoided at all costs. Of course it’s true that hatred can lead to some pretty terrible things such as causing others physical & emotional pain, prejudices or criminal behavior, even murder.
However, hate also can have some good purposes when it is used correctly.
Hate can be a great motivator for change. Consider a person who has been seriously injured & has a long road ahead of them if they want to recover fully. They have two choices – do nothing to help themselves heal & live with a permanent problem or work hard to recover. A person who hates living with the problem will do whatever they have to in order to recover.
On a larger scale, if enough people hate a certain act, they can make changes in their community or even country. So many parents of murdered children have worked hard to create new laws designed to help the police find people who commit these heinous acts, to punish them & to protect children. Others have created organizations to help find missing children or organizations that support the parents & families of murdered children. John Walsh is a great example. After his son Adam was kidnapped & murdered in 1981, he went on to do great things for missing children. He helped to change laws to protect children & also created the famous television show “America’s Most Wanted” as a way to help put criminals in jail. His hatred for what was done to his little boy motivated them to do great things.
Yet in spite of this, it seems so many people see only the bad side of hatred. Many even claim that there is no place for it in a Christian’s life, & shame them for feeling it. They are wrong. No, you shouldn’t hate other people but you can hate evil things, such as abuse. Romans 12:9 in the Amplified Bible says, “Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good.” This verse tells me that hatred can have a place, & that place is hating what is evil.
Think about this in terms of abuse… if you were abused, you hate that, right? I’m not saying you hate the person who abused you, but you do hate what they did to you. That hatred helps you to have healthy boundaries with your abuser such as keeping that person at arm’s length or having no relationship with them at all, & protecting your children or other loved ones from the abuser. You also have learned the red flags of abusive personalities & avoid people who show them. Maybe you even work on educating others the things you have learned. These are all very good things, & that can’t be denied!
Then consider those who don’t hate abuse, such as narcissists & their devoted flying monkeys. Narcissists cause so much pain & suffering, yet their flying monkeys don’t hate that at all. In fact, they have no problems with it. They even encourage victims to tolerate the abuse without complaint. The things flying monkeys seem to hate are victims setting boundaries with the narcissist & refusing to tolerate the abuse. That is disturbing & sickening, not to mention, the complete opposite of what they should feel in the situation.
While hate is a strong emotion that certainly can have very negative consequences, it also can have good consequences when used correctly. It’s a good idea to explore your feelings when you feel hate inside. If you feel hatred for a situation or how someone has treated you, use that feeling to motivate you to make healthy changes in your life.
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I love watching the old public tv show, “The Joy Of Painting” with Bob Ross. He was an incredibly talented painter, & there is something so calming about watching him create his beautiful works of art. I also especially enjoy the bits of wisdom he shared through each episode. Not only bits of wisdom about painting, but about life in general.
I was watching his show recently & he was painting a beautiful mountain scene in the fall. During the course of painting, Mr. Ross said some interesting things.
The first thing he mentioned was as he was painting a lake. To create dimension, he used dark & light colors together. He said something like, “Don’t conceal all your dark areas or the painting will become flat.” Immediately it made me think of the overly positive people of the world. I don’t mean the average person who tries to be positive, but the ones who refuse to say anything negative or see anything but the good in people. When people don’t admit that sometimes things are less than perfect & happy, they often are much the same way- flat. They express only one mood- happy. Honestly, I find this incredibly annoying to be around. Not that I want to be around people who are always miserable either. Somewhere in the middle is so much more comfortable & I think also healthy. People who are real & honest are the most interesting people, in my opinion anyway, probably because they have many different aspects to their personalities & different moods. They’re also more comfortable to be around, because you know they won’t judge you if you are anything less than completely positive & happy. Many overly positive people also can come across very invalidating & shaming. For example, if you’re laid up with a broken leg, it’s ok to be upset about that. The unhealthy, overly positive type of person will say something like you should be glad it happened because now you have the time off to catch up on whatever hobbies you enjoy. That comment can make you feel badly for being upset that you are in a miserable situation, even though you have every right to be upset.
Another interesting thing he mentioned was that you need darkness to show the light. How true is that! If you think of it in the natural realm, if you light up an average light bulb, it will look very different in the dark than it will on a sunny day. In the dark, even a very dim bulb can look extremely bright. Yet, in the sunlight, even the brightest bulb will appear pretty dim. The contrast of dark & light always makes light appear brighter.
The same things happen with good & bad things in life. The bad, or darker, things that happen make you appreciate the good, or lighter, things. If you have only good things happen, you can count on not appreciating anything good that happens to you simply because that is the norm for you. There is nothing to compare your experiences to that will make them appear worth appreciating. If there is a balance of both good & bad things, however, the bad things truly will make you appreciate the good things. The good things will look so much better in contrast to the bad, just like that dim light bulb will look especially bright in a very dark room.
It was kinda strange, realizing these things from watching a man paint a pretty landscape, but I hope you found them interesting like I did. And, his show can be found on YouTube & I think it was Pluto TV where I found it. Very worth checking out if you have the chance!
My publisher is having a really good sale on print books right now! 30% off! Shipping time may be a bit slow due to supply chain issues, but if you don’t mind the wait, this is a great time to get the books you want. Simply use code SAVE30 at checkout.
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Praying for people you love is easy & comes naturally as a Christian. Praying for people who have done bad things to you is much harder. Praying for a narcissistic parent who tried to destroy you is about a hundred times harder. If you have taken it upon yourself to pray for your narcissistic parent, I want you to know that I truly get how hard it is. I want to offer you some encouragement today to keep doing it, even when you don’t want to.
For many years after I became a Christian, I prayed for the salvation of my narcissistic parents. Matthew 5:44 says we are to pray for our enemies, so I started praying for them out of obedience to God. Honestly, my heart wasn’t really in it though. Even before learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I realized their behavior was that of people who didn’t think they needed God in their lives in spite of saying they prayed & loved God. Praying for them seemed pointless. Not because God was unable to reach them, but because they clearly turned their backs on Him. No matter what He did, if they didn’t want to hear or acknowledge His voice, they wouldn’t. I got more lax in my prayers for them for a while.
As they got older & their health began failing, I stepped up my prayers more. It was obvious they weren’t going to be around for a long time, so in spite of my lack of hope, I prayed for them daily.
The day my father died, a former friend of mine got a vision from God about my father. The story is readily available on a link on the menu at the top of my website at http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com if you would like to read it. Rather than repeat it here, suffice it to say that my father turned to God at the very end of his life.
Almost exactly eighteen months later, my mother died. During the conversation with the funeral director, he asked my husband & I about our religious views. Turned out he too was a Christian. As we were discussing the final arrangements, he suddenly stopped. He said God told him to tell me that my mother was with Him in Heaven! A short time later, I found a tiny Bible in my mother’s house. Apparently it was a gift to her when she was only 9 years old. Printed towards the end was the Sinner’s prayer. My mother signed it! I believe that was proof that the funeral director was correct with the message he told me!
The reason I’m sharing these stories with you today is to encourage anyone who struggles with praying for the narcissist in their life. I know it’s hard. I also know that if you can do it, often you feel like a hypocrite because your heart isn’t in it. There were plenty of times when I prayed for my parents I told God, “I don’t want to do this. I don’t even care anymore what happens to them. I’m only doing this because You want me to.” Terrible, isn’t it? Yet, not once did He make me ashamed of how I felt. In fact, He understood that & was glad that I was praying for them in spite of not wanting to. Clearly, He honored even those awful sounding prayers!
I also realize that it can be so disheartening to pray & see no improvement or hope that things will change. Even so, please keep praying anyway! All things truly are possible with God. Just look at what happened with my parents. And, just because you haven’t seen any change yet doesn’t mean that change won’t happen.
Please remember too, that you may never see the results of your prayers. I didn’t. When my father died, I hadn’t spoken to him in months. When my mother died, it was just under 3 years since we spoke. Just because I didn’t get to see the results of the prayers in this lifetime didn’t mean they didn’t happen! Clearly, they did!
Lastly, if it seems as if God is taking too long answering your prayers, I know that can be frustrating! Please don’t give up though! Some people are very stubborn & close their hearts to God. It can take a long time or something drastic to happen to break through that. An answer delayed doesn’t necessarily mean an answer is denied. 2 Peter 3:9 in the Amplified Bible says, “The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
No matter how deep a person’s faith, we all make mistakes sometimes. But, when a person’s actions don’t match their proclamation of faith more than they do match, it can be very hard to believe they are truly Christians. In praying about this topic, God showed me some very interesting things.
A person truly can be born again, yet not act the part sometimes. They can trust in the Gospel message, yet not trust that God wants to help them in their day to day life.
This can happen with someone who has serious health issues. I once belonged to a traumatic brain injury support group online. I wasn’t in the group long, because I noticed many members were intensely selfish, even ones who claimed to be Christians. They weren’t obviously out to use & abuse other people like narcissists are, but clearly if something wasn’t about them, they weren’t interested.
Christians also may not behave like Christians if they have a distrust of parent figures. When a person was raised by at least one narcissistic parent, they most likely have a deep fear of all parental figures. When you grew up with parents who were not only unsafe, but blatantly cruel & had no concern for your own needs, you will not trust God to be the loving father He claims to be in the Bible.
Both of these issues can make even a Christian behave badly, & they both boil down to fear.
Whether someone is sick, handicapped or raised by abusive parents, their core issue with God is they don’t trust Him. When a person has serious health problems, they become self absorbed. They suddenly have to consider their needs often & have to rely on other people to meet certain needs for the first time. It can be very easy to become afraid of these needs not being met.
Or, they may feel that their earthly mother or father didn’t care about their needs, so why would anyone, even their Heavenly Father? After all, He’s a parent & parents are selfish & don’t care about their children. They fear others not being there for them or loving them, & often don’t even realize they feel this way.
When not confronted, fear can open the door for the spirit of fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 in the Amplified Bible states, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” Considering this verse gave me some insight into why some professing Christians don’t act like Christians. They function with a spirit of fear.
I noticed after surviving carbon monoxide poisoning I was heading in this direction. I had no idea what to expect from my health, thanks to the doctors giving me no information. I also realized quickly that I had brain damage. I had to learn quickly what was happening. The more I learned, the more afraid I got. The more afraid I got, the more selfish I got & the more afraid I got & the cycle continued. Thankfully joining the TBI support group I mentioned previously made me realize how I felt, & how that was not how I wanted to be. I spent more time in prayer, got closer to God & changed my ways. I also learned to accept & work with my health issues.
Maybe you know someone in a similar position. Someone operating with a spirit of fear can be incredibly painful to deal with, I know, but before you end the relationship, please consider what I have said. Talk to the person. Maybe they will see the problem & make appropriate changes. If not, they may be too consumed with this spirit of fear. Pray for them, asking God to free them from this spirit. Reassure the person you love them & are there for them. Granted, some people are too comfortable in their dysfunction to want change. Some folks are also narcissists who refuse to change. But, the average Christian person who is gripped by fear may respond very well. Give it a try! You can help them & also your relationship with that person.
I wish I could take credit for this post, but I can’t. It’s from the blog, Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism. I highly recommend following it! It’s very informative & everything is backed up by Scripture.
That being said, please read this post. If you are debating confronting the narcissist in your life, then you especially need to read it!