Tag Archives: happy

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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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism

Living A Truly Rich Life

The world defines rich with money & things.  The more of those a person has, the richer they are.  While there is nothing wrong with money & possessions, they truly don’t make a person rich.

What makes a person rich has little to do with “things”.  It’s about having a life that is full of what makes you feel alive & happy, no matter how much money & stuff you have.

There are some things you can do to make yourself rich with things that will bring you much more joy than stuff can.

First & foremost is spiritual growth.  Knowing God intimately is the best thing you can do for yourself.  He truly is a loving father, & nurturing that relationship is vital to a person’s well being.  For those who grew up with narcissistic parents in particular, this step is especially vital.  Since people tend to look to God like they do their earthly parents, it can be hard to trust Him & believe that He loves you.  Get to know Him & you will learn that He is trustworthy & He does love you a great deal.  Also, the more you get to know Him, the more He will show you about yourself. 

Creativity is also vital to living a rich life.  Creative outlets are wonderful!  They calm the mind & body, as well as bring joy.  If you are unsure where to begin, consider things you enjoyed doing but have set aside.  Did you like drawing as a child?  Grab some paper & a pencil & try to draw something now.  Or, consider trying something you never have done before but have always wanted to.  Plant that garden, learn to sew, take a class in creative writing.  Don’t let anything hold you back!

Write in a journal.  Spend time writing in a journal about your life.  Even if your only activity was going to the grocery store, write about it.  The more you write, the more you will learn about yourself.  Writing also helps you to process things, which can be truly beneficial.  If you dislike the idea of writing, then don’t discount the journal idea.  Instead of writing, draw pictures or paste pictures from magazines or printed out from the internet that somehow speak to you.

Clean out your stuff.  The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to maintain & the more time you will have for the things that truly bring you joy.  Decluttering can be a daunting task but it is well worth it!  To avoid feeling overwhelmed, start small.  Clean out a cabinet or even just a drawer as you are able to.  Create boxes for things to give away, things to sell & things to throw away.  Once you start, it gets easier, & before you know it, you will have decluttered your entire home!  Many people find minimalism a fantastic life style.  I’m not one who could live as a full minimalist, but I do like having less stuff. 

Clean out your schedule while you declutter your possessions.  Chances are there are things in your schedule that you can stop doing or do more efficiently.  If your child has practice a few nights a week, why not see if you & another parent whose child participates in the same activity would be willing to share taking your kids to practice.  Maybe switch days or one of you drops off the kids & the other picks them up.  Don’t forget your household duties, too.  Rather than spend your entire Saturday cleaning, why not do a little daily?  You will spend less time cleaning & your house will look clean all of the time, not only on Saturdays.

Simple steps like these can help you to live a much richer & more meaningful life!

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

Enjoying Life

I keep getting a message lately in various forms. so it’s safe to assume it’s very important….

 

Enjoy your life.  Enjoy the little things like an unexpected hug or getting caught in a spring rain.  Thank God for allowing you to wake up this morning.  Spend time just sitting in His presence, thanking Him for whatever you are grateful for & allowing Him to love you.  Complement freely- not only does it bless the person you’re complementing, but it also blesses you when you make them feel good.  Take care of yourself, physically & emotionally.  You’re no good to anyone (including yourself) if you’re sick or depressed.  Play a game or resume a hobby you enjoyed as a child.  Have fun, don’t just work from the time you wake up until the time you fall asleep.

Too many people are miserable.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the negativity in life- Lord knows there is plenty of it everywhere!  Just turn on the news & you can be overwhelmed with negativity in record time.  And, if you’re like the bulk of my readers & have experienced narcissistic abuse, that certainly can make you negative & miserable.  It’s hard to find good in the tremendous amount of pain it causes.  Even so, there is still good to be found.  You can celebrate the fact you survived the abuse that was meant to destroy you.  You are strong- you got out alive & sane!  I’m seeing more & more how tough I am to survive what I’ve been through, & I thank God for helping me get through it even though I didn’t believe in Him at the time.  It’s a miracle to survive narcissistic abuse- never forget that!  Embrace the fact you’re a walking, talking miracle for surviving something so heinous!

 

Whatever you do, just please, Dear Reader, enjoy your life as much as you can.  After all, Jesus came so you can enjoy your life.  John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV)  So why not get to enjoying your life?  You’ll be glad you did!

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

Free To Be You

I have learned that something rather magical happens to many folks when they hit 40.  Suddenly they no longer have the patience for abusive people & will confront them on their behavior.  They become more outspoken without being hurtful, & more free with their praise.  They begin to practice self-care for the first time.  They are more compassionate & caring, because they have seen & been through some pretty rough things.  They finally are freer as well.  Free to be themselves, & free to do as they like without caring about the criticisms & judgments of others.

It’s a wonderful thing!!

If you aren’t 40 yet or if you passed 40 without experiencing this, don’t think you need to be 40 to experience this.  It’s never too early or too late to improve yourself!  Ask God to help  you change however you need or want to.  He will do so gladly.  He wants you to be happy & if changing will help you accomplish that, He will be glad to help you.

Also think about some things & ask yourself questions.  You don’t really need to worry about what other people think of you, so why does it matter to you what others think?  Are you putting others before yourself constantly?  Why?  If you were raised by a narcissistic parent, I’m sure you believe (as I still battle with sometimes) that everyone else is more important & you don’t deserve to do good things for yourself.  That is a lie!  You DO deserve to do good things for yourself & take care of yourself.  In fact, if you want to help others so much, you need to take care of yourself.  If you don’t, you won’t have the physical or mental strength to help other people.

Do some soul searching.  Ask yourself the tough questions like the ones in the previous paragraph & honestly answer them.  You may surprise yourself.  You also will become aware of some  changes you need to make to help yourself live a happier life.

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December 27, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!. 

Yesterday & today, I’ve talked to many of my close friends.  I haven’t spoken to one person who was happy with the holidays this year.  Some people had intrusive family members making unreasonable demands, others have in-laws who dislike them & use the holidays to make their disdain known, others have dealt with arguments, & others had a sick child.

Over the years that I have grown to dislike the holidays, it’s because I’ve experienced many of those same things.  I always thought it was just me- no one else could possibly feel the same way.  I felt I should tell you today that you aren’t alone if you too feel this way.  It doesn’t make you a bad person or bad Christian.  It makes you someone who has had bad experiences.

I’ve also been realizing that some friends & I have become quite bitter in some areas, especially the holidays, & I don’t like it.  After praying about it last night, I felt like God wants me to learn to have some fun daily.  The reason I’m telling you this is I think it’s a good message for you, too.  No one should live with bitterness inside.  Life is too short to live that way, & you deserve better!

I made a short list of things to do to have fun.. it’s just a start.  Please feel free to add to it, or remove suggestions that don’t sound appealing to you.  But be sure to do something fun each day!

Play
Draw
Finger paint
Dance while cleaning
Do a normal thing differently, like talk on phone outside on a pretty spring day.
Snuggle your furkids.
Prizes (reward yourself for a job well done with a little gift).
Get a coloring book.
Lose inhibitions- don’t worry about what other people think.
Be true to yourself.
Read your Bible often.
Try something new, like new clothes or a new hair style.
Do something nice for yourself daily.

 

 

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health