Tag Archives: joy

Sharing Some Beauty

I have a thing about beauty.. I love it in all forms & surround myself with it as much as possible.  There is something so peaceful, comforting & calming about it to me, especially when it comes to beauty in nature.

 

A few days after my father died, I looked out my kitchen window.  I saw a couple of beautiful butterflies on the marigold plants in our backyard!  They not only brought me comfort due to their special meaning in my life, but they also were so beautiful they brought some peace & joy.

 

I thought I’d make today’s post a bit different than usual, & share the beauty with you, Dear Reader.  As I’ve said many times, we can’t focus on narcissism all the time- it’s too depressing.  Consider this a break from that depressing topic & take in the beauty that God has created.  🙂

 

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Having Fun In Your Marriage

Tomorrow is hubby’s & my 19th anniversary.  It’s been quite the adventure, being married for this amount of time.   It’s taught me a lot too.

 

One very important thing I’ve learned is the importance of having fun together.

 

My husband has a very good sense of humor, but he’s also very logic driven & hard working.  (If you know anything about the Myers Briggs personality test, he’s a very typical INTJ.)  Although I’m pretty hard working, I like to have fun.  Yet, when my C-PTSD flares up, depression sets in or symptoms from the carbon monoxide poisoning I survived in 2015 kick in, I lose the desire to have fun.  Also, sometimes things happen that distract us from having fun- bills pile up, someone gets sick, etc.  As a result, we sometimes do like many married couples- slip into a routine & not really do anything fun together.

 

Don’t do that, Dear Reader!  If you want to be each other’s best friend, you need to have fun with your spouse & do it often.  There is something about playing together that keeps that spark alive in your marriage.  Not sure why it works that way but it really does.

 

Do fun stuff with your spouse.  Play silly pranks on each other (nothing mean or hurtful of course).  A while back, I crocheted a clown that resembles Pennywise from Stephen King’s “IT”- a super scary movie & book, & one of my favorites.  We hide Pennywise around the house to scare each other.  I’ve put him in my husband’s lunch cooler, hanging out on the steering wheel of his truck & even taped him to the underside of the toilet lid (I can’t take credit for that- a friend of mine came up with that stroke of evil genius…lol).  He’s put Pennywise under the covers on my side of the bed, by my shampoo & on this little decoration in my bedroom.   I also crocheted a little Freddie Mercury (remember the late singer from Queen?) & sometimes Pennywise & Freddie have adventures together.  Silly?  Sure, but it makes us laugh when we find Pennywise &/or Freddie unexpectedly.

 

Play games together- video games, card games, board games- whatever you like.  My husband & I love the old video games we grew up with in the 70s & 80s.  Locally, there’s an arcade full of them that we frequent.  For $5, we can enjoy a couple of hours of fun together.  We also have a Wii & some board games we play at home.

 

There are plenty of things you & your spouse can do together that are lots of fun & that don’t cost a lot of money, if that’s an issue.  You can even find things on Craigslist or other sales sites, like ping pong or pool tables for cheap or even free.  All you really need is some creativity!

 

I hope you & your spouse start having fun together, if you aren’t already.  It really can help bring some fun into your marriage.  During the hard times, don’t forget to have some fun.  Those are the times you need that joy the most.

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What Comforts You?

The older I get, the more I value comfort.  The cozy feel of freshly washed bed linens, the warmth of raspberry or lemon herbal tea on a cold day, the look of a fresh manicure & pedicure are some things that come to my mind that bring me comfort.  I spend a lot of time in my bedroom because it’s very comfortable & cozy, which always feels good to me.

 

Indulging in comforting things is one way to care for yourself.  It makes you feel safe & secure- something most of us raised by narcissistic parents are very unfamiliar with feeling, & we need to become familiar with.

 

It also helps you to feel loved, when you are shown love.  Even when that act of love comes from yourself, it still feels good.

 

What makes you feel comforted?  Below are some possibilities if you need help coming up with ideas.

 

  • gardening
  • going for a walk in the woods
  • doing something creative- draw, paint, crochet, make something with clay, etc.
  • listening to music
  • watching reruns of an old TV show or movie
  • reading
  • writing
  • baking
  • drinking herbal teas
  • getting a manicure &/or pedicure

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Little Things Don’t Have To Become Big Things

Song of Solomon 2:15  “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.”  (KJV)

The little things in life can add up to big things  very quickly.

Neglecting to work through the smaller things can build resentment in a relationship, even leading to drastic measures such as divorce.

Neglecting to appreciate the small things can lead to a negative attitude & lack of appreciation, which makes a person utterly miserable.

Never forget, Dear Reader, that there really isn’t such a thing as “small foxes” in life.  Little things can contain a great deal of power.  They need to be dealt with wisely.

One day a few months ago, I’d had a frustrating day.  One of those days when nothing seemed to go right.  I finally had enough & wanted to relax in bed, watching tv for a bit before falling asleep.  I showered, got into my comfiest pajamas, & pulled back the covers to get into bed when I found one of my cats peed on my bed.  I didn’t even remember the last time this happened.  It’s incredibly rare!  At first I wanted to cry out of sheer frustration.  I began to whine to God, when I felt His calm come over me.  Instead of frustration, I felt I needed to take a deep breath.  I did & the reality of my situation sunk in rather than frustration.  I’d planned on changing my bed linens the following morning- I was simply doing it a little earlier than expected.  And, I have a waterbed.  Basically, it’s a big vinyl bag of water, so the pee didn’t absorb into the mattress like it would with a traditional mattress.  It wasn’t a huge deal.

When frustrations happen, I urge you to do the same thing I did.  Stop.  Talk to God.  Take a deep breath to relax.  Then think about your situation realistically.  Is it really a big deal the thing happened?  If not?  Don’t worry about it.  If so?  Work through it.  Talk to God.  Confront someone if need be, in a gentle manner of course.  Not sure how to do that?  Ask God to show you what to do & how to do it.  He will!

I know that frustrating things can feel like a huge deal, especially after a bad day or if you have anxiety, depression, PTSD or C-PTSD.  They don’t always have to be a huge deal though, Dear Reader.  God can help you to have a healthy perspective, so let Him!

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Adding Beauty Into Your Daily Life

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized something.  I need beauty in my daily life in some way, shape or form.  It helps to calm me, & bring me peace.  It also makes me feel closer to God.

 

I save beautiful pictures, in particular fall or winter scenes, animal scenes & rain day scenes on my tablet, & regularly look at them.

 

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, so what makes me feel this way may not do the same for you.  Maybe instead of snowy mountain views, beach views bring you peace.  Then I urge you to start collecting such images.  Or, if you have a favorite artist, then save images of his or her artwork.  I absolutely love Claude Monet’s & Vincent VanGogh’s paintings.  I have saved pictures of their artwork as well.  The serene images help to bring me peace of mind.

 

Beauty should be an important part of your life, too, Dear Reader.  Surround yourself with whatever you find beautiful in your home.  Paint your walls colors that you love.  Hang pictures on your walls not to merely fill a blank space, but because you love seeing them daily.  Replace old pictures with new & more beautiful, meaningful ones.  Invest in a pretty headboard & linens for your bed.  Don’t just collect any old knick-knacks.  Instead collect beautiful things that have a special meaning to you.

 

Start to surround yourself with the beauty God has placed on the Earth!  It will improve your mood.  🙂

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Celebrating Special Days

Tomorrow is the 22nd anniversary of hubby’s & my first date.  Hard to believe!  Time sure flies!

 

Ever since the first anniversary of this special day, we have done a little something to commemorate the day.  It can be as simple as sharing some wine, cheese & crackers when he gets home from work, talking by a fire, playing a board game or it can be a bit bigger such as going out to dinner, taking a day trip or recreating that special day.  Whatever we do though, we enjoy ourselves & reminisce.

 

We used to do something similar after we first got married.  We got married on September 24, 1998, so on the 24th of every month, we would celebrate a little.  (not sure why we stopped that, come to think of it..).  Interestingly when I mentioned it to my granddad, he said he & my grandmom used to do that too, for many years.

 

I’ve found these little celebrations are really nice!  They give you something to look forward to.  They also encourage intimacy.  They foster closeness.  They also help you to slow down & enjoy each other in a world that tends to be just too busy.

 

I’ve expanded this celebrating thing a bit, too.  I include my best friend in celebrations too.  We met in August, 1988 (although the day has escaped me) & each August I remind her of that & tell her how grateful I am for her friendship for so many years.

 

Remembering & celebrating things like this helps those in your life to feel loved & special.  It also is fun for you when you can make those you love feel that way.  It helps to add more joy into both your life & that of your loved one.  Why not give it a try?  Celebrate special events with those you love!

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Adding More Gratitude, Peace & Joy To Your Daily Life

One way I have learned to add more gratitude, peace & joy to my life is by focusing on beauty.  It’s quite easy to do, too, since beauty is all around us!  I have folders of beautiful images on my tablet.  Flowers, beautiful homes, art, or anything that strikes my fancy.  Looking at these lovely images helps me to feel more peaceful & happy.  My anxiety levels go down, too.  I even become more appreciative.

 

Why beauty has such a profound effect, I’m not sure, but I thoroughly enjoy it!  Why don’t you give it a try as well?  Start noticing the beauty around you.  Look at the flowers in your garden.  Really study them.  Focus on the lovely colors & graceful curve of the leaves & petals.  Animals are beautiful too- watch the graceful way a lion moves as he walks or listen to the haunting but beautiful sound of a wolf howl.

 

 

Museums are a wonderful place to take in some beauty.  I’ve noticed that after seeing some stunning paintings by Claude Monet (my favorite painter) at the museum, I started appreciating other beautiful things more.  I’ve never  been a fan of modern art, but even so, after enjoying Monet’s paintings, I could see a beauty in it that I never saw before.  It seems to me that once you start really appreciating beauty, you start to see it everywhere.  At least I did.

 

 

One interesting place to find beauty is also old cemeteries.  I absolutely love them!  They are so full of history if you read the headstones, but there is also much beauty there as well.  Old headstones are often much more elaborate than modern day ones.  Westminster cemetery in Baltimore where Edgar Allan Poe is buried is an amazing place!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creativity Is A Wonderful Thing

For whatever reason, lately I’ve been feeling creative.  I decorated a wreath for my front door.  I knitted some scatter rugs.  I want to make some valances for my enclosed porch windows (been wanting to do this since 2001 when we bought this house, but for some reason finally have motivation to work on this project).  I have a few other little projects in mind to create or repair around the house.

 

I’ve realized just how good it feels to be creative!  Not only do I feel productive, I feel free by making things I enjoy making, & doing them however I want to do them.

 

Creativity is a gift from God.  Not only does it help humans survive by giving us new & creative ways to deal with abuse or survive when finances are tight, but it gives us a way to feel good & enjoy life.  There is something very fun & rewarding about seeing a new, functional & creative way to do something.

 

Do you give yourself time to enjoy this creative part of you?  Or, are you like so many people- too busy to be creative?

 

If you’re too busy or have another reason for not indulging in your natural creativity, then I urge you to make time to be creative.  Is there some fun project you can do around your home to make it more appealing?  Paint a room a fun color, or even just an accent wall in a bold color or wallpaper.  Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean going big or spending a small fortune.  My wreath cost me all of about $5.  I had the wreath (I may have paid $.50 at a yard sale for it- I don’t remember for sure) & bought pretty flowers & butterflies for it at a local dollar store.  My scatter rugs?  The knitting needles were a gift from a good friend & I found the yarn on a buy one skein, get one 50% off deal.  I used one skein (half a skein per rug) & have another left over.

 

Have you heard, like me, that your ideas are stupid, a waste of time, etc.?  My narcissistic mother said those things & more to me.  I eventually realized she was jealous- I can do some things she can’t (like knit) so she envies me for having that skill she never was able to develop.  Also, our tastes are very different.  That doesn’t mean my taste is wrong!  The same is true for you!  If someone says you have bad taste, that doesn’t mean it’s true.  Chances are, your taste is just different than that person’s.  Different doesn’t equal bad.  So why not take a chance?  Go out on a limb & do something creative that feels good to you.

 

If you’re lacking ideas for expressing your creativity, that isn’t a hard problem to tackle.  Wander a craft store.  Guys, craft stores aren’t just for ladies- there is plenty of inspiration for you there as well!  Model kits, slot cars, scale trains, woodworking- chances are you can find something to enjoy.  Ladies, there are crafts for everyone at a craft store, so just go- something will strike your fancy.  And, many big craft stores offer plenty of good coupons on their website so you can try a new craft cheaply.

 

Drawing, painting, needlepoint, crocheting, model building, radio control cars, decorating your house or apartment… there are so many ways you can express yourself in a creative way.  So many ways can be productive as well.  Why not try being more creative?

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Do You Enjoy Your Life As Much As You Should?

One year ago today, I nearly died.

February 27, 2015, I got carbon monoxide poisoning from my fireplace, causing me to pass out for over twenty minutes & get a concussion by hitting my head on the adjacent log holder.

It’s been a long year.  I’ve had to learn to live with some pretty yukky symptoms that are most likely permanent.  Some are embarrassing, too- my brain doesn’t function so well anymore & I feel stupid often now.  Yet, even so, some good has come from this experience.  I’m very grateful for the good things!

I’ve realized that life truly can change in an instant.  It’s not just a cliche!  In only one day, I became a different person.  Knowing how suddenly things can change or your life can end has given me a new perspective.

I want to enjoy whatever time I have left in my life as much as possible.  I love doing little things that bring me joy such as drinking herbal tea more often or lighting candles.

I  don’t want to take anyone for granted- that is an extremely hurtful thing to do to someone & it can steal your joy.

Neither do I want to take anything for granted.  I’m enjoying things more now than I used to.  I’m wearing my favorite expensive perfume often even if my plans are only watching a movie at home.  I wear the most comfortable & cutest pajamas I can find since they make me feel good, & spend plenty of time in them (yes, even in the afternoon if the mood strikes!).

I have gained a better perspective & sweat the small stuff much less than I once did.  Little things really aren’t worth the energy & stealing of joy.

I listen to my favorite music more, too- not only is it good for brain health, but it is good for the mood.

I’m working on being more open with people by paying complements more freely.  I’ve always been quiet so it’s not easy to talk more sometimes, but it’s worth it to see other people happy to hear some kind words.

I’m avoiding people I’m not as comfortable with & setting firmer boundaries with them.  I’ve lost friendships, too, which although it may sound sad, really isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I only want real, caring people in my life now.  I have zero patience for those who only talk about themselves & never ask how I’m doing.

I also try to push myself out of my comfort zone more often.  Granted, with C-PTSD, that isn’t an easy task, but I at least try.  Even if I fail, it makes me feel accomplished knowing I tried.  I recently went out alone to the grocery store, car wash & a craft store one afternoon.  Having agoraphobia, this is a real challenge.  I was in a panic by the time I was done my final stop, but at least I did it!

I’m trying new things, or even old things I long ago gave up.  I loved drawing as a child, & started doing it again right after I got sick & was recovering.  I’m not that great at it, but it’s fun to do.  I also have started tinkering with photography, since one of my best friends ever gave me a wonderful camera.

Best of all, I also talk with God much more than I once did.  Constantly, in fact.  Rarely any semblance of an elaborate prayer, just normal conversation, like a daughter talking with her Father.  Our relationship is much closer than it once was, & the things that have come out of it are amazing.  God has given me many dreams that show me helpful information on my life.  He’s also given me answers to questions I’ve had for a long time.  He’s even taught me a lot about narcissism, which obviously helps my writing.  He has also helped to show me areas where I need to heal, & helped me to do so.

There is a point to all of this.  Please don’t be foolish like I’ve been.  Although I’ve always known you never know when your life will end, I never had the much better perspective I have now.  I guess I’m a slow learner & it took a traumatic, life altering (nearly life ending) experience to wake me up.  Please learn from me, & make similar changes to your life that I have, so you can enjoy your life more.  Life can be short, & you don’t want to die with regrets.  Use your good china.  Burn that special scented candle you were saving for a special occasion.  Tell the special people in your life you love them  & why, & do it often.  Crank up music you love & dance around your house like crazy.  Life truly can change or even end in an instant.  Make a decision today to enjoy whatever time you have to the fullest!  xoxo

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Narcissists & Envy/Jealousy

I’ve been listening to music today.. a CD my father recently gave me of Conway Twitty’s songs from early in his career.  I remember hearing some of these songs when I was a little girl riding in my father’s car, which is now my car, & they make me smile.

(A little background- I have my granddad’s 1969 Plymouth Fury.  He gave it to my father when his car was stolen in 1975.  My father sold it to a guy who owned a local junkyard in 1979.  In 2005, I went to a flea market & saw a gorgeous ’69 Fury & fell in love.  I assumed it was simply a twin to Granddad’s.  Hubby suggested I leave a note on the car saying I’d love to buy it if the owner wanted to sell.  He did!  After some trouble with our mortgage refinance that had our money tied up briefly, we finally were able to get the car.  The first time my father saw it, he said “That’s my car!  That’s not a twin!”  He soon brought me the VIN from his old records.  We compared it to my car’s VIN & found it to be the same car he owned 30 years before!)

Back to my story…

To this day, my mother does NOT believe that is the same car.  She also will trash my car at every opportunity.  My “favorite” was when she told me, “I would NEVER own a car your granddad owned!  HARUMPH!!!”  I was too angry at the time to think of it, but I wish I’d thought to remind her that she did own a car Granddad owned- this same Fury, for about 4 years.  Also, my father has told me she has told him I’m lying- that isn’t Granddads’s Plymouth.  The VIN doesn’t lie- it’s put on at the factory.  My father couldn’t have known it to recreate it- it’s somewhat hard to read & he never looked at that before bringing me his old car records to compare his VIN to mine.

So why the nastiness?  It’s only a car.  Not like my driving this beautiful old critter affects her in any way, right?  When I thought about it, I realized how cruel my mother can be about other things.  She criticizes my writing viciously, which is one reason I don’t discuss it with her anymore.  She has said it’s “trash no one wants to read” & “a waste of time.”  When I’ve done editing work, “anyone can do that!”  She also viciously insulted my furkids for years, knowing how much I love them.  Why?  I assume because they are very friendly, loving & well behaved.  Her cat?  Hides when people come over & is very skittish.  (I love her cat, but she is very different than mine)

Narcissists are extremely competitive.  They have to be the best, the most talented, the prettiest, the most special.  If you are better, more talented, etc. than them in any way, no matter how trivial, you can count on being criticized.

Does this sound familiar to you?  Is your narcissistic mother this way too?

At first, I know it can be hard to accept.  Normal, loving mothers want what is best for their child, no matter the child’s age.  They want her happy, healthy & successful, even if that means the child does better than the mother.  Narcissistic mothers, as usual, go completely against the norm, making their behavior hard to accept.  Often, their daughters feel they should make their performance “less than” or give up completely in order to please their mothers.

I want to encourage you today, Dear Reader, to enjoy your successes, in spite of your wicked narcissistic mother!  Her jealousy is HER problem not yours!  Enjoy the blessings & talents God has seen fit to bless you with as much as possible.  God wants you to enjoy such things.  That is why He gave them to you!  You must deserve them, too, otherwise He wouldn’t have seen fit to give them to you.

 

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Don’t Live With Regrets

Yesterday, my husband & I received some sad news.  A former coworker of my husband’s & a friend of ours died after a battle with cancer.

 

Giovanni was a sweet guy with a ready smile & a great sense of humor.  Unfortunately we had mostly lost touch once my husband left that job about 14 years ago, but once I saw him on facebook a few years back, we connected & spoke periodically.  Even simply chatting online, his wonderful personality always shone through.  We spoke a few months ago about us getting together with him & his girlfriend, yet we never did.  He was in & out of the hospital & undergoing chemo, plus my husband works some rather long hours sometimes & has pretty demanding elderly parents- we just never could find the right time.  And now, it’s too late.  This is one of many regrets I have.

 

The reason I’m writing this is to remind you, Dear Reader, & myself that life is fragile.  It can end at a moment’s notice, & often, there’s no warning.  So many people die with regrets- you don’t want to be one of them!  Focus on spending time with those you love & who love you.  Buy the pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on but refused to buy because they’re too expensive.  Splurge on that milkshake you’ve had a craving for even if you’re watching your figure.  Trade in your sensible mini van for that sexy truck you’ve had your eye on, if you can afford it.  Take a painting course.  Learn a new hobby.  Do that thing that is outside of your comfort zone, but you’ve always wanted to try.

 

Life can be short, Dear Reader.  I encourage you to make the most out of whatever time you have & have no regrets.  You deserve it!  xoxo

 

 

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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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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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Balance Is Healthy

In life, many people say out of balance things, such as always look for the positive or always listen to your heart. While this may sound good, it isn’t healthy. Sometimes, there is little or no positive to be found, & that is fine. Valuable lessons can be learned in negative circumstances, not just positive. And, listening to your heart is always wise, but logic must intervene at some point too. I know if I listened to my heart only, I would never accomplish anything around my home- I’d spend my time writing, being creative, playing with the furkids & such without doing laundry or cooking. While that sounds amazingly fun, it’s also amazingly impractical.

I just wanted to take a moment today to encourage you, Dear Reader, to have some balance in your life. So many of us who have survived narcissistic abuse have trouble in this area. We often put others ahead of ourselves even when it isn’t best for anyone involved, we give at the expense of our own selves or we even can become obsessed with learning about narcissism since it finally gives us the answers we’ve been seeking.

Think about your life- what areas are out of balance? Do you listen to your feelings over logic every time? Do you always make sacrifices for others while expecting nothing in return? Are you a workaholic? Do you read non-stop about narcissism?

Please stop those out of balance behaviors! Balance is a good thing- it helps you to stay happy & healthy, two things you deserve. While working or doing for others are certainly admirable, you still need breaks from doing them. The same goes for learning about narcissism. You absolutely must learn about it if you wish to heal from narcissistic abuse, but even so, take breaks where you refuse to think about it sometimes. Narcissism is such a deep & negative subject- your emotions need breaks from thinking about it so you don’t plummet into depression.

How do you achieve balance? To start with, ask God to show you what areas you need to improve. Make any changes you know you need to do. Also, ask God to show you if you need to make further changes & to help you to do so.

If you are close to someone who is also out of balance, you could see if this person wishes to be an accountability partner. You could be accountable to each other, discussing your situations & what you are doing. You could pray together, too.

Listen to your heart. If you feel resentment or dread regarding certain tasks, that is for a reason. You may be focusing too much in that area.

Learn about boundaries if you haven’t already. Learning to set & enforce healthy boundaries will help you so much.

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Rejoicing In Yourself

I was watching Jesse Duplantis on tv last night.  He’s my favorite tv preacher- so educational, down to earth & funny.  He mentioned a Scripture in his sermon that I never really thought about before:

Galatians 6:4 “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”  (NKJV)

He said exactly what I was thinking after reading it- “How often do you rejoice in yourself?”  And, I answered the question with a resounding not all that often.

This made me a little sad since not all that long ago I wrote about celebrating your victories in this post.  I really tried to do it, & do it more than I ever have.  Still though, not all that often.  Since I’m not a hypocrite writing what you should do without doing them myself, I’m going to use this as a reminder to celebrate the little things more often.

Celebrations don’t have to be big, fancy affairs either.  Stopping for a moment to bask in the feeling of a job well done is wonderful.  It helps to imprint the good feelings inside you.  I like prizes too- getting myself a small gift for accomplishing something.  I love pocketbooks, so sometimes it’ll be a new one or a random prize from the local thrift stores I like.  Maybe a little piece of costume jewelry from ebay or a new bottle of nail polish.

Doing little pampering things is also fun.  I love love LOVE manicure/pedicures.  Bubble baths are also nice.  Getting a cup of iced coffee or a snowball is a fun summer treat, or buying a new flavor of herbal teas to enjoy on a cold evening works in the winter.

And what you celebrate needn’t be anything huge.  I reward myself after doing housework.  It gives me something to look forward to after completing a task that I’m less than thrilled with doing.

Whatever you do, just be sure to do little things to celebrate yourself & do it often.   You deserve it!

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

Do You Celebrate Enough?

Do you celebrate the good things in your life?  Not necessarily throw a big party over every good thing, but at least revel in your joy for a few moments.

Life can be so hard & full of negative things, the good can get pushed aside.  It’s very easy to do.  However, I would like to encourage you today to start looking for more good things & celebrating them.  Focus more on what you have accomplished than what is still left to do.  Be proud of the fact you lost five pounds or finally painted your living room.  Think about how blessed you are that a good friend of yours brought you lunch when you were sick, or offered to take your child to school when you were unable.  Enjoy the fact your spouse took off work on your birthday to celebrate & spoil you.  Take a few moments just to think about those good things & feel good about them.  Bask in the good feelings for a few minutes.  Truly this will help you to feel good, & it will help to cement these positive experiences in your memory by attaching good emotions to them.  Experiences with emotions attached stick with us much better than those with little or no emotions.

I have stressed many times the importance of taking a break from emotional healing sometimes, as it can be very draining.  As much as you need to heal from narcissistic abuse, it can be very complex & deep, so periodic distracts are very important.  However, I think equally important is looking for & celebrating the good things.

Growing up with a narcissistic parent, accomplishments were always undermined.   We heard negative, critical, judgmental things our entire lives.  In fact, I think of my parents as the “could be a tumor” kid from the movie, “Kindergarten Cop.”  Do you remember that kid?  If not, here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaTO8_KNcuo&list=FLyHVkrFotB51_ZKqh7BqAXg&index=27

These things our parents did became habits.  We learned to do them to ourselves.  We became highly critical & negative about ourselves, even trivializing the good things we’ve done.  Why continue the abuse that your parents started?  Stop it & stop it now!  You deserve so much better than that, & you deserve to be happy.  Start today by celebrating something good.  Take a few minutes to bask in the joy of the blessing or the event, whatever it is.  Focus on how good it feels to have received something or to have accomplished something.  Even if it’s simply cleaning your house- doesn’t it feel good to have that task completed?  Focus on that good feeling for a few minutes.  Thank God for the good things.  That’s all you have to do.

Now, try that celebration with other things, big & small.  Relish the enjoyment!  You’ll be a happier person for it!  xoxo

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

December 31, 2013

Good morning, everyone!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone who reads this a very blessed, happy & prosperous 2014.  I pray your year will be a wonderful one!

I also wanted to thank everyone who is following this blog, & who has said that something I’ve written has helped them in some way.  Thank you so much for the encouragement!  it truly means the world to me.  xoxo

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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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December 14, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!  I hope this post finds everyone well today!  🙂

I was just thinking.. is it me or is it hard to believe that Christmas will be here in only 11 short days?!  TIme sure flies.. wow!  I know like me, many of you can’t wait for it to be a thing of the past.  I was talking to a friend a few days ago who shares this sentiment.  It’s amazing how many of us there are, & how many of us feel this way for similar reasons- family or in-laws have made the holidays so stressful rather than relaxing & enjoyable.  It’s sad.

Have you created some “stay well” strategies to get you through the holidays?  If not, here are some suggestions..

  • Be gentle with yourself.  If you don’t feel up to going to a party or doing something holiday related, then don’t do it.  It’s ok!  The Earth will continue to spin..
  • If you have pushy relatives or in-laws who demand you spend the day with them, you need to do what you are comfortable with, whether they like it or not.  How would it benefit anyone for you to allow others to dictate how you spend the day?  You’ll be miserable, & controlling people get their way.  This just is NOT good for anyone involved!
  • Why not suggest getting together with others on a day near the holidays, not on the day itself?  Would it really be so terrible to get together with Mom & Dad on Christmas eve or the day after Christmas instead of Christmas day? 
  • Do nice little things for yourself. 
  • Don’t over-extend yourself.  If you don’t want to send out Christmas cards, then don’t.  If you can’t afford to get everyone gifts, don’t.  Or, if you feel you must give something, try making special gifts- many people (like me) prefer something home made to store bought anyway.  Try baking cookies for everyone.  Or making special decorations.  Or, make a cake for each family. 
  • Find ways to relax.
  • Talk to understanding friends or relatives about why you feel the way you do about the holidays.  Maybe they can help you change your perspective.  (Even if you don’t end up loving the holidays, you may be able to change how you look at them- instead of them being a day of negativity for you, maybe you can begin to look at them as a day to spend relaxing, either by yourself or with your significant other)
  • Pray.  God loves you & understands you.  He won’t judge you for how you feel.
  • If you have a significant other, see how he/she would feel about creating new holiday traditions for just the two of you.  If you two have kids, why not get the kids in on it too?
  • Speaking of significant others, if he/she wants to spend the day with the parents rather than you, like many adult children of dysfunctional &/or controlling parents do, try looking at the day not as a lonely day for you, but as a day to yourself where you can do whatever you like.  Watch old movies, order Chinese food, read that book you’ve been wanting to read, paint your bedroom, turn up your favorite old music & dance around your house like crazy!  Have fun!   

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Miscellaneous

November 20, 2012

Good morning, Dear Readers!  I hope this post finds you well today.

I am grateful to say I have some new fans on my facebook page.  If you are not a fan, please check out the page at:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cynthia-Bailey-Rug/133851377431

Just so you know, I pray for all of my fans- on facebook, followers of my blog, or those who have emailed me to tell me that my writing has helped them in some way.  I love & appreciate all of you, & am glad to pray for you!

This time of year brings up talks of being grateful for what you have.  Are you grateful?  Times are tough for so many people these days, but there is still something to be grateful for- a loving spouse, great kids, adorable pets, good friends.  Try to find something to be grateful for & thank God for it.  I am very grateful for my wonderful family (human & furry!  lol), my great friends & my fans.

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving day, whether you spend it with family, friends or even by yourself.  I hope you enjoy the day!  

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November 5. 2012

Hello, Dear Readers!  I hope you’re doing well today on this lovely autumn day.

Yesterday it was 18 years since hubby & I went on our first date.  Time really flies.  It was a romantic date, & I remember it as if it was yesterday.  To celebrate, we didn’t recreate it, but we did spend some quality time together at our favorite bar/restaurant on the water.  We try to celebrate that day every year, & other special days, such as the day he proposed, the day we met, etc.  Little celebrations are a good thing- they bring some much needed positive into life.

I also wanted to let yall know that Thursday, Dr. Karyl McBride, author of “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” will be on the Dr. Phil show to discuss maternal narcissism.  She is a lovely woman & her book is amazing.  Check your local listings or http://www.DrPhil.com to find out when the show will air in your area.  I’m looking forward to it myself.  Dr. McBride’s book describes my mother well, so I’ll be very interested in watching this show!  My parents watch the show daily, so I just pray they catch this one, & gain some insight.  

By the way, there is another storm, what sounds like a milder version of hurricane Sandy, moving into the Maryland region on Wednesday.  Be careful, my fellow Marylanders!

Have a great day!  🙂

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