Tag Archives: love

When Tough Times Happen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Biggest Sale EVER On My Print Books! 30% Off!

My publisher is offering 30% off all of my print books until Tuesday November 29, 2022. Simply use code JOYFUL30 at checkout.

My books can be found at this link:

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

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Being In A Relationship With Someone Who Is Extremely Independent

Being extremely independent is looked upon as a good thing by most people.  There are times when it can be a very good thing, like when it comes from a position of faith that God will help you to do anything you need to do rather than putting faith in people.  Sadly, it also can be a problematic trauma response.  I know this since this is why I tend to be overly independent in many ways.

When someone grows up with an abusive parent or two, they learn very early in life that people can’t be trusted.  After all, if someone who was supposed to love, care for & protect you is untrustworthy, how can anyone be trusted?  That logic absolutely makes sense.  Yet at the same time, it isn’t necessarily a good thing.

A problem with this quality of extreme independence is that it can cause a person to find safety within his or her self & withdraw from other people, even the safe ones.  It pushes people away, whether or not that is the intention. 

Growing up accustomed to being let down by those who are supposed to love us most causes us to realize we don’t need anyone.  We’ll always say that we don’t need help.  We can do this thing without any help.  Even if we truly need help, admitting that fact is very unlikely to happen, which naturally is a problem in so many ways.  Refusing help when it is needed causes a person to make mistakes or even fail at whatever project they are doing.  It also pushes people away, which can damage or even destroy their relationships.

This extreme independence leads to thinking about romantic relationships like, “I don’t need you.  I want you.”  That naturally can be a good thing in some ways, but when you’re married to someone, you need to need your spouse.  God created people to need each other, but in particular their spouse.  That is why when people marry, they should share many qualities, but also be better in some areas than their spouse, & their spouse should be better in other areas than they are.  This kind of couple makes an amazing team with many talents.  They are so much better together than they were independently. 

Another problem of being in a romantic relationship with someone extremely independent is that if you give this person a reason to leave, they will, & the reason doesn’t always have to be a good one.  It can be something simple such as you forgot that you were supposed to go to dinner together one evening.  It isn’t necessarily that the person was looking for an easy way out of the relationship.  It’s more because they are afraid of being let down & hurt yet again.

A person who wants to be in a relationship of any sort, in particular romantic, with someone like this must make their actions align with their words.  After a lifetime of being disappointed by people, if actions don’t continually line up with words, an extremely independent person will leave rather than risk being disappointed frequently yet again.

Being in a relationship with a very independent person can be incredibly challenging, & truly isn’t for everyone.  However, the person who is willing to be understanding, patient & sincere stands a great chance of breaking through the barrier of extreme independence & finding a very loving & loyal partner. Winning the trust of someone extremely independent isn’t easy, & it won’t be taken for granted!

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

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

I need your thoughts on this idea.

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

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

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

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

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15% Off My Print Books Until October 7, 2022

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

My print books can be found at the following link:

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

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What Makes A Good Person Truly Good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My New Shop On Facebook Is Open!

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

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

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

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You Matter!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guilt Or God Working Through You?

Some of you long time readers will remember this story..

In May, 2016, I had a huge argument with my parents.  My mother in-law had just died, & since they read the obituaries in the weekly paper, I knew they would see hers.  I also knew that they wouldn’t acknowledge what I had told them about her that caused me to go no contact with her 14 years prior, but instead would talk about what a great lady she was.  I was mentally prepared for that, so when I saw their number on my caller ID the day after her funeral when the paper came out, I wasn’t surprised.  I asked God to help me get through the call & guide my words.  I thought it was going to be a mostly typical conversation, & I was wrong. 

I was NOT prepared for my parents being angry with me for not telling them about her death so they could attend the funeral.  I also was ill prepared for the intense feeling of betrayal or the rage that I felt.  I ended up yelling at, crying & cussing out my parents.  Not my normal behavior by any means!  When I hung up the phone my first step was to pray.  I told God I was so sorry!  I never should’ve behaved that way.  Somehow I must have missed His guidance & messed up everything.  God spoke to me extremely clearly at that time, & said, “I wanted this to happen.  Your parents needed to see their normally calm & reasonable daughter extremely upset thanks to their behavior.” 

That argument was the last time I spoke to my mother before she died just under three years later.  It was also one of the last times I spoke to my father who died about eighteen months after.  Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I think that argument was a catalyst for no contact for me, which in turn motivated my parents to turn to God at the end of their lives.  It really did have a purpose!

At that time & for quite a while after, however, in spite of knowing my parents needed to see my reaction, I still felt terrible.  The guilt was intense!   

I think this is normal for most children of narcissistic parents.  Our parents train us early in life to please them at all costs, & to feel intense guilt or even shame when we fail.  Even when we are adults, when we do something that we perceive as wrong, we automatically feel that guilt because it’s a reflex built into us by our parents.

The thing is though that sometimes doing something other people think is wrong is a good thing.  Naturally narcissists would disagree with that, but it’s true.  What one person sees as wrong can be right for someone else. 

While the guilt may make you feel as if you’re doing something bad, it may be inappropriate to the situation.  God may be working through you, & sometimes He works through people in rather unusual ways.  Just look at the argument I had with my parents.  It felt awful at the time, but it turned out to be very beneficial for all three of us.

The next time you automatically feel guilt about something, then please, take a moment to ask God if that guilt is justified or if He is working through you somehow.  You may be very pleasantly surprised to find out He is working through you, & there is no valid reason for you to feel any guilt!

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10% Off My Print Books

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..

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

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Doing Something New

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!

Amazon Music:

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

Anchor By Spotify:

https://anchor.fm/cynthiabaileyrug

Apple Podcasts:

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

Castbox:

https://castbox.fm/channel/id3103069?utm_source=podcaster&utm_medium=dlink&utm_campaign=c_3103069&utm_content=Cynthia%20Bailey-Rug-CastBox_FM

Google Podcasts:

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8yNWViYmY5OC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==

Overcast:

https://overcast.fm/itunes1519449931/cynthia-bailey-rug

Pocketcasts:

https://pca.st/3qvsb30s

RadioPublic:

https://radiopublic.com/cynthia-baileyrug-6BonBp

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/show/5aY76eAGa3xOfVMimiQMai

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/cynthia-baileyrug

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

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

My ebooks can be found at the link below…

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

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

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

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Making Assumptions About People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Another Good Sale On My Print Books!

My publisher is offering 10% off my print books when you use code INFLUENCE10 at checkout until May 27, 2022.

Print versions of my books can be found at the link below..

Cynthia Bailey-Rug’s spotlight on Lulu

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15% Off All Print Books!

My publisher is offering a sale.. 15% off all print books when you use code SELFLOVE15 at checkout until May 20, 2022

My books can be found at the link below..

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

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What Real Love Looks Like Compared To What Narcissists Call Love

I read an interesting article recently on ibelieve.com about some things adult children wish their parents would say to them as well as tips on how to incorporate them into the relationship with their adult children.  The suggestions in the article struck me as being the exact opposite of what narcissists call love.  I thought it would be a good idea to share them to help victims of narcissistic abuse to understand what real love is & is not.

Thinking before you speak was the first on the list.  In other words, a person trying to show love will be considerate & not rude or critical with their words.  They try to offer encouragement instead of discouragement.  If they must offer correction, they do so gently.  Narcissists are much different.  They may think before they speak, but only of what they can say to inflict the most pain or gain the most control.  They may even call this loving behavior because they claim they are trying to help their victim.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!

Next on the list was not acting like the center of their adult child’s world.  Normal, functional parents realize that they won’t be the center of their child’s world forever.  They may grieve some as it happens, but they also accept that as a natural part of the relationship because that is exactly what it is.  They know their children still love them & they still love their children.  Many narcissistic parents however, expect different from their children.  They expect to remain the center of their children’s world indefinitely.  When the child of a narcissistic parent starts to separate from them, the parent views this as a betrayal on the child’s part.  To narcissistic parents, growing up is proof their children don’t love them anymore.  And, if those children want to prove they love their parents, they must keep them as much the center of their world as possible.  Ignoring their spouse & children in favor of the narcissistic parents is not only acceptable behavior, but it is encouraged.

Third on the list was having a soft reproach.  In other words, being gentle with your words when you must tell someone you disagree with them or disapprove of something they have done.  The Bible describes this as speaking the truth in love.  Obviously, this is NOT something narcissists do.  Overt narcissists are often extremely critical & heartless with their reproach.  Covert narcissists are much more subtle but equally cruel.  They prefer to express disappointment & use guilt trips.  Narcissists will claim they love their adult children which is why they say what they do. 

Fourth on the list was choosing quiet over giving advice.  A person who understands loving behavior recognizes the value of this.  They know unasked for advice is rude & insulting because it basically tells the recipient of this advice they aren’t smart enough to handle the situation on their own.  Rather than make someone feel this way, they remain quiet unless asked for advice.  Narcissists, as usual, behave in the complete opposite way.  They value their own thoughts, feelings & opinions more than making anyone feel loved, so they have no problem forcing their unasked for advice on others.  They may say they are only trying to help because they care, but the truth is giving advice is just one more way for them to show off what they believe is their supreme intellect or to attempt to control another person. 

Last on the list was apologizing.  A person who is humble & loving will apologize to anyone, including their children, when they have done wrong.  Narcissists are far from humble, even the covert ones who put on a false display of humility.  Rather than apologize, they will excuse or deny their bad behavior.  They even may blame their victim for forcing them to do what they did.  When I was in my teens, my mother called her abuse “tough love” & said she was trying to “save me from myself” if I confronted her.  Apologies never happened.  Instead, she tried to convince me love equaled abuse, which is typical narcissistic behavior.

If you are in the position of hearing a narcissist tell you they love you, then please remember what I have shared with you today.  Love shouldn’t hurt you or make you feel badly.  It should prove someone truly cares for you & wants what is best for you.

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Lacking A Healthy Perspective About Yourself After Narcissistic Abuse

When you have been abused by a narcissist (or several!), you are going to have ongoing issues as a result of their abuse.  This is likely to continue for many years, even long after the abuse has ended or even after the abuser dies.  Today we’ll be discussing one of the lesser discussed yet potentially devastating issues: lacking a healthy perspective about yourself.

Not long ago, in emailing with a friend, I mentioned something traumatic that my mother did to me when I was in my teens.  She was floored, then told me how horrible it was & how badly she felt for me.  I was stunned by her reaction.  Yes I knew it was traumatic but somehow I didn’t think it was all that bad.  This same scenario happened a few times.  Then a few weeks after that first email conversation, during a phone call to a different friend, the scenario happened yet again.  I mentioned a past traumatic experience, & she too was flabbergasted.  And again, I was stunned since I didn’t think of the experience was all that terrible.

Being prone to over thinking everything, these experiences got me thinking.  I didn’t understand why I didn’t think these experiences were so bad, yet other people did.  It isn’t like they haven’t been through the same & worse experiences, & I recognized theirs were pretty terrible. 

Then, I learned something interesting that at first I thought was unrelated.  I’m always tired, & I assumed it was because I can’t get to sleep or stay asleep without medication, & have constant nightmares.  Not long ago I got a smart watch that monitors all kinds of health processes including sleep.  It showed me that I get virtually no deep sleep.  That explained why I’m always tired, but not why I don’t get deep sleep.  I researched this & found PTSD & C-PTSD cause a person not to get the deep sleep they need.  Upon learning this, my first thought was, “wow, I really DO have C-PTSD!”  My second thought was wondering what is wrong with me?!  I’ve had symptoms of it for my entire life!  How could I doubt it?  Suddenly, things began to make sense when I thought not only of this but my interactions with my friends a few weeks prior. 

When you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, they dictate everything about that relationship as well as about you.  They do this through gaslighting.  After being exposed to this toxic behavior long enough, a person takes on the narcissist’s narrative.  If the narcissist claims you’re stupid enough, you believe you are in spite of having an above average IQ.  They claim you’re fat?  Absolutely believable, even if the scale says you only weigh 110 pounds.  This gaslighting goes much deeper than those superficial issues however.  Narcissists all convince their victims that what they’re doing isn’t so bad, clearly it’s not abusive, it never happened, or if it did then it’s their victim’s fault. 

This gaslighting also branches into the realm of health conditions too.  Narcissists are the only ones who have any sort of health problems, at least according to them.  Also, narcissists aren’t above faking an injury or illness or even making themselves sick, they assume everyone does it.  These two things mean that narcissists don’t care when their victims have any problems.  They assume their victims are just faking as they would do.  Or, if there is undeniable proof of a problem, they minimize it so they don’t have to pretend to care or to help the victim.

This gaslighting is why I was shocked my friends not only saw the events in my life as traumatic, but validated me & cared how I was affected as well.  It also explains why I felt surprised to find proof I really do have C-PTSD, in spite of having the symptoms for so long. 

If this sounds familiar to you, my heart goes out to you.  I wish I could help you fix this right now, but I can’t.  I can tell you some things that I’m finding out that help me though & I think they’ll help you too. 

Prayer certainly helps!  I have asked God to help me have a healthier perspective on myself & talk to Him regularly about this.  Also, when I recognize any minimizing behavior in myself, I tell myself the truth about the situation instead.  Progress has been slow going with me, but it’s still progress & that counts!   

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Receiving God’s Comfort

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

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

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

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

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

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

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15% Off My Print Books!

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.

My print books can be found at the link below…

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Read An Ebook Week Sale

From March 6-12, 2022, all of my ebooks will be 25% off. Discount is applied at checkout, so there is no need for a coupon code.

My ebooks are available at the link below…

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

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10% Off All Print Books!

My print book publisher is offering a sale.. 10% off all print versions of my books until March 4, 2022. Simply use code DIRECT10 at checkout.

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Biblical Love- It’s Not What You May Think

Have you ever heard of the book, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman?  I read it years ago.  It’s a wonderful book that suggests five different ways people can feel loved, & says every person has a preference for one of those ways over the others.  Although the book was written with couples in mind, I think it’s good for all relationships.  People naturally tend to show others love in ways they feel the most loved, often without realizing that the other person may feel more loved by a different action.

While it is important to know how best to make those in your life feel loved, I believe there is something else that is equally important.  We need to know how to love people God’s way. 

Of course with narcissists, they are convinced it is loving behavior to give them anything they want & to do anything they order their victims to do.  If someone doesn’t do such things, in the narcissist’s eyes, they are unloving, selfish jerks.  When subjected to narcissistic abuse, it’s easy to believe that they are right, & having any sort of boundaries is unloving & selfish.  This is extremely wrong however!    

Ephesians 5:2 in the Amplified Bible says, “and walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.”  Notice that one part that says, “unselfishly seeking the best for others.”  Sometimes the most loving thing you can do may look unloving on the surface, but is truly the best thing for someone else. 

Giving someone everything they want isn’t loving in a Godly way.  It makes people entitled & selfish.  It isn’t loving because it isn’t seeking the best for them.

When someone is dysfunctional, they may think that it’s loving behavior to treat them a certain way, such as enabling unhealthy behavior.  The truth is that isn’t loving at all.  Although it may not feel like it to the dysfunctional person, it is much more loving to have healthy boundaries & encourage good behavior.

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to walk away from someone.  That may sound hard to believe, but it’s true!

If someone is abusive, they need to know that behavior is unacceptable so they can be motivated to improve their behavior.  Admittedly, with narcissists, this is highly unlikely, but it’s only right to try to get the point across to them by setting boundaries.  Eventually if this doesn’t work, walking away is a very viable option.  It is best for the victim, obviously but also for the abuser.  Walking away removes the opportunity for the abuser to sin by abusing the victim.  It also models healthy behavior for the abuser. 

If you have been in this painful position of needing to walk away from an abusive person, chances are you’ve been criticized harshly for going no contact, especially if your abuser was a parent or other family member.  People are extremely critical of those who sever ties with their parents, no matter the circumstances, as you no doubt have learned.  This message is for you today.  Please don’t think they are right.  Walking away is a loving thing to do in such cases.  You did what was best for you & for the abuser in your life. 

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20% Off ALL Print Books!

My publisher turns 20 this year, & as a way to celebrate, they’re offering 20% off print book purchases until February 11, 2022. All you have to do to take advantage is use code 20FOR20 at checkout.

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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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Struggling To Feel Loved By God After Narcissistic Abuse

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!

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A Little About Hatred After Abuse

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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15% Off ALL My Print Books!

My publisher is having a 15% off sale until January 28, 2022. Simply enter code IMAGINE15 at checkout.

My books can be found at the link below…

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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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God Plans Our Lives With Love

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

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

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

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

Romans 8:28 AMP

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A Wonderful Idea

I use the Nextdoor app to see what is going on in my town.  It’s really an interesting app.  It reminds me a bit of Facebook, but is for people in your town only.  Your neighbors share all kinds of stuff on there!  They sell stuff, share stories of happenings such as flea markets or concerts, they discuss any criminal activity & much more.  It’s a great way to keep up to date on all the interesting stuff in your town.

Recently I was reading Nextdoor & saw an older post on there entitled “What do you need?”  The post asked people to share a need they have for something that they simply can’t afford right now.  Those who could meet those needs were encouraged to reply.  I thought it was a lovely idea.  Reading through the comments was heartwarming.  So many people shared their needs, big & small, & they were met.  Some asked for food for their pets & others offered to drop some food off or order it online & have it sent to their home.  One asked for a recommendation for a physician who uses naturopathic cancer treatments & that person got some recommendations.  Another asked for moving boxes & got that need met.  One person needed new brakes on their car & was given the name & number of a very reliable mechanic as well as coupons for the parts.  Yet another mentioned hosting Thanksgiving dinner & invited anyone who wanted to come.  Some people said they were not in any need & were grateful for what they had.

This post was really a lovely conversation!  It was heartwarming seeing so many people willingly help each other out, & also to see the new friendships that were formed.

While this post was created during the month of November due to being inspired by the holiday season, I think it’d be a lovely idea to create such a post during any time of the year.  People seem to be more generous during the holidays, but we should be generous during the entire year.  It is good for the giver & the receiver when someone is generous & giving.  In the Amplified Bible, Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous man [is a source of blessing and] shall be prosperous and enriched, And he who waters will himself be watered [reaping the generosity he has sown].”  Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.” & 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed].”

If you are in a difficult season of not having much to spare, don’t worry!  Whatever you give, no matter how little, is just as important & valuable in God’s eyes & no doubt to the recipient of your kindness as well.  2 Corinthians 8:12 says, “For if the eagerness [to give] is there, it is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.”  And, Mark 12:41-44 tells the story of Jesus praising a poor widow who only gave a small amount because she was willing to give what little she had. 

I hope you were inspired by the “What do you need” post & will consider doing something similar.  There are so many ways to be a blessing to other people!  Obviously creating this type of post is one way, but you also could donate your time or money to food pantries or soup kitchens, visit those in nursing homes, set up a table with free food such as canned goods or build a small “take one leave one” library of sorts in your yard.  The possibilities are really endless!

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