Sunday, 20 September 2020

Eight Indications of a Broken Heart

When they lived in Sidney, Iowa, Sue worked as assistant director and did tech with a professional dinner theatre while Sig did tech and acted. Later, though both were teachers at the time, they did computer portraits and made homemade egg rolls on the NE Iowa fair circuit during summers. In 1991, Sue became director of a theater group that she ran for ten years. The two also taught English, speech, and drama at the high school I graduated from, Maquoketa Valley in Delhi, Iowa, for many years before their retirement. We were always up for adventure, doing things other people wouldn't even think of doing, Sue said, an understatement considering her husband had once been a trapeze artist. The couple hadn't planned on becoming alpaca farmers when they visited an alpaca farm in 2003. Looking forward to retirement, they'd had a brand-new house built. You truly cannot and will not rise above your words. Your words are incredibly powerful, so tell yourself only what you want to happen, what you want to be, and what you want to experience. And make those affirmations in the present tense, like they are already happening. Here's what I'm talking about. I look and feel great. I enjoy eating healthy foods and am always full of energy. Incredible wealth, success and opportunities are flowing into my life right now. I know exactly what I need to do at the perfect time, and I do it. I am guided unerringly in all that I do, every day. And one of the most powerful of all affirmations was the one that late Emile Coue gave to his patients that profoundly changed their lives: Prone to severe depression, the invisible child may easily fall prey to substance abuse, eating disorders and other addictive behaviors The three roles--golden child, scapegoat child, and invisible child are given by narcissistic parents for self-serving needs. They are not meant to benefit the children in any way.

But these roles are not the only roles children in narcissistic families play. As a way to bring some semblance of order to their chaotic world and ease their pain, children in these families adopt roles of their own. The four additional roles adopted by children in narcissistic homes are: hero/responsible child, caretaker/placater, mascot/clown, and mastermind/manipulator. Children may adopt one or more of these roles. Only children usually take on a variety of roles for emotional adaptation. The Hero/Responsible Child The hero/responsible child is often, but not always, the oldest sibling. Every answer provokes deeper questions. Sometimes it helps to sit with a question in the back of your mind for a day, even a week. Very often you'll find that what you are ultimately searching for is an internal feeling (happiness, security, confidence, etc). Or maybe you'll find that you're acting out of envy, not the most positive emotion, but a good alert to the need you are trying to fill. Be curious about that discovery. Why are you envious? Is there something--like adventure--that you can start working on right away? Once you're doing that, the external wants will be more available to you--if they still matter at all. TRY THIS: A QUESTION MEDITATION Take a desire you have and ask yourself why you want it. They'd only wanted to see in person the domesticated species of South American camelid Sue had heard about on late-night television commercials. When a colleague told them of a farm nearby, they planned a one-hour visit. They stayed for seven hours.

When the farmer drove the herd to the barn, there was no sound. It was that silence that won them over. In high school, when the bell rings, it's chaos--organized chaos, but it's always loud, Sue said. When the herd of eighty alpacas ran past us on their way to the barn, there was no sound. I thought then that this would be heaven--you get out of a noisy school and there would be silence. They purchased a male and two pregnant females, boarding them for eleven months before they sold their new house in town and moved to an acreage in Earlville, Iowa, where they now raise alpacas and Shetland sheep. It actually didn't surprise their children, who had grown up being involved in their parents' many adventures. Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better. Remember this: The experiences and words you heard helped create your beliefs. Those beliefs helped create your attitudes. Those attitudes helped create your feelings. Those feelings helped you decide what actions you'll take. The actions you've taken have given you the results you've experienced. Always say the best words to yourself. Really believe what you say, even though at this moment, it may be the furthest thing from the truth. For soon it will be true, if only you'll say whatever it is you want. This child becomes overly conscientious and independent. She assumes the role of a responsible parent at an inappropriately young age. With a perfectionist nature, the hero child strives to achieve the highest level of success recognized as impressive by her family.

She is the perfect student, best athlete, or most talented. A shining example of what outsiders assume could only be attributed to perfect parenting, her job is to mask the true dysfunction of her family to the outside world. Since the hero child relies on outside approval as her compass for success, and her worth is always defined by others, nothing she accomplishes ever feels good enough. Nothing others do is good enough either. She does not like to engage the help of others and tends to be controlling, because she believes no one can complete a task as well as she can. Proficient at all she undertakes, the hero child suppresses her emotions to a degree that she can no longer feel them. Deep inside, she secretly harbors feelings of insecurity and adequacy. Keep asking until you get to the root intention. Common answers are: To look and feel good Don't negate intentions that aren't good, just be aware of them and recognize that if your reason isn't love, growth, or knowledge, the opportunity may fulfill important practical needs, but it won't feel emotionally meaningful. We're most satisfied when we are in a state of progress, learning, or achievement. SEEDS AND WEEDS As monks, we learned to clarify our intentions through the analogy of seeds and weeds. When you plant a seed, it can grow into an expansive tree that provides fruit and shelter for everyone. That's what a broad intention, like love, compassion, or service, can do. The purity of your intention has nothing to do with what career you choose. They just shook their heads and murmured, There they go again. When Sue joined my lifelong learners group, it had been over fifty years since she'd had anything published. She hadn't stopped writing the poetry that had brought her and her husband together--she just hadn't submitted anything, the surest way to avoid rejection.

But when she read one of her poems aloud, I was in awe of her obvious talent. With a little guidance and encouragement (and sometimes that's all it takes), she was off, polishing poetry and prose pulled from her file folders. Once she took that first step, she admitted she couldn't stop writing and submitting. It was as if a fire had been lit beneath her. That fire continues to spread to other ventures in creativity. Though she has been taking painting lessons for five years, she recently began entering paintings in the county fair, as well as continuing with her photography, winning several blue ribbons in both categories. I don't plan on stopping either, Sue says. THE IMAGES YOU KEEP PLAYING IN YOUR MIND KEEP BRINGING YOU THE THINGS YOU HAVE All day, every day, you speak in words, but think in images and pictures. This is what our ancestors did when they didn't have the language we now have. They drew pictures on walls, in caves, in the dirt, on wood. Each image had a specific meaning. The same is true today. The problem is, most people picture in their minds that which they want to avoid. Very few vividly picture that which they want. But when they do, they find themselves irresistibly drawn to it, as if something magical is happening. Well, something magical is happening. Fearing her true self will be exposed as defective and incapable, she compensates by compulsively driving herself. Never feeling good enough within, true success can never be attained. When one goal is reached, she must strive for another.

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