Sunday, 20 September 2020

Some people take the road and help others along the way,

She has an innate sense of how to manipulate others, especially those in charge, and get away with it. Family members do catch on to her ploys but are no match for her manipulative abilities. The mastermind may also be a jokester just as is the mascot, but her humor is more sardonic and caustic than soothing. Her sugar-coated, backhanded insults serve to cover up her own feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and lack of emotional safety. Masterminds are well-known for saying, What's the matter with you? Can't you take a joke? This is a role she will take with her into adulthood--once a manipulator, always a manipulator. That will be thirty thousand dollars, he says. Picasso, the woman says, how can you charge me so much? This drawing only took you thirty seconds! Madame, says Picasso, it took me thirty years. The same is true of any artistic work--or, indeed, any job that's done well. The effort behind it is invisible. The monk in my ashram who could easily recite all the scriptures put years into memorizing them. I needed to consider that investment, the life it required, before making it my goal. When asked who we are, we resort to stating what we do: I'm an accountant. I'm a lawyer. He also discovered that healing writing didn't have to be trauma-focused; None of this requires writing talent. There's just something about putting pen to paper that is beneficial, whether it is journaling, blogging, or writing for publication.

Even writing letters counts. In one study, Kent State professor Steven Toepfer discovered that having students write three letters a week, spending fifteen to twenty minutes on each letter, decreased depressive symptoms and increased happiness and life satisfaction significantly. I experienced the letter-writing benefit after David's death. Because he'd died on a Tuesday, I began dreading Tuesdays, a weekly reminder of my loss. When I made the decision to reach out to someone else every Tuesday, through a card or handwritten letter, I began looking forward to Tuesdays. Writing letters to others ending up helping me. While I have maintained throughout this article that being more creative means opening up your mind, trying new things, allowing yourself to fail, and finding ways to work creativity in your everyday life, expressive writing is the one craft I have specifically and consciously honed since I was a teen. They want to know the exact steps they'll take and what might happen along the way on the road to their dreams and goals. Life doesn't work that way. This is precisely the reason these same people will never change their lives and do something different. The fear of not knowing is much greater than the happiness of experiencing and achieving. Can I let you in on a little secret? You simply don't need to know exactly how, when and where things will happen. In all probability, it will end up being way different from what you first imagined. You just need to get in the neighborhood. When deciding what you want to do with your life and which direction you should go, all you need to do is just get in the vicinity and the rest will become crystal clear. Realize that whatever you do, your first experience will not be your final experience. Unless identified, dealt with and modified, the hero, caretaker, mascot and mastermind roles assumed by children in emotionally abusive narcissistic homes will become lifelong mindsets. Relationships, friendships, parenting, scholastic endeavors, and careers will all be impacted by these dysfunctional adaptations. Children raised in families with narcissistic parents suffer tremendous emotional abuse.

Healthy coping mechanisms are never taught, therefore never learned. In order to adapt and survive in this painful, hostile, confusing environment these children must find ways to cope. Unless addressed and altered, their childhood coping methods, always maladaptive, are the ones they will use for the rest of their lives. The Siblings Good parents promote close relationships among their children. It is up to them to teach siblings how to get along with each other and work through their conflicts. If a child needs more attention, the parent should find ways to provide it. I'm a housewife/househusband. I'm an athlete. I'm a teacher. Sometimes this is just a useful way to jump-start a conversation with someone you've just met. But life is more meaningful when we define ourselves by our intentions rather than our achievements. If you truly define yourself by your job, then what happens when you lose your job? If you define yourself as an athlete, then an injury ends your career, you don't know who you are. Losing a job shouldn't destroy our identities, but often it does. Instead, if we live intentionally, we sustain a sense of purpose and meaning that isn't tied to what we accomplish but who we are. If your intention is to help people, you have to embody that intention by being kind, openhearted, and innovative, by recognizing people's strengths, supporting their weaknesses, listening, helping them grow, reading what they need from you, and noticing when it changes. That served me well when I turned to writing to get through situations much tougher than a doomed teenage romance. The ease with which I wrote articles, essays, and even an entire article (Refined by Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace) about the loss of my husband caused me to wonder why I hadn't written more about Jacob, the grandson who died some seventeen months after his grandfather. It was as though I'd decided the loss was more my daughter's and her husband's, as the parents.

I'd hesitated to claim it as my own. Elizabeth had noticed. You didn't write enough about Jacob, she'd lamented after reading Refined by Fire, and I'd replied that it was her story to tell. It wasn't until working on this article, nearly five years after his death, that I wrote a poem about Jacob. I'd been encouraging members of a writing group I facilitated to enter a poetry contest. In turn, they challenged me to do the same. I struggled to write a poem about rubbing the feet of those I loved; Knowing that takes the pressure off you and helps you to understand that it's not a big deal if only you get in the neighborhood, so to speak, the first time out. Here's what being in the vicinity of what you think you want to do, will do. For years, you may have dreamed that only being an actor will bring you your greatest happiness. So, you get a job at a studio as a production assistant and in a short time, you find that the politics, the hours and the people weren't anything like you imagined it would be all those years. You may also find out that the passion for acting may not be as strong as you once thought it was. But in a few short weeks or months, look what you've learned. And look at how much time and possible headache that you've saved. And it's all because you were in the vicinity. Do that for anything and everything in your life and you'll be amazed at the time, energy, emotion, effort and money you'll save along the way. When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece. If a child needs to assert his or her individuality, it is the parent's job to help facilitate it. With proper parental guidance, the siblings will grow out of their need for sibling rivalry and mature into relationships of mutual love and respect. This scenario plays out very differently in families with narcissistic parents who typically withdraw attention and dissuade individuality.

Narcissistic parents do not want their children to be close. Allied sibling relationships mean less control for them, so instead of promoting harmony among their children, they instigate conflicts between them. The only needs narcissistic parents care about are their own. They do not have children to give love, only to receive it--basically to grow their own narcissistic supply. In place of love, they offer favor--favor that has limited supply. There is a stream of favor always available to the golden child. Whatever remains unused is occasionally accessible to the other children, but rationed in small quantities. If your intention is to support your family, you might decide that you have to be generous, present, hardworking, and organized. If your intention is to live your passion, maybe you have to be committed, energetic, and truthful. When you identify your intentions, they reveal your values. The intentions to help people and to serve mean you value service. The intention to support your family means you value family. It's not rocket science, but these terms get thrown around and used interchangeably, so it helps to know how they connect and overlap. Living your intention means having it permeate your behavior. For instance, if your goal is to improve your relationship, you might plan dates, give your partner gifts, and get a haircut to look better for them. Your wallet will be thinner, your hair might look better, and your relationship may or may not improve. But watch what happens if you make internal changes to live your intention. I'd even chosen the title: Love's Disciple. I wrote, revised, reworded, and rewrote again. I was ready to give up on poetry altogether when, almost as if it had a mind of its own, the words began flowing seamlessly and a new poem formed.

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