Life Awakening

AWAKEN FROM LIFE is about discovering who you are and about defining your true self so you can seize the helm of your life! This book is changing lives. Let it change yours!

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Story of Hope Love Destiny

If you like inspirational memoirs about the power of hope, or just want to read a candid expose of my previously misaligned life, FINE…LY: My Story of Hope, Love, and Destiny is the book for you!! It’s a page turner!!

Available in Paperback or as an E-Book

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This memoir written by a woman author tells a compelling, impactful true life story about hope and love, and how she found her destiny. An excellent book for women!



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Inspiring Authors Message

Author, Randi G. Fine 

Living Life to the Fullest

Inspirational Author’s Message

The most difficult people in our lives end up being our greatest teachers.   The hurdles they place before us and the challenges they present to us are only lessons that we must learn for our greater good.   Think of the oyster…without the irritating grain of sand there would be no pearl. ~ Randi G. Fine

We all experience times of joy and times of suffering as we move through our lives. Life is a breeze during the happy times; we get to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. But we must ask ourselves how good joy would feel if we had no adversity to contrast it? The phrase, “nobody said life was easy,” was coined with good reason. The truth is, life is hard work…but the beauty of life is that it has many facets.  We are constantly challenged to learn and grow.  And as we rise to those challenges we become stronger, wiser and better human beings. The universe holds all the answers we will ever need. It’s all there for the taking if we watch, listen, and trust our intuition. I invite you to follow me on my journey as I explore the many paths to happiness, and the many avenues that will lead us to living life to the fullest. I wish you serenity and joy in your life. ~ Randi


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Empathy Connects Us To The Heart Of Others

 See column on the right side of this website labeled Narcissistic Personality Disorder  for a complete  list of all NPD related articles and videos.

Where Has Our Ability to Empathize Gone?

      Excerpted from my August 2, 2012 show on A Fine Time for HealingIs  Our Ability to Empathize Eroding?

Written by Randi G. Fine

Empathy is the ability to emotionally put oneself into someone else’s shoes—the capacity to share and understand the feelings, emotions, and perspective experienced by another person, both negative and positive. Empathy is the identification and relationship that connects us as human beings.

We show empathy through statements such as, “I can see you are really uncomfortable about this,” and “I can understand why you would be upset.” We show empathy through a hug, a reassuring touch, and even through a “high five” when our empathy relates to someone’s success.empathy

Empathy is not the same emotion as sympathy. Where empathy allows us to vicariously experience and identify with other’s feelings, sympathy is a feeling of pity or sorrow for the feelings of others. With empathy we feel with someone else, with sympathy we feel for someone else.

There are many theories concerning the nature versus nurture aspect of empathic development. Are some people born virtuous and some people born evil?

Dr. Paul Zak has studied the biological basis of good versus evil behavior over a number of years and has made a very interesting discovery. He found that when people feel for other people, the stress triggers the brain to release a chemical called oxytocin. Likewise, a study at Berkely concluded that a particular variant of the oxytocin receptor gene is associated with the trait of human empathy. In the study, those who had this gene variant were found to have a more empathic nature. Dr. Zak says that this study demonstrates that some people, about five percent of our population, may have a gene variant that makes them less empathic. In other words, he says, some people are more or less immune to oxytocin.

So there is scientific evidence that the goodness trait is encoded in our genes. But nature is not the only influencing factor. We may be born with the capacity to have empathy, but our ability to apply it, to care and understand, is a learned behavior.

Social psychologists say that empathetic behavior is built from the secure attachment babies develop with their parents or primary caregivers, and by modeling their parents’ empathetic behavior towards them and others.empathy3 Sincere empathetic behavior develops in children whose parents constantly show, teach, and reinforce it. It is a gradual emergence that occurs with the consistency and caring shown to them during the formative years of their social and emotional development. In many cases, but not all, adults who lack empathy have been victims of childhood abuse or neglect.

Those who have had extremely painful childhoods, ones that have involved emotional, sexual, or physical abuse, often lose touch with their own feelings while shutting themselves off from the pain. Their underdeveloped coping skills leave them saddled with distress, whether their own or others, and their lack of ability to experience their own pain prevents them from feeling the pain of others. As adults their elaborately built defense mechanisms block guilt and shame while also blocking their conscience. They live life through fear, threats, punishment, and isolation rather than empathy and kindness.empathy7

In many cases the opposite is true—the person over-identifies with others’ pain, is overwhelmed by it, and becomes overly empathetic to the point that they absorb the feelings of everyone around them. Their internal pain and suffering is triggered when they see others in pain and suffering, therefore become preoccupied with everyone else’s pain and make it their own. I did that for most of my life. Often it was to deflect my own pain but ironically it caused me to suffer more. I had very poor coping skills and my boundaries were out of whack if existent at all. I also modeled the behavior I observed as a child.

I do think that overall, my generation, a generation that relied on human interaction, a generation where families visited relatives and friends every Sunday because there was nothing else to do, is more empathetic than the generations that have followed.

In fact, an eye opening new study presented by University of Michigan researchers at an Association for psychological science annual meeting claims that college students who started school after the year 2000 have empathy levels that are 40% lower than students thirty years prior. The sharpest drop occurred in the last nine years. The study includes data from over 14,000 students.

One reason that this is happening is because students are becoming more self-oriented as their world becomes increasingly more competitive. Some say that social networking is creating a more narcissistic generation.empathy2 According to lead researchers, it is harder for today’s college student to empathize with others because so much of their social interactions are done through a computer or cell phone and not through real life interaction. With their friends online they can pick and choose who they will respond to and who they will tune out. That is more than likely to carry over into real life.

This is also a generation that grew up playing video games. Much of their formative years development has been influenced by input from computer generated images and violent cyber-interactions. There has to be a connection. This may partly explain the numbing of this generation.

Another point of view was presented by Christopher Lasch, a well-known American historian, moralist, and social critic, in a book he published in 1979 called, The Culture of Narcissism:  American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations. Lasch links the prevalence of narcissism in our society to the decline of the family unit, loss of core values, and long-term social disintegration in the twentieth century.

He believed that the liberal, utopian lifestyle of the 60’s gave way to a search for personal growth in the 70’s. But people were unsuccessful in their attempts to find their selves. So a movement began to build a society that celebrated self-expression, self-esteem, and self-love. That’s all well and good, or so it seems, but as a result of the “me” focus, more narcissism was inadvertently created. It all backfired–aggression, materialism, lack of caring for others, and shallow values have been the result.

There are certainly many of us who have not become this way—studies speak for society in general.

Today we live with constant internal and external pressures of life. On a daily basis our society faces terrorism, crime, economic crises, widespread job insecurity, war, political corruption. We see the disintegration of morality wherever we look.

As a writer, author, and inspirer I was greatly disturbed by the overwhelming success of a book (I will not promote the name except to say that it has the word “gray” in the title) based on pornography and smut.  It astounds me that millions of people have read it.  My publisher would have instantly rejected a manuscript of such low moral content and offensive subject matter. Where has our appreciation for quality literature as a society gone to?

And what has happened to our legal system? It has been demonstrated time and time again that the rights of the innocent take a back seat to the rights of the offender. Our laws do very little to control criminals. In fact, it seems as if criminals control the law.  If ever an empathy disorder could spur unthinkable violence to erupt in a seemingly normal person, now is the time.

Scientists have studied empathy from many approaches and together have found both physiological and psychological roots for it. Since humans are composed of body, mind, and soul, that makes perfect sense. Many things influence our behaviors.

Simon Baron-Cohen, a developmental psychopathology and autism expert, researched the genetic and environmental aspects of empathy back in the 60’s. He was curious as to why some people lack empathy in their dealings with others. His book Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty is an expose of his opinions, personal experiences, and findings. The object of the book is to present a way of understanding why people do bad things. Through his book he explains away the intangible concept of evil and explores a more explainable theory—the theory that there are levels of empathy and they lie within a spectrum.

Baron-Cohen says that a person’s level of empathy comes from an empathy circuit lying deep within the brain. The function of this circuit determines where a person falls within the empathy spectrum.  He measures a person’s level of empathy by degrees, six degrees being a high functioning empathy circuit and zero degrees a low functioning one.

He classifies people who have psychopathic and narcissistic personality disorders, those who lack the ability to feel others’ feelings and cannot self-regulate their treatments of others, as zero-negative.

The best and most common way that empathy is assessed, with empathy defined as “the reactions of one individual to the observed experiences of another,” is through a questionnaire called The Interpersonal Reactivity Index. The questionnaire uses 5-point scales (A = does not describe me well to E = describes me very well). This scale is used to evaluate a person’s perspective of his or herself.

There are four categories of assessment. The first category is Fantasy, as in the statement, “When I am reading an interesting story or novel, I imagine how I would feel if the events in the story were happening to me. The second category is Perspective-taking, as in the statement “Before criticizing somebody, I try to imagine how I would feel if I were in their place.” The third category is empathetic concern, as in the statement, “When I see someone being taken advantage of, I feel kind of protective towards them.” And the fourth category is personal distress, as in the statement, “When I see someone who badly needs help in an emergency, I go to pieces.”

Since empathy begins with awareness of another person’s feelings and receptiveness to the subtle cues that others give off, which happen to be abilities that women are naturally adept at, females generally score higher on these types of tests.empathy6

Those who have experienced the widest range of emotions and those who are most in touch with their feelings are also more able to empathize with what others feel. These people are not typically a threat to society. But there are also those who are completely devoid of empathy. These are the people that are dangers to our society. They are ticking time bombs that may explode at any time.

To listen to this show in its entirety, please go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/randi-fine/2012/08/02/is-our-ability-to-empathize-eroding-1

Read: Sociopathic Personality Lacks Empathy


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Remembering Those Who Served on Memorial Day

memorial day2Dear Veterans, Service Men and Women, American Heroes, and Their Families

On this Memorial Day 2016, we honor and thank you for your dedication to our country, for your bravery, for the sacrifices you have made, and for protecting our freedom.

Memorial Day Poem

Written by Sherrie Ball

I do not know your name
Nor for which battle you died
I do not know your name
Nor the tears that were cried.

I do not know where you rest
Nor the promises broken
I do not know your uniform
And your fears lay unspoken.

But I know your spirit exists
That your courage is admired
And your sacrifice is honored
By each soul that’s inspired.

And I offer you from my heart
Thank you, to guardians unknown
For offering yourselves for us all
That we may keep freedom…..
Our home.

memorial day

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Finding Self Worth

Discovering Your Self Worth

Daily OM by Madisyn Taylor

Our worth of being on the planet at this time cannot be judged as we are all worthy and essential to being here now.

The issue of worthiness may come up in many areas of our lives, as we ask, often unconsciously, whether we are worthy of success, love, happiness, and countless other things, from supportive relationships to a beautiful home. In the end, though, it all comes down to one thing: our willingness to claim our space in this life as humans on this planet at this time. When we accept our divinity, we no longer question whether we are worthy, because we know that we are meant to be here to fulfill a particular purpose, a purpose that no one other than us can fulfill.

There are no replacements who can take over and live our lives for us, no other person who has had the experiences we have had, who has access to the same resources and relationships, who carries the same message to share with the world. Our purpose may be large or small, and in most cases it is multi-leveled, with important actions taking place on the interpersonal level, as well as in terms of the work we do in the world. Small acts of kindness share the stage with large acts of sacrifice, and only through accepting and honoring our divinity can we know what we are called to do and when.

Ultimately, we are all equally, exactly, completely worthy of being here in this life. Moreover, we are all essential to the unfolding plan of which we are each one small, but important, part. If we suffer from low self worth, it is because we have lost track of understanding this truth, and allowing it to guide our actions in the world. Seeing ourselves as part of something larger, as beings called to serve, is the ultimate cure for feelings of unworthiness. In the end, it’s not about evaluating ourselves as worthy or unworthy, so much as it’s about accepting that we have been called here to serve and taking the steps required to listen and respond to what our lives are asking us to do.

Daily OM

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Randi Addresses Listeners Concerns About Narcissistic Abuse

Image Source

npd abuse19A Listener’s Experience with Narcissistic Abuse

 Raising the Bar with Amy Braido on Voice America

With Guest Randi Fine

Podcast Episode Description

“We had tremendous response to our first episode with Randi Fine and her expertise on Narcissistic Abuse Disorder! After sifting through many emails, I found one that really grabbed my attention and one that I thought many could relate to. Please tune in as Randi and I dissect the experience of one victim and share with you the steps we can take as victims to stop the abuse! Looking so forward to sharing more with you! You will not want to miss this!”

Listen to May 19, 2016 show: A Listener’s Experience with Narcissistic Abuse

Listen to April 22, 2016 show: Narcissistic Abuse Disorder: Are You A Victim?

amy braido1

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Allowing Life to Unfold

Blooming Rose AnimationMay 18, 2016

Letting Life Unfold

Present In The Progression

by Madisyn Taylor, Daily OM

Present time can be hard, but life unfolds as it will and the universe will wait as we make our way into the unknown.

Our lives are guided by natural rhythms that are particular to each of us and cannot be altered by force of will alone. Life itself is a journey made up of processes and events that manifest before us only to be swept away when time marches on. Whether we envision ourselves creating a career, building a family, or developing the self, we instinctively know when the time has come for us to realize our dreams because all that is involved comes together harmoniously. When the time is right, the passage of destiny cannot be blocked. Yet as desperate as we are to touch these beautiful futures we have imagined, we cannot grow if we are not fully present in the evolutionary experience. The present can be challenging, uncomfortable, and tedious, but life unfolds as it will, and the universe will wait patiently as we make our way into the unknown.

The fate that awaits us is not dependent on our pace, which was preordained before we ever appeared in human guise. Therefore there is no reason to rush through life to reach those pinnacles of development associated with the paths we have chosen. Enjoying and fully experiencing the journey of life is as important as achieving goals and reaching milestones. There are lessons we can learn during those moments that seem immaterial or insignificant that we cannot learn at any other time. Appreciating these takes patience, however, because human beings tend to focus on the fulfillment of expectations rather than the simple joys of being.

Like many people, you have no doubt longed for a device that would give you the power to fast forward through certain periods of your existence. Yet haste is by its very nature vastly more stressful than serene fortitude. When you feel yourself growing impatient because the pace of your development is deceptively slow, remember that everything that will occur in your life will occur in its own time. Quelling your urge to rush will enable you to witness yourself learning, changing, and becoming stronger. There is so much to see and do in between the events and processes that we deem definitive. If you are patient enough to take pleasure in your existence’s unfolding, the journey from one pinnacle to the next will seem to take no time at all.

Daily OM

 

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Have You Ever Visited a Mental Health Professional?

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How the Narcissist Keeps Sucking You Back In

hoovering

Hoovering

Why You Keep Getting Sucked Back In

Excerpt from Randi Fine’s Upcoming Book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing

How many times have you separated from your narcissistic abuser and then got pulled right back into his web of deceit before you even knew what happened to you?

Every victim of narcissistic abuse has had that repeatedly frustrating experience and felt more and more idiotic each time for once again falling prey to the manipulation. Once you understand what your narcissist abuser is up to he will lose all power over you. As the famous poet Maya Angelou said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” You will know better and do better.

There is a specific tactic Narcissists use to draw victims back into their cycle of abuse over and over again known as “hoovering.”

The actual definition of hoovering is “vacuuming.” In more recent years it has become a slang term used to describe the “sucking back in” maneuver narcissists use with their victims. Through hoovering, they are able to regain control of people, against their will, who have escaped or gone no contact.

Narcissistic hoovering tactics include:

  • Acting kind and considerate to convince you they have changed
  • Threatening self-harm or suicide
  • Telling you they are sick, in pain, dying or in the hospital
  • Sending unwanted cards and gifts
  • Requesting information from you that they need and only you would know
  • Telling others how sorry they are about what they did to you
  • Telling you that someone needs your help
  • “Accidentally” sending provocative texts to you that are meant for someone else
  • “Apologizing” for what they did to you when they have never apologized before
  • Expressing concern for you to others or asking them where you are
  • Developing or maintaining relationships with people close to you
  • Trying to return items you left behind
  • Passing on a message they claim someone gave them for you
  • Emailing, texting or calling as if nothing happened
  • Informing you of something they think you “might like to know;” weddings, deaths, new baby, etc.
  • Claiming that they are returning a text or message from you (that you never sent)
  • Contacting you on birthdays, holidays or special occasions to let you know they are thinking of you
  • Sending loving messages to your kids through you to tug at your heartstrings
  • Contacting you because they “forgot to tell you something”

Narcissists will continue hoovering as long as it feeds their egos and fulfills their needs. Any response from you, whether negative or positive, will perpetuate the harassment. If you truly want nothing to do with your abuser, do not fall for their tricks.

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Peaceful Planet Quote

affirmation507A Peaceful Planet

If we were to take all of the children on the planet at the age of five and teach them how to meditate on compassion for one hour per week, we could eliminate all violence on our planet in one generation. ~Dalai Lama

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Narcissistic Mother’s Day Card

npd mothers day card

Happy Mother’s Day to My Narcissistic Mother,

…because you cared enough to grow your own supply.  ~Randi G. Fine

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Empathic Nature Born Out of Childhood Abuse

npd quote

Narcissistic Abuse and Empathic Sensitivity

Excerpt from Randi G. Fine’s Upcoming Book:

Close Encounters of the Worst Kind:: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing

Some empaths are born with their sensitivity, but most are created through childhood trauma such as narcissistic abuse. This heightened sensitivity is a learned response, a mechanism that may be developed to survive the threatening environment they live in.
Children living under the constant threat of narcissistic abuse may become hypersensitive to the danger that exists around them, particularly changes in the emotional states and moods of their abusers. In time they develop a reactionary response to subtle changes in the energy fields around them.

To ward off the danger, emotionally abused children may automatically put their own needs aside, monitor their own behaviors, and focus entirely upon the needs and wants of their abusers. The continual focus on the needs and emotional states of others to protect their selves from abuse prevents their own development of healthy personal limitations.
In time this behavior pattern changes from maladaptive to instinctive and carries over into adulthood. Having developed a higher-than-average level of empathy, they easily empathize (not necessarily sympathize) with the feelings and emotions of everyone they meet.

Adult empaths remain hypersensitive to the subtle changes around them. They easily anticipate the wants and needs of others with no regard for their own. Giving all they have without holding anything in reserve or receiving anything back is a constant drain on their inner resources.

Their lack of ability to filter the energies around them turns them into human emotional sponges. Crowded places such as shopping malls, supermarkets, stadiums or movie theaters can overwhelm empaths’ senses; fill them with uncomfortable emotions, emotions that feel like their own but are not.

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