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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Staying True to Your Inner Voice

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meditationAlways Remain True to Yourself

Article Written by Randi G. Fine

We each have subtle senses; intuitions, gut feelings, little voices inside our heads that guide our judgment.

We do not need to elicit our intuition every time we have a decision to make. Many of our decisions are determined by conscious thought, prior experience and through the employment of our five physical senses; sight, taste, hearing, touch, and smell.

Sometimes decisions or solutions to a dilemma are not clear cut and judgment calls are needed. Sometimes we have nothing tangible to draw on in determining the best outcome. These are the times we have to summon our conscience and rely on the perceptive abilities of our subtle senses.

Our intuition is never wrong. It always steers us in the right direction. We only need listen and trust it. Granted, that is much easier said than done. It takes great faith to believe in something so abstract, especially when we know that the right decision may not be a popular one. I had such a dilemma in 2009 while writing the manuscript of my memoir, Fine…ly.

child abuseThe first draft of the manuscript was nearly finished, but the story as a whole did not seem to make sense. An integral part of my personal history was absent. Though I had felt compelled to share the truth about my dysfunctional childhood, the early pain that had so greatly influenced my life, I had deliberately chosen not to incorporate the information into the story. I had resigned myself to leaving those facts out to protect my parents.

Revealing the truth meant “outing” their emotional abuse. Parents with Narcissistic Personality Disorder spend a lifetime conditioning their children not to talk about what goes on in the family. To do so would be considered the ultimate betrayal. My parents, still alive, would no doubt be hurt, upset, and angry.

But avoiding the truth meant perpetuating a secret that I no longer wanted to keep, one that had caused me heartache and pain throughout my life. Avoiding the truth meant protecting others at my expense. That would have been easier to deal with in the short term but harder on me in the long run.

I had a difficult decision to make. The public airing of our family’s dirty laundry would take great courage and resolve on my part. I found myself at an impasse, though intuitively I knew what the right answer was.

After a great deal of praying and soul searching, I decided to follow my inner guidance. I put my faith in telling the truth and committed to writing about it. It was the harder road to take, but I knew deep within my soul that it was the right one.

A low level of apprehension constantly pervaded my thoughts in the interim between the completion of my manuscript and the publishing of it. It seemed my intuition was at odds with my conscience—it has never been my nature to inflict emotional pain on others. It was a difficult time for me, but I knew the conflict was fear based and I was not going to allow it to overrule my inner guidance. I only hoped that I would someday receive confirmation that my decision was right.

Fine...ly Book CoverFine…ly was published in October 2010. With the taxing emotional demands of Fine…ly’s pre-release, the joy of my new authorship had been bridled. Once removed, I could begin relaxing and basking in its glow.

I sent my parents a copy of the book with a note attached that said, “I’m finally free.” They read it and reacted exactly as I had anticipated they would. They were shocked, hurt, and angry. They wanted to know how I could “do such a horrible thing to them.” Still I never second guessed my decision. I told the truth and stated the facts.

It was not long after the initial impact of my parents’ reactions hit that I received the confirmation I had hoped for—the one that would affirm I had made the right decision. With this confirmation I knew, without a doubt, that this challenge had been placed in my hands for a reason.

Pandora’s Box now fully opened, years and years of silent suffering endured by my two sisters and I was finally exposed. The ugly truth spewed out. Though my parents remained in denial, my sisters and I no longer had to. The revelation cleared the way for the healing process to begin for the three of us.

Once published, the reception to my memoir Fine…ly was excellent. Everyone loved the book—word was that they could not put it down. That is what every author hopes for. Contrarily, appalled by my unthinkable “betrayal,” my parents made it known that they threw my book in the trash. To this day (five years later) the thought of it still makes their blood boil.

Several months after my book was released I went back to my home town and met up with a group of old girlfriends, many of whom I had not seen in twenty years or longer. They had all read my memoir and loved it—and they all seemed proud of their childhood friend’s accomplishment.

secretsHaving known me in my earlier years (some very well) these women assumed they knew everything about me. But that was not true. I had not revealed certain aspects of my childhood to them or anyone else. It had taken a lifetime for me to understand the deep hurt I felt inside. It had taken years for me to unravel the confusion that typically accompanies narcissistic abuse. And besides, malignant narcissistic abuse is covert. Even if I had understood what was going on back then, no one outside of my immediate family would have been able to recognize it.

My friends had many question about my story. Their curiosity was understandable. After all they were my friends—several of us had grown up together. So I addressed their inquiries unguarded and with more candor than I would have afforded others. But I was soon taken aback when a few of them began exploiting my vulnerability and challenging the truth of my story. What I thought was genuine interest suddenly felt highly judgmental.

They questioned how I could have written what I did about my parents. They accused me of exaggerating the truth and being cruel to them.

I felt cornered, goaded into justifying my decisions. And the harder I tried to vindicate myself, the deeper hole I seemed to dig. Having been put on the spot I reacted defensively and was therefore accused of being unresolved about my past, an accomplishment I had proudly worked so hard at. They eventually had me in tears. The rest of the women watched the assault and said nothing. No one advocated for me – no one spoke on my behalf. That was the last time I associated with any of these women.

What caused my friends to react the way they did is unclear.  I do know that their reactions had little or nothing to do with me – that I was just a projection screen for their own feelings, self-images, and unresolved personal issues. In any case, the reason for their uncalled for behavior is essentially unimportant. It is irrelevant to the point I am trying to make.

intuition2The way I handled myself was a choice. I allowed myself to be victimized. No one forced me to justify myself or my position. I volunteered that all on my own. My intentions were pure and my conscience was clear. The only thing I lacked was confidence and firm resolve in what I stood for.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. I guess it was more like a valuable reminder; I knew the lesson but did not apply the knowledge. What others think or say about us does not matter. What is important is that we always stay true to ourselves.

Fine…ly: My Story of Hope, Love, and Destiny is available in ebook and paperback through Amazon.com

Read more articles on Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

Narcissists Abuse Intimate Partners Spiritual Growth Does Not Include Tolerating Toxic People Relationship Between Childhood Narcissistic Abuse and Adult Overachieving    Breaking Free from Your Narcissistic Personality Disorder Parent     Narcissistic Pride Trumps Personal Health and Safety   Are You Suffering From Narcissistic Abuse   Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents Learn to be People Pleasers    Narcissist Abuse Picture Quote   Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents   Forgive or Not Forgive Narcissistic Abuser  Narcissistic Mothers Golden Child   Narcissistic Personality Disorder Defined   Narcissistic Personality Disorder The Series   Narcissistic Personality Disorder Uncovered   Thirty Healing Affirmations Help Daughters’ Toxic Mother Challenges   Codependent Narcissist Relationship Dance   Sociopathic Personality Lacks Empathy   The Narcissistic Family Portrait Close Encounters of the Worst Kind   Narcissistic Spouses Discard and Abandon

Listen to Podcast Shows on Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

Whether to Forgive or Not Forgive the Narcissist Abuser   Narcissistic Personality Disorder: What Is It?  Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Parent/Child Abuse   Narcissistic Personality Disorder: The Family PortraitNarcissistic Personality Disorder: Narcissistic Mothers   Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Mothers and Daughters    Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Answering Your Questions
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Loving Ourselves First

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Self Love Comes Before All Else

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”  ~Buddha

So many women struggle with the concept of self-love. Women by nature are nurturers, caretakers.  Many of us believe that it is our duty to give and give, even beyond the point where it zaps our sanity and our strength. We should all spread love, hope, and charity.  That is a beautiful concept and guide for living. But we must remember that we can only share what we possess. Self-love comes before everything else. It makes us effective in every aspect of our lives. We have nothing of value to give if we don’t first love ourselves.

Treat yourself kindly and lovingly, value the treasure that you are, and strive to reach your full potential.

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The Following Was Written by Venus:

“To love yourself is to love and thank all of existence.” ~ Marsary Emoto

Everyone of us has heard of the instructions we are given before every flight – in case of oxygen deprivation, we put our own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs. Because if we don’t do it in this correct order, we can’t help others if we are out of air.

It is very simple and easy. Still in our daily lives we go about completely ignoring ourselves. Why is that? Conventionally we are brainwashed to believe that helping or considering ourselves is selfish.

Let’s take a real look at it and see the truth. When we ignore to love ourselves, we lose our power to help others and now this is what real selfishness is – not to be able to share our talents and abilities and knowledge with the world only because we chose to lose our power by ignoring ourselves.

When you start to love yourself, you feel the constant flow of peace and joy which confirms that you are on the right path. How magnificent is that! Love is the greatest power and when you love yourself you feel empowered. And you feel empowered simply because you are empowered.

Love is absolutely abundant. Let’s give it freely and start with giving it to ourselves first – this will enable us to give it to others and spread it around. Self-love is the equivalent of building the first floor of a building before you build the second. But building a second floor without a first floor is not effective. True self-love means love and respect to all and for all.

Since love is abundant, there is plenty to share with everyone as well. And this way you will raise the vibration of the whole Universe. How powerful is that! You’ve got the power! Use it wisely and enjoy it! I have absolute faith in you that you will.

~Venus~
http://venusrecommends.com/self-love-vs-selfishness/

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Narcissists Abuse Intimate Partners

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npd abuse1The Spouse / Mate / Partner of the Narcissist

Written By Dr. Sam Vaknin, Author of Malignant Self-Love and Relationships with Abusive Narcissists

The narcissist abuses his intimate partner in numerous ways: overtly, covertly, by being unpredictable, reacting disproportionately, dehumanizing, objectifying, and leveraging personal information. ~Dr. Sam Vaknin

Question:

What kind of a spouse/mate/partner is likely to be attracted to a narcissist, or to attract a narcissist?

Answer:

The Victims

On the face of it, there is no (emotional) partner or mate, who typically “binds” with a narcissist. They come in all shapes and sizes. The initial phases of attraction, infatuation and falling in love are pretty normal. The narcissist puts on his (or her) best face – the other party is blinded by budding love. A natural selection process occurs only much later, as the relationship develops and is put to the test.

Living with a narcissist can be exhilarating, is always onerous, often harrowing. Surviving a relationship with a narcissist indicates, therefore, the parameters of the personality of the survivor. She (or, more rarely, he) is moulded by the relationship into The Typical Narcissistic Mate/Partner/Spouse.npd3

First and foremost, the narcissist’s partner must have a deficient or a distorted grasp of her self (or his self) and of reality. Otherwise, she (or he) is bound to abandon the narcissist’s ship early on. The cognitive distortion is likely to consist of belittling and demeaning herself (himself) – while aggrandising and adoring the narcissist.

The partner is, thus, placing herself (himself) in the position of the eternal victim: undeserving, punishable, a scapegoat. Sometimes, it is very important to the partner to appear moral, sacrificial and victimised. At other times, she (he) is not even aware of this predicament. The narcissist is perceived by the partner to be a person in the position to demand these sacrifices from her (him) because he is superior in many ways (intellectually, emotionally, morally, professionally, or financially).

The status of professional victim sits well with the partner’s tendency to punish herself (himself), namely: with her (his) masochistic streak. The tormented life with the narcissist is just what she (he) deserves.

In this respect, the partner is the mirror image of the narcissist. By maintaining a symbiotic relationship with him (her), by being totally dependent upon her (his) source of masochistic supply (which the narcissist most reliably constitutes and most amply provides) the partner enhances certain traits and encourages certain behaviours, which are at the very core of narcissism.

The narcissist is never whole without an adoring, submissive, available, self-denigrating partner. His (her) very sense of superiority, indeed his (her) False Self, depends on it. His (her) sadistic Superego switches its attentions from the narcissist (in whom it often provokes suicidal ideation) to the partner, thus finally obtaining an alternative source of sadistic satisfaction.

It is through self-denial that the partner survives. She (he) denies her (his) wishes, hopes, dreams, aspirations, sexual, psychological and material needs, choices, preferences, values, and much else besides. She (he) perceives her (his) needs as threatening because they might engender the wrath of the narcissist’s God-like supreme figure.

The narcissist is rendered in her (his) eyes even more superior through and because of this self-denial. Self-denial undertaken to facilitate and ease the life of a “great man (woman)” is more palatable. The “greater” the man (woman) (=the narcissist), the easier it is for the partner to ignore her (his) own self, to dwindle, to degenerate, to turn into an appendix of the narcissist and, finally, to become nothing but an extension, to merge with the narcissist to the point of oblivion and of merely dim memories of herself (himself).

The two collaborate in this macabre dance. The narcissist is formed by his (her) partner inasmuch as he (she) forms her (him). Submission breeds superiority and masochism breeds sadism. The relationships are characterised by emergentism: roles are allocated almost from the start and any deviation meets with an aggressive, even violent reaction.

The predominant state of the partner’s mindnpd4 is utter confusion. Even the most basic relationships – with husband (wife), children, or parents – remain bafflingly obscured by the giant shadow cast by the intensive interaction with the narcissist. A suspension of judgement is part and parcel of a suspension of individuality, which is both a prerequisite to and the result of living with a narcissist. The partner no longer knows what is true and right and what is wrong and forbidden.

The narcissist recreates for the partner the sort of emotional ambience that led to his (her) own formation in the first place: capriciousness, fickleness, arbitrariness, emotional (and physical or sexual) abandonment. The world becomes hostile, and ominous and the partner has only one thing left to cling to: the narcissist.

And cling she (he) does. If there is anything which can safely be said about those who emotionally team up with narcissists, it is that they are overtly and overly dependent.

The partner doesn’t know what to do – and this is only too natural in the mayhem that is the relationship with the narcissist. But the typical partner also does not know what she (he) wants and, to a large extent, who she (he) is and what she (he) wishes to become.

These unanswered questions hamper the partner’s ability to gauge reality. Her (his) primordial sin is that she (he) fell in love with an image, not with a real person. It is the voiding of the image that is mourned when the relationship ends.

The break-up of a relationship with a narcissist is, therefore, very emotionally charged. It is the culmination of a long chain of humiliations and of subjugation. It is the rebellion of the functioning and healthy parts of the partner’s personality against the tyranny of the narcissist.

The partner is likely to have totally misread and misinterpreted the whole interaction (I hesitate to call it a relationship). This lack of proper interface with reality might be (erroneously) labelled “pathological”.

Why is it that the partner seeks to prolong her (his) pain? What is the source and purpose of this masochistic streak? Upon the break-up of the relationship, the partner (but not the narcissist, who usually refuses to provide closure) engages in a tortuous and drawn out post mortem.

Sometimes, the breakup is initiatednpd5 by the long-suffering spouse or intimate partner. As she (he) develops and matures, gaining in self-confidence and a modicum of self-esteem (ironically, at the narcissist’s behest in his capacity as her (his) “guru” and “father (mother) figure”), she (he) acquires more personal autonomy and refuses to cater to the energy-draining neediness of her (his) narcissist: she (he) no longer provides him (her) with all-important secondary narcissistic supply (ostentatious respect, owe, adulation, undivided attention admiration, and the rehashed memories of past successes and triumphs.)

Typically, the roles are then reversed and the narcissist displays codependent behaviors, such as clinging, in a desperate attempt to hang-on to his (her) “creation”, his (her) hitherto veteran and reliable source of quality supply. These are further exacerbated by the ageing narcissist’s increasing social isolation, psychological disintegration (decompensation), and recurrent failures and defeats.

Paradoxically, as Lidija Rangelovska notes, the narcissist craves and may be initially attracted to an intimate partner with clear boundaries, who insists on her (his) rights even at the price of a confrontation. This is because such a partner is perceived by him (her) as a strong, stable, and predictable presence – the very opposite of his (her) parents and of the abusive, capricious, and objectifying environment which fostered his (her) pathology in the first place. But, then he (she) tries to denude her (him) of these “assets” by rendering her (him) submissive and codependent.

But the question who did what to whom (and even why) is irrelevant. What is relevant is to stop mourning oneself, start smiling again and love in a less subservient, hopeless, and pain-inflicting manner.

A cerebral narcissist wrote this to me (in parentheses, my comments, signed SV):

“I guess I am a throwback to the men of the 18th or 19th century: patriarchal and transactional (compare this statement to findings by Keller et al. – SV) I have had several serious relationships, including one engagement to be married and three marriages.

npd abuse4The pattern had always been the same: having selected a woman far inferior to my position in life (and, thus, less likely to abandon ship) and following a brief period of rampant sex (to demonstrate to her that I am ‘normal’ and to make her look forward to years of great physical and emotional intimacy – false advertising, I admit), I subside into this recluse, interested only in my studies, reading, writing, and the universe of the mind. Zero sex, no love, no intimacy, physical or emotional, no children, no home (always lived in rented flats), and no family. Take it or leave it and minimal nuisance value.

Her roles are: (1) to admire me; (2) to remind me of my past accomplishments and ‘glory’; (3) to act as a glorified housemaid and do the chores; (4) to serve as my companion, available on the spur of the moment to do my bidding and adhere to my plans and decisions; (5) to reflect well on me by not shaming me in public with her ignorance, promiscuity, or idleness.

As long as she fulfilled the aforementioned functions, I didn’t really care what else she did with her time and with whom. Nothing stirred in me, not even a hint of jealousy, when all my women told me that they had cheated on me with other men, some of them multiply. But, when they showed clear signs of bolting, when they became disenchanted, bitterly disappointed, disaffected, disillusioned, cold, aloof, weary, demonstratively absent, lost all interest in me and my work, verbally and psychologically abused me, and refused to do things together anymore, I panicked because I was afraid to lose their valued services.

I dreaded the time, effort, and resources required to ‘break in’, train, ‘domesticate’, and habituate another woman to my needs and particular requirements (convert them to sources of secondary narcissistic supply – SV.) I was also tired of having my women abscond with half my assets time and again. After all: I only married them only to secure their presence in my life and I did provide them with a lifestyle which they could never have attained by themselves, inferior as they were to start with!

Faced with such a daunting prospect, I embarked on a charm offensive and I again offered them sex, intimacy, love, attention, and, if needed, adulation. Only, usually, at this stage, it was too late and definitely too little. She was already far-gone. She bolted all the same.

All my women felt that something was wrong with me, that something was missing in the relationship such as it was, but they couldn’t quite place their collective finger on it. I simply absented myself because I regarded full-fledged intimate relationships as both a colossal waste of my precious time and the manifestation of socially-sanctioned mediocrity. There had always been a discrepancy in expectations which led to inevitable breakups and acrimony.”

The Abuse

Abuse is an integral, inseparable part of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

npd abuse3The narcissist idealises and then DEVALUES and discards the object of his initial idealisation. This abrupt, heartless devaluation IS abuse. ALL narcissists idealise and then devalue. This is THE core narcissistic behaviour. The narcissist exploits, lies, insults, demeans, ignores (the “silent treatment”), manipulates, controls. All these are forms of abuse.

There are a million ways to abuse. To love too much is to abuse. It is tantamount to treating someone as one’s extension, an object, or an instrument of gratification. To be over-protective, not to respect privacy, to be brutally honest, with a morbid sense of humour, or consistently tactless – is to abuse. To expect too much, to denigrate, to ignore – are all modes of abuse. There is physical abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse. The list is long.

Narcissists are masters of abusing surreptitiously (“ambient abuse”). They are “stealth abusers”. You have to actually live with one in order to witness the abuse.

There are three important categories of abuse:

  1. Overt Abuse – The open and explicit abuse of another person. Threatening, coercing, battering, lying, berating, demeaning, chastising, insulting, humiliating, exploiting, ignoring (“silent treatment”), devaluing, unceremoniously discarding, verbal abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse are all forms of overt abuse.
  1. Covert or Controlling Abuse – Narcissism is almost entirely about control. It is a primitive and immature reaction to the circumstances of a life in which the narcissist (usually in his childhood) was rendered helpless. It is about re-asserting one’s identity, re-establishing predictability, mastering the environment – human and physical.
  1. The bulk of narcissistic behaviours can be traced to this panicky reaction to the potential for loss of control. Narcissists are hypochondriacs (and difficult patients) because they are afraid to lose control over their body, its looks and its proper functioning. They are obsessive-compulsive in their efforts to subdue their physical habitat and render it foreseeable. They stalk people and harass them as a means of “being in touch” – another form of narcissistic control.

But why the panic?

The narcissist is a solipsist.To him, nothing exists except himself (herself). Meaningful others are his (her) extensions, assimilated by him (her), they are internal objects – not external ones. Thus, losing control of a significant other is equivalent to losing the use of a limb, or of one’s brain. It is terrifying.

Independent or disobedient people evoke in the narcissist the realisation that something is wrong with his (her) worldview, that he (she) is not the centre of the world or its cause and that he (she) cannot control what, to him (her), are internal representations.

To the narcissist, losing control means going insane. Because other people are mere elements in the narcissist’s mind – being unable to manipulate them literally means losing it (his/her mind). Imagine, if you suddenly were to find out that you cannot manipulate your memories or control your thoughts… Nightmarish!

Moreover, it is often only through manipulation and extortion that the narcissist can secure his (her) Narcissistic Supply (NS). Controlling his (her) Sources of Narcissistic Supply is a (mental) life or death question for the narcissist. The narcissist is a drug addict (his drug being the NS) and he (she) would go to any length to obtain the next dose.

In his (her) frantic efforts to maintain control or re-assert it, the narcissist resorts to a myriad of fiendishly inventive stratagems and mechanisms. Here is a partial list:

Unpredictability

The narcissist acts unpredictably, capriciously, inconsistently and irrationally. This serves to demolish in others their carefully crafted worldview. They become dependent upon the next twist and turn of the narcissist, his (her) inexplicable whims, his (her) outbursts, denial, or smiles.

In other words: the narcissist makes sure that HE (SHE)  is the only stable entity in the lives of others – by shattering the rest of their world through his (her) seemingly insane behaviour. He (She) guarantees his (her) presence in their lives – by destabilising them.

In the absence of a self, there are no likes or dislikes, preferences, predictable behaviour or characteristics. It is not possible to know the narcissist. There is no one there.

The narcissist was conditioned – from an early age of abuse and trauma – to expect the unexpected. His (hers) was a world in which (sometimes sadistic) capricious caretakers and peers often behaved arbitrarily. He (she) was trained to deny his (her) True Self and nurture a False one.

Having invented himself (herself), the narcissist sees no problem in re-inventing that which he (she) designed in the first place. The narcissist is his (her) own creator.

Hence his (her) grandiosity.

Moreover, the narcissist is a man (woman) for all seasons, forever adaptable, constantly imitating and emulating, a human sponge, a perfect mirror, a chameleon, a non-entity that is, at the same time, all entities combined. The narcissist is best described by Heidegger’s phrase: “Being and Nothingness”. Into this reflective vacuum, this sucking black hole, the narcissist attracts the Sources of his Narcissistic Supply.

To an observer, the narcissist appears to be fractured or discontinuous.

npd abuse5Pathological narcissism has been compared to the Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly the Multiple Personality Disorder). By definition, the narcissist has at least two selves, the True and False ones. His (her) personality is very primitive and disorganised. Living with a narcissist is a nauseating experience not only because of what he is – but because of what he (she) is NOT. He (she)  is not a fully formed human – but a dizzyingly kaleidoscopic gallery of ephemeral images, which melt into each other seamlessly. It is incredibly disorienting.

It is also exceedingly problematic. Promises made by the narcissist are easily disowned by him (her). His (her) plans are transient. His (her) emotional ties – a simulacrum. Most narcissists have one island of stability in their life (spouse, family, their career, a hobby, their religion, country, or idol) – pounded by the turbulent currents of a dishevelled existence.

The narcissist does not keep agreements, does not adhere to laws or social norms, and regards consistency and predictability as demeaning traits.

Thus, to invest in a narcissist is a purposeless, futile and meaningless activity. To the narcissist, every day is a new beginning, a hunt, a new cycle of idealisation or devaluation, a newly invented self. There is no accumulation of credits or goodwill because the narcissist has no past and no future. He (she) occupies an eternal and timeless present. He (she) is a fossil caught in the frozen ashes of a volcanic childhood.

TIP

Refuse to accept such behaviour. Demand reasonably predictable and rational actions and reactions. Insist on respect for your boundaries, predilections, preferences, and priorities.

Disproportional Reactions

npd abuse6One of the favourite tools of manipulation in the narcissist’s arsenal is the disproportionality of his (her) reactions. He (she) reacts with supreme rage to the slightest slight. He (she) punishes severely for what he (she) perceives to be an offence against him (her), no matter how minor. He (she) throws a temper tantrum over any discord or disagreement, however gently and considerately expressed. Or he (she) may act attentive, charming and seductive (even over-sexed, if need be). This ever-shifting emotional landscape (“affective dunes”) coupled with an inordinately harsh and arbitrarily applied “penal code” are both promulgated by the narcissist. Neediness and dependence on the source of all justice meted – on the narcissist – are thus guaranteed.

TIP

Demand a just and proportional treatment. Reject or ignore unjust and capricious behaviour.

If you are up to the inevitable confrontation, react in kind. Let him (her) taste some of his (her) own medicine.

Dehumanization and Objectification

People have a need to believe in the empathic skills and basic good-heartedness of others. By dehumanising and objectifying people – the narcissist attacks the very foundations of the social treaty. This is the “alien” aspect of narcissists – they may be excellent imitations of fully formed adults but they are emotionally non-existent, or, at best, immature.

This is so horrid, so repulsive, so phantasmagoric – that people recoil in terror. It is then, with their defences absolutely down, that they are the most susceptible and vulnerable to the narcissist’s control. Physical, psychological, verbal and sexual abuse are all forms of dehumanisation and objectification.

TIP

Never show your abuser that you are afraid of him (her). Do not negotiate with bullies. They are insatiable. Do not succumb to blackmail.

If things get rough- disengage, involve law enforcement officers, friends and colleagues, or threaten him/her (legally).

Do not keep your abuse a secret. Secrecy is the abuser’s weapon.

Never give him (her) a second chance. React with your full arsenal to the first transgression.

Abuse of Information

npd abuse7From the first moments of an encounter with another person, the narcissist is on the prowl. He (she) collects information with the intention of applying it later to extract Narcissistic Supply. The more he (she) knows about his (her) potential Source of Supply – the better able he (she) is to coerce, manipulate, charm, extort or convert it “to the cause”. The narcissist does not hesitate to abuse the information he (she) gleaned, regardless of its intimate nature or the circumstances in which he (she) obtained it. This is a powerful tool in his (her) armoury.

TIP

Be guarded. Don’t be too forthcoming in a first or casual meeting. Gather intelligence.

Be yourself. Don’t misrepresent your wishes, boundaries, preferences, priorities, and red lines.

Do not behave inconsistently. Do not go back on your word. Be firm and resolute.

Impossible Situations

The narcissist engineers impossible, dangerous, unpredictable, unprecedented, or highly specific situations in which he (she) is sorely and indispensably needed. The narcissist, his (her) knowledge, his (her) skills or his (her) traits become the only ones applicable, or the most useful to coping with these artificial predicaments. It is a form of control by proxy.

TIP

Stay away from such quagmires. Scrutinize every offer and suggestion, no matter how innocuous.

Prepare backup plans. Keep others informed of your whereabouts and appraised of your situation.

Be vigilant and doubting. Do not be gullible and suggestible. Better safe than sorry.

Control by Proxy

If all else fails, the narcissist recruits friends, colleagues, mates, family members, the authorities, institutions, neighbours, or the media – in short, third parties – to do his bidding.npd abuse9 He (she) uses them to cajole, coerce, threaten, stalk, offer, retreat, tempt, convince, harass, communicate and otherwise manipulate his (her) target. He (she) controls these unaware instruments exactly as he (she) plans to control his (her) ultimate prey. He (she) employs the same mechanisms and devices. And he (she) dumps his (her) props unceremoniously when the job is done.

Another form of control by proxy is to engineer situations in which abuse is inflicted upon another person. Such carefully crafted scenarios involve embarrassment and humiliation as well as social sanctions (condemnation, opprobrium, or even physical punishment). Society, or a social group become the instruments of the narcissist.

TIP

Often the abuser’s proxies are unaware of their role. Expose him (her). Inform them. Demonstrate to them how they are being abused, misused, and plain used by the abuser.

Trap your abuser. Treat him as he (she) treats you. Involve others. Bring it into the open. Nothing like sunshine to disinfest abuse.

Ambient Abuse

The fostering, propagation and enhancement of an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability and irritation. There are no acts of traceable or provable explicit abuse, nor any manipulative settings of control. Yet, the irksome feeling remains, a disagreeable foreboding, a premonition, a bad omen. This is sometimes called “gaslighting”.

In the long-term, such an environment erodes one’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Self-confidence is shaken badly. Often, the victims go a paranoid or schizoid and thus are exposed even more to criticism and judgement. The roles are thus reversed: the victim is considered mentally disordered and the narcissist – the suffering soul or the victim.

TIP

Run! Get away! Ambient abuse often develops into overt and violent abuse.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation – but you owe yourself a life. Bail out of the relationship.

The Malignant Optimism of the Abused

I often come across sad examples of the powers of self-delusion that the narcissist provokes in his (her) victims. It is what I call “malignant optimism”. People refuse to believe that some questions are unsolvable, some diseases incurable, some disasters inevitable. They see a sign of hope in every fluctuation. They read meaning and patterns into every random occurrence, utterance, or slip. They are deceived by their own pressing need to believe in the ultimate victory of good over evil, health over sickness, order over disorder. Life appears otherwise so meaningless, so unjust and so arbitrary…

So, they impose upon it a design, progress, aims, and paths. This is magical thinking.

npd abuse10“If only he (she) tried hard enough”, “If he (she) only really wanted to heal”, “If only we found the right therapy”, “If only his (her) defences were down”, “There MUST be something good and worthy under the hideous facade”, “NO ONE can be that evil and destructive”, “He (she) must have meant it differently”, “God, or a higher being, or the spirit, or the soul is the solution and the answer to our prayers”, “He (she) is not responsible for what he (she) is – his (her) narcissism is the product of a difficult childhood, of abuse, and of his (her) monstrous parents.”

The Pollyanna defences of the abused are aimed against the emerging and horrible understanding that humans are mere specks of dust in a totally indifferent universe, the playthings of evil and sadistic forces, of which the narcissist is one – and that finally their pain means nothing to anyone but themselves. Nothing whatsoever. It has all been in vain.

The narcissist holds such thinking in barely undisguised contempt. To him (her), it is a sign of weakness, the scent of prey, a gaping vulnerability. He (she) uses and abuses this human need for order, good, and meaning – as he (she) uses and abuses all other human needs. Gullibility, selective blindness, malignant optimism – these are the weapons of the beast. And the abused are hard at work to provide it with its arsenal.

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Letter to Abused Women Now or Ever

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I Hear You

Article Written by Eden Strong for Your Tango

Don’t believe what he says. Let a survivor tell you what life is really like when it’s over.

To the woman who isn’t yet free,

You are someone.

I don’t care what he tells you or what he tries to make you believe, you are someone. You aren’t a failure. You aren’t worthless, stupid, a burden, or anything else that he tries to make you believe.

You are amazing, and he knows it. He controls you because he doesn’t want you to know that you are better than him. He tears apart every detail of your being because if you could see how amazing you are, he knows you would leave him. He silences you not because you can’t live without him, but because he can’t live without you. If he allows you to think for yourself, he knows you will realize that you deserve better.

You don’t deserve what he is doing to you. Nothing that is going on is your fault and things will not get better because of anything that you can change. I don’t even care if you talked back or spoke up, there is a reason you have a voice and you are allowed to use it. He may scream louder and hit harder, but that’s only because he can’t deal with the fact that you have your own thoughts. To steal your voice is to silence your soul; if he can’t hear you, then you aren’t human.

He isn’t going to change. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, you will never be able to live up to the unrealistic expectations that he has set for you. Despite what he may tell you, he does not control you because you need him, you are being controlled because he needs you. He holds tight on the reins of your life because he knows that if he lets go, you will run free and he will be left standing in the shadow of all that he is, which is nothing.

I know how desperately you want to cling to the facade you’ve been trying to create, afraid of the shame you might feel when everyone knows your secrets, but I promise you it’s nothing compared to the shame you already carry around in your heart. This isn’t your fault, and you have nothing to be ashamed of. Illusions can only last so long before the curtain drops, revealing all that’s behind them.

I know the unknown is scary. “How will I? How can I? What about? What next?” I know that it’s terrifying to take a step forward when you can’t even see the road in front of you. I know that by now he has you doubting yourself: Will anyone else ever love me? Will anyone else accept the failure that I am? To change the way you think means having to confront the truth, a truth that will shatter illusions and rock your world to the core; I know how scary that is. I also know how scary it is to start to think for yourself, to acknowledge your feelings, and to realize just how much you are hurting.

It’s devastating to realize how far down you have let someone else pull you.

It won’t be easy, stepping out from behind his shadow. It will probably get even harder before it gets better, but you can do this. You aren’t as weak as he would have you think you are. You are strong. You are stronger than him. You are a fighter. You get up every day, and you fight for your life anyway. So THIS? You’ve got this.

Only some women know what it’s like to have every part of their soul crying at once, the screams in our heads drowning out the beating of our human hearts, silencing the part of us that reminds us that we are alive. Only some of us know what it feels like to suffocate on our own sobs, the very real physical pain that comes from swallowing them down so that no sound escapes our throats. To hide away feelings that you’re constantly told you shouldn’t be having, as they well up in your chest with a pressure so intense you’re certain that if you still have a heart, it may actually stop beating.

Only some women know what it’s like to nurse their wounds in the dark and pray that no one sees. To cover up scars and hide them away. To struggle to get through the day while your entire body screams in alarm. To be hurt, and yet know you’re not allowed to be.

Only some women know what it is like to never rest, to literally never have a moment when you feel safe or that you can let your guard down. To constantly be on alert, ever ready to fight for your life. Eventually, that fearful feeling you get when the hair on the back of your neck stands up becomes standard, normal even. Fear encompasses your days and drowns out your nights, never ceasing, always haunting. With each rising of the sun comes a new day, new opportunities for failure and new ways to be broken. The setting of the sun brings nothing but silence to the world around you that only intensifies your terror. Screams seem to echo the loudest at night, screams that no one ever hears.

Everyday, you are a survivor, but you deserve more than that. You deserve to have survived. You deserve the life that comes after “surviving.” You deserve the life that is lived when you have survived.

There’s a reason that you have been able to endure all that you have. There’s a reason you haven’t given up. It’s because you are stronger than him, stronger than this and deep down, you hoped it would eventually get better.

It will get better. You just need to take all the fighting strength that you have and fight for what comes next.

Fight for your freedom. Fight for the chance to be who you were meant to be. Fight to get out.

Fight for the after.

I have faith in you my fellow warrior.

With all the love in the world,

Someone living in the after, who is wishing you were here with her.

I’m looking forward to your arrival.

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Victimization Not Optional Playing Victim Is

victimsPlaying Victim is Optional

Article Written by Randi G. Fine

There are no victims, only volunteers. ~Dr. Phil McGraw

I was watching the Dr. Phil Show the other day and heard him say, “There are no victims, only volunteers” to one of his guests,  a man who insisted on portraying himself as a victim of his situation.

Dr. Phil’s quote does not imply that being victimized is a choice or something we volunteer for. We can be, and most of us have been, victimized many ways in our lives; emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, spiritually. What Dr. Phil means is that our response to what happens to us is voluntary.

There is a huge difference between being victimized against our will, and choosing to respond to the victimization by living the rest of our lives with a victim mentality. When hardship strikes it is entirely optional whether to proceed as thriving survivors or miserable martyrs. One empowers us, the other dis-empowers us.

To be empowered is to be hopeful, progressive, transformative, resilient, solution oriented, and happy. To be dis-empowered is to be hopeless, stagnant, disengaged, weak, needy, and unhappy. Those who choose dis-empowerment have no one to blame for their undesirable status except themselves.

I do not mean to suggest that it is easy to rise above adversity, setbacks, tragedy. Only that the efforts put toward it are worth it. And once we rise above our pain, our life becomes easier. Contrarily, succumbing to the negative outcome of whatever happens to us may be easy at first, but highly destructive in the long run. We can either choose to reap the benefits of our undertaking or be handicapped by our neglect.

Often, after tragedy strikes, we find ourselves stuck in a bewildered, stagnant emotional state.  The amount of time we remain in this state of mind is not set; it is different for each of us. Before deciding how to move forward we need time to process our shock and grieve our losses. Once done we are faced with choices on how to deal with residual feelings. Sometimes we need professional help, sometimes we don’t.

Sometimes the pain in our lives is so deep and has been there so long, we don’t know where to begin. We feel emotionally paralyzed. Choosing our position as victor or victim from a healthy minded standpoint may be impossible. That inability to make clear, healthy choices for ourselves signals the need for the compassionate intervention of a mental health professional, trusted clergy, or legitimate spiritual healer.

Ultimately we “volunteer” or choose whether to rise above our problems, or wallow in the misery of them. We choose whether to take responsibility for our lives or blame others. We decide if we want to be characterized by our fortitude or by our weakness.

There is no clear-cut path through life. Whatever our destiny we all have free-will. Life is all about making personal choices. Choose wisely.

 

 

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Spiritual Growth Does Not Include Tolerating Toxic People

 goodbyeLetting Go of Toxic People:

When Staying in It Is Not More Spiritual

Written by Nancy Colier for Huff Post Healthy Living

We all have people in our lives who have profoundly harmed us. Sometimes the situation with the other person has changed. You may have forgiven them and they may even have taken ownership and expressed remorse for their harmful actions. Other times, the same harmful behavior goes on with no change or responsibility. To your reptilian brain however, it often doesn’t matter which of these scenarios is true. With trauma, the body’s memory of a harmful person can remain frozen at the time of the trauma.

This is not a blog on trauma, however. Rather, it is about our expectation of what we are supposed to do with the people who make us feel toxic. Many people believe that in order to be “spiritual” they need to:

  1. Be able to open their heart to the people who have done them harm.
  2. No longer experience a negative reaction in their company.

I am often asked, “What is wrong with me that I can’t feel open, loving and calm in this person’s presence?” “Isn’t being spiritual about being able to love the person who hurt me?” “Isn’t forgiveness the essence of spirituality?”

Firstly, the body’s reaction to someone who has harmed you is simply that: the body’s reaction, something that happens. You don’t choose it. It is not an indicator of your spiritual maturity, nor a gauge of your growth in life or in relationship to the trauma. In many cases, no amount of psychological or spiritual work will change your body’s chemical response to the person who inflicted harm; it is hard-wired into your biology, an aspect of survival. That said, the first thing to take off your plate is the idea that you “should” be able to feel good in their company. Any notion that a negative physical response makes you un-spiritual or un-evolved is, quite simply, hogwash.

Secondly, being able to “open your heart” to someone who has caused you tremendous pain is also not a test of your spirituality. Many people deliberately put themselves in company with family and “friends” who are profoundly painful for them to be with — in an effort to develop forgiveness or compassion — and because they feel they “should.”toxic people3 And yet, if your heart is not open, and the desire to be with this other is not emanating from a place of true compassion, it does you no spiritual good to do what you “should.” Pushing harder does not create more compassion. Like getting through a grueling spin class, there is a sense of accomplishment, of being able to stay in the room without collapsing or fleeing, but this is not the same thing as spiritual growth.

The choice to exclude a person or experience from your life can be the more compassionate choice — for yourself. And indeed, when your heart opens to your own suffering, and your own well-being, that compassion for yourself can open wide enough to include even the one who caused you suffering. But this is something that your heart will tell you — not something that your mind can decide or force.

Spirituality is not a test. Being spiritual is about being with what is. If you feel toxic when in the company of someone who has hurt you, then you earn no spiritual points by forcing yourself to be there, and enduring that toxicity. We behave with spirit when we accept our experience the way it is. Deciding to not be with someone who makes you feel terrible, even if that person is your family or “friend,” is an act of courage — honoring yourself and the truth.

Trust your heart; if it is ready to embrace someone who has harmed you, it will open, without force. Indeed, by giving yourself permission to say “no,” to follow your truth, you are offering yourself the only real chance you have to genuinely want to be with them, at some time. Without permission to say “no,” we cannot find the authentic desire to say “yes.” And if that desire never comes, that too is as spiritual a path as any other.

Spirituality is not about becoming the person that you are supposed to be — not about doing the “spiritual” thing. To be spiritual is to compassionately welcome your truth — what you actually feel — whether you like that truth or not. To be spiritual is to stop trying to be a more spiritual and open-hearted version of yourself, and instead, to open your heart without judgment to who and how you actually are. Perhaps the hardest task of all, being spiritual is about letting yourself — and what is so — be.

Nancy Colier is a psychotherapist, interfaith minister, writer and public speaker. She graduated from the University of Virginia, Columbia University School of Social Work, The Focusing Institute and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. A longtime student of Eastern spirituality, awareness practices form the ground of her work.

 

Posted in abuse, Boundaries, Forgiveness, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Letting Go and Leaving the Past Behind

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past1Letting Go of The Past

Article originally written by Randi G Fine for Life As A Human 

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are. ~Bernice Johnson Reagon

The human experience is not an easy one. When we enter this world we are given few guarantees about what awaits us on our journey. We are promised times of joy and times of sorrow, times of thriving and times of suffering, times of hope and times of despair.

Pain is unavoidable. past3No one escapes life without enduring their share of it. It may seem as if some have larger burdens than others, but that is not true. It is one’s perception that determines the weight of an experience. No two people have the same reality so no two people will experience adversity the same way.

There are many factors that contribute to our interpretation of life’s challenges. Upbringing plays a significant role in preparing us for the road that lies ahead. We navigate that road through the use of coping skills, healthy or unhealthy, attained in our impressionable years.

Healthy coping skills are not innate; they are learned behaviors. Some of us will have the advantage of proper parental modeling, some of us will not. I did not. The skills I have today were realized through much trial and error—mostly error.

Our instincts take over where our inability to cope leaves off. When emotional pain hurts too much to feel, we instinctively react as we do to physical pain—ignore it, medicate it, deny and compartmentalize it, or bandage it. These makeshift survival skills allow us to move on to the next thing without having to accept what is right before us. They help us build walls of protection. The higher these walls go, the more shielded we are from the pulse of life. Over time these walls imprison us along with all the pain we have held on to.

A great deal of energy is expended in suppressing the pain we carry with us. It becomes a dam of feelings that pushes harder and harder against the wall, trying to break free. We can only suppress it, mask it, or numb it for so long before it starts seeping through the cracks in ways we do not intend. We may have believed that we controlled the pain, but eventually the pain begins to control us.past2

The pain may turn to bitterness and then bitterness provides a self-righteous rationale to take a victim stance, to justify holding on to the hurt. If we do not believe we caused it then why should we be the one to let it go? We walk around proudly wearing a badge that says, “I am hurt and entitled to it.”

Our pain becomes an integral part of our identity; there comes a time when we do not know who we are without it. We find ourselves stuck—trying to move forward while looking backwards. Every moment is impacted by the pain of our past, and the future looks bleak.

It is very hard to let the past go; there is a sense of comfort in clinging to it, scary to imagine life without it. But clinging to the past is self-sabotage. We must let it go. We must move past our fear and discover the wonderful life that we are entitled to—the one that is waiting for us.

The process of changing, letting our past go, may be frightening and difficult even when we truly desire it. It requires redefining our identity and changing our patterns. But that should never deter us. Everyone can heal their past. All that is required is courage and determination. Whether aware or unaware that we have it within us, we all possess those inner-strengths. It is said that only the bravest souls choose to incarnate into life. We are here because we are incredibly courageous.

The first steps to healing are acknowledging that a problem exists and desiring change.

Since it may take time to excavate through the dense accumulation of emotions, it is best to chip away at them little by little. It helps to have a professional guide us through this process, help us to identify our self-defeating patterns, and help us accept our feelings as they come up.

Feelings never before felt can be very disconcerting. But feeling pain means feeling human. By allowing ourselves to feel we become stronger, more resilient, and better equipped to manage other adversity. We learn that when we face our pain with acceptance we will be led through it and then out of it. That understanding stretches our comfort zones. The ever-lengthening chain of positive outcomes teaches us to have hope and faith. We desire more for ourselves then we ever felt worthy of before. We live with intent and our confidence soars. We are prideful knowing that we hold the power over pain—pain does not hold the power over us.past

What happened in the past is real, but the past is meant to teach us. We are supposed to learn from the past, not live in it. Our experiences, good and bad, will always be a part of our personal story, just as history will always be part of the story of the world we live in. And our story never ends; we continue to add chapters because our realities are constantly changing. But we must keep turning the pages.

It is not possible to live in the past—the person we are today is not the person we were ten or twenty years ago.

Life is full of countless blessings and infinite possibilities. Every moment is a lesson in inspiration. We need only be present.

In this short video, Randi Fine talks about healing the pain of our past

Listen to Podcast: Letting Go Releasing the Pain that Holds You Captive
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Peace Prayer

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peace heartThe Peace Prayer

Peace be upon the earth, but until it can be, peace be in my heart.

As peace is in the heart of each man and woman, may the seeds of love be sown so that peace prevails and no longer will man war against man.

Until such time as peace rules across the lands and in the heart of all, may I feel the peace in my heart that I wish to see in this world.

This prayer of peace was shared by the phenomenal evidential medium Suzanne Giesmann. Suzanne received it after one of her followers wrote her saying, “Please ask Sanaya  for a prayer I can say to help the all the people affected by war, injustice, etc. I feel so helpless when I watch the news and I want the words that will really help lessen the pain and despair I see.”

Sanaya is a collective consciousness of minds who brings forth great wisdom, through medium Suzanne Giesmann, from a higher dimension than our own.

 

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Who Judges Our Lives on Judgment Day

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life reviewWho Judges Our Lives on Judgment Day?

Article Written by Randi G. Fine

Before facing an enemy you must first face yourself. ~ Tite Kubo

How differently would you live your life if you knew that you would some day stand in judgment of yourself once you transitioned from the physical world to the spiritual world? What if you knew that you would be reviewing every second of your life as it is played back for you, 3-D and lifelike, during an end of life review?

How differently would you treat others if you knew you would some day have to re-experience every second of everything you have said or done to others with full empathy, feeling every nuance of emotion from their perspective?

Countless people who have had near death experiences vividly recall this scenario as an initial part of their soul’s transition from this world to the next. They say that it isn’t God or an ascended master who judges them, but their selves. They report how painful it is to experience feelings from the point of view of those they have wronged.

None of us will know for sure whether or not this is true, whether or not we will face our own life review on judgment day, until we experience it for ourselves. As for me, I fully subscribe to this notion sight unseen because it makes perfect sense. Where else would the expression, “My whole life flashed before my eyes” come from?

I just threw that expression out there because it is something we can all relate to, but that is not the basis of my belief. I have a much more substantial reason for believing as I do.

I never bought into the belief that God loves us, gives us the gift of life and the free will to live it, and then holds judgment over us and punishes us for our transgressions. That doesn’t make any sense to me. If humans are not God then they are not perfect and are destined by their nature to make mistakes.

Life on this planet involves experiencing trial and error. None of us get it exactly right. If we did we would have no purpose for being here. The reason for human fallibility, for the bad decisions and mistakes we all make, is to provide us with innumerable ways to learn, to grow, to move closer and closer with each incarnation to perfecting our eternal souls.

No one can live our lives for us. Each of our souls must essentially travel the eternal journey alone. Each soul has its own destination and methods for getting there. We meet other souls along the way but we each take this journey alone.

When we pass on from this incarnation we each take our own karma. Can anyone work out our karma for us? Can another person? Can God, The Source, or The Universe change our karma? No. We carry it along with us wherever we go. It is ours to face, to deal with.

Ultimately we are solely responsible for what we do and the choices we make while we are here. We are solely responsible for the kind of life we live and the way we treat others. We decide how to navigate this journey; whether we will approach life’s challenges as survivors or victims, whether we will accomplish what we came here to do or just pass through without much effort. So why wouldn’t we be the judge and jury of our own lives when we leave this Earth?

Our life review is our wake up call for the things our souls need to work on. After seeing how we have lived our lives we can punish ourselves and put ourselves in a self-afflicted purgatory, or we can face what we did, forgive ourselves, vow to get it right next time, and enjoy the glory of the heavenly spiritual world. We may even just want to rest for awhile after having taken such a difficult journey. The choice is ours.

As we navigate the experience of life on Earth, it is important to remember that the only judge we will ever have to face on judgment day is ourselves. That focus will help to keep us from deviating from the path that our soul intended for us.

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Raising Honest Children

Can Your Children Be Honest?

Parenting Advice: Establishing Open Communication and Trust

 Written by Randi G Fine, Originally posted on Life As A Human

I often hear parents say, “My child does not tell me anything.”

Children go through phases, particularly during their adolescent years, when they see no logical or justifiable reason to communicate with their parents for any reason other than to have their most basic needs or their material desires met. After spending ten or so years as the apple of their child’s eye, parents are suddenly seen as the “lamest” people on the planet.

Adolescence, the period of a child’s life when they are most vulnerable to outside influences, is rightfully a scary time for parents. Children of this age become the target of many negative influences while at the same time experiencing hormones that are raging out of control. The only influence that they seemingly become deafened to is that of their parents.

From the moment of birth we begin a gradual process of separation from those we are dependent upon. That is how children emotionally mature into adults. This process becomes starkly obvious and seemingly accelerates during the adolescent years, a time when children are mortified at the thought of being seen in public with their parents and spare no feelings when telling them so. But parents should not be fooled by their children’s rejection and rudeness. Children expect the support, guidance, structure, and influence of their parents to remain constant.

Keeping children as safe as humanly possible, especially during adolescence, requires knowing what they are doing, what they are thinking, and who they are associating with. Communication, though difficult, is the key.

My parents had been ineffective in that area so I was determined to get it right for my children. I came from a highly reactionary home. Anger always lay just below the surface, waiting for an excuse to erupt. To knowingly provoke it was masochistic, though logic did not dictate whether or not it would happen—anything could set it off.

My parents often said that my sisters and I could tell them anything. Though they offered that promise with full intentions of upholding their end of the deal, they were emotionally unequipped to fulfill it. The unpredictability of their responses destroyed our ability to trust them with sensitive issues. At a young age I learned how to avoid flare-ups by censoring the truth and lying to them.

Without the benefit of emotional support from my parents during my most vulnerable years, I often engaged in risky behaviors. I survived those years, I believe, purely by the grace of God. Unfortunately I did not come out unscathed; a great deal of damage, some reparable and some not, was done.

Very little is certain when parenting, but when it was my turn I knew precisely what not to do. I knew that establishing open communication and trust with my children ultimately hinged on my reactions, so I planned ahead. In anticipation of their difficult years, I began applying my parenting strategies when they were very young.

There were a few glitches in my plan. They withheld information from me a few times, afraid of unprecedented responses, but it worked the majority of time. My children freely shared the goings on of their lives with me whether good or bad, shocking or humorous. My reactions to their disclosures remained predictably calm, no matter how I felt inside.

When they were wrong I would tell them they were wrong. When discipline was required discipline is what they received, but they knew that it would be doled out reasonably and fair—that it came from a place of love and was always in their best interest. Every episode became a teaching tool for me and a learning experience for them.

Children best absorb our lessons when they can relate to us. The most effective parents are ones who are real, who do not profess to be perfect. Sharing the mistakes of my past as it related to an issue my child was having always proved to be an effective way to get my point across.

Our home was quiet and serene, a sanctuary for my children’s emotional well-being. I rarely raised my voice, and on the rare occasions that I did my children were first given fair warning. Whenever they heard the tone of my voice change they knew I meant business.

Parenting the way I did was far from easy. It took patience, persistence, and consistency. Though I knew in my heart that my strategy would work, I did not see the full fruits of my labor until my children left the nest.

Though my husband was mostly out of touch with the psychological aspects of child rearing, he was raised well and had a natural instinct for it. Occasionally I overrode his opinions or methods when I believed them to be harmful, but he has always been a phenomenal father and that was rarely necessary. Together we raised two wonderful children. They are both highly intelligent, level headed adults with healthy boundaries in place.

Our twenty-four year old son, self-assured and excelling, is about to begin his second year of medical school. He is proud of his parents, highly respects us, and values our opinions and advice. Though he has many friends, he considers none as great as his parents.

Our daughter, thirty, is sophisticated and self-assured. She is a professional who has consistently moved up in her field since graduating from college in 2007. Though she is very independent and always has been, she often seeks out, values, and considers the wisdom of her Mom and Dad.  She has always respected us as parents and shared with us as friends. She will be marrying her fiance,’ whom we love very much, September 2015.

Everyone hopes for beautiful relationships with their children, and everyone can have them. The theory is simple; trust is the lock—communication is the key.

Read other parenting quotes, poems, and articles:

Ten Things Every Parent Should Know (Article)

Raising Self Reliant Children (Article)

Unconditional Love Parenting (Article)

Unborn Baby Poem

Unconditionally Loved Children Blossom Grow Soar (Article and Poem)

Preparing Children for Life (Article)

New Baby Quote

Happy, Healthy Children Picture Quote

Good Parenting Picture Quote

Parents Love Builds Childs Future Picture Quote

 

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Tough Love

Given Your Children the Successful Edge in Life

 

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