My beautiful daughter Charlotte turns 9 today! She is just exquisite. She is my heart.
Forgive my brief break from passionate photography to share a little PSA for anyone who might benefit.
This week the narcissist of my past once again popped up to plant slanderous stickers about me on the stop signs in my neighborhood. He hadn’t done that since December. I suppose he thought he was going to injure me. Sad, the lack of perspective. Firstly, I have supportive friends and neighbors. Further, that act alone speaks to someone being cowardly, undignified, and unstable. The medium is the message.
In my unwavering desire to spin every negative into an opportunity for learning, I thought I’d share a PSA of sorts as I myself, was beyond baffled when this person who I once believed to be so lovely, turned into my worst nightmare, in the blink of an eye, and suddenly, all the incongruent story lines and the history of “crazy bitch” exes and disgruntled friends fell into place. What I can advise anyone who is experiencing narcissistic abuse:
- Educate yourself about narcissistic personality disorder. There is a plethora of clinical and anecdotal information available as well as support groups.
- Maintain NO CONTACT. You cannot reason with these individuals and you can’t out-crazy Crazy. Don’t spend time in their head trying to understand their thought processes. It will never make sense to a normal brain.
- And, simply, live a good life. Narcissists target good people but their behavior has nothing to do with you. Be happy. This disorder is their life sentence, not yours.
I found this article, written by author Elfreda Pretorius, to be SPOT ON and have included the excerpts that really speak to my own experience with this individual:
“Once you break ranks with those who sing his (or her) praises endlessly and instead, ask for accountability, the mask of contrived congeniality is swiftly ripped away and you look into the cold and calculating eyes of the real person. Those who have experienced the unabated wrath of an ‘injured’ narcissist, will be unanimous in their advice: Put as much distance between you and the perpetrator as you can. Your well-being depends on it.
The cold hard truth is that a narcissist loves no-one, not even himself. Rather, he falls in love with the ‘impression’ he thinks he makes upon others, and falsely feels love toward those who are most in awe of this ‘impression.’ Should this fake image be discovered by those who “admire” him, he becomes outraged and abandons these people in contemptuous disrespect – even publicly. The narcissist has no real friends and only fake self-esteem. Masters of deception, they devour people and shamelessly use them to achieve their goals, whilst vehemently denying any allusion to this effect.
A narcissistic relationship is utterly toxic. When you discover their gig, you will be disillusioned and stunned, but be warned that reconciliation is not even a remote possibility. Once you have peered through the sham of their pretenses and lies (yes! they are pathological liars who spin a story at the drop of hat) then you become the enemy. A narcissist requires continuous admiration and stroking and if you no longer can be a source of supply, you will not be tolerated in his inner circle. Ironically, a favorite assertion of narcissists is that they are ‘humble and ego-less’, but these are only terms they use to impress. In reality, their behavior, especially when they are crossed, gives their game away.
Not convinced your friend, business partner or whoever, falls into this category of the human race? Examine, if you will, some of the following traits. Does he exaggerate accomplishments, talents and skills? Is he obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success or fame and dream of being in the limelight? Does he endeavor to make contact with people who are in the public eye and try to associate with their brilliance, posturing to be of the same ilk? Does he spend endless hours on the Internet and in terms of social media – does he work at building long lists of “friends” that he has no substantial contact with? Are his “friends” people who live in distant countries and locations whom he can hoodwink with his “wit and superior intelligence”? Is he devoid of empathy and incapable of identifying with the feelings, needs and choices of others? Does he behave arrogantly and rage when contradicted or confronted by people who threaten his superior, invincible persona? If the answer is yes to most of these questions, you might want to take deep breath …you are undoubtedly caught in a narcissistic relationship.
Narcissistic rage is a scary phenomena, because it is different from “stress.” Narcissistic rage is the result of what is interpreted as a slight, criticism or disagreement - which in Psychiatry is known as “narcissistic injury.” This uncontrolled reaction is devastating and completely disproportionate to the offense – where the punishment simply does not fit the “crime.” Raging narcissists believe that their wrath has been intentionally provoked. But when their victims finally see through the ruse of the ridiculous attack, they clue in to the perpetrator as being incoherent, unjust and fickle.
There is no known cure for narcissism – especially when it has become pathological. The reason for that is that introspection is the one thing they fear most and simply cannot do. It is just too scary to look inside and find a dark hollow void staring back you.
Let their rage be their problem.”
This was a delicious recent Instagram capture. Shortly after I shucked my sundress, I was floating in the warm ocean, cradled and rocked like a baby, my heart pointed to the sky, listening to God whisper…
I carry that feeling of freedom, joy, and expansiveness with me always. It provides a certain immunity to discordant energies.
Boston, you’re my home.
Desse Barama (Peace) by Hamza El Din
The world shines about me,
luminous as the moon, smiling like a rose,
and a sweet benediction
flows through everything existing.
How beautiful life is.
I marvel at people who are not in love with life.
You, my girl, are beautiful,
and your beauty,
like the beautiful thought of peace,
belongs to the eternity.
Detest war and destruction.
When you go to the riverbank,
and the sun sets in the evening,
the waters of the river will be rippling softly,
and from a distance, in the twilight, you will see white sails.
A song of the boatman will come from there.
‘Today no suffering, no suffering.’
The world shines about me,
luminous as the moon,
smiling like a rose.
I am with you always means when you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self,
or things that have happened to you
There’s no need to go outside.
Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.
A white flower grows in quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.
- Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi
I find a lot of Christmas music saccharine and barely tolerable but Oh Holy Night, plucks at my heart:
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees, oh hear the angels’ voices!
I long ago learned that Christmas was a manufactured holiday created by those old timey Popes who wanted to put the kibosh on all those fabulous pagan parties. We’ve further commercialized it. It doesn’t really matter though. I think we take the traditions and symbols that are meaningful to us and simply enjoy them. But amid the cookies and presents, I think it is a time to fully inherit our Christ consciousness or Buddha mind, what ever your path. Ultimately, we are all taking different trains, planes, and automobiles to the same destination.
Author Bill Flanagan said of the bittersweet virtue of spiritual/holiday music (secular and non-secular alike), “God loves us even when we do not love ourselves. Salvation is possible, because humans are infinitely redeemable. These are the shortest days of the year and for some people they are the hardest. But starting now, little by little, the days will get longer. The light is already coming back.”
And truly, Christmas, in all its magic and grace, is about hope.
And the soul felt its worth.