In the Space between Empty and Full

Empty to Full

Empty to Full

If you can exist and sit with awareness
in the space between empty and full
You will hold the key to your life’s transformation.

——–
The art got a little away from me on this one. It was supposed to be a woman sitting in a black and white tree- a play upon the idea of empty and full spaces.

I think I did it in color to allow my mind to catch up to the ideas. Gave me something to do while I sat in the space between empty and full.

I had been thinking about addictions or if not addictions, per se, the repetition of behaviors which we know are not beneficial to us.

We are often attracted to that which harms us most.

There is something almost innate within us that compels us to balance in our lives. What we put in, we think we should get back. So when we put a great deal into a relationship, an addiction, or a poor behavior, we keep coming back to the well hoping that this time, the well will give it up and return to us all that we have given.

That which takes from you, can never fill you.

The key is to be willing to sit with the empty space and not fill it with something that further consumes.

You must turn from that which takes from you and turn towards something that can give to you.

The space between empty and full is the sacred space for the simple reason it is the space in which the choice is made. When you can sit in this space, between empty and full, you will finally come to see that which gives to you and that which consumes you.

The answer to Narcissist Questions is “Yes!”

One of the issues when you are interacting with a narcissist is the sense of disbelief, self-reflection, conundrums, and basic confusion that such interactions elicit.

Often we try to explain away the behaviors because we literally can’t believe someone would act this way.

We can become lost in a maze of reflections and conversations with ourselves and others as we try to “figure” this out. A certain sense of denial pervades as we witness one abnormal behavior after another.

In reality we may be better served with simplicity and directness. When you ask yourself general questions about a narcissist’s behavior, you can cut through a tremendous amount of B.S. by answering honestly.

The questions you may ask yourself in relation to a narcissist follow below, along with the most honest, heartfelt answers.

Can a narcissist possibly be this self-centered? Yes!

Can a narcissist have such little regard for others? Yes!

Can a narcissist lie consistently and blatantly to you face? Yes!
Even though you have court-worthy evidence showing the truth? Why, Yes!, of course. (“Evidence” is relative to a narcissist.)

Can a narcissist show time and again that your needs don’t matter? Yes! (Actually, what needs could you possible have?)

Can a narcissist act as if everything is totally your fault? Yes!
Always? Yes! (…and forever)

Can a narcissist truly favor one child over another? Yes!

Can a narcissist consistently scream at you “You don’t understand!” as if you had the mental capabilities of a 5-year-old? Most definitely, Yes!

Can a narcissist take your money and feel as if it were theirs for the taking anyway? Yes! (What is yours is theirs. Always.)

Can a narcissist cheat on you and somehow make it all your problem? Yes!

Can a narcissist possibly have no boundaries in regards to the sacredness of the journey of another’s life? Yes! (You were just in the way, a bump on the road, of the narcissist’s glorious parade.)

Can a narcissist say the most belittling and demeaning things to you and feel no desire to apologize afterwards? Yes! (Apologies only serve one purpose to a narcissist- to get more of what he or she wants.)

Can a narcissist possibly manipulate EVERY life situation so they are the center? Yes! Yes! Yes!

Stop wasting time analyzing a narcissist’s behavior and get over your shock and awe that he or she is doing whatever it they are doing.

The simple answer to whether the narcissist will likely commit the most egregious of behaviors is simply “Yes, yes, they will.”

Chant it in a circle, hum it as a mantra.

The answer doesn’t solve the problem, but it is quick acknowledgment of what to expect and how to prepare.

Only one person should ever be participating in the fantasy world of the narcissist- and that is the narcissist him or herself. One is enough. Two is a crowd in this situation.

Ninja Angel Warrior

Ninja Angel Warrior

Ninja Angel Warrior

There was a time when I thought Angels were to be all in white,
representatives, as they are, of the Light.

And then I saw an image of the Ninja Angel Warrior emerge
and I understood Heaven is never limited by my constraints.

How often had I been rescued by a loving form, silently,
lurking in the background

desperate to be unobserved?

—————–

Pastel smears revealed this image. Light and wings of an Angel upon a Ninja Warrior form.

Perhaps speaking to us that Heaven need not always be overt in the response to the heartfelt prayer. Perhaps it is with the stealth of a Ninja in which Heaven enacts the actions of aid upon our behalf.

—————
I liked this image, as it also made me think of my stepson. Conversations with my stepson seem to be dominated at the present moment by the topics of Ninja Warriors and remote control cars. (I did not realize there was an entire industry around these tiny vehicles. Due to my stepson, I am now well-informed. :))

A Stitch in Time saves Little to Nothing with a Narcissist

Healing Heart

Healing Heart

I remember it was my Mom who used to say, “A stitch in time saves nine.”

The pace of the saying stayed with me, although I never really reflected on its meaning too much – that is until someone with narcissistic tendencies entered my life.

“A stitch in time saves nine” simply means that to address a problem immediately when it is still likely small saves time, energy, and aggravation later. Don’t place the first stitch in a timely manner and you will end up confronting a bigger hole (problem) in time.

Because I am such a time conscious and proactive, problem-solving type of person, this could be a life mantra for me. And this has been wonderful, until a narcissist entered my life.

Unconsciously, like me, you may operate under the “A stitch in time saves nine” principal in life.

You plan, you strategize, you evaluate, you anticipate, and you engage on problems and issues. You, in fact, may consider the above list to be a successful approach to life and be proud of yourself for your ability to meet life’s challenges in such a healthy manner.

Sadly, this type of approach will be wasted if you are interacting with a narcissist.

A stitch in time saves little to nothing with a narcissist.

If you interact with someone with narcissistic tendencies you may have begun to realize, similar to many things that apply to life with a narcissist, that sayings, ideas, thought processes that work well with everyone else fail in the face of narcissism.

There are ALWAYS holes that need repairing when a narcissist is involved. Narcissists are so limited developmentally that it is impossible for there not to be gaping holes in their lives. It may be in the area of finances, fidelity, child raising, and of course, always, interpersonal skills.

You, dutiful person that you are, will sense these holes and think “I will place a stitch here and there to shore up and repair this area.”

And right behind you, stitch for stitch, the narcissist will be pulling them apart leaving the hole gaping.

Not only will the single problem, hole, be left gaping, so will your sense of wholeness. It can be despondency-inducing to have your best efforts, not only not met with equal care and consideration, but also be undermined right in front of your face.

You place the stitch; the narcissist removes it. You place the stitch; the narcissist removes it.

In my own situation, I do not have any answers for this dynamic, other than my faith that knowledge and awareness is a means to wholeness, even if they do not solve the problem directly.

I write what I experience and the words become the stitches in some ways, but in this format they can not be removed.

For the awareness and insights are mine and though they may not heal the problem, they heal me.

Momma Lost Her Head and Found it Blogging

HeadLess

HeadLess

As some of you read in an earlier blog, Slings and Arrows, we have been experiencing a bit of family dynamics recently.

As I was messing around with some pastel fragments, a few shapes emerged on the paper. I saw a reflecting pool/water pool and standing over it a headless monster.

And I somehow resonated with that figure- in a good way.

After being told I was not joyous and made other in the family feel uncomfortable, I felt others saw me as this headless (meaning lacking understanding and insights) monster rambling through the house, leaving a wake of joyless-ness and uncomfortable-ness in her wake.

Children and others would run screaming in the face of this headless beast. :)

Of course, I am nothing like this headless monster figure, although it was fun to play with the idea. It made it less hurtful, more ridiculous, and a way to have an image of this absurd dynamic.

The reflecting pool in the image is my need to “see” myself clearly. Despite the labels flung at me recently, I don’t see myself in the ways others have projected upon me.

In the image, I am the monster heading towards the pool- because that is where I will finally “see” myself. My own reflections are what matters, not the strange distortions laid upon me by others. (For those of you readers with an analytical mind who are reading this and thinking, “How would a headless monster be able to see anything, let along a reflection in a pool?”, I have no answer for you. It’s art, it’s an image and it works for me- details be damned. :) )

In some ways, as I looked at this headless monster and my role of stepmom in the family, I realized the reflecting pool, the place I was once again “seen” truly, was in the blogging world.

You have NO idea how much all of your comments, insights and support have helped me. Truly, you don’t. YOu gave this Momma her sense of self ( her head) back and enabled the monster to be seen for what it was- a figment of someone’s imagination.

I don’t know about you, but when I post blogs like I have in the past days, I am very worried about coming off as whiny and self-pitying. But the insights I received back changed this image I held about these blogs. They were messages to myself and others about finding one’s way in life.

It is not always pretty and yes, perhaps, some days, I am a bit monster-like when I am fatigued and overwhelmed- but headless, I have never been. This Momma’s got her head back.

Slings and Arrows

Sling and Arrows

Sling and Arrows

Do you ever lie about what you are blogging about? I do. Or, to be more exact, I choose substitute words for what I am experiencing. The other day I wrote a blog “The End of Innocence” about the internal saboteur and related it to a book proposal I was working on. It was a flaccid version of the truth. For “book proposal” substitute “family dynamics” and the story would be a bit more true.

I was recently reading the book Carry on Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton. The book is in some ways a compilation of her blog postings. During one of the earlier ones, she writes about a “lack” (my word) of intimacy with her husband. Later, she learned he had been having an affair.

In some ways, she realized she had been responding energetically to a situation, although she was not consciously aware (this is my interpretation).

I feel a similar experience (although not the discovery of an affair) in my own family. It’s as if radio waves have been circulating around me and suddenly I have them in tune as I see and hear what is happening.

Although I have blogged some about my husband and stepkids, being a stepmom 1/2 time in a dynamic in which both parents are not the overly-engaged parenting types is difficult. Add to that the sentiment since I stepped into this drama that they are all “fine”, while the rest of the world is just not up to par, and you have a recipe for blame and lack of awareness.

Sadly, I will now admit this- I had projected all feelings relating to my being judged as “failing” on my stepkids’ Mother.

As the background radio waves have come into tune, I realize I could not have been more wrong. My husband and stepkids frequently see me as the problem. Perhaps, “frequently” is not strong enough-how about we try “always”?

Just a few examples- my stepdaughter almost left a 425 degree oven on overnight. I expressed my concern and worry. I was told by her that “everyone forgets” and by my husband that I make everyone feel “uncomfortable”. Yes. Discomfort was actually a goal, because I thought it may stimulate the behavior to change.

Other examples have been: No one can relate to me. The kids are there one night and I ruin everything. I am always such a problem. And, finally, that no one can have fun with me because I am not joyous.

How convenient for them that they can sit and feel so confident and fine in themselves while I make others uncomfortable and am so un-joyous myself that no one can have fun with me.

And for those of you have lived in similar dynamics, I won’t recount the “set-ups” by them. Of how they won’t honor what I need, and then a countdown clock begins to wonder when I will lost it. Crazy-making at its best.

Slings and arrows…slings and arrows. I drew the woman above to capture how this feels. To her left, near her breast, is an orange arrow headed towards her. She is already off balance and ungrounded (my fear of what will be said to me next).

A blue stream pours from her, forming a spiraling pool near her lower let to the right.

We are all gifted in this life with our challenges and awarenesses. I don’t have any answers now, except the dream I had last night. Where the simple message was this: the love I bestow so freely upon others should find a home in myself.

I don’t post this blog as a “poor me” scenario nor to capture a sense of “Look! at how awful my husband and stepkids can be”. This is not my intent.

My intent is this- within every dynamic that is challenging, we need one simple prayer. “Give me just a sliver of space and light, dear God, so that I may maneuver into something better.”

We don’t need to change the world, we don’t need to change others, we just need that space, that bit of light, so that we reach reach towards it.

The End of Innocence

Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood

We are all familiar with the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, although versions vary.
My interpretation arose from this free-form art image.
The impromptu red lines gave me the shape of a girl, standing with hand raised in triumph. I thought of Little Red Riding Hood.

A heart resides overhead towards which she reaches. Behind her is a pink, shadowy figure laying on its side. It is the figure of her internal saboteur.

Our internal saboteur, yes, we all have one.
It’s the little voice in our head that says we should not attempt something, that we are not good enough to deserve better, that we are clueless to we think we have what it takes to succeed and so on.

The saboteur is at once both sneaky and beat- you-over- the-head-bold.

I have been dealing with this saboteur as of late. I have the opportunity to submit a book proposal, yet, I hesitate to complete the action. I am fearful of what I seemingly am unable to write and more fearful of what I may actually write.

“They will laugh at you” my inner saboteur whispers with glee. “Yes, yes! stay right here with me” is its hidden message. For you see, if you change, well, then your inner saboteur must change as well. You will see yourself differently and your eyes may no longer glimpse these hidden messages.

According to the inner saboteur’s M.O., when a simple nudge fails, use a sledge hammer.

The art image shows I am finding my way. Little Red Riding Hood has often symbolized innocence, though that innocence will not remain innocent for too much longer. She is an “on the cusp” type of figure and we have all been in her shoes. Stay on the trodden path and be safe? Or head off into the woods and overcome your greatest fear? The choice is so apparent.

When your inner saboteur is rearing its ugly head, you always must remember it is only doing so, because it senses change (for the better) is imminent. Resistance is the sign that you are realigning into something better, you just don’t know it.

It takes a bit of time for all the machinery to get working along a new higher order. Your body changes, your mind changes, your psyche and emotions come along, as well. All this momentum, all this change, is it any wonder we have something within us that longs to put on the brakes?

The place of innocence- the change, before the change.

“My what big eyes you have…” is only the start of recognition of the saboteur form and all its disguises.

Like Little Red Riding Hood, to address and outwit the saboteur, is the end, in some ways to our naive innocence. In doing so, we emerge into our own brilliance.

Seeing

Loving Self

I do not need to be “more perfect”.
Rather, I need the vision that sees that
“perfection” is already present.

—————–
Strange posting. The art is real, but I am uncertain in my bearing. Began with pigments and saw shapes, and this was revealed- a woman emerging from womb/flower, holding a yellow ball (3rd chakra, sense of self) to her breast. Looking with eyes of Love as mother to child.

And I thought to myself- what would it be to look at ourselves with such eyes of love? What if we could find the eyes of the mother-with-newborn within us, and turn those eyes upon our own Being?

Like mother-with-newborn, would our eyes see with compassion? Would our eyes see the innocence and the potential that we contain within us? Would we look upon ourselves with the eyes of the protector- really, for once, seeing our value?

Would our vision take in our wholeness, our entirety, as a mother does when she gazes upon a child?

If we were to see with such vision, would we finally be brave enough to look upon ourselves and see the depths of our Souls and not some distorted image?

The Warrior of the Galaxy

Warrior

Warrior

A Warrior- Heaven sent.
Never forget.

—-
I just loved this image for some reason. I had a piece of black paper face down on my work surface. I picked it up and saw all these pastel bits stuck to it.
I liked the how they were scattered all over and I took a yellow pastel and outlined them, having no idea where this would go.

And I saw an image of the Warrior II yoga pose emerge. And I thought of each of us, with the stardust of the galaxies within us, striking the Warrior II pose, at once both grounding and evoking.

I, like many of you, have been through some battles as of late. As I have moved from awareness from how much I self-bully to recognizing (although I would prefer to deny) how often some close to me attempt to bully me into “acceptable” behavior.

I have been told things in the days of late that have both confounded and perplexed me. Leaving me to wonder, “Is this how you really see me?”

But that question is silly. For the main query is “How do I see myself?”

There will be those who can connect with you on your journey in such a way as to travel with you. There will be those, who although they love you, are unable to at this time pack up their bags and get moving. They will witness your travels and stay out of your way. And then there are those who sense you are leaving and will send up a barricade.

Trust yourself. You were not born of the stars and all the powers incumbent so that you may belittle yourself or your actions for the comfort of another.

Believe you have the power of the galaxy within and remain true to the Warrior’s way.