The Ideal Holiday Gift for that Special Narcissist in Your Life

I's Go Blind

I’s Go Blind

Hmmm….what to get that specialist narcissist in your life? It’s so, so difficult finding that perfectly appropriate gift for narcissist. You want something the captures exactly how you see him or her and how they interact with the world.

Of course, your advantage is the narcissist’s own myopic vision. They never see themselves, or the world, with any accuracy, so it is quite easy to slip past them an “in your face” type of gift, served up with a smile upon your face, and they are none for the wiser.

Given the day I have had, I am thinking of a paper doll collection would be an excellent gift for a narcissist.

Paper dolls capture perfectly how the narcissist perceives the rest of the world. To the narcissist, we are all flat, one-dimensional beings. We are not 3-D whole and holistic in the eyes of the narcissist.

Narcissists see us only as flat projections ready to be dressed up to fulfill their needs.

To a narcissist, we are all paper dolls.
——
I won’t really relate why I felt inspired to write this post today. If you have read my blog for some time you know the narcissist I have in my life and I sometimes refrain from giving details b/c there are children involved.

Sometimes I question why certain mothers have children at all- and then I remember, they were looking for a paper doll, something they could dress up nicely and prop against the wall, while they stared admiringly in their own mirror.

How Georgia O’Keeffe can Transform your Blogging/Art…and why not? Your Life

Becoming

Becoming

Georgia O’Keeffe is one of my favorite artists. I love how her work plays with perceptions and projections. For me, she beautifully asks so much of the viewer, almost as if to say, “I dare you to see what you see.”

Lately, Georgia has been on my mind. I consider her to be, at the moment, the guide to my creative life.

I once read the following quote by her:

“Before I put brush to canvas, I question ‘Is this mine? Is it influenced by some idea I have acquired from some man?’…I am trying with all my skill to do a painting that is all of woman, as well as all of me” – Georgia O’Keeffe

And I love it. As I begin to create a book proposal on the power of a woman’s body, I have spent time feeling lost. What is my next step? What form of art do I want to create right now and so on?

I found myself again and again turning to this quote in my mind. It is the guide I am using as I write the proposal and it is the guide I am using for the art I am creating.

I have always been one to question the randomness of my blog. One day I blog on narcissism, the next day, I write on spiritual art, and then I throw in a stepparenting blog here and there.

I have gone through “female” art phases, a phallic art phase, a random creation phase, a heart art phase, and so on…

“How do I come to know myself through my art and creations when I can not seem to get them consistent?” is a question I will ask myself.

I know some of you also question your art/blogging topics and wonder if they are what you really want to choose and what you really want to portray.

As you choose to create the blogs/art/life that best represents you, ask yourself, “Is this mine?” or “Is this me?” and let that be your guide.

The Irony Of the Narcissist’s Love of Mirrors

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror

For all their love of mirrors, narcissistic people engage in little to no self-reflection.

I guess this all started with the myth and legend. Narcissus gazing upon himself never realizing what was him and what was reflection.

The irony between narcissists love of their reflection and their complete inability to see themselves clearly is completely lost on the narcissist.

Because narcissists can not (or are unwilling) to see their own reflection, they, thus by definition, can not self-reflect.

You or I may be engaged in any number of situations in life and will self-reflect either in the moment or much later on what it all meant and the role we played within the engagement.

This is an impossible task for a narcissist. Narcissists do not see “self” in any situation.

Their gaze turns only outwards, a narcissistic light sweeping over the land.

They are the viewer only in relation to others, never in relation to self.

Nothing is ever the narcissist’s fault, for it can not be. They are only present in mere reflection.

Where You Find God

Borderland

Borderland

God is found in the border-land
the space between the potential becoming the actual.
It is the land of hope,
and prayer is its native tongue.

I am leaving for the weekend and I really dislike leaving up a blog that is not as positive as I would like as my last posting.

Some people, before taking a trip, make sure the house is locked up, lights off, etc. I need to make sure I leave a positive blog :)

I will bend…

Bow

Bow



I am the bow that does not break-Ever.
You see me bend
and think you have won in the end.
Never realizing, I curve in submission
to only that which is true-
the Love of Spirit-
and for that, I am willing to bend until almost broken-
but never for You.

I had an interesting start to my day yesterday. I am teacher who rarely has difficulties with my students. It’s just not who I am and it’s not how I run my classroom.

Yet, yesterday began with a student encroaching upon my space and profession in a way I have not witnessed in some time.

He was threatening in body language and demeanor. I speak so often about the power of women, this interaction was a quick reminder to me- size in not on my side when interacting with a man. I tend to look at aspects of men that I find wonderful. I think of their larger size and to me it represents possible protection and men’s willingness (as so many do) to protect first and never threaten.

Yesterday was a reminder that I had forgotten that each contains its opposite, what can be used by one for protection also contains a possibility to be used by another to threaten.

This student, for whatever fantastical reason that day, had decided he was an authority over me and my classroom. Interesting. At one point my office, he asked me not to raise my voice – as if I were some hysterical female screaming at him. Would he have ever said this to a male professor? I doubt it.

I raised my voice because I had to in order to communicate. He would not shut up long enough for me to speak. I quickly helped define the boundaries for him, succinctly informing him, “Hey, you are the one who brought this issue to me. I would have been more than happy to not talk to you at all today. Since you brought the issue to me, you will now listen to what I have to say about it.”

In any situation such as this in which things are “off”, I only have one question for myself “What can I take from this?”

It is a way of finding my power.

And I took the above picture and words from this situation. This student, I would assume, planned to bend me. Coming up with a scenario in which I would symbolically submit to his whims.

Well, gotta tell him, he chose the wrong, wrong woman for that.

I will bend, I will accommodate- out of MY CHOICE to be compassionate and kind. There is a part of me that will always bend to the greater, higher Spirit within me, and I do that on a daily, moment-by-moment basis.

But bend and submit to the will of an out–of-line student? Never.

My choices are mine. My will is mine. My choice to bend is mine. My choice to stand firm is mine. Too often, others think they control us and they miss the mere fact, we are responding to something so much greater inside of us than their silly whims.

The Importance of Your Vocabulary Choices…Or Why I stopped “Stepparenting” my Stepchildren

Your Gifts

Your Gifts

When I give my talk to women’s groups, one of ideas I end with is the importance of finding one’s voice in the world. (Of course, being of the blogging world, you already know the power that comes with declaring one’s voice :)).

It is not enough to speak out, though when using one’s voice. The key is to communicate effectively. Those who can communicate effectively are heard. Those who can not communicate effectively are not. It really is that simple.

It does not mean that those who can communicate more effectively have better ideas, it’s just the ideas have more power because of how they are conveyed.

One way we change the power of what we are communicating to ourselves and others is to become very, very honest and precise with the vocabulary we are using. This is one reason education can be such a valuable asset. It ups one’s vocabulary and in doing so increases the ability to communicate effectively.

When we do not choose our words precisely, we lose power. We say one thing, yet mean another. Or, we don’t say anything, when we meant to say everything.

I notice this in my own life. When I am finally brave enough and honest enough to give accurate words to situations, I am gifted with a sense of awakening power.

Years ago, I used to call myself “just a stepparent”. I would tell people I “stepparented” two children. (Is “stepparented” even a word? ). By using this vocabulary, although perhaps technically accurate, it did not convey AT ALL what I was actually doing and have been doing for years- RAISING two children.

That’s right. I RAISE these two children. I attend parent-teacher conferences, take the one child to high school orientation (neither parent could or would), arrive by 8 a.m. with one child at the school on “schedule change” day in order that she could get the schedule she wanted (yes, we did in fact arrive before the school counselors), complete book report projects, actually contact the teacher about stepson’s book selection, know where the children are at all times, discuss relationships, dating, give the “sex talk” and so on.

I don’t “stepparent”. That word implies some distance, as if it is child-parent- then stepparent. For some people, that may be the accurate display of their situation. That is not my situation, however.

So, I have changed my vocabulary and gotten more honest- I RAISE two children. All the time. And that has allowed me to understand why I am so busy, exhausted, joyous, strung-out, and laughing throughout my days. All the things that come with raising children.

And I think of some of other areas in which I have “hedged” my vocabulary and been less than honest. I act like being involved with narcissists is no big deal, when in fact it is. I should simply say to myself, “Being in situations with narcissists is exhausting and destabilizing. No wonder I need time to rest and take care of myself.”

Or my family of origin is split apart. IF I don’t have the vocabulary for this situation, I live in denial and act like it is no big deal, when in fact, it also places different demands and levels of awareness upon me.

So, I wonder about you- where are you being honest with your vocabulary and where are you down-playing or ignoring situations simply because the words you choose allow you to do so ? :)

More of a Woman

Presence

Presence

There is something sacred about a woman in this state.

A woman, formed through the fire of life,
shows herself to be the cool water of a holy depth.

She steps forward to proclaim,
after years spent forged in the flames.

And We are left as mute witnesses to the Unveiling.

I feel this is me in my current state. After being overwhelmed by consulting work, work commitments, speaking engagements, etc., I am emerging from the flames.

In some ways, I have been surprised at the woman who has made her way through this.

I don’t know if this happens to any of you- but I can actually feel, on a visceral level, that in some ways I am not the woman I thought I was. Or perhaps to phrase it better-

I am more of a woman than I thought I was.

I have done and created things that I did not think was possible. I have a very high work capacity and even I was pushed within my sense of what was doable.

At this time, I stand on the crux of another project- a book proposal of a topic I never thought I would submit for publication.

And this is what is meant by the writing above- sometimes we stand as a mute witness to our own unveiling- surprised as we are – of what we have become.

Narcissists at the Buffet

Where are you Hiding?

Where are you Hiding?


One thing you must remember when dealing with a narcissist is that to a narcissist all options, in regards to their own behaviors, are always on the table- always.

We can get caught off guard when we assume we have parsed and parceled a narcissist’s behavior options to a select few responses.

We can begin to think the narcissist will always act controlling and like a tyrant, then lo and behold, they show patience and a willingness to work with others.

Or we begin to notice they are at the very least “trying” to work with us and then, Wham! they demonstrate a ruthlessness that has our heads whiplashing and teeth rattling in regards to its severity.

This is the destabilization process of interacting with a narcissist.

We do not realize that to move efficiently through life and to have suitable interpersonal relationships, we are constantly anticipating and predicting the responses of others.

What we overlook in a narcissist, however, is that they never, ever limit their behavior options.

A narcissist stands before a buffet of options in regards to behavior choices with every engagement and interaction.

They do not allow prior behaviors, social acceptability, your needs or anyone’s needs to modify or limit their choices in any way.

Sometimes the best you can do with a narcissist is to spend less time predicting their buffet choices and more time keeping yourself centered. Narcissists always count on you leaning too far one way or another in anticipation of their needs, in a sense, putting your own balance in peril.

Don’t overreach with a narcissist. Don’t always anticipate (because truly no one knows what a narcissist will do next, and that includes the narcissist him- or herself).

Keep your own self centered. Let the narcissist wander up to the buffet of life and make his or her choice. And trust in your heart and in your own strength that you will respond to the narcissist appropriately.

If the response requires yelling and boundary-setting, you will do it. If the response requires neutral acceptance, then you will do that. If the response requires action, you will act. If the response requires walking away, you will walk.

You will begin to show the narcissist that you, too, are working with a whole buffet of behavior options and responses. And that sense of choice, something the narcissist has always tried to take from you, is yours to use.