God among us.

pay-it-forward-2014-random-act-of-kindness

God is everywhere, but sometimes it seems like he’s nowhere in the universe when we’re depressed or in emotional or physical pain.

You don’t have to go to church or read the Bible to find God.    God doesn’t live on a lofty cloud always passing harsh judgment on us underlings far below on this little planet.    He isn’t a being we can only know after we die, or only in religious settings.  He can’t always be found in that hellfire and brimstone preacher in the megachurch on the outskirts of town, and He certainly isn’t present in those television evangelists who prey on the poor and gullible by insisting you make a large donation to their organization in exchange for salvation.

In 1977, there was a little movie called “Oh, God” starring John Denver as an assistant grocery store manager, who was searching for meaning in his life.  God (played by George Burns) appeared to Denver as a kindly but slightly eccentric little old man who was one of his customers.   At first, Denver was unbelieving, but over time it became clear this old guy was the real deal, and his life began to change.

Twenty years later, there was a popular song by a singer-songwriter named Joan Osborne called “One of Us.”  The lyrics speculated about the nature of God, and whether He (or she) would appear as “one of us” —

If God had a name, what would it be?
And would you call it to His face?
If you were faced with Him in all His glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?

And yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home?

If God had a face, what would it look like?
And would you want to see?
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
In things like heaven and in Jesus and the saints and all the prophets?

And yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home?

He’s trying to make His way home
Back up to Heaven all alone
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in Rome

And yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home?

Just trying to make His way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to Heaven all alone
Just trying to make His way home
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in Rome

Joan Osborne – What If God Was One Of Us Lyrics | MetroLyrics

The song in its time was somewhat controversial, because it had the temerity to suggest that God might be just a little too much like us — eg, too human (and therefore, not perfect).

While I don’t believe God would take up permanent residence in a human body, as He does in Osborne’s random stranger on a bus or as Burns’ unremarkable old man buying groceries,  I do believe God (or Jesus, if you are Christian) can use each and any of us as a vessel (for a short time) to touch the lives of others, and sometimes even change them.    We are all made in God’s image, and sometimes, when we least expect it, after feeling disconnected and ready to give up on spiritual life, God is suddenly right there, speaking to us, encouraging us,  or offering comfort — through another human being, often a total stranger.  That other person doesn’t even have to be Christian or believe in God, because I know from my own experience that sometimes God can even use a nonbeliever as a vessel to spread his love and care.

Here are some examples from my own life of times I knew God was there, using another person to communicate with me or perform those “random acts of kindness” that seem so rare in today’s complex world:

  • When I was buying groceries a few days before Christmas a few years ago and my debit card was run through and showed I had insufficient funds, a man behind me suddenly handed the cashier the $40 I was short of.
  • A customer of mine who recently bought me four new tires because he didn’t want me driving on the old ones (the man happens to be an atheist)
  • Every time my therapist  is able to feel my feelings with me and due to that high empathy (which is a gift bestowed on him by God, even though he is a non-Christian), know exactly what I need from him emotionally.
  • A hug from a random little girl of about 4 who told me, “don’t be sad.”   I wasn’t crying, but was going through a dark time in my life and was being abused at home.  Somehow she knew how much I needed that hug.
  • A man with Down Syndrome standing in line at the store who was pointing to things, smiling and laughing at everything he saw.   His eyes sparkled and he just seemed so excited to be alive.  People around him were laughing too, but not at him.  They laughed with him, because he was so happy and made everyone just feel so good (as an aside, it’s interesting how often God appears through people standing on line at the store).
  • Random thoughtful gifts or kind words from my children when I didn’t expect it and other people I never expected a gift or a kind word from.
  • A woman I met online and wrote about last November who offered to pay for me to attend a 4 day seminar addressing trauma from a spiritual/Christian perspective, after I told her I didn’t have the funds and couldn’t go.
  • Another woman I met online and became friends with, who sent two thoughtful gifts to me exactly when I needed them, without my asking.

littlegirlwithflowers

There are so many other examples, but these are the first ones I thought of.

Think about the times that God has reached you through another person — who either gave unselfishly of themselves, or just made you feel comforted or happy during a dark time or when you least expected it.    Make a list of those times and refer to it when you feel like God has forgotten about you.

Think about how you can touch the lives of others.  Ask God to show you how He can work through you to help others in need.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

New summer project: an enclosed porch.

porch

This is what my porch looks like now.

When I was in Florida earlier this month, I was impressed by some of the screened in porches I saw around my son’s apartment complex, some festooned with white or colored year-round Christmas-type lights, lots of plants, and decked out with comfy indoor/outdoor furniture.    I mentioned to my daughter and her BF Zach how inviting they looked and how I wished my porch was enclosed like that.

Well, as it happens,  Zach knows a bit about building and construction, and said he and my daughter would be willing to pay for half of the cost of enclosing my porch.  All I’d have to do is come up with the other half.   I’d been able to save a little this year and have enough to cover half the cost (total cost would be $900).   Since I don’t own my home (I have a landlord who doesn’t care if changes are made, as long as it improves the property) I asked him if enclosing the space would be alright.   He said it would be fine, and is even allowing me to take $100 off the rent each month until the $900 it would take to start enclosing the porch is reimbursed.

Several things need to be done.  The grey paint is peeling off the cement floor of the porch, but the old paint is loose enough it could be pressure washed off.   We’d repaint it and possibly then cover it with indoor/outdoor carpeting (to cover the cracks in the cement, which it would probably cost too much to replace).   The beams that currently hold up the roof (which is actually formed by the room immediately above the area) are old, rotting, and don’t match in size.   Zach would remove these and replace them with treated natural wood 2 by 4s, and then fit the spaces in between with screens that would start about waist level and natural wood below those extending to the floor.    A simple screen door would be installed.    After that it’s just a matter of furnishing the space and making it look great.    It would be a better place for my plants (which aren’t doing too well outside right now due to an overabundance of sunlight and heat) and a great place to read, nap, have company, enjoy the sights outside, and just relax.

It would also provide a kind of extra room as well as a nifty “catio” for my cats, where they could enjoy the outdoors while not really being outdoors.     The space is large enough to be a sleeping porch in the summer, and being enclosed would certainly help keep the bugs and the heat down.  Right now, it’s usually too hot to sit out there long in midsummer, except in the evenings.

I think we’re going to start the work next weekend.  I’m pretty excited!

This is what I envision the finished result looking  something like:

enclosedporch

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

25 things that gross me out.

Oh, yes, all these things still gross me out!

Lucky Otters Haven

nasty

I admit it.  I’m easily grossed out. That’s why I could never work as a nurse.    In this list I’m only including the things that most people don’t think are that disgusting (that’s why you won’t see vomit, poo, or green phlegm here), or things that seem very specific.   I think some of them are pretty weird.

Things That Gross Me Out

  1. The sight of blood pouring out of someone’s mouth.  Seeing blood (even a lot of it) doesn’t necessarily bother me.  But when I see a movie or show where blood is spurting from someone’s mouth and nose I have to look away.  I can’t stand seeing that.
  2. Long fingernails that are not polished. They don’t have to be dirty.  I never understood why women want long nails if they’re not going to polish them. I think it looks nasty. I have no idea why it bothers…

View original post 516 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Trump’s only real achievement — which he never intended.

trump_narcissism

On this day in which people concerned about climate change take to the streets of the major US cities and across the world to protest Republican plans to remove federal climate change regulations and dismantle the EPA  (I was going to attend a rally here in my city but skipped it due to needing extra sleep this morning),  something else happened:  Trump reached his long-awaited 100-day mark.

Trump, in typical malignant narcissist fashion, bragged shamelessly about how no other administration ever accomplished so much in their first 100 days (*cough* *snort*) — unless he is talking about his success in instilling fear, rage and hatred in the American populace — as well as alienating our closest allies.   In those things, he has certainly accomplished a lot, even though every policy he has tried to implement has failed miserably.   Even he has admitted, rather incoherently, about how his job is a lot harder than he expected.   Well, what did he expect?   That it would be just like “The Apprentice” and he could fire someone every week and that would be that?

Trump’s “achievements” exist only in his own deluded mind.  He constantly talks about JOBS JOBS JOBS but any jobs or improvement in our economy actually happened under Obama’s watch, not Trump’s.   He has done nothing to create any new jobs.   His Mexican border wall (intended to keep out the drug dealers and “bad honchos”),  repealing the ACA and replacing it with an abortion of a  “healthcare plan” that was really just another tax break for the richest 2%,  the failed Muslim ban, and many other things he has tried to implement have all failed.   He has broken promises:  “healthcare for everybody” turned out to be a bait and switch and a massive lie.  He promised protection from terrorists but may have provided the catalyst for a new world war — with North Korea, a country that is very close to being able to attack us with nuclear weapons — and very well might (personally I’m a lot more afraid of North Korea than I am of any Muslim terrorists).   He promised to “drain the swamp” — but only populated the swamp with privileged billionaires who care nothing about the average American and only about lining their pockets even more at the expense of the poor and middle class.   He promised he’d work harder than any other president, but lied about that too.   I remember how he complained about Obama’s occasional golf trips, yet Trump is using our hard earned tax dollars to pay for his endless vacations at the “Southern White House” in Mar-A-Lago and to keep his clearly unhappy wife ensconced in a vast, gold-plated New York City penthouse, which costs us millions per day.   He is a hypocrite of epic proportions who does the opposite of what he promises.    You can almost predict what he’ll do by his “promises” — if he makes a promise, you can be pretty sure he’ll do the opposite.

Perhaps worst of all, he gaslights us all every day, most infamously via his Twitter account where he blames everyone from the Democrats to Obama to the Freedom Caucus to “paid protesters” to the “failing New York Times” to SNL and other late night comedians for his own failings — and never, ever takes any responsibility or admits when he’s been wrong.    Russia?  They well may have infiltrated and influenced the election, yet not once has he ever criticized Putin or the Russian government.    Trump lies when there’s no reason to lie, and then concocts new lies to cover the old lies.  He is abusive and makes degrading remarks against women, Mexicans, Muslims, and people of color, and still, his supporters remain staunch in their support.   They are as deluded as he is.  Are they victims of a type of political Stockholm Syndrome?  One has to wonder.

Trump brags about how popular he is and about the YUGE crowds that turn out at his endless rallies (he is so fearful of not winning a second term that he MUST hold these rallies to garner narcissistic supply), but the numbers fail to back these claims up.    Trump points to FOX News and The National Enquirer (no joke) as his go-to sources that prove how popular and successful he is, and dismisses legitimate news sources such as the New York Times and Washington Post as fake news.   Basically, if any news is critical of him, it’s fake.   Like all malignant narcissists, he is unable to tolerate any criticism and desperately hangs onto alternative facts he sees in the right wing tabloids and FOX & Friends that paint him as a hero and savior.  Those of us who understand the narcissistic mind are not surprised by his deluded claims and lies about how great he’s doing and how popular he is.    In actuality, Trump has the lowest approval ranking of any new president in recent history.   And yet his staunchest supporters stick by him like dog poop sticks to a shoe.

Yes, Trump’s purported achievements exist only in his own mind — except for one big achievement he never intended:  he has inspired Democrats and independents who oppose his bone-headed, heartless and draconian policies to get involved in politics again.   He has sparked (mostly peaceful) protests across the nation and even the whole world, in opposition to his plans to destroy America and its most loved institutions.   People are scared of him — and are becoming more vocal in their opposition and have vowed to vote out Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections.  In my opinion, Trump has almost no chance of winning a second term, if he even survives this one.

Had Hillary Clinton won the election, nothing would have changed.   She was unpopular with both parties, and if she’d won, Democrats and progressive independents would have succumbed to even deeper apathy and cynicism than they already were — and would — once again — have failed to turn out to vote in the 2018 and 2020 elections.   Republicans would have amped up their rage and hatred to levels we can’t even imagine now.  The end result would be that every branch of government would be even more hamstrung and gerrymandered by the Republicans than they are today.   So for this reason, I am actually glad Donald Trump won the election.   There’s one other good thing he’s done, once again never intended by him.   He’s educating the entire world about what a narcissistic leader is really like, and with God on our side, he won’t cause too much damage and we will have learned our lesson and never elect anyone like him again.

Posted in politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Contrived Helplessness

This post caught my eye and while reading it, I realized I used to do exactly this.   I think contrived helplessness isn’t limited to the fragile/covert type of narcissist though.  I think it’s also fairly common in people with codependency issues, or who suffer from BPD or C-PTSD.

When I used to pull the “I can’t do anything” card, it was never intentional;  I didn’t want to be that way!  I really believed I was that helpless.  I’d been programmed to believe I was incompetent and couldn’t do anything.  I didn’t know how to be any other way, but looking back on myself in those days, I realize now that I did it because I was so starved for attention and sympathy.   Getting pity and help from others was the only “power” I thought I had, but if you had asked me back then if I did it for attention, I would have said no and meant it.   Later on, I hated that kind of attention because it could be so patronizing and made me feel even more incompetent and helpless.

Comments here are disabled; please leave comments under the original post.

Grace for my Heart

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

Every once in a while I come up with a term for a narcissistic behavior only to find that the term is already being used for something else. I have wanted to write about a certain type of narcissist who controls others by being needy. I thought that the helplessness these people exhibit is a learned behavior. So I looked up “Learned helplessness.” Yes, it is a psychological term used for those who have tried a certain task repeatedly without success, then have become convinced that they are unable to do the task. A kidnap victim, for example, may try to run away and fail over and over, then give up and become unable to take advantage of real opportunities. Some of the more famous kidnapping cases, like Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard, may be examples of this inability in victims to help themselves.

Of…

View original post 1,086 more words

Posted in reblogs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Snowflakes are badass.

snowflake_meme

It needed to be said, so I made this meme.

Posted in memes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Rethinking political correctness.

good-manners-

On January 13, 2015, I wrote an article criticizing political correctness, explaining that it was a tactic some narcissists use to control others.   According to Charlton Heston, political correctness was tyranny wrapped in a happy face.     He wasn’t altogether wrong.

Toward the end of that post, I wrote,

I do not believe in political correctness, at least not when it’s taken to ridiculous extremes the way it sometimes is. We live in such a litigious society and almost everything can be construed as offensive. It can get pretty ridiculous.

From another post of mine (June 2, 2015) called Narcissists Use Political Correctness to Control:

It’s a huge irony that at the same time we worship the material over the spiritual, the rich and callous over the poor and kind, the corporation over the individual, the aggressive and ruthless over the empathetic and cooperative, that we insist on something called “political correctness.” This ties in closely with a concept we call “zero tolerance.” It’s gotten so extreme that if we tap our child on the rear-end in Wal-Mart, we could be charged with child abuse. If a young boy draws a picture of a gun, they could go to jail.

Later in the same post, I wrote:

We have euphemisms for everything. We have to watch everything we say for fear of offending some or another group of people. Political correctness, we are told, exists so we don’t hurt someone’s feelings or insult a group of people, whether they be of a certain nationality, race, have a particular disability or mental illness, or sexual preference. But I don’t think that’s the real reason for political correctness. I think the real reason is control. If we have to watch everything we say and walk around on eggshells for fear of offending someone, then we become anxious and fearful. That’s the way the narcissistic Powers That Be want us: scared to death and easily controlled. Zero tolerance is another way they can control us.

 

I still believe there is much truth to all this, and in general, I still believe that in recent years, political correctness has gone too far.    We’re afraid to say anything at all or express our real feelings about things, because someone might be offended.   As this cartoon shows, political correctness can be taken to ridiculous extremes:

peanuts_racism

For all its problems, there is still much to be said for political correctness — when it isn’t taken to ridiculous extremes or used to control others.   Political correctness came about because during the 1960s and 1970s, as people became more aware of racism, sexism, and all the myriad ways society tries to separate itself from “people who are not like us,”  it became no longer socially acceptable to call black people the “N” word, gay people “faggots,” or the cognitively challenged the “R” word.    We realized these people were human beings just like us with feelings, and those feelings ought to be respected.    The color of their skin or their sexual orientation or their cognitive or physical abilities didn’t make them any less human or any less prone to being emotionally hurt.

Due to the feminist movement of the 1970s, we also stopped referring to grown women as “girls,” although mature women do still use that term among themselves to refer to each other in a joking, informal kind of way (“I’m having lunch with the girls”).  We also stopped referring to them as “the weaker sex,” which they are certainly not, at least not mentally or emotionally (even though due to their smaller size, there may be truth to women being physically weaker than men).   Of course, being thought of as “weaker” did tend to bring out chivalrous behavior in men (opening doors or holding out a seat, etc. — which most of us still appreciate and recognize as a courtesy rather than an insult to our strength or competence).

So these days it’s pretty unsettling and appalling when we hear a lawyer in a rape case publicly refer to women as “the weaker sex”  or a new President brag about how he can “grab ’em by the pussy.”   It’s upsetting when that same president made fun of a disabled journalist during his campaign by imitating his awkward motions like some 9 year old bully on the playground — and got away with it.    Such behaviors and insults go way beyond thumbing your nose at political correctness and the need to having to watch everything you say.   They show a lack of respect and a callous disregard for our fellow human beings and don’t allow them any dignity.    There’s nothing noble or admirable about having no filter and not caring who you injure with your words.

When public figures callously and openly insult others,  they teach the world that it’s okay to bully and make fun of others who are different from you — especially when they get applauded for it.      Already, teachers, parents, and others who are closely involved with educating children are reporting an increase in bullying behavior in schools, especially toward people of color or non-Christians.   The kids are thinking, if the President of the United States can get away with treating others that way, well, why can’t I?   They wouldn’t be wrong to think that way.   Kids imitate the behavior of adults, especially those in the public eye such as celebrities and politicians.   Why should they listen to some teacher tell them it’s wrong to insult other kids for things they have no control over, when the President himself does it?

peanuts_respect

It seems like civility and politeness are things of the distant past.    We are a polarized nation, with both major parties routinely flinging vitriol and insults at the other party.    While this is to be expected in dark political times when so much is at stake,  it’s unsettling that such barbaric and disrespectful behavior seems to have become the norm even outside the political sphere.  It’s even more disturbing that we excuse it by applauding the bullies for daring to be rogues through their refusal to be “slaves” to political correctness.

Like most other things in life, political correctness can be a negative thing when taken to extremes and certainly can interfere with freedom of speech (as some of its critics have pointed out).    But that doesn’t mean there’s not a need for it.   “Political correctness” is really just the politically correct way to say “respect and kindness toward others” and “do unto others what you would have others do unto you.”    Until Trump’s election, many people (understandably) got so burned out on the political correctness movement that they pushed back against it — so much so that they admired and applauded a man who seemed to thumb his nose at political correctness at every opportunity and seemed to be proud of his propensity to fling hurtful insults at people who were different from him.

We all need to relearn the Golden Rule, which we were taught in Kindergarten but seem to have forgotten.   Being civil and courteous doesn’t mean we give up our constitutional right to freedom of speech.   It doesn’t mean we have to always wear a happy face and lie to others and pretend we love everyone when we don’t.    We don’t have to be fake.  But we do need to learn all over again what it means to listen to each other, to be civil to each other even when we disagree, and to not judge others harshly by things they cannot control, such as their physical or mental abilities, color of their skin, gender, or sexual orientation; or cultural differences such as their religion, cultural beliefs, or creed.   We need to relearn manners and basic civility,  and that means to know when to keep our mouths shut.   If we are thinking hateful thoughts about someone due to something they cannot help and express those thoughts openly, we help no one.  All we do is hurt others and make ourselves look like ignorant jerks.

Posted in opinions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gaslighting.

I’m pretty sure more people in 2017 know what gaslighting means than they did in 2016 or earlier.   It’s left the domain of the narcissistic abuse community and become a household word now that we have a leader who does it on a daily basis, largely via Twitter.   I see this term everywhere now.  In one sense, it’s a good thing, since people are becoming educated about what it (and malignant narcissism) looks like in a leader.    But it’s very bad that the whole world is being gaslighted now.   It’s even worse that so many people fall for the lies and act as flying monkeys who call those of us who value the truth ‘snowflakes.’

gaslighting_def

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Home from the vet.

sheldon_42517_1

Sheldon’s left cheek was swollen to the size of a golf ball, and I thought it might be an infected tooth.   I took him to the vet tonight and it turned out to be a puncture wound he must have got in a cat fight.  His teeth are fine.   He’s back home now and on antibiotics and plenty of catnip.    The vet also noticed he had worms so he was treated for those too.

sheldon_42517_2

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Hatred of truth.

orwell

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment