Who am I…where am I going?

keats

This afternoon I laid down and meditated for awhile on God’s purpose for my life, and where he is leading me.

God has a purpose for everyone.  We’re at our happiest when we submit to his will and not to our own.   I’ve learned this truth the hard way, after many years of insisting on having my own way and always failing miserably, or finding out that what I thought I wanted  wasn’t what I wanted at all.

I’m still not living the life I want to live, because I’m still grappling with the bad choices I made (and the bad choices that were made for me).  I also never took risks before.  I lived inside my comfort zone, which wasn’t very comfortable, but it was all I knew.

Last week, I did a few things that were outside my comfort zone.    I took a week off of work for something I really wanted and needed to do, in spite of not having any vacation time or money to pay for it.   I asked for financial help online and got it.   I submitted myself to an emotional and spiritual process that was painful for me at least once.  I spend almost a week sharing a room with someone who I would normally regard as much too “good” for me and avoid that person out of envy or feelings of not being able to measure up (those are just the “tapes” that were installed in my mind by my judgmental, snobbish, “keeping up with the Joneses” narc parents).  But as it turned out, once we got to know each other, I realized this woman wasn’t judging me on those terms and even seemed to genuinely like me, which I was sure she would not.  So I could let down that particular guard.    In fact, under normal circumstances, I would have felt inferior or “less than” everyone else on this retreat too.  And yet I did not.   Other than a little social discomfort and shyness at first, assuming I’d be negatively judged, soon I felt welcomed.

You can tell you’re not living as God meant for you to live if you’re unhappy with what you’re doing or your circumstances.    I’m still not fulfilled or happy, but I’m getting closer, and God is showing me the way.   He was always there though, always trying to show me something better, but I wasn’t ready.    That wasn’t my fault; it just was.  Now it’s changing.

The first step of this journey was that I had to leave my abuser(s).   As long as I remained, I would stay stuck, and worse than that, eventually die both emotionally and spiritually.  Possibly physically too.

But even after freeing myself, I still wasn’t able to start looking inside myself and realize that I not only needed God but also needed to submit my will to his, until after I was able to forgive my abusers.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning the awful things they did to us, nor does it mean apologizing or submitting to them.   Not even one little bit!   They were wrong in what they did, horribly wrong…but that shouldn’t become a life sentence for us.  We need to move on with ourselves in order to find peace and happiness.   But moving on isn’t possible until we can forgive the people who tried to trip us up at every turn.   It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s necessary.

I reached a point where I was tired of hating them.   The hatred had served its purpose–I got away!  What now?  All that hatred was just turning me bitter and angry, and making me feel helpless and living in fear that abuse would just keep happening again…and again….and again.

Forgiving them wasn’t for their benefit; it was for mine!   After letting go of my hatred and rage, I was finally able to look inside myself and see what I could do differently to avoid being a victim again in the future.   In doing so, I found that I had quite a few unpleasant, even narcissistic, traits of my own.    Not that I’d ever asked for the abuse, or been horrible enough to deserve it, no way!  It just meant I’d probably picked up quite a few negative traits and defense mechanisms from my abusers, in order to survive.

I no longer needed those traits now that I was free.   In fact, I had no choice but to send them packing if I wanted to move forward.

Letting that anger go and forgiving the people who abused me made me able to look at their brokenness.  By seeing them as victims too (albeit victims so broken they had lost any ability to have insight into themselves or be able to change on their own), that gave them a whole lot less power over me.   If I had never been able to forgive them, I would never have been able to let go of feeling like a powerless victim instead of a survivor with the hope of an actual future.

That doesn’t mean the victimization wasn’t real.   It was.  But at some point you will want to say, “I overcame this!  I’m a survivor!”   A victim is someone who is still in danger, who is unable to get past that danger.

God doesn’t let bad things happen to us (such as having narcissistic parents) to “teach us things” or because he wants us to suffer.  The bad things that happen to us are never his will for us.  He allows them to happen because he has given us all free will.

However, what God can do is take those bad things and turn them into something beautiful and good, IF we keep our hearts and minds open to what his true purpose for us is. God  can use these things as tools that bring us closer to him and at the same time bring us closer to fulfilling what his purpose for our lives is (and that purpose always coincides with what will make us the happiest too). We should never fight his plan for us, but we can ask for guidance.

God can and will find the beauty in our brokenness.

While I was lying on my back meditating, I kept my mind and heart open, just listening.    Since returning from my retreat last week, I feel like my heart is much more open to God and his plans for my life and however he wants to use me.

I asked him to show me a picture of who I could have been if I hadn’t been so broken…and who I still can be when I’m less broken.

At first nothing came to me, but after awhile I realized my mind kept circling back to 3 words:

Words

Truth

Beauty.

 

God wasn’t showing me a picture of the Me he intended for me to be; he was showing me through the modality I understand and resonate with best: words.

Words are the tools God gave me to write about what happened to me.  Words made it possible for me to start this blog and share my story.

Words are the tool by which I’ll fulfill my destiny.

My destiny is to disseminate beauty and truth.

I was the truth teller in my family.

I can’t stand fakeness, phoniness, insincerity.   I’m allergic to those things.  (Not that I’ve always been honest myself or have never told a lie–that would be far from the truth!).

I’ve always sought the truth — whether through a hunger for knowledge, reading science or psychology articles and books, spirituality, religion, nature, art, music, or literature — all right-brained things by which the truth can be discovered.

Truth, as John Keats famously stated, is beauty.

And beauty is truth.

My purpose in this life–God’s purpose for me–is to disseminate truth and beauty, which are the same.

Through truth and beauty may come healing.   Healing for me, and healing for others.

No one who makes an effort to listen to their heart cannot be healed, because it’s through our heart that God speaks to us and can rewire our broken connections.

 

Narcissism and chakra healing

manipura
Manipura (solar plexus) chakra

Even though I’m Christian, I subscribe to the chakra system of healing or that it can at least be helpful used in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy and medicine. I don’t think belief in chakras or chakra healing goes against Christian teaching. Chakra healing is not a religion, but an alternative method of medicine used in eastern traditions (drawn from Tibetan Buddhism) and popularized in the West fairly recently. I’ve seen evidence for myself that this works and meditation on the chakras can bring you a sense of peace, centeredness and a a feeling of being in harmony with yourself and the world. In my opinion, meditation on these physical energy centers does not involve playing with the occult, as some people have claimed.

Chakras are energy centers located in the body at seven points along the spine from the groin area to the top of the head. They correspond to the endocrine system of the body and each is associated with a different endocrine gland.

The seven chakras are:

1. Root Chakra – Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded.
Location: Base of spine in tailbone area.
Emotional issues: Survival issues such as financial independence, money, and food.
(color: red)

2. Sacral Chakra – Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences.
Location: Lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel and 2 inches in.
Emotional issues: Sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure, sexuality.
(color: orange)

3. Solar Plexus Chakra – Our ability to be confident and in-control of our lives.
Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area.
Emotional issues: Self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem.
(color: yellow)

4. Heart Chakra – Our ability to love.
Location: Center of chest just above heart.
Emotional issues: Love, joy, inner peace.
(color: green)

5. Throat Chakra – Our ability to communicate.
Location: Throat.
Emotional issues: Communication, self-expression of feelings, the truth.
(color: blue)

6. Third Eye Chakra – Our ability to focus on and see the big picture.
Location: Forehead between the eyes. (Also called the Brow Chakra)
Emotional issues: Intuition, imagination, wisdom, ability to think and make decisions.
(color: indigo)

7. Crown Chakra – The highest Chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.
Location: The very top of the head.
Emotional issues: Inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality, pure bliss.
(color: purple)

According to this article, Narcissists have problems with the third chakra (solar plexus, or manipura chakra), which is associated with self esteem and confidence.

Narcissists have an underdeveloped solar plexus chakra. They overcompensate for this by acting like they’re the greatest thing ever. “Inverted” narcissists (codependent people with low self esteem) also have an underdeveloped solar plexus chakra but instead of overcompensating, they act out their feelings of low self worth.

Meditation on the solar plexus chakra to strengthen it could be beneficial for narcissists, and also for their victims, who feel powerless because of the abuse done to them by their narcs.

In my own opinion, I think narcissists also have a malfunctioning or underdeveloped heart chakra (the ability to feel love). So I think meditation on the heart chakra could help them too.

There are many chakra meditations available on Youtube. Here’s a good one to start with. As you meditate on each one, try to focus on the corresponding part of the body listed above.

If you feel you are lacking in one or more of the chakras, there are other videos where you can meditate on just that one.

As for me, I’m “top heavy”–my 6th (third eye) and 7th (crown) chakra seem to be the best developed, and I’m seriously lacking in the first three (root, sacral, and solar plexus), especially the first and the third. This is typical for people who live inside their heads and focus on the life of the mind over practical, survival issues. I have very poor survival instincts. My heart chakra seems to be okay but could certainly use development. My throat chakra has been strengthening through blogging. I communicate best through writing; in speech, not so much.

If you want to read more about the chakras and how they work, Anodea Judith’s Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakras, is one of the best resources. It’s easy to read but gives an extremely detailed overview of the chakras and how they interrelate.

Money. Yep, I’m really going there.

moneyfear

Talking about money is something I hate.  It’s because I don’t have any.   My years of abuse as a victim of psychopathy was so demoralizing that it nearly destroyed all my self confidence (something I never had much of to begin with).   I think being poor is something a lot of people who spent most of their years trapped in the bubble of psychopathy have been forced to deal with–especially if they were the family scapegoat who was always told “you’re a failure” or “you’ll never succeed in anything.”   News flash:  we got brainwashed.   

I have the native intelligence to have become pretty successful, and I did have a few false starts and a promising beginning in publishing many years ago.  But I’ve always had trouble sticking with anything or following it through due to my pathetic self image and negativity.   When I’ve had opportunities either I (or my psychopaths) sabotaged them.

Being a person with autism doesn’t help.   As an Aspie,  I lack the social skills necessary to be able to connect and network well with those who could have helped me.  Family?   Fuggeddabout it!  They were never any help at all.  I won’t go into anymore detail about that in this post; if you’re interested in my sob story you can click on the link at the top “My Story” and link to my memoirs.    You might just want to do that anyway, since you’re interested enough in the topic of NPD and psychopathy to be reading my blog.

So, here’s the good part.   Currently I have a crappy job that barely pays more than minimum wage and I’m supporting myself and my daughter.   I was pretty much resigned to always being one of the “working poor”  especially since I’m over 50.     I didn’t have high hopes for the future.   I felt like I was just marking time until death.

Almost a year ago I kicked out my psychopathic ex-husband, who I wasn’t even married to since 2005, but allowed him to live with me anyway.  Pretty crazy, huh?   Being divorced but allowing him to live with me and use me for  7 years after the divorce.    Can we say insane?

At first being completely independent (and no longer depended on for narcissistic supply) was pretty scary and slow going.  Many times this past year I feared I wouldn’t make it.

I’ve always loved writing but thought I forgot how to write.  Actually I just lost the motivation and desire, and that was due to severe depression and C-PTSD from so many years living under the shadow of psychopaths.   My depression has been lifting, and one day not even two weeks ago I decided I would start a blog.  And here it is.

I’m pretty proud of my blog.    But more than just making me feel good about myself, I realized I never forgot how to write.   In fact, writing’s an addiction now, and I’m posting so much I’m afraid it might be too much and people will get bored.   But evidently they are not, going by the increase in my view and follower counts.

At first I was writing this blog just for me, as self therapy.  And it still is that.  I still have a LOT of shit to work through.  I’m not out of the woods yet.

But now I have a vision beyond just writing for myself.  I want to help others, and I want to make a living blogging while I help others.   I absolutely love doing this.   It’s a passion and I haven’t had a real passion in…forever.

I already got the custom design upgrade (pretty cheap at $30) and am thinking about taking a class in CSS at the community college so I can use those features.   I can try to use the tutorials here but find them a little hard to follow.

If this blog ever gets big (I’m not counting on it but you never know!), I’ll probably be wanting to upgrade to WP.org to get my own domain name and maybe allow ads on my blog which would also bring in a small income.  I have to learn a lot more about this.

Which brings me to my main point, which is a request of sorts.    I was afraid to ask for money because I didn’t set up this blog to make money and it just seems, well, greedy.  But here’s the thing.    You already know I’m strapped for cash and don’t make much on my day job, and I dearly want to keep my blog going, for myself as well as for others who may be helped by it.   But right now, I’m even struggling to pay for Internet access.    I could use some help.

So what I am doing is setting up a Paypal account and a link in the green bar in my header if anyone is interested in donating to my blog (the money would ONLY be used to keep the blog going, not for anything else-you have to trust me on this).   Of course I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to donate, and I don’t actually expect to get any donations.   But anything you could afford would be deeply appreciated.   If you can’t afford anything (or don’t want to donate), no worries!   Following and reading my blog is fantastic support in itself and is more than appreciated, believe me.

But I’m going to throw it up there anyway and see what happens.

One more thing.   I have been meditating a lot recently and there are some great subliminal videos on Youtube to help you do this more effectively and help you relax.    People may be skeptical, but something kind of weird happened.  While browsing meditation videos last night, I came across this one, which promised after viewing it, you would begin to find new ways to attract money you never had before.   I thought of the donation idea today and also decided I want this blog to more than just for myself and also become MY JOB.   So I wonder if these new desires are a manifestation of whatever subliminal “messages” were implanted in my brain last night.

Here is the video I watched.

Even if you’re skeptical about it’s money attracting powers, the images of space and the universe are beautiful beyond belief and the music is very relaxing.

Interlude: a day filled with light

chakras

Before I get started writing about the last part of my journey with my psychopathic ex, I wanted to share my experience today because it was such a mindblowing one. There’s been so much darkness in these posts and doing the emotional work required can be painful and exhausting. I really needed a respite from that and today I got it.

A week ago I was reading about a place called The Light Center, in Black Mountain, NC (which is close to my home), a prayer and meditation center that among other things, focuses on using colored light to help stimulate and align the chakras for improved physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. I know this sounds like an ad but it’s not. (If you’re interested though, I’ve linked their website above).
I’ve always been interested in the chakras and attracted to all things metaphysical so I was intrigued and thought I might benefit, especially after releasing so much negative energy while I was writing my blog post late last night. I needed something to offset all the negativity and recalibrate my chakras.

I mentioned I felt like I was dead inside for a long time. In a way I was. My chakras have been in a very sick overall state for a long time, particularly my lower chakras which I think were and are almost non-functioning. My root chakra (grounding–survival and security, animal instincts) is my weakest. I live inside my head, less so inside my heart (but I’m working on that) but I’m not grounded or in touch with physical reality much at all. Not long ago I took an online chakra test and scored highest in the Crown chakra (top of the head–spirituality, universal consciousness, release of karma) I don’t know exactly what all this means but it does tell me I have very poor survival instincts but a highly developed awareness of the spiritual. This does seem to fit my overall relationship to life.

The Light Center is a geodesic dome that sits near the top of a beautiful green mountain in North Carolina’s Black Mountains (part of the Blue Ridge). The highway to it is long and takes many sharp turns as it snakes its way up. As you begin to climb, a primeval silence takes over and you begin to feel disconnected from the hubbub of humanity and the mundane world of commerce and dysfunction that lies below. I was with my 21 year old daughter who felt she needed healing too (and had nothing else to do today). Finally, after what seemed an endless climb into the clouds, a sign for the center appeared. We turned onto a gravel road and the silence of very late summer closed in, the air cool and foggy with a hint of fall. The trees seemed to whisper. I got a great sense of the spiritual and when we turned a corner, we finally saw the top of the dome.

Inside we were met by a substantial woman in her late 50s or 60s who smiled and welcomed us. Something about her exuded serenity and love. She gave us a tour of the center, explaining its history and how it came to be. I liked the fact there’s no fee for their services, and the top of the dome, which serves as the meditation and prayer center, is open 24/7 except when the road is inaccessible.

Then she left us alone in the Light Room, which she had explained to us briefly. It was a silent sixteen sided chamber with completely white walls, and equipped with easy chairs and small blankets and pillows for comfort. The lights dimmed to darkness and ambient music began to play, and suddenly we were bathed in red light, which represents the root chakra. We spent five minutes under each of the colors, all the way up to purple (the crown chakra), with the lights dimming to blackness in between each for about a minute. My breath slowed and I tried to focus on each chakra as the corresponding colored light went on, and spent the moments of darkness in between thanking God for this experience, the beautiful day with my daughter, and for the mountains and beauty just outside. I thanked Him for helping me get back in touch with my creativity, my long-lost love of writing expressed through starting this blog.

But most amazing of all, I didn’t feel hatred for my psychopaths. This was a very new feeling for me. Unbelievably, I felt compassion for them. So I asked God to heal them, if not in this world or this lifetime then in the next. I realized that for psychopaths, all their chakras are closed off and disconnected from each other. Functioning chakras are necessary to utilize the life force and do good in the world. Psychopaths have them but they are so nonfunctioning they are really are almost dead inside. It’s like a 4 cylinder engine running on only one. The car won’t run.

If you could see the aura of a psychopath they would be very thin, dark, almost black. There’s nothing in the world we, as humans, can do to help the psychopaths in our lives. We have to let them go. Only God can help them, and only if they choose to let Him inside. I believe even the worst psychopath has moments, however rare, of clarity and truth and those are the moments God can heal them. In the meantime, we can pray for them, and pray for ourselves, and pray for a world that comes to know we are all connected and all equal in God’s eyes. I was humbled by this revelation.

On the drive back down the mountain, my daughter said she felt the same thing.