"Identity foreclosure is a psychological term for the phenomenon in which
a person makes premature conclusions about his or her personal identity
without a time of exploration and discovery. Identity foreclosure
happens when a person adopts the identity of others around them or is
forced to accept the identity expectations assumed or given to them." and "I began getting to know myself—like one might get to know a new friend. I started asking myself questions. What do you like to do? What are you good at? What are your dreams? What makes you tick? What are some things you have always secretly wanted to try? If there was nothing holding you back, who would you choose to be?"
That post is also about a doctrine circulating in Christian circles that posits that women have a dependent position to men within the church called Complimentarianism - women "complement" the primary role men have as ministers within the church. No matter what view you have about religion or the role of women within Christianity, if God exists and has revealed Himself to humanity, then it is very important to know Him and His view about who we are as clearly as we can. If you are a Christian, understanding Him is your daily meat and potatoes (metaphorically speaking) because the whole of your spiritual strength comes from standing under Him, and Him alone - not your own reasoning or anyone else's.
Don't ever be afraid of learning more about His way of identifying you for He made you from the very beginning. It isn't as if He is some outsider trying to barge in and change the good thing you have going on. Whether you are a man
or a woman, rich or poor, modern or traditional, young or graying middle
age, none of these things matter in Christ. His call is not to your
gender, sexuality, age, influence, or fame. Jesus' call is to the
person you are inside of that frail human frame, and He wants to light
you up inside brighter and livelier and more creative and joyful than
anything you've ever seen anywhere.
Somewhere at the beginning of this year I declared that this year was just for me, doing what I needed or wanted done, and not doing what other people needed or wanted. It's a break from the form I've always been molded into for the purpose of healing and finding my own needs and wants. A year in the life of middle aged person is not very long, but it can turn a life around. I'm thankful it isn't over yet.
I'm reading Mere Christianity again and came across this:
"We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man."
Progress. If we don't know what we're doing or where we want to be, then just doing is what we do, preferably as much as possible. The Democrats had their first presidential debate last night and everyone wanted to be a Progressive. I think that's pop culture code for having a hipster lifestyle resumè. Looks very stylish to be poor, but no one talks about how painful and expensive it is to be poor.
I'm trying to make progress in not only healing my life long frazzled mental state, but establishing where and how I want to spend the rest of my finite life. As it turns out, the time I'm spending going back to where I got things wrong (no matter who was at fault) and starting again with the most basic elements is the time it takes to turn the future. When I mean basic, I'm talking habits of self care, taking authority (not just responsibility) of what I believe, and continuing on with purging what I carry because I might and treasuring what I truly do want.
The shortest way back to where you want to go really is turning around and going back to where you made the wrong turn. It wouldn't be possible at all if I were still in relationships with people who require me to be someone else, and that is so, so sad. I feel bad for them. I'm really someone they would have liked, but it just wasn't possible.
New background picture: peaceful green texture. Because we're all like, peace out, man. Just chillin', y'know?
Today sucked, but I'm just not going to worry about it. I'm handing off the worry quickly to the Lord these days, it's more important to just keep going AND feel alright about it. I tried, I can't fix anything more than I fixed, if that's not enough someone will let me know with red ink on a memo fairly soon. No point in getting upset about anything.
It's a paperweight. Thick glass, you put a photo or little memento inside and glue the back on and you're memory is secure and contained. Because it's convex, it also acts as a little magnifier, the better to see your beloved by.
Even as I was ripping out the ragged, dirty photos of us kids that Mother had carefully cut out and pasted together under the glass, I heard myself speaking out loud the truth that no one wants to hear. If your children leave and do their very best to never come back, there's something wrong.
And it's probably you.
I can't count the number of times I've heard the excuse that the children went bad and no one has any idea why they left, goodness knows the parent did everything they could, the children were just selfish and got in with the wrong people. There's something about the human heart that wants to go home to mom and dad no matter how old you get. If you can find an excuse, you'll go, or call, or write, or keep in touch somehow. If the children aren't, then there was something rancid or cruel going on in their formative years and the adult children aren't obliged to go back and pretend it never was. Usually, everyone else takes up that delusion for them.
Earlier this afternoon I was reading an article about how male pastors abuse their spiritual authority by commenting on their women parishioners' prettiness. Sounds harmless, doesn't it? The author tried to look at every angle by which the pastors' could be justified in the behaviour, but when it comes down to the pastor's role in the life of a believer, there is no place for crossing that line into thinking and acting according to the fallen world. Physical beauty is fleeting and has no inherent reward in God's kingdom, not to mention that no woman apart from the one at his own house is his wife and he has no business qualifying his behaviour towards any woman anywhere due to how pretty she is.
It's manipulative, demeaning, deceptive within the Body of Christ, and wrong.
The women commenters to the article understood the problem, some of the men did, but quite a few of the men defended the behaviour to the uttermost. They didn't want to have to stop looking at women for the purpose of seeing if she met their standards of "pretty," and they didn't want the family dynamic within the church to change so much that they would have to see the stake they have in keeping women constrained to those standards. It gives them pleasure and power, and they aren't going to give that up, their life in Christ be damned. There remains the saving power of Christ, but it can come with the tears of a man rescued after he has set his own house on fire. It's a dreadful end for a lifetime of work. One more thing - I was listening to an album of scripture memory songs this week, it's just nice to sing the Word, and the Word only, without extra commentary, especially songs you first learned decades ago. James 1:5-6 came up, this time I heard it from the scripture instead of the endless sermons I've heard about it. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind." Trust [faith] in the wisdom God gives you in response to your request. Don't do a double take [doubt] and try to trust your own or the world's wisdom, too; it makes you unstable, you can't have two minds on the subject and get anywhere. Go with God's wisdom, there's plenty of it to get you all the way thru and He will never scold you for asking.
(Most sermons accuse you of not having enough faith in God to get the wisdom, but faith isn't the subject here, wisdom is. Remember, God never reproaches you for being ignorant, don't let anyone else accuse you either.)
Thanks, Bob Ross. Forty years later, I finally buy some paints and paper and spend an hour on the porch playing with colors and shapes. I haven't any drawing skill, but watercolors are very forgiving. I just kept going and one thing turned into another thing and I really have no idea what this is, but it was Very relaxing making it and a great first thing in the morning to do. I think I'll make some more mistakes tonight!
Someone somewhere else asked if a true narcissist (her mother) could be a Christian, after all, the narc is all about himself and Very cruel. This is the encouragement I gave her in response. It applies to NPDs and all those with mental disorders and mental illnesses.
even within the parameters of the personality disorder, exists on a
continuum. Some people are more, some are less. But really, it isn't a
straight line scale, it's a landscape of selfishness. Some people cross
the border regularly for visits, some people hoist the flag and buy penthouse apartments in the capital city.
the time I learned about NPD, my mother was very much on the decline
physically, so I had to get help from friends who also knew my opinion
about her being NPD. My friends are still astonished that I am confident
she was genuinely a Christian, they just couldn't find any evidence
other than the religious forms she had always used as a cover.
key thing to remember about Christianity is that the root of it is not
in the mind, it is in the person's spirit, and we neither save ourselves
nor keep ourselves in a state of righteousness with God by our prayers
or good works. Being made right with God is something we give ourselves
in trust to Jesus to do FOR us. That is our faith - we are trusting
Jesus to reconcile us to God AND keep us from being such stupid
jackasses as to walk away from that reconciliation.
of people stop right there. They recognize the truth of the gospel that
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, they sincerely believe it
and acknowledge Jesus as their savior, they never stop believing that is
true - and then they carry on the rest of their lives trying to live
out of their reasoning faculties. Believing happens in the heart,
reasoning comes out of your head.
is an entrenched mental disorder. It begins as a form of self defense
and grows over time to become an aggressive, pernicious, hideous thing. I
heard someone call mental illness "cancer of the mind" once, and it
might be a fair analogy. It makes the personality deformed and ugly, but
it's key to remember that "personality" is just the part of a person
that we see acting outwardly. The innermost part of a person we never
see, only that person and God knows what goes on in there.
only takes faith the size of a mustard seed for God to change someone
completely from the inside out. How many have waited until the last
moment to throw down the rebel flag and surrender, yet we have no
problem believing they are saved? How many sit in church because it's
full of "nice" people, yet never do believe that whole "blood shed at
your Mom says she saved, go with that in your prayers. Hold her words
up to God with your whole heart and entrust Him to make her words true
and sure. It's His problem and He can bloody well come up with the
solution. If He is God, then He can live up to it for your mother. (I'll
tell you a big secret about that kind of prayer - He ain't scared of it
and He likes to save people right where they are.)
will have to keep your own head outside of the neat little boxes
psychology and religion want to stuff people in. Categories of mental
illness and most sermons are ratiocinations of the mind, and faith in
God always comes from your spirit. I recommend C.S. Lewis as a trusted
ally - The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, and
the whole of the Narnia books.
Lewis had an understanding of people in the grip of addiction and mental illness, and hard won experience in being a faithful friend to both. I think both of those things light up his writing. "...it is not easy to throw off in half an hour an enchantment which has made one a slave for ten years."
I thought I was all past it and there was no trouble anymore, so I let myself get sentimental about some of Mother's things that turned up unexpectedly. I went so far as to hang something off my rear view mirror in the car to remind me, along with a few other things I was doing all alone that I shouldn't have been alone for. The Lord told me almost two years ago that I should never go back to her house by myself, but I did.
Because I'm so much stronger now. Right?
Damn that C-PTSD comes sneaking right back up and before I know what I'm doing I'm using old coping techniques and can't tell which way is north and what year it is. Facebook doesn't help at all with that new "memories" app throwing ALL that stuff back at me day after day.
Looks dry and dusty and ever so technical, doesn't it? I think it probably doesn't look much different to most people than my bookcases full of topical studies and Bible reference books. I was listening to an old teaching on praying in the spirit a few minutes ago and the thought occurred to me that, although I'm hearing some really great and useful things that I hadn't heard before, it's someone teaching from the inside of their experience with God. Trying to explain it or share it with most people would be really useless, because most people either have little or no experience with Him. He's an Idea, or afar off, or a particle physics discovery yet to be made. I think it's just human nature to try to study all about God before we actually commit ourselves to Him, and we Fer Shure [!] try to read all the commentaries on speaking in other tongues before we do that whole baptism in the Holy Ghost thing. I have some good news for you, though - all that in depth study is completely useless without God Himself teaching you. You'll never know a thing about God unless He shows it to you. I realized not long ago that the reason my relationship with my mother did not ruin my relationship with God was that she was not in the relationship. I "got saved" as a little girl of about six or seven. We kids sat on the back row in church while Mother sang in the choir. We were disciplined enough to hold ourselves together back there, and what fidgeting we did couldn't distract too many people, but she could still keep an eye on us. Since the sermons were a bit dull to my ears, I used to go looking thru the pew Bible for the words in red, because I knew that was Jesus talking. Generally, you can find some good action stories that way, quite a few miracles, and a bit of talking about things that had plain words but just didn't seem to fit as a story. I lucked up [Ha!] on the gospel of John, and he just quotes Jesus talking for the longest time, pages and pages, especially in the time right before his death. I really didn't understand all the things Jesus was talking about, but I knew I could trust him, so I just kept reading. Finally I came up on John, Chapter 17, and for the first time I could read an entire conversation Jesus had with the Father! I mean all of it, not some little synopsis, but him going on and on - it was just like being there! Oh, I wanted to listen to every little scrap of it, I wanted to really know what those two talked about in private. And it's in there. It was like sitting at the table in their house while they talked about the most important things in Jesus' mission here on Earth. Jesus is giving a status report, going over how things have gone and what he has left to do, almost like a top secret intelligence briefing or something. I'm still amazed God had John remember and put it in his gospel, I mean, who lets that kind of stuff get printed up and put out for even little kids to see??? Anyway, I got down to verses 20 thru 23: "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me."
I had found my way in. Jesus himself was asking the Father to bring me to the table, it wasn't just for The Twelve, "but also for those who believe in Me through their word, that they all may be one." The official plan wasn't that I could be just one of the disciples, but "be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us." I was completely entranced with Jesus' repeated insistence on "I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one." I wanted that. I wanted up close, side by side, free, unhindered access to God that no one could interfere with or obstruct. Somehow I knew I was being offered that deal and I needed to accept the deal or not, no guarantees that I would ever be offered the deal again. So, one day soon after, outside playing around by myself, I agreed to it, crossed the line never to go back, all in and no getting out for life. If you aren't sure you like God, or definitely don't like Him at all, don't sweat it, you've probably been reading technical manuals and listening to 57th hand stories about Him. You'll never like Him much that way. Jesus came as the Passover lamb, he walked around letting himself be seen and examined for who and what he was before he was accepted as a sacrifice. Look Jesus over for yourself, see if what he said and what he did was beautiful and worthy and if he is the kind of man who you can trust with your life. You'll never figure God out for yourself, let Jesus show you. There's a place at the table set for you.
This is a little beat up print I saw in a local antique store but left behind. I noticed it on two different occasions, but rather than go with what my insides were telling me,
"Ooh, look, there it is again! You should ask what they'll take for it, it won't hurt to ask!"
I tried to be all logical and responsible,
"The frame is dinged to bits, you don't need another country scene, it's just a waste of money and you've spent too much this month already, you'll never hang it anywhere..."
and I walked away from it. I still think about that print and now I really wish I had it, dinged to bits and all. It would be perfect here now in happy company with a bunch of other dinged up old prints I've found and love and the texture of the house wouldn't be right without anymore.
Pia Mellody talks about about codependents having an "external locus of control." I used to think that was letting other people tell you what to do and I'm not generally a rollover kind of girl, so I've just brushed it off. I'm beginning to think it's more of a second guessing of your own instincts and looking for rational exterior validation, be it in the form of running your idea past someone else first or just reusing a checklist of criteria taught to you at some point as a model of critical thinking. Having a checklist is good when you are very young, engaged in fighting an addiction, or when you are first starting on a new trade or program, but after awhile, I'm thinking your own instincts have to take first priority. There is actually safety in trusting yourself over trying to fit into someone else's example.
1. Adult children of alcoholics guess at what normal behavior is.
That's an external locus of control. We're looking around to see what it is we're supposed to be thinking and doing, because things weren't predictable or reliable at home and we never really know what we're "supposed" to be doing to make life come out "right."
It's very nerve wracking at first trusting one's own instincts ALL the time, or quitting as a habit trying to fix the world and just go about doing what one wants to do, to be fully occupied with one's own interests and business and not worrying anymore about anyone else (to include the whole world.) I mean, there's really big S#!$ going on out there! And fixing it isn't my problem right now and God is okay with that.
That's a really big internal transition to make. If you are still running around thinking God is holding you accountable for everyone else, then you know what I mean.
The way I "stepped over the log" to make that transition comes out of an online conversation a couple of days ago. Someone was conflating God's nature and image with physicality, so I ended up giving a long winded explanation. (I don't always, but sometimes I do. ;D )
image of God is not in our physical bodies, God is outside of creation.
When the Word of God became flesh, he had to get it the same way you
and I did, thru our mothers. God is Spirit (John 4:24), all the
attributes we know of Him describe
His wisdom, power, grace, justice, etc., and none of them speak of his
sexuality, genome, IQ, health or height, for He has none of those
attributes, they are all physical. (Funny to think of Him as not having
an IQ, but that speaks to the content and quickness of the mind, and His
thoughts are nothing like ours - He knows everything, always has.)"
As I thought more about the mind of God the next day, knowing everything and always having known it, the nature of His thoughts being perfectly within Him for all eternity, I began to imagine His way of knowing Himself - from within, without change or challenge, without fault and perfectly contained - I felt in my imagination His power residing perfectly within Himself, incomprehensible power at rest. (Here's the funny bit.) The feeling I got was like the sound of a warp engine drive in a starship. Power to bend the universe contained in a vessel. That safe, yet powerful feeling is what it is to contain and trust yourself as you move thru your life.
Maybe you've always been that way, good for you. Maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about, can't help you anymore than this today. Maybe you've got some things to think about, yay for you. Maybe you want to read the rest of what I wrote and quoted above, go here. It's late, I've got to meet a guy to see the new Terminator movie, they say it's good.
I don't want to post everything as a blog post, so I'm going to try using the FB link feature on Kindle to make comments on books I'm reading there. Also may try using Facebook on the fly when I find some things worth sharing. It's all public on my Facebook page, no friends or groups. Click on link to the right ----> (Yes, I'm aware there are no readers here, why should there be readers there. Whatever.)
It's Mother's Day. Somehow I'm able to simultaneously forget that and know it at the same time. My mother loved this movie, she loved and identified with Mary Tyler Moore, she thought this movie perfectly expressed her own frustration at how my sister's death upset her and changed everything in the family, she thought the mother in this movie was the quiet martyr trying to hold everything together, she never saw the mother was tearing her own house down around their heads.
I saw this movie one time in the theater, I think we all went together. The strain of impending horror and unspoken truth was more than I could ever do twice, although I think she watched it whenever it came on. It is a brilliant movie, I don't know if I'll blow a month depressed and confused trying to get over all the flood of memories by watching it again.
Looking things over - the past few years, what I wanted, what I asked for. Seems like Norah has more than a few songs on that sound track, so here's one more on a spring night, waiting for the light of a spring morning.
not because I have no tastebuds, but because I have not nearly enough experience, and I forget one meal to the next time I cook that meal. So I'm writing things down and printing them out in a great big office sized notebook. With Christmas on the cover.
I had a bit of involuntary Internet down time a couple weeks ago and realized I've got so many recipes pinned or loaded into my recipe program, but if the electronics fail, I'm toast. So, I'm going old school with the ones I've tried and will use again. I've set my notebook up with labeled dividers, slid the printed pages into clear sleeves (really cheap to do now), and fixed a nail and a clip to hang one from the cabinet while I cook. Totally Pinterest worthy and works great.
The ADD issue comes in when I try to coordinate a whole bunch of recipes to come together at the same meal. I had to scramble eggs three times to have hot ones at the same time everything else was finished this morning, so... I'm making a schedule of what to fix in what order for next time I do this - like a recipe!
I really do need that kind of specificity, but it can't be someone else's order, it has to be mine, because if I don't understand it, I can't make it work. And if I don't write it down today, I'll forget by tomorrow. Maybe I could write recipes for getting myself properly packed and out the door on time for a road trip? I don't think I'm ready for daily life recipes, those just turn into endless to-do lists aimed at perfection, and I have no shot at that. I'd just like to enjoy my time off without the stress and failures that are my usual fare.
Even so, breakfast did get made and I decided to pull out an old favorite and make it a full brunch. I can't remember where I got the recipe, but it makes some very tasty scones. Don't forget to wash the orange with dishwashing soap and a sponge before you zest it, produce is coated with wax for shelf life.
Cranberry Orange Scones
- 2 C flour - 1 T. sugar - 2 t. baking powder - 1/2 t. salt - 1/4 C butter - 1/2 C heavy cream - 1 egg - 1 C sweetened dried cranberries - 2 t. orange zest - 1-2 T. sugar
1. Preheat oven to 425. Grease a cookie sheet
2. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter or margarine into dry ingredients until butter is size of small peas using a pastry blender or fork. Add remaining ingredients, mixing just until dry ingredients are moist. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Pat into a circle about 9 inches across and 3/4 inch thick; cut into 8 wedges. Place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar.