Sunday, January 24, 2016

Video, audio, book list

I've just had a cracker of a morning listening to some CDs I've listened to before, watching/listening to some youtube videos that I've not seen before, and baking a cake that didn't come out, but it should. I'll do the cake again, I think I over mixed it, and I'm going to recommend my list of go-to information for childhood trauma and recovery.

I just watched a video about dissociation that just about pulled me out of my skin. By the time she was done, she could have just as well called it "Welcome to My ADD" because she had described what I've been doing all my life to cope with life. Being not present is the only way I get thru the day and the decades, and all this time I just thought it was distraction. I don't doubt that distraction thru dissociation is now hardwired into my brain, so the brain disorder of ADD is an accurate diagnosis as far as it goes. But I am NEVER fully present in the moment, in my own skin, in the truth about my life, in the truth about a host of other people and in the truth of my relationships with a host of other people.

I'm just NOT HERE, and I don't know that I've ever been here since I was a very little kid. That is just fucking scary.

Where am I? Daydreams, shopping, procrastinating, planning what I will do but am not doing now, working my job with blinders on so I don't have to think about anything else, putting out family fires or trying to get someone else fixed but not actually doing necessary and needful things for myself, watching TV or a movie or reading a book, remembering my past and trying to figure out what the whole deal with that was, wishing I could go to bed early or, in years past, wasting too much time sleeping so I don't have to be awake and aware in the present, or the great modern way of not being here: being on the internet.

Another couple of good, provoking videos I watched this morning are from Escape From Narcissism. One was...nevermind, here's a list:
Narcissist Parents Expect Their Children to Parent Them. Absolutely spot on.
Narcissism: Disturbing Clues in an Old Family Photo. We don't have many family photos. Despite Dad's photo "hobby," no one took many photos. I was horrified to find an old spool of negatives and discover that he had made the one roll last for over two years, even tho we were all kids at home. No one wanted to capture our lives and remember it later, no one made the effort to look at someone else in the family with kind eyes and make them look good on film. Neither of my parents had taken a good picture of any of us or each other in two years. Why?
Decoding: Was the Enabler a Narcissist All Along? I want to write something about my Dad's part in the family, and I recognize quite a few things she talks about, but I think she makes the common mistake of trying to put people in a bad guy mold that can be labeled "narcissist" or "addict" or whatever else we can see with our eyes and sort our world out with to make some sense.

I'm using the Pia Mellody preferred term "childhood trauma" because "narcissistic abuse" is just too narrow.  People act blindly and selfishly towards their children on a moving scale, it can get better and it can get worse. Most of the time, most parents haven't got a clue what they are doing to their kids because they don't really know or own up to who they really are themselves. They just are trying to get along, make a living, find some kind of reward for having lived, and once you are the one in charge you rarely question the quality of your own behavior towards others.

Pia Mellody is your girl if you want get serious about coming out of All of the mental confusion and getting on with your business of living.
This list includes all the instructional videos of her I could find online. She didn't actually publish them, but they are there and they are fantastic. She is a professional and she has a paradigm that works for the entirety of recovery, not just a hot patch for getting thru the next week or two.

She actually works out of The Meadows, an in patient treatment facility in Arizona, and their bookstore carries CD's and DVD's of hers available for sale. Generally, they are lectures to a larger group of patients and therapists, and they are comprehensive and wonderful. Her books are good and probably available in your local used bookstore, they have pretty much the same as what you will hear on the CD's, but you'll get it Much better if you have a few CD's to listen to as well. I'm guessing I'll have most of her CD's by the time I get done. I recommend you get the following CD sets as a bare minimum. Pop therapy online can be good, but you need the larger framework she has worked out in years as a professional therapist.
Permission to Be Precious
Love Addiction/Love Avoidance

Get them! You need to hear that what you are suffering and all the crazy things you are doing aren't unique, can be understood in a rational way within the big picture of childhood abuse and trauma, and there is an established map to guide you out of the confusion. It's not a big secret, there's no esoteric knowledge to be initiated into, and whoever abused you is not a great big bogeyman that can continue to come after you in flashbacks and mental illness the rest of your life. Mental health and emotional maturity are skills that can be learned.

Less analysis, more recommendations.

 Spartan Life Coach is good for thrashing out what narcissism is and beginning to own up to what that means in a relationship. Most of the time, he is speaking about romantic relationships, but parental relationships are thrown into the mix, too. He's a plain speaker, easy to listen to, and as far as he goes, I can't think of anything he's done that I would put a warning label in front of - go ahead and watch them all. I can recommend his London 2015 Seminar video course, too.

There is another group of therapists I'm working my way thru, but I'll have to wait on that recommendation. One of them is good, but another fellow they have in the group is just creepy - he does need a warning label, and it reads "This guy is a narc himself! Stay away!" When I get that group filtered, I may just add the good ones to my video list linked above.

I'll edit this post as I add to the list. Right now, I need out of the house and into the Present.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Fighting flashbacks with flashbacks

is not a good idea. It doesn't work at all long term. I'll explain.

Yesterday devolved into one long flashback, a daydream that kept repeating, degrading into a continually worsening scenario with each repitition, deeper and deeper into shame and rejection as it played out my fears and previous experiences in allegorical fashion over and over again. Of course, not eating all day didn't help one bit, but there never seemed to be a good time to take a break and nowhere to go eat and I really didn't deserve a rest because I needed to work harder because I'm so lazy anyway and know how it goes, right?

This morning, it being Saturday and no need to rush out of bed, I started looking for the song playing in my head upon waking. After a long search on my computer and being drug thru several unwanted emotional states as I played other songs instead, I realized that my mother used to use music to fight her emotional flashbacks when I was a child. She would put on gospel albums and sing all Saturday morning, sometimes she felt better, a lot of the times it just wasn't enough. She was trying to use the feeling she got from worship music and her memory of being saved as a child to fight the never ending conflict and feelings she had from her poor self image and ego conflicts.

I've used music in similar ways, sometimes to induce a shame flashback - remember how awful I was, feel miserable about it, be crushed and grieve, sleep it off and firmly resolve to not be myself anymore. I'll become someone Much better in the morning. You know. I've also used worship music to fight off despair, after all, God loves me and wants to make my life better, and tomorrow is another day. Right, Scarlett?

Either way, fighting a cascade of emotions with a cascade of emotions never changes me. Mostly, it just fills up my time, drains my energy, and then I go back to being the same way I was before.  

If you're a Christian with any experience in the church house, you've heard quite a bit of preaching about emotional flashbacks, although you might not have realized it at the time. Basically, the teaching is that if you are feeling bad all the time, or if you are feeling bad about feeling bad, then you should apologize to God for feeling bad, worship or sing to God a sad song then three happy songs [cue the piano player to come up now] until you feel better, then you are all better, now go out and remember to not Feel Bad about that anymore.  (This may be the Protestant experience only, I think the Catholics may have more fun in between condemnations, but don't quote me on that.)

Don't get me wrong, I luuuuv Christian music - the hymns, the choruses, the antiphons, the doxologies - and I love all of the scripture that is the basis for them. I would not be here today without those truths and the melodic way so much of it was communicated into me. Some of them are so filled with solid doctrine I can almost feel my spiritual bones become stronger with every line, much like eating collard greens and fried chicken livers make my natural bones stronger with every bite. [Mmmm, I'm actually drooling now...collard greens with little bits of ham hock and maybe a boiled egg chopped up in there...mmmm. Ahem!] 

HOWEVER, hymns or worship music, or any music that makes you feel better, is not a substitute for understanding the truth about your family, yourself, your friends, and your circumstances. Jesus famously said one time, " shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." It's the truth you know that makes you free. The Bible speaks the truth all the time, but it doesn't spell out every single thing that is true. It's a particular Message to the whole world, but there are a zillion things about each one of us that aren't in there, and some of us need to straighten out a bunch of the lies we've believed about ourselves and our little world around us to walk free.

Don't settle for good feelings for a day or a season when doing the work of uncovering and believing the truth is available. Spirituality is not superior to mentality or physicality, God created us to have all three, we are not whole without them all, intact and operating together in integrity. Go ahead and use every mental, physical, and spiritual tool, exercise, and counsel available to heal your thinking and your feelings will respond likewise. 

I've also heard it said that "healing is the dinner bell of the church." You'll not call many to the table until you are healed and whole yourself, so go ahead and be smaller, know less, forget what should have been and become strong enough to be found fit for service. Them collards ain't gonna pick themselves, y'know, and there's a whole world out there hungry for the truth.

Friday, January 8, 2016


I'm walking the aisles in Walmart waiting for a prescription to be filled. It's almost as cool inside the store as it is outside, and the smell and the sounds and my to-get list is pretty much the same as it's ever been on January 8th of every year.

Three years on and there are still moments where I miss my Mom. You do know, don't you, that there were moments where she was just my mom, not the grinding fear she was so much of the time. There were moments when we laughed together at ourselves, moments when when we made a favorite dish we both loved, moments she did step up to the plate and just be my mom. 

I miss those moments. I was always hoping for more of those moments. 

As the years went by and my care of her grew in time and responsibility, those moments disappeared and now I miss the moments where I protected her from herself and her weakness. I miss walking the aisles at Walmart scanning every shelf for something she needed and grasping triumphant when I found something she just might like.

 The moments are fading now like they should, all of them. Except today, in the cool, familiar quiet of this store, where I look back on three years ago today when I sat in the predawn stillness with her broken body waiting for the hospice nurse to officially declare her dead, and when I had her room cleared out by nightfall, all my duties and responsibilities to her nearly done. 

Who was that woman who did all those things, how did I ever make it thru, why didn't I do something else, try some other way, break free and demand something more?

How can I explain to anyone that I miss all of it, if only for a moment? 

Edit: The first three comments are mine. Worth reading if you're interested, but I left them as comments to keep the time stamps.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

New category - Products for the Disordered!

Instead of a ramble thru my troubles, how about something practical? I'm this case, glue! J-B WELD ClearWeld

As you know, I'm ADHD, which makes me forgetful and I have a huge problem finishing tasks or projects. Well, I've found an epoxy cement that works as well or better than super glue, but it doesn't glue its own cap on and I don't end up wasting 95% of it! The great virtue of it for me is that I don't have to do a whole project at once OR I don't have to feel like a failure because I only need a little bit for one tiny thing that I forgot earlier. 

It's really two chemicals that you blend after squeezing out how much you need. I just use a paper plate, I've used the same little stir stick they provide over and over (just let it dry before you put it away), and it works on every surface in my house. Toss the paper plate with the leftover glue on it when you're done. 

I love it. It means the world to be able to get even a small task done when I think of it and when I'm up for it. Welcome to my C-PTSD ADD life. 

(For those that can't grasp the obvious, this blog isn't monetized, this recommendation was made without the knowledge of the manufacturer, and I'm just trying to help anyone who might have the same issues.)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Identity forclosure

From this blog post here.

"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."
"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.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I don't wanna

work at the airport anymore. Since I was 11 years old and I've had enough.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Putting things right

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. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

New colors

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.



Look closer

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.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Nothing but "happy mistakes"

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!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Are you sure you're sure?

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.

Narcissism, 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.

By 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.

The 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.

Lots 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.

NPD 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.

It 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 Calvary" rigmarole?

If 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.)

You 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. " is not easy to throw off in half an hour an enchantment which has made one a slave for ten years."


Monday, August 17, 2015

I messed up

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. 

I hate this shit.  I really do.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Private conversations

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.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Trust from the inside

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.

About a year or so ago I read Grandchildren of Alcoholics: Another Generation of Co-Dependency and was shocked at how much I identified with it. I haven't any stories to tell about a drunken grandparent, but I have reason to believe at least one of them was an alcoholic, and possibly more of the great-grandparents. Yesterday I listened to most of Adult Children of Alcoholics after seeing this checklist online. 

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 )

"...the 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.