Maria Yeager

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A Look Into The Soul

I had such a wonderful dream last night. I was singing and dancing in The Sound of Music!

I danced for about twenty-five years. I started out in ballet when I was four years old. My parents told me that I moved to the beat the minute I could stand up. I remember the stories of how I would bounce to the music while holding onto the edge of the couch or table.

I continued to dance through the years, moving from ballet to jazz, modern, ballroom, tap, and even a little bit of ice skating. I also was heavily involved in choreography during my college years. Dancing and music are truly a part of my soul. Even after I started working, I would use headphones during the day as I looked through the microscope. It always seemed to put a smile on my face and even increased my productivity…all just from listening to my favorite music.

During a bible study several years ago, we were all asked to bring something that we owned which had deep meaning for us. I brought my toe shoes from ballet class. They were all torn up as they had been worn quite a bit. I explained to the other members of the study that these shoes represented one of the happiest times in my life…a time I danced almost every day.

I can no longer dance like I used to in the past. I have had three back surgeries, and I am very limited on what I can do now physically. The one thing that I miss more than anything is my ability to dance. I have thought about helping out in a dance studio…maybe behind the desk signing people into class or something like that. But this still can never take the place of actually being able to dance.

I told members of that bible study that my idea of heaven is to be able to dance again. I absolutely love the ocean…it has always relaxed me. I dream of the day that I can dance without any restriction or pain next to a heavenly ocean. I also dream of ice skating to the most beautiful music that anyone has ever heard. I dream of being able to do things that I was unable to do here on earth because I just wasn’t strong enough or flexible enough to do them…50 pirouettes without stopping, 50 fouettes without messing up, lifting my leg super high in a beautiful arabesque, being able to do the splits…all done perfectly and with no effort…just dancing, smiling, and praising God. Of course, all of my cats and beloved family and friends who have already passed would be there, and we would all be happy and smiling. All the angels would be rejoicing and singing. That is my idea of heaven.

Have you ever asked yourself what your idea of heaven is? What is your special something in life that has always brought you joy? Where can you go to find the most peace in this difficult world? Take some time today and look deep into your soul. Take time to think about what heaven will be like for you, and then whenever you get frustrated or stressed, go to that place. Remember, that is what is waiting for you if you stay in the Word and stay close to Jesus…happiness beyond all human understanding!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

 

 

 

The Lies of Narcissism

Image at Creative Commons, http://www.lillylulu123.deviantart.com/art/Crying-Eye-315830804

Narcissism falls along the axis of what psychologists call personality disorders, one of a group that includes antisocial, dependent, histrionic, avoidant and borderline personalities. But by most measures, narcissism is one of the worst, if only because the narcissists themselves are so clueless.

It took me almost 49 years to learn the meaning of true fulfillment and true peace.  I had to go through an extended period of living in a narcissistic environment and looking for life’s meaning through materialistic goals before realizing that I was way off target.  I am currently in the process of writing a fiction book about narcissism that is based on a true story, but I wanted to share some basic facts on this blog about narcissism to help those who are having to deal with others with this personality disorder.

For many years, I was living in an environment surrounded by people with narcissism, but I didn’t realize it.  I had heard of the word “narcissism” but really didn’t know much at all about it and honestly, I didn’t care to know.  Little did I know that I was surrounded by narcissistic behavior and that I had been a victim of narcissistic abuse for quite some time.

Basically, narcissists are very selfish people.  They are known to lack empathy for others and are known for always placing the blame on others rather than taking responsibility for their own actions.  In my case, I was made to feel like I was the problem even if the issue had absolutely nothing to do with me.  This led to me questioning myself constantly which eventually led to depression.  I knew deep down inside that this thinking was twisted, but I managed to always make excuses rather than face the difficult decision to end these destructive relationships.  The best way to describe it was that my soul was restless, and I did not have true inner peace.  To satisfy the narcissist’s demands, I was continually finding that I had to turn my back on my own values.  This struck right at the core of my soul, and I was miserable.

Thankfully, these destructive relationships did come to an end through the action of the actual narcissist.  I was no longer any use to this person, so I was left as if I was a piece of garbage.  However, this was probably the best thing that ever happened to me as I it opened the door to my healing.

The following are some of the characteristics of someone with a narcissistic personality disorder:

1. Lack of remorse for their mistakes

2. Does not care about the consequences of his/her actions

3. Pathological lying

4. Very charming; can get emotional in public, but this is all a show to manipulate others

5. Expects victim to follow along without question.  He/she tells victim what to do rather than ask.

6. Controls spending of others, but he/she spends freely on themselves

7. He/she doesn’t listen simply because they don’t care

8. Gaslighting – manipulative behavior, takes advantage of others

9. Projects faults onto others – blaming others for their problems

10. Lack of empathy – doesn’t care about the needs or feelings of others

11. Highly contradictory

12. Breaks others down that they feel are inferior

13. Thinking he/she is better than others

14. Core of concern is power, success, attractiveness

15. Needs to be center of attention and requires constant praise

16. Appears unemotional

17. Easily hurt or rejected

Narcissists come across as being very egocentric and sure of themselves, but the root of the problem, believe it or not, is insecurity.  It has been shown that those affected by this personality disorder are actually very insecure and they use the above behaviors to feel better about themselves.

Recovering from narcissistic abuse can be a long process, but you can recover and live a truly fulfilling life.  First and foremost, you must realize that YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!  The narcissist can be very cunning and manipulative.  It is important that you realize this.  If you are with someone who refuses to take responsibility for his/her actions and wants to blame everyone else for their problems, the best thing to do is to get out of that relationship if possible.  Narcissists do not want to change and they do not want to be criticized in any way, shape or form.  In fact, “narcissistic rage” is a known feature of this personality disorder, and they can become very mean and vindictive when questioned.  The narcissist has the problem, not you!

Realize that no matter what you say or do, the narcissist will not have sympathy or empathy for any of your problems, no matter what they are.  If the problems do not directly affect him/her in some way, they don’t care if you are suffering.  Remember, they are the center of their world, and the rest of the world are just puppets to be manipulated so that they can get what they want.  They truly believe “the ends justify the means” no matter who they have to run over to get there.

Next, remember that narcissists truly believe that they are always right.  It is pointless to get into an argument with them because you will never win.  They will end up making you question your own sanity because they are expert manipulators.  Additionally, narcissists believe that they don’t need any help.  Counseling a narcissist is very difficult because they will not admit to shortcomings.

Bottom line – if you feel like you are in a relationship with a narcissist, please get some help.  Leave the relationship if possible.  Be educated about how narcissists function so you can deal with them as effectively as possible.  Trust your intuition…..if you feel something is wrong, it probably is!

As for me, I am now at a place of true fulfillment and peace.  By going through the healing process, I have not only learned how to recognize this personality disorder but I have also learned how to deal with this type of person more effectively.  But the biggest lesson of all is the lesson of selfishness vs. selflessness.  Over the past several years, I have been a volunteer at a thrift shop and found immense happiness in helping those who are less fortunate.  I have also started up a website on adenomyosis (similar to endometroisis) which I suffered from for 17 years.  Women from all over the world are accessing this site, and I constantly get “thank you” messages for making this information available to them and for letting them know that they are not alone.  I am also writing this blog to help to inspire others to become the best they can be.

But the most important thing of all is putting all of my trust in God.  Without Him, I would never have been able to come as far as I have in the healing process.  He has literally carried me through some of the toughest times of my life.

Between trusting God completely, helping others, and putting other’s needs before my own, I have finally found true happiess, peace and fulfillment.  I realize now that selfishness in the form of narcissism will never bring true happiness.  Looks, finances, material objects, etc. will all vanish one day, but the selfless acts of a Christian person will never be forgotten.  God not only saved me, but he showed me the way to true happiness.  Selflessness is the key.  My soul is finally at peace.

“For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” Psalms 1:6

“The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.  You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors……For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as a shield.” Psalms 5: 5-6, 12

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.  In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

 

Sources:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder, http://www.mayoclinic.org

Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse, by Andrea Schneider, LCSW, http://www.goodtherapy.org

 

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