Tag Archives: letting go

Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust Don’t Feel

god sharkWhile I love delving into a variety of psychology topics, I seem to have developed an acute interest in researching, understanding, and explaining Narcissistic behavior.  Perhaps it is because I grew up with an abusive, alcoholic “N” father and was left with a lifetime of questions I’ve been working to answer. I also seem to meet a lot of narcissists and even date them (Freud. Is that you?).  As time has gone on I’ve gotten far better at recognizing the red flags and have healed so I walk away a lot faster and minimize the damage done to myself.

Recently I was reading an FAQ on Sam Vankin’s website, who is a narcissist himself and writes extensively on what it is like from a 1st person perspective.  For whatever reason, his description about the two different “geneotypes” of narcissism; somatic and cerebral struck a different cord for me.

It made me think about religion and its long standing relationship to misogyny and narcissism.

First and foremost, narcissistic men hate women.  So do most religions. It is hatred of an irrational and passionate kind. Narcissistic men despise women who are independently minded—those they cannot fool and know instantly who they really are.  So they hate women in general and independent women especially.   Keep in mind, that they are aware enough to realize that this is not appropriate, so they have learned to repress it.  But it is always lurking beneath ready to burst out with the right irresistible trigger.  In religion the hatred is couched as acceptable simply by saying it is “tradition”.math codependents

The second thing that it important to know is the definition of the two genotypes and that if you stick around long enough you’ll witnesss both. One is default or dominant, but both will show depending on circumstances:

Cerebral narcissists – basically trying to impress you with their brains, intellectual accomplishments, “the know-it-alls” define this dominant type.

Somatic narcissists – these are the ones that are into their bodies, sex as conquest, the philanderers. They treat women as objects to get off. If you ever felt like you were having sex with a man that felt like he was basically using your body to masturbate, you may have been with this dominant type.

In an excerpt regarding Narcissists, Sex and Fidelity, Sam Vankin, a dominantly cerebral narcissist writes, The somatic narcissist uses sex to “conquer” and “secure” new sources of narcissistic supply. Consequently, the somatic rarely gets emotionally-involved with his “targets”. His is a mechanical act, devoid of intimacy and commitment. The cerebral narcissist feels that sex is demeaning and degrading. Acting on one’s sex drive is a primitive, basic, and common impulse. The cerebral narcissist convinces himself that he is above all that, endowed as he is with superior intelligence and superhuman self-control.”

god narcissistThis made me think about about religion.  Let’s take a look at what St. Paul has to say in 1 Timothy 2:12: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, she must be silent.”

Then I remember that at the core narcissists hate women.  Finally, I went back once more and thought about why religion remains a pervasive part of our society even though we supposedly have equality. How could parents bring their children to a mass that condones this kind of sexism? I thought about the horrors women still face and the very real danger they are often in.

There is a clear endorsement of female subservience in Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to you husbands as to the Lord”; and similar advice for slaves in 1 Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” One truly cannot discern a difference between being a woman or a slave.

narcissist impress strangerAnother blood-curdling tale from the Book of Judges, where an Israelite man is trapped in a house by a hostile crowd, and sends out his concubine to placate them:

“So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Get up; let’s go.’ But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.” (Judges 19:25-28)

Fundamentally at the core of religion is the degradation of women. The fact that both genders still participate is an act of consent to the precepts both written and preached. 

As I consider narcissism and the misogyny that exists at its core, I cannot help but be convinced by the overwhelming evidence that the very founders of most world religions were themselves narcissists. I imagine two types of narcissist priests – the somatic who has urges he tries to repress (they are the ones we eventually hear stories about) and the cerebral narcissists who find sex disgusting anyway so it is not that hard to abstain.  These are the ones making the sexist, degrading laws.  All because they have a dysfunctional relationship to their bodies, women and sexuality.

The more traditional the country, the more easily it is bound by religion. The worse it is for women. But even here in the USA where we are in the land of the free and we supposedly have equality, day after day women continue to support religion as a front for their own degradation simply because they show up and self-identify!  And puuuhlease, even though I hear this all the time, NO! You cannot pick and choose the parts of religion that you’ll support or not support either. Every time you show up and keep quiet, every time you donate your time or your money, you condone it all – part and parcel.

3 rulesDo you know that there are 3 rules to keep a dysfunctional family intact: Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust and Don’t Feel. As long as you feel that you are being treated badly and don’t say anything, you are complicit.  You are enabling the behavior to continue.  And when it comes to religion, if you are woman supporting a religion in any way that categorically degrades women into a lesser position, then you are saying “it is ok” to treat me like less, my daughter like less.  It is ok to expect less. It is ok to be dominated and silent. And as a man you are also agreeing to treat your wife, daughter, sister in this unequal manner and to teach them that this is what it is to be a man.

stood up for self bitchIf we had any kind of real equality, religion either wouldn’t exist or it wouldn’t put the genders in a one-up, one-down position. But in the competitive society in which we live, we can’t even imagine a world where both people are equal.  There has to be a dominant and submissive model in play.  Do you realize that research shows that only 1 in 4 relationships have women in the one-up or dominant position?  That mean 75% of our “romantic” relationships have men dominating women and women in the “one-down or devalued position”.  And of course the culture punishes the men by calling them “wimps” and the women “bitches” in hopes that it will get them back in line.

Do you see that all of this perpetuates the idea that narcissism and misogyny is ok? Do you see that religion sticks around because our society keeps generationally reinforcing that this model works even when it doesn’t. The social pressure to conform feels like too much. So we stay quiet in public and dissent in private.

Don’t talk,  don’t trust, don’t feel. It masks reality.  It gives way to learned helplessness, drama, and victimhood. Instead of empowering yourself, you become “the one who survived” each life event and think that measures your success.

Woman or Man – If you want to change how you’re being treated… If you want to leave the Narcissist in your life/dysfunctional relationship…  If you want to live in a healthy society and have healthy relationships between and among genders….

… Then do 3 things: TALK, TRUST, FEEL. 

– with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

 

Advertisements

Gratitude Challenge Day 28 of 30

image

Challenge Day 28 of 30 – Gratitude for Letting Go

I was just talking to my boyfriend about my belief that we meet who we are meant to when we need them the most. As I reminisced about the Camino, I reflected on such a meeting with a wonderful Italian woman, Giada, who was also divorced and searching for a way to drop her burdens during this journey.

Often you meet someone who has experienced something like you, but offers a twist in perspective. That’s where the learning comes from. She was in a lot of pain inside, just like me, but she also had a real zest for life and looked for pleasure in each day. I really liked the way she did that and I missed the part of me that used to do that too. Somewhere along the way I became so heavy that taking on fun felt like excess energy I couldn’t spare.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that joining her in finding the pleasures of the day was one of the things that actually lightened my load.

I am grateful for being able to finally let go. I’m grateful for the people who have helped me do so along the way, and finally for the new found lightness that allows me to add only what I want to carry.

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 😉

LAG: Lean-in, Accept, Go on

Happy Holidays All – I took a break from writing to soak up the season’s blessings.  I hope you have been enjoying the season as well.  

Many of us struggle all year long with challenging relationships and the holidays seem only to further intensify our challenges.  Today, I’d like to share with you a practical lesson I learned about the meaning of detachment and I hope it will help you too when you’re head starts spinning.

One of the hardest concepts I struggled with during meditation was this concept of letting your thoughts pass without reacting. I imagined it something like sitting on your front porch and watching the cars go by mindlessly. Except for me each time a “car” went by I had some emotional attachment to every vehicle. I just couldn’t get this idea down.

Sometimes life has a funny way of helping you figure out the answers to your questions. You could sit and try all you want to focus on it and just fail, fail, fail. Then, one day a situation totally unrelated to meditation (or whatever your working on) shows you how it all works.

Let me explain,

I recently found myself in a very difficult situation and what I’d typically do when encountering conflict is something I call REDI: React, Engage, Decide, Implement. I assumed that I had to take quick decisive action in all situations as if it were a crisis.

I’ve lived so much of my life in crisis that the moments in between were what felt unsettling. If you’ve experienced a major trauma or successive traumas in your life you’ll be familiar with what I am talking about.

What often happens is that over time more hurt than you can manage builds up and you can become hyper-vigilant (living in fear that danger/a threat is always right around the corner). Then, when any conflict shows up, you’re already suited up and ready for battle, both barrels loaded.

You don’t really think, you just react instinctively to protect yourself. Often you’ll push the conflict away so forcefully that you end up hurting yourself more in the process because you overdo it. Other times, you let yourself lash out at someone thinking that this time you will “win” your power back. You feel like you are rightfully defending your position. You are certain that you must engage EVERY time.

I began reflecting on my REDI approach to life and thought about how I wanted to move forward. Something felt like it wasn’t working anymore, so I finally stopped and pictured what I wanted my life look like. Then, I asked myself what I’d have to do to make that reality.  A couple of hours later my mind was opened by a series of questions. As I answered them, something shifted in my way of thinking.

What if I just leaned into the pain and let it be itself instead of avoiding it? What if I accepted the person and the situation as is and didn’t take it personally? What if I already did all that I needed to do by removing myself from the situation? What if no further decision had to be made for the future of the relationship? What if I could just let it all be and go on with my life instead of rehashing it and hanging on?

So, I answered that barrage of questions by doing it. And you know what? I felt better. I had energy for other things and I think I’m going to change my acronym for conflict management to: LAG: Lean-in, Accept, Go on.

That “LAG” from Conflict to Implementation can provide just enough space to see that you are separate from the conflicts you encounter.  That doesn’t mean you are not responsible for your actions.  You just don’t have to identify so much with the pain and distress that you become it.

In fact, at any point using LAG can be helpful. You can use it from the very start of the conflict all the way through to the moment you walk away or anytime after.  

Look at it this way, If it is taking that much energy to hang on to the pain…just let it go and let LAG.  

Now I understand that you CAN sit down and meditate and let those memories pass by without reacting, when you finally untangle your Self from your experiences, You can lower the drama in your life almost immediately because you don’t judge yourself or others in the process of recalling memories. Suddenly, it is very clear that there is nothing to defend. You are not fighting for your life. You are ok. You are safe.

Have you had a situation which inspired you to see why your old ways of reacting weren’t serving you and how you could do better?  Share you story here.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Light Your Fire and Let the Rest Go

“All it takes is a willingness to let go.”

When I used to think about what it took to transform your life, I thought it meant that you had to focus on adding more good stuff to your life. I think subconsciously I already felt like I had enough occupying the spaces in my brain, so over time I gave up.  It became too much to keep reorganizing and making everything fit.

Recently, I decided to just be willing to open my mind to seeing what brings me joy.  And you know what I discovered?  

Successfully transforming your life is way more about what you let go of, not what you hold on to.

Image

When we start to focus on what makes us happy and say YES! to it, it seems like more of it shows up and it gets easier to recognize. Also, I’ve noticed that I’m suddenly getting into conversations with people who I didn’t even know shared my interests.  It’s like you start to send out “Bat Signals” subconsciously and people who pick up on it start coming into your life.  Additionally, those who are on a different wavelength keep moving past you like you have a Teflon coating 🙂  Pretty cool, huh?

This “phenomenon” has been happening to me more frequently and it’s really caught my attention.  It finally clicked that when we make a conscious decision to focus on what brings us joy, the “stuff” that doesn’t really do it for us falls away and very naturally makes room for the things that do.  I imagine if you do this long enough, you have a pretty happy, clutter-free mind and feel quite content with your life.

It reminds me of all the clutter-clearing I’ve been doing in my house over the past year or so.  I made up my mind that I am only going to allow things in my house that I really want.  Before you knew it I had sold a bunch of items on craigslist and gave away 50-60 boxes of dead weight.  I feel lighter.  It’s easier to find things.  I know what I have. And most of all, I really enjoy the space.

If I were to compare the way I initially thought about life transformation to owning stuff in my house, that would mean that I basically thought I’d have to add more to my house to be happier.  I’d have to make room for more!! Crazy talk!!  I would never think that makes sense, but here I was applying that same philosophy to my own well-being.

“It seems so obvious now that the key to happiness lies in recognizing what lights our fire AND knowing what we can let go of.”

Tell me about how your life was changed by learning the art of “letting go” and focusing on what revs you up.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉 

10 Great Places to Invest (in yourself)

Overwhelmed 

I feel overwhelmed by the life I am living.  I keep taking on a little more thinking that my shoulders can hack it, but lately I’ve started to notice how tired I’ve become.  I’ve noticed that I’ve given up things that make me happy just to make more money to pay for the things I’ve added to my shoulders. Say what???

For over a year I worked at a low paying job just to have some income to make ends meet.  Then, I got a new job and found myself keeping the other one as a second income.  Little by little, I let other things go just to stay focused on making money. 

Where Am I??

Last Tuesday night, I was driving home at the end of a 13 hr workday and I thought about why I was doing this and how exhausted I felt.  I used to work out 6 days/week and I hadn’t done a thing there in almost 3 months and I ordered take out more.  So, I was gaining weight.  I was letting things go in the house.  I found myself becoming increasingly irritable around people.  I was passing out on the couch and couldn’t even make it to my bed.  I’d signed up for a course to become a personal trainer and every time I opened the manual to study, I fell asleep.  I didn’t even feel like I had time to do what I needed to do to create opportunities for advancement in my primary job.  This was getting ridiculous!! 

Letting Go

By Wednesday, I resolved to take action.  I couldn’t keep living like this.  I reasoned that my second job was bringing me income, but absolutely no opportunity for advancement.  My first job, however held more potential if I put the effort into it.  It came down to deciding if I could struggle in the short term financially with the belief that getting my life in order would open me up to greater opportunity.  I remembered that the Law of Attraction states, that “like attracts like” and if I kept going on the path I was on, I’d likely attract health problems and great dissatisfaction with my life.

So, I resolved to quit my second job and gave my 2 weeks notice Friday.  I left the door open so that I could come back if need be in the future, but I am going to commit to pursuing the things that lead to happiness instead of more money this time around.  I have some money in savings that I will use as a stop gap while I get my life in order again (or maybe for the first time).

Fear, Freakouts…

I guess I’ve operated from a point of scarcity for so long that my fear of loss or fear of not having enough has been holding me back from the joy of focusing on doing what makes me happy.  For me, this is an earth-shattering concept and by no means comfortable. I’m used to working hard and focusing on earning money. Now, I’ve made the choice sacrifice money for the benefit of my personal well-being. 

…and Focus

I’m also excited about what I will learn from refocusing my attention onto my well-being instead.  Will the old adage prove true? – “do what you love and the money will follow”.  I’m about to find out. 

Below I’ve created a list that I will call my “10 Great Places to Invest.”  These are the areas that I believe are important to creating sustained happiness in my life.  To hold myself accountable and to track my daily progress, at the end of each day, I’ll give myself a check mark if I do it and an X if I do not.  This way I know where I’m succeeding and where I need work to maximize my happy factor 🙂

10 Great Places to Invest

  1. Kindness to Another (do something nice that makes another person smile)
  2. Kindness to Oneself (do something nice for yourself that makes you smile)
  3. Moderation (Do I really need that piece of cake, extra helping or that pair of shoes, etc.?)
  4. Health (exercise)
  5. Improved Environment (organize/eliminate for greater efficiency, only add what benefits)
  6. Ego Check (defensiveness, harsh words)
  7. Gratitude (what IS great in my life)
  8. Growth (always learning)
  9. Respect Your Money (do I really need that?)
  10. Do more/think less (believe you already know what you want, now go do it)

For example,

  1. Kindness to Another – Give a sincere compliment to a co-worker who you don’t like much
  2. Kindness to Oneself – Tell myself something nice about myself as soon as I wake up
  3. Moderation – Don’t eat the desert for lunch
  4. Health – Exercise 5x/week
  5. Improved Environment – Clear out my closets of unnecessary items
  6. Ego Check – Don’t retaliate insult, just say something like “wow that’s interesting, tell me more”
  7. Gratitude – List 5 things that I’m happy for each day
  8. Growth – Spend 1 hr./day studying personal training manual
  9. Respect Your Money – Don’t buy junk food with my hard earned cash
  10. Do More / Think Less – Sort through 1 box at a time in the basement
And so the journey continues…Thanks for stopping by 🙂 What are you waiting for?  Join me!!  What are your Top Great Places to Invest?