One Week Only 50% Off Sale on My Handmade Original Art

1 Sep

Another year gone by and my birthday is only a week away. I haven’t accomplished all I wanted, but hey, I am grateful for another year of life with my wonderful husband and friends and many of my FB friends and readers have become my family, so I wanted to do something to bless you. I am selling all of my original handmade art on Etsy for half off–THIS WEEK ONLY!

PicMonkey-Collage-for-website

So if you’ve ever had your eye on a piece of my art or thought of giving it as a gift, this is the time to do it. And since I’ve barely begun to sell on Etsy, I will also be giving away a couple of things.

To begin with you don’t have to buy anything to enter the first contest. If you like this post or share it and tag me on FB, I will enter you into a drawing for a free art giveaway of Let the Sun Shine.

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If you are an ACoN and comment on my blog, I will enter you in the drawing for an original free Flying  Monkey give-away.

Here is the Flying Monkey up for grabs:

More-Heart-WM

If you buy a piece of art in the sale and give me a review on Etsy, I will enter you into a drawing for a set of my Little Red Survivor Thrive Card set. Each set of five cards has special quote that is healing for survivors. You can read the quotes on my Etsy site. Thank you for sharing my blog and art this year and for commenting either in private or on my pages. It’s going to be a great week and I hope I can bless a few people.

 

Shine set

How to Let Your Parents Grow Up

1 Sep

There is an imbalance between ACoNs* and their parents. ACoNs have high levels of empathy and their parents usually have extremely low levels. One man explained it this way—“My father can only feel concern for other people if they are suffering in the same way he has suffered. He can relate to the bum in the gutter because he is often drunk and out of work, but he cannot relate to the pain he caused me when he beat me.”

The Empathy Trap Book gives an explanation of how some sociopathic and narcissistic parents might groom and use their most empathetic children to fill their needs. Of course no parent wants to admit this so narcissistic parents will deny it and accuse their children of lying and do everything they can to ruin the child’s reputation to save their own–which of course is once again putting themselves over their children.

Dr. Henry Cloud in his book Changes That Heal explains the growing up process. How children start by looking up to adults and end by becoming equals with adults. Narcissistic parents do not want this to happen so they try to keep their kids one down even after they become adults.

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Some ways that parents try to keep their adult children in the one down position include using criticism, shame and guilt. I firmly believe criticism has stunted as many lives as careless gun play. It’s a slower death, but many adult children are crippled by the criticism of their parents to the point they never finish school or stick with a project to completion. The only healthy direction you can go with a critical parent is to move farther away.

Others will try to shame you by saying things like “I sure wish you wouldn’t do this” or “Why did you have to go and do that?” This is usually a manipulation to get you to do things their way. Once again run far away. You are an adult now and should be able to both own your choices and not allow others to dictate how you will live your life.

Parents who try to make their adult children feel guilty are some of the most sinister because only God can judge and tell each of us what is right for us. God Himself doesn’t manipulate us into being good, so why allow your parents (or church busybodies) to do what God Himself doesn’t do?

To try to shame or guilt or criticize their adult children is a parents’ attempt to stay in control, but it is also an indicator that their own life is out of control. When people are in control of their own lives, they can afford to allow others to make their own choices and even mistakes.

So how do you tell your parents to grow up? Writing a letter is useless. Most narcissistic parents will either ignore your letter or write a nastier one. You might be inspired to write the letter because you have had this stuff on your heart for years but trust me, your parents do not want to hear it. If they wanted to hear it they would have paid more attention to how you reacted years ago.

So here it is—the best way to let your parents grow up is to grow up yourself and stand in your dignity. Stop allowing them to dictate what your styles of clothing or religious beliefs should be. Don’t let them criticize your spouse, inform them talking down to you or your special someone will cause you to leave and that will be it (and make sure you leave.)

And don’t look back—unless they call with a true apology. You can forgive them from a distance. You can wish them well from a distance. You can send them a birthday card from a distance, but you cannot allow them to manipulate your life choices anymore.

And that means don’t let them make you feel sorry for not meeting their needs. One woman wrote to me and said, I can’t stop feeling sorry for my parents. This was after they did all number of abusive things to her and tried to ruin her relationships with her entire family. I told her my story. One day I realized that if my grandparents had done to my mom what my parents did to me, she would have quit speaking to them, but because I was an empathetic person, I kept trying to get them to meet me halfway and it never happened.

Don’t let them make you feel sorry because they feel so bad when you explain how they hurt you in the first place. It’s ironic how narcissistic parents don’t want to admit their mistakes but they want to take over your conscience and tell you how to live your life. People who abuse us are not in the position to speak into our lives. Just say no.

And don’t let them send the Flying Monkeys in either because you don’t have room in your life for Flying Monkeys. If people want to talk to you let it be from their own hearts not from a third party’s manipulations.

So you took a stand and now your parent is playing the victim. Victim or not, they have choices.

1. They can apologize and rebuild their relationship with you.
2. They can ignore the your choices and move on without you.
3. They can slander you and cry how mean you are.

Chances are they will do the last option, but don’t worry, this will be your opportunity to grow up and let them do whatever they want while you actually live a life. Carpe Diem.

*ACoNs-Adult Children of Narcissists

In the Valley of the Shadow

29 Aug Through-the-Valley-WM

Many ACoNs* feel abandoned. They were raised by parents who were consumed with their own needs, so they find it hard to trust anyone–let alone their Father in heaven. But no matter what has happened in your life, the gentle Shepherd cares and will make a path through the wilderness for you.

Some people think this verse refers to being seriously ill and while health trials can seem like a very dark shadow at times, the Shepherd longs to brings comfort and healing into all of our darkness.

When people are depressed they often speak of a dark valley. At such times the Shepherd guides us through our despair and offers the light of hope to bring us out of such darkness. Often those who walk and breathe are spiritually dying inside while they are barely aware of their condition. This is when the Shepherd gently wakes them up.

Through-the-Valley-WM

Sometimes when we’ve been focusing on ourselves for too long we discover we have gone to a very dark place–much darker than we ever intended to go. It’s at times like these the Shepherd calls us by name. He will keep calling until we hear Him and reach for His help.

The gentle Shepherd passes no judgment. He simply offers a lifeline. He holds up the lantern of truth to guide us up through the brambles, out of the ravine and over the pass to bring us safely home. Throughout all of our valleys, the Shepherd offers comfort.

Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
-Psalm 23:4

*ACoNs–Adult Children of Narcissists

As a long time Newsboys fan, I just have to add Peter Furler’s Psalm 23. Enjoy!

Art 101 Week 8

22 Aug

This series, Little Red 23rd, is one of my all time favorite projects because it was personal. I love the 23rd Psalm and I often pray my way through it as I am drifting off to sleep because it fills me with peace.

So why do a series of Little Red 23rd? Because Little Red represents survivors and survivors can benefit from the promises in the 23rd Psalm.

Growing up with narcissistic parents or religious abuse, has caused many of us to distrust our Father in heaven. Perhaps we fear God is like our abusers. The kind and gentle Shepherd of the 23rd Psalm brings comfort by modeling the ways God loves us tenderly like a shepherd. King David who wrote this Psalm was well acquainted with the way a shepherd provides, protects and rescues his sheep.

For Little Red, who no longer can trust her parents, understanding that God is like a kind shepherd instead of a controlling and violent parent makes it easier to trust God.

Little Red 23rd–He Supplies My Needs

He-Supplies-All-I-Need-WM

Little Red 23rd–He Walks With Me Through the Valley of the Shadow

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Little Red 23rd–He Prepares a Table in Front of My Enemies

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Little Red 23rd–He Anoints My Head With Oil

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Little Red 23rd–He makes My Cup Overflow

My-Cup-Overflows-WM

Little Red 23rd–His Kindness Follows Me All the Days of My Life

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For the seventh painting this week, I made a word reminder.

Peace-WM

Obviously I am behind in posting my art. Between working on a book and projects for a few friends, I have been busy. It seems like it takes a lot of effort to collect all the pieces and scan them and post them, but so I will try to catch up before the challenge ends. We’ll see if I make it. Either way, my life has been changed by this challenge. I am no longer afraid of making bad art, because there is always more art to do tomorrow. When one gets in such a habit, it makes it much easier to check the ego at the door.

So I hope someone else takes courage to remember we don’t have to follow anyone’s schedule, but just commit to making art on a regular basis. That alone is enough to change our lives. Have a great weekend!

I Stand For Love

8 Aug

Today August 8 is I Stand for Love Day.

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I have decided to stand for love whether people approve or not.

I stand for loving atheists by honoring their right to NOT believe.

I stand for loving the homeless even if they should get a job. God’s grace falls on all of us.

I stand for loving those who are gay or bi or transgendered. God loves them, why shouldn’t I?

I stand for loving children enough to help them know their parents–even after divorce because all kids deserve to know both parents.

I stand for loving people who have divorced my family members because there is no reason for contempt and hate.

I stand for loving victims of abuse by speaking out against those who abuse others.

I stand for loving women and men with equality because God created us equal.

I stand for loving those who need an extra hand in hard times.

I stand for loving people by telling the truth even if I am shunned and lied about by my own family.

I stand for love, because LOVE (Jesus) stood for me.

How will you stand for love?

 

Freedom–Nothing Left to Lose

6 Aug

How do you define freedom? If you grew up with controlling parents, it could be something as small as the music you listen to and the foods you eat, but chances are it is the bigger things like the way you vote, worship and the lifestyle you have chosen. Many ACONs* are frustrated because their parents still want to control how they vote. If this is true, perhaps it is time to remind your parents they don’t get to vote in your life.

An ACON wrote to me the other day to say her parents don’t understand her healing process and because she doesn’t want to hurt them, she is caught in between her need to be herself and her need to please her parents. This is actually a lose-lose situation. Her parents will never be satisfied and she will continue to waste her life trying to please them, but she will never get the blessing.

Nothing-to-Lose-WM

I don’t think any narcissistic parent will ever understand their child’s healing process. Toxic narcissism is basically a lack of empathy and those who lack empathy are not able to put themselves in their children’s shoes.

The only cure for narcissism seems to be empathy, but no one knows how to create empathy in people consumed with their own needs. This is why we must reach for our own healing and not try to explain everything to our parents. They controlled our lives for long enough, it’s time to make our own choices. We can only find freedom when we are willing to accept the apology we never got and give ourselves the blessing we deserve.

As we let go of people pleasing and codependency, we discover a new hope and freedom. This freedom only comes when we realize our parents will never love us unconditionally–when we finally hit the point where we realize we have nothing left to lose, we find freedom.

Even Jesus lets go and teaches us to let go too. We don’t have to stop loving our parents, but we can stop expecting them to meet our needs. In this letting go, we accept ourselves for who we are and accept our parents as they are. This is freedom and if you can pull it off it is a win-win situation for all.

PS for those who are struggling and need a little incentive here is one of my favs from the eighties–gotta hand it to Billy Joel.

*ACON Adult Child of Narcissists

Art 101 Week Four

1 Jul Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.  -Brene Brown

Week four was a very busy week for me, I celebrate my 24th wedding anniversary and my hubby’s birthday so getting stuff done was a challenge. As a result I am now one piece of art behind. Remember I said I wanted to do something different. Well I posted this in the middle of last week and told how I made my first piece of art which took four days with what seemed like multiple moving parts. If you want to know how to make one for yourself, you can read about it here. This is the picture of the finished product.

In-this-house-1000-WM

I also made a couple more mantra girls to add to my collection and I also put up a gallery for them on the side bar to the right.

Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.  -Brene Brown

Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do. -Brene Brown

 

You get what you tolerate. -Henry Cloud

You get what you tolerate. -Henry Cloud

I plan to keep doing this and catch up my one day but right now I will be on a break for a week so that will put me behind even more, however I love doing this and I will be back in week! I hope everyone else in Art 101 is enjoying the process and going at their own pace as well. Have a good week!

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