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Go Where You are Celebrated

22 Jan

Kylie’s mother is not the kind that celebrates her daughter’s accomplishments. When Kylie decided to go to graduate school, her mother told her she would get too educated and never find a husband. When Kylie found the love of her life, her mother warned her that he was not the kind of man she had envisioned Kylie marrying and she figured they would be divorce in seven years. When Kylie had a baby, her mom wanted Kylie to have it baptized in her church, but since Kylie was now choosing a different belief system, her mother refused to come to the baby’s first birthday party.

When Kylie decided to write a book on happy parenting, her mother snorted that Kylie had no clues about parenting let alone happiness. When Kylie celebrated her tenth anniversary, her mom said she didn’t know what there was to celebrate because as far as she could see Kylie’s husband was a loser. Through all of her mother’s criticism, Kylie politely listens, but as soon as she gets off the phone, she snacks on anything she can find. Kylie is locked into a relationship with her mother where she is not celebrated.

Go Where You Are Celebrated, cherilynclough.com, littleredsurvivor.com

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Who dreams of NOT celebrating their child when they bring them home from the hospital? Most mothers are in love with their baby and imagine all the wonderful events in the future where they will be celebrating and supporting their child. Narcissistic parents might do the same, except the focus is on them.

Narcs hope to look good at their baby’s parties. They want to be thought of as the super mom who has the smartest kid so they will force their child to study to get good grades in every class. They want to have the picture perfect family at church, so the narc makes sure all their kids dress and act like models. Such celebration from a narc’s point of view is for maintaining their reputation. This is because narcs care more about what strangers think than how their fears of not looking good enough might affect their own children.

The narcissistic parent sees their child as a mirror to reflect their self and will tear down anything they see in you that contradicts their own values. As a matter of fact that is a game you can never win. Nothing is more damaging to the soul than trying to reflect someone else’s values and dreams. The only way we can live wholehearted lives is to live authentically and we can’t do that if we are constantly berated for being different than our parents.

A few years ago, I told a relative that I was going to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless. This relative is a firm vegan and had a lot to say about my mission. They felt I should be serving tofurky to the people under the bridge instead of offering them turkey. I realized this person was not interested in celebrating my cause, but preferred to criticize rather than help.  They were more concerned with being right, than serving people. I have never asked this person for advice or shared my projects since because it’s obvious they are more interested in being a critic than a support.

If your parents can only criticize you and refuse to acknowledge the good you are doing in this life, then make sure you find friends and family (and possibly new family) who celebrate you—not their image of what will make them look good, but who you actually are and what you dream of accomplishing in this world.

If you have suffered a lifetime of criticism from a narc parent, here are some comforting words:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt

One thing we know about narcs is they like to project their issues on us. Someone’s mother is saying that to be celebrated is selfish. If you grew up in a church, you probably know one of the narc mind games includes saying anything you do for yourself is selfish. God himself celebrates (sings) over us depending on which version we read:

The Lord your God is with you.
He is a hero who saves you.
He happily rejoices over you,
renews you with his love,
and celebrates over you with shouts of joy.
-Zephaniah 3:17

If you have been in the arena and have brushed off the dirt and stood back up only to be pummeled with snarky comments, it’s not unchristian to go no contact, it’s time to go where you are celebrated. Start with God (if you are a believer), then look for God-like people. The kindred spirits who love to read the same books or people who act, write, sing or serve the homeless–whatever you like to do. Look for people who care about the same causes that you serve. Find the people who even when they disagree with you, are still willing to cheer you on. The world is full of narcs, but the world is also full of loving and good hearted people who are looking for someone to celebrate and it might as well be you.

You Might Have Been Raised by a Narcissist

10 Jan

You Might Have Been Raised by a Narcissist If:

  • You grew up with parents who put their needs above yours
  • You had to clean the house so your parents could come home to a clean one
  • You’ve been lying to bill collectors since you were five
  • You grew up without knowing your relatives because your parent didn’t like them
  • You grew up with flying monkeys and know how to read them
  • You were neglected by parents who ignored your needs
  • You have night terrors about moving again
  • You’ve worn out the carpet walking on eggshells
  • You were told to keep the family secrets from the church, cops and neighbors
  • You dreamed of having friends and not moving, but it never happened
  • You know how to pack up a kitchen in half an hour
  • You know what it means to be on silence and frozen statue
  • You have CPTSD whenever you walk near the belt section in a department store
  • You had to get up and make coffee for your parents before they got out of bed
  • You’ve incurred your parent’s wrath because the car wouldn’t start
  • You earned money, but your parents spent it
  • You grew up thinking white lies were “good” lies
  • You felt guilty and sorry for being born
  • You have a parent who never apologizes
  • You’ve been fired because you can’t stop apologizing
  • You still have a parent who lies about you
  • You are the black sheep—the one who got away
  • You got your self-worth from pleasing your parent
  • You have been called mentally ill because you don’t agree your parent
  • You were smothered by a controlling parent who treated you like a spouse
  • You’ve grown up acting like a doormat
  • You felt your parent’s pain before your own
  • You aren’t sure who you are because you’ve been focused on your parent’s needs
  • You’ve been scapegoated so many times people treat you like satan
  • You have a parent with no conscience
  • You were raised with one rule in your house–power by belt
  • You’ve been called selfish for spending your own money
  • You have a high level of empathy for your apathetic parent
  • You have a parent who takes no responsibility for their own mistakes, but blames you
  • You’ve worried you might be a narcissist
Game She Could Never Win, cherilynclough.com LittleRedSurvivor.com

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If any of these are true, there is a cause for concern, but if more than half are true, you most definitely were raised by a narcissist. The truth is painful at first, but the truth will also set your free. The important thing to note is you are not alone. There are empathetic people all around you who understand what you went through because they went through it too.

When you discover the truth and reach out to other ACoNs*, you will begin to thrive. It’s okay to admit you were raised by a narc because this is not your identity–it’s the narc’s. You are an empathetic person who longs for integrity and healthy relationships. If you’ve already left home, you no longer need to be controlled by the narc.

Find ways to celebrate your freedom. You deserve peace and joy–acknowledge your stories, but in the words of a wise man:

Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.
-Will Rogers

 

What about you?
What made you realize you were raised by a narcissist?

*ACoN–Adult Children of Narcissists

The Narcissist’s Mirror

6 Jan

When many people hear the word narcissism, they think of the legend of Narcissus who was so vain he worshiped his image in a pond until he fell in and drowned. I once saw a cartoon of a father staring at his own reflection in a lake while his daughter kept calling out, “Daddy?!” The image suggested she was neglected while he adored himself. This cartoonist understood the neglect that comes from a narcissistic parent, but he only got it half right–because for many narcissistic parents, their child is the mirror.

Like many ACONs*, you may have been used like a mirror for your narcissistic parent. Such parents are not satisfied unless they can see their own values and choices displayed in their child. Narcissistic parents see their children as an extension of themselves, they use mind control to shape their children at a young age to become mini versions of themselves. If this is true, you may have been robbed of your ability to shine.

This mirroring pattern continues into adulthood and is manifested by parents quizzing their adult children on their religious beliefs, politics and spending habits. Appearances are everything to these narcissistic minds. They want all of their children to be in the church and vote as they would vote and eat what they would eat on holiday dinners. They want us to do as they would do so they can feel satisfied they have raised us to reflect them in the way they want to be portrayed in the world.

By refusing to acknowledge their child’s individuality, such parents are selfish to begin with and nothing you can do will fix this. As you pull away to become yourself, they will become more controlling, then disillusioned and bitter when you fail to live up to their expectations. As you begin to vote differently or leave the church or form your own holiday traditions, the war will intensify.

Listen to Your Heart , CherilynClough.com. www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt

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The battles are subtle at first, a glance of disappointment, the suggestion you might be letting down the whole family because you have chosen differently. But as most ACONs know, the failure to reflect our parents–to vote, marry and worship as they would have us live our lives eventually brings on a cascade of narcissistic behavior from gaslighting and scapegoating to the silent treatment.

There is no better time to reclaim your individuality than now. There is no better way to reclaim your boundaries by listening to your heart and standing up to let your voice be heard, but beware the narc parent will accuse you of everything from ruining the party to being ungrateful or disloyal or not honoring your parents. They might use everything from scripture and flying monkeys to lawyers to straighten you out.

When this happens it’s important to ground yourself these truths–

1. No one–not even a parent owns the choices of another human being. Slavery is defined as controlling another person’s choices.

2. God created you to be yourself–not an extension of your parents. Look in the mirror and recognize your own face.

3. You will never feel at peace until you step into your own individuality and live authentically.

As you listen to your own voice and the voice of your Maker, you will begin to shine. It might seem a little scary at first, but you can forge a new path from your family of origin. When you reach that fork in the road where the sign reads narc parent vs. your own choices, don’t be afraid to take the road less traveled, step into your individuality and shine.

*ACoN – Adult Children of Narcissists

PS I’m sharing this reblog from a popular post–while I work on my book. Thank you for your understanding and support!

Got Respect?

22 Dec

Tessa was an accomplished chef and wonderful hostess, but her sisters in law and mother in law did not appreciate her talents. They simply thought her husband should have married someone else. No matter how beautifully she set the table or how delicious the food, the conversation with her in-laws was always strained.

No one complimented Tessa unless it was backhanded. At the end of family gatherings she could barely fight back the tears and as soon as the door was shut, she cried. Her husband’s family treated her like she was worthless for over ten years, then one day she went out to coffee with a friend who asked her if she felt worthy of respect.

Tessa wanted to be worthy, but she found it hard to say the word. It seemed easier to believe she was unworthy, than admit she actually deserved respect. She made a list of reasons why she should be respected by her in-laws before the next family dinner.

They barely began to eat before her sister-in-law made a snarky remark about her roast. Tessa took a deep breath and asked her how she would feel if a guest did the same thing at her house. Her sister in law was stunned. She had no more to say until they were clearing the dishes, then she asked if she would like some help in the kitchen. Tessa said yes, but her hands were shaking so bad the china rattled.

 

In the kitchen, instead of a tongue lashing, her sister in law apologized for her rude behavior. She realized she’d been following the cues of her mother for years without thinking for herself.

If you are dealing with a malignant narcissist such a friendly resolution might not happen, but taking a stand for your own dignity is always worth it regardless of how others might respond.

Disrespect can be blamed for most dysfunctional family conflicts. It shows up at the family party by excluding someone, arriving very late or making demands on the hostess. Disrespect gossips, triangulates and ridicules whoever is not in the room because it likes to pick on people who aren’t present to defend themselves.

Disrespect is a toxic family legacy. Like a dark cloud hanging over the room it poisons every person it touches. Without respect for ourselves and each other, we’ve got nothing to build a healthy relationship on.

At the heart of disrespect for each other, often lies a lack of self-respect. People tear down others to make themselves look better. Those who lack self-worth, allow others to abuse them because they don’t respect themselves enough to stand up for themselves. If every person could realize their own worth and recognize the value of others, respect might go a long way toward healing many dysfunctional families.

While a deficit of disrespect has sickened our families, respect is the vitamin to restore them back to health. Regardless of the past, regardless of the pain, if the members of a family can learn to treat each other with mutual respect, they will lay a foundation and build a bridge for better relationships in the future.

When Your Family Doesn’t Respect You, the best thing you can do is face your family and stand up for yourself. Respect is the foundation for every relationship and even if others treat you with disrespect, you can always respect yourself. The best way to do this is to face your family and let them know you respect yourself even if they don’t.

Mantra:
I am worthy of love and respect

Permission Slip:
You have permission to call people out when they treat you with disrespect. You always have the right to stand up for yourself even if it means conflict. This probably won’t change the narcissistic family members, but those capable of understanding will respect you more because you have shown respect for yourself and them.

Prayer: Thank you for the respect and freedom to make my own choices. Empower me to respect myself and give other people respect and dignity regardless of their behavior.

What Others Are Saying:

No one can make you feel inferior
without your consent.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

You may be no better than anyone else,
but no one is better than you.
-Irish Proverb

Respect yourself
and others will respect you.
-Confucius

They cannot take away our self-respect
if we do not give it to them.
-Mahatma Gandhi

When you realize how much you are worth,
you’ll stop giving people discounts.
-Unknown

 

‘Twas the Night Before Freedom

19 Dec

‘Twas the night before Freedom, when all through the house,
Siblings were arriving each bringing their spouse.

Memos had been sent to the family with care
In hopes Flying Monkeys would become more aware.

The Golden child was gleeful, while others felt dread
‘Cause visions of inheritance spun in her head.

The Scapegoat with coffee, sat down with her cat
To review all her boundaries in case of a spat.

When out on the porch there arose such a clatter,
The family jumped up to see what was the matter.

Out in the kitchen, they saw a blue flash,
Then out went the power with one giant crash.

The headlights shone bright against the new fallen snow,
And lit up each sibling with an unnatural glow.

When, what to their worrying eyes should appear
But the form of the parent who had raised them in fear.

From the belt in his hand, to the disgruntled bark
They knew in an instant it must be the Narc.

More rapid than gunshots the judgments they came,
While his children once broken, were each called a name:

Now! Lazy, now! Stupid! Now Sloppy and Slacker!
Who’s gonna go get my wine, cheese and crackers?

The host stood embarrassed and hung his shamed head
The scapegoat seethed anger for all the Narc said

With years of resentment she let out a sigh
Family fighting and politics made her want to go cry.

Disgraced, her siblings said nary a word,
But the scapegoat decided to let her voice be heard.

She started off softly, but it grew to a shout
As she opened her throat and said, “Get the fuck out!”

The Narc turned to martyr and drove off in spite
While the family sat stunned as on came the light.

She yelled one more thing as the Narc made his flight
“Happy freedom to all–it’s our God-given right!”

-Cherilyn Clough

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

It’s Not You, It’s the Narc

16 Dec

When Allie met Josh, he told her she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever met. Allie thought he was sweet because he was always giving her compliments on her work, her home and her personality. For the first time in her life she felt appreciated. As an ACoN* growing up with a negligent Narc father who barely noticed her, she thought she’d finally met the man of her dreams.

Fast forward a year and Allie was hurt when Josh suggested she lose some weight and get a new haircut to look younger. Allie was also beginning to notice how rude Josh could act to other people. Sometimes she was shocked to hear him lie to his mother which made her wonder if he lied to her too.

A few months later when Allie discovered he was cheating on her, Josh blamed it on her inability to keep him happy. Allie thought of all things she did to please him. She remembered how Josh had said she was perfect in the beginning and now she tried to figure out where she’d gone wrong.

Allie called up her friends asking them what was wrong with her that Josh would treat her this way. Friend after friend said it was not Allie’s fault, but it was Josh who was the obnoxious one. Allie hadn’t seen it before and she struggled to comprehend how a man who once had so many nice things to say about her, could turn and trash her now.

Allie had believed these compliments represented Josh’s true feelings, but nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing in their relationship had ever been about Allie. Josh’s compliments had merely been a way to win her affection so he could use her for narcissistic feed. Josh borrowed her money, expected her to cook and clean for him and wanted her to support his career, but he didn’t care about Allie’s needs at all. If she failed in any way to meet his expectations, Josh accused her of being selfish and trashed her accomplishments.

Josh’s goal was to manipulate Allie into trying harder to please him, while Allie’s goal was to restore what she thought was lost. But the truth was Allie was chasing something she’d never had in the first place. It was a painful lesson to learn, but Josh (like all Narcs) was a fake now and had been a fake all along.

When Josh left Allie, he blamed their break up on her. He called her a lazy nag because she didn’t like his cheating and didn’t meet his needs. He said if she really wanted it to work it out, she could’ve tried harder. After he left, Allie got sick and depressed. She missed work and isolated from her real friends because she felt used and thrown away by one person. Allie was just as beautiful and smart as she had been before, but her self-image had been twisted by a Narc.

One day a friend gave her the number of a good therapist and Allie decided to give counseling a try. Through counseling, Allie finally understood why her entire relationship with Josh had been a fraud. Nothing Josh said or did had never been about her–it had always been about Josh and his needs. Her lack of love from a negligent Narc father had allowed her to let a malignant Narc into her head and destroy her self-love.

Allie has learned to never allow a Narc to twist her mind and steal her joy with their petty insults. Josh never really knew her–Narcs don’t take time to care for others. She has decided she is worth having relationships with real people who are willing to invest in honest and loving ways.

After a few months Allie grew stronger and she was good to date again, but this time she had the boundaries in her head. Never again will she allow anyone else to approve or disapprove of her. Allie finally internalized the truth that whatever other people say and do is always about them—not her. If she allows herself to be flattered by the compliments of other people, she also sets herself up to be devastated by their insults.

This is an essential truth for all of us—whether it’s a parent, spouse or co-worker—whatever people say and do is never about you–it’s always about them. And it’s all the more relevant when dealing with a Narc.

*ACoNs —Adult Children of Narcissists

Why Gray Rock Beats Paper

11 Dec

Dale’s mom is a Narc. She doesn’t care how other people feel when she hurts them. This last Thanksgiving there was a big blow up at the family dinner and she said all sorts of terrible things to Dale and his wife. When he got home, Dale decided to sit down and write his mom a letter. Even though he poured out his heart, he’s gotten no response–not by phone or letter or email. That’s because his mother refuses to acknowledge she even got his letter. If someone crosses her, she says, “I don’t get mad, I get even.”

Meanwhile, she is turning Dale into the family scapegoat by calling up his siblings to complain and turn them into flying monkeys. Two of them have called Dale to lecture him. Most of Dale’s family is caught up in the drama with the exception of his sister Lucy.

 

Lucy hates family dinners, but she wants to stay in relationship with her nieces and nephews and other siblings. The difference between Lucy and Dale is that Lucy knows her mother is a malignant narcissist so she refuses to give her any power. While Dale is writing his heart out to someone who doesn’t care enough to respond, Lucy will go Gray Rock, because she knows Gray Rock always beats paper when you’re dealing with a Narc.

So what is Gray Rock and how do you know when to do it?
For starters, let’s realize what Gray Rock is NOT:

* Gray Rock is not a personality type—but it is used with a specific personality type.
* Gray Rock is not a lifestyle—it is a survival strategy for a day or weekend.
* Gray Rock is not a form of manipulation—it is a way to avoid being manipulated.
* Gray Rock is not a way to treat anyone who gives a damn—
it’s only used when a proven Narc has shown no respect for you and others.
* Gray Rock is not a form of No Contact–It’s a way to cope
when you can’t go No Contact and still need to be around the Narc.

To Clarify:

Lucy never goes Gray Rock with her husband because he is NOT a Narc and he is willing to listen to her point of view when they have an argument.

Lucy never goes Gray Rock with her children or nieces and nephews because while kids might act narcissistic, they are still kids and they deserve the chance to learn and grow.

Lucy never goes Gray Rock when someone says something she doesn’t like—that would be lame and immature like a Narc.

Lucy never goes Gray Rock with people at church or work who offend her because much of the time people don’t realize what they say that hurts us.

Lucy is a very caring person who shares her heart with trusted friends and people worthy of her friendship, but she learned a long time ago that her mother (who is a malignant Narc) is not someone she can trust. Lucy realized she had two options–to go No Contact or go Gray Rock, for her Gray Rock has been the better choice.

It’s been three weeks and Dale still hasn’t received an answer—his mother has ignored his letter and that makes Dale all the more frustrated because he poured his heart out. If Dale fully understood narcissism, he would never have written that letter because most Narcs don’t care about other people’s feelings. The only scenario in which a Narc might write a letter back would be to correct a letter written to them. It needs to be underscored that Narcs do not care about relationships as much as they want to be right.

If Dale wants to go Gray Rock, it’s a very simple procedure–all he needs to do is pretend he is a gray rock. It’s simple to explain but hard to pull off.

Gray Rocks blend in.
Gray Rocks don’t ask for attention.
Gray Rocks don’t move.
Gray Rocks don’t speak up to defend themselves or others.
Why? Because all logic is lost on the Narc.
Gray Rocks know you can’t reason with unreasonable people.

If a Narc asks how a Gray Rock is doing, it’s usually a trap for information. The Gray Rock knows this and responds with as little information as possible. You can’t share your accomplishments or the Narc will be jealous. You can’t share your pain or the Narc will exploit it next time he wants to cut you. The only appropriate information to share with the Narc is the weather. And if for some reason the weather is adversely affecting your life at the moment–for instance if you are snowed in, then even the weather is off limits.

It’s like winning the ultimate Rock, Paper, Scissors game because Scissors can’t cut rock. So all the cutting remarks made by the Narc might destroy your paper letter or your heart–but scissors can’t harm a rock because a rock has no feelings. Now of course you do have feelings and there are places to share these feelings, but just not around the Narc. Narcissistic thinking is selfish thinking and if someone is high on the Narc scale they will never show empathy to you. Your honest human feelings can only be used against you if you share them with the Narc.

The more narcissistic a person is, the less they will care about how you feel. If they are truly a malignant Narc, they will try to control you and manipulate your feelings. The only option is to stop letting the Narc know how you feel. This is why Gray Rock beats paper every time.

My Least Favorite Things

8 Dec

Here’s a little poem I wrote.
Try to imagine Julie Andrews singing it.

My Least Favorite Things

People who punish as much as they’re able,
Gossip and whining and pride on the table,
Gifts and affection all tied up with strings,
These are a few of my least favorite things.

Family secrets and abject denial,
Threatening and judging and people on trial
Sneers and snide comments and yelling that stings
These are a few of my least favorite things.

Unwise expectations that I should not tell,
Those who have created their own private hell,
Ostracization and hatred that clings,
These are a few of my least favorite things.

When I’m missing family dinners–
When I’m feeling sad,
I simply remember my least favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.

-Cherilyn Clough

You Decide How the Story Ends

1 Dec

Once upon a time a girl grew up with narcissistic parents who didn’t meet her needs because they were too busy trying to fill their own. She survived hard times, but she had no clue what she was missing or how other people lived. Through the struggles of a messy childhood and lonely adulthood, she journeyed until one day she saw some light. She moved toward it until she found herself outside of the cave she had been raised in. For the first time in her life she saw what she had been missing and she was both elated at the discovery and saddened by the life she had been living. Thus she began to search for happiness.

Despite her relief at finding light, the world outside the cave was almost too bright, for one thing it seemed unpredictable and scary at times. In such moments, she found herself longing to go back into the darkness where life seemed safe and predictable. Yet she knew such safety also stole her freedom for she was basically used as a slave by her family. Now that her eyes had become accustomed to the light, she could’t see very well in the cave.

Other times she wished she’d been born a princess and had never known the darkness of the cave because those memories seemed to follow her everywhere and often darkened her path and gave her anxiety. Even the smell of leather brought on a panic attack because it reminded her of the many times she had been beaten with a strap to appease someone else’s anger. When the darkness followed her, she often heard the contempt of her abusers and accusers she often wondered if she could ever find a good life.

On her journey she came around the bend and met an elderly woman who pulled back her shawl and offered her a leather book. The girl plugged her nose at the smell of the leather. The old sage was bent over and her hands were gnarled. For a second, she held her crooked finger to her lips before speaking,“Here is a gift. It holds the secret to a happy life.”

The young girl was curious why the old woman would offer it to her, but she accepted the book out of kindness. The woman continued in the opposite direction, while the young girl opened the book in her impatience only to discover it full of blank pages. She turned and called out to the woman. “You have tricked me! There’s nothing in this book!”

The old woman took her time to turn around, then with a face full of kindness she replied, “Write in the book and you will discover the key to happiness.”

The girl rolled her eyes and continued her journey. When night came, she lay under the stars and wondered at the mysterious meeting. In the early morning light, she woke up and began to write about her journey the day before. She marveled at where she had been and how much she had seen. From then on writing became a habit and she even began to enjoy the scent of leather.

One day she felt lonely and discouraged and it seemed she had nothing good to write about. That was the day she began to write down her dreams. Each night when she felt her day had not gone as she had hoped, she dreamed a new dream for the next day and recorded it in the morning.

Like a winding river—ever changing and always moving, her journey continued for many miles and years. The young girl refused all suitors–until she found the prince of her dreams. Her family began to grow and she built a life worth living until one day she looked back through her book and realized her dreams had merged into real life. The things she wrote about were no longer a fantasy, but they had become real. By the time she realized the value of the gift the old woman had given her, she was no longer a young girl, but was becoming wise in years herself.

One day she met a beautiful girl full of energy, yet longing for stability. She recognized the pain and confusion that she had worn on her own face so many years before. She reached into her bag and offered a book much like the one given to her so long ago. As she held it out, she was surprised to notice her own hands had begun to grow wrinkled. The young girl almost snubbed the gift, then took it out of politeness. The woman sighed and smiled, because now she now knew the key to happiness is that we each decide how the story ends.

Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
-Mary Oliver

Little Red’s Esty Sale

29 Nov
Original Art, cherilynclough.com, www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt

Art Available Here

Hi Friends,

To kick off the holiday season, Little Red Survivor Art is having an ORIGINAL ART sale through midnight on cyber Monday. That means all hand made, unique and one of a kind ORIGINAL Art is marked down to 50% off.

This is also a good time to note most of this art can be placed on PRINTS, PILLOWS, TOTES, PHONE CASES, CARDS AND TRAVEL MUGS for those who wish to make a statement or encourage others.

All make great gifts for yourself or fellow ACoNS. To sweeten the deal, you can save 10% off of any order of $75 or more with the coupon code: FLYING MONKEY

For those who have not been to Little Red’s Etsy Shop, here are a few pics to show you what’s available.
If you see something you like at any time, all photos link to to the shop.

 

Little Red Survivor Art, cherilynclough.com, https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt

Our signature symbol is Little Red Riding Hood
so you will find a variety of Little Red Art in the shop.
If at any time you don’t see an item in the style you like,
please message me and I will be glad to assist you.

 

Little-Red-Collage,cherilynclough.com, https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt

 

The Survivor Girls represent the struggles of holding boundaries
and seeking to emerge as our true selves.

 

Survivor-Girls-Collage, cherilynclough.com, https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt

Sometimes we find our healing
by honoring the primitive child we once were
and remembering how to play and trust all over again.

 

Primitive-child,cherilynclough.com, https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt

PILLOWS are one of our most popular items.
They are sold by the cover or with an insert.
This is a great way to make a statement in your home.

MSWs and Counselors often buy both PRINTS and PILLOWS.
Pillows offer an object to hug
while offering hurting people an encouraging message.

Pillows-Collage,cherilynclough.com, https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt
There are pieces for nature lovers…

Nature Collage,cherilynclough.com, https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt

And a few for bird lovers

Bird-Collage, cherilynclough.com, https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt

And series of Healing Flowers for those who are opening in the light.

Healing-Flowers-Collage,cherilynclough.com, https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt

 

And of course my favorite muse and favorite saying for writers.

Writer's-collage,cherilynclough.com, https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt

So whether you shop at Little Red Survivor on Etsy,
or just had fun looking at this art,
I hope you make yourself some sugar cookies
and enjoy a hot drink
and count your blessings,
because like the old Grinch said,

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought,
“Doesn’t come from a store,
maybe Christmas perhaps… is a little bit more.”

Peace-Candle, cherilynclough.com, www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedSurvivorArt

Let’s all wish for peace on Earth!

Cherilyn

 

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