What’s the Biggest and Bestest (yes, I know it’s not a word, but it is) Influence in your Life?

“Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best…”

I was going to write this post before I saw today’s Daily Post prompt – What’s Your Learning Style. The prompt sort of connected with the thought which inspired this post. That thought was a tangent of a tangent of a tangent of a reply to a comment which I wrote very quickly just before my internet connection failed…

And then I spent the evening wondering if I had replied correctly because I’d done it in a hurry, wanting to reply so the person who commented didn’t feel ignored (I worry about that) and I hadn’t had time to do my usual checks. And then it was gone and I couldn’t ungone it because I couldn’t connect and check. The correct reply issue was not about what I had said, I was just being myself as is my want, it was that I wasn’t sure which post the comment had been about. I thought I knew which post it was on, but then I doubted that… usually I check and double check and triple check just to be sure so I can stay on topic… I thought I knew, but then I wondered. And I worried that I might have confused them.

It’s just me being me.

I have dyslexia. I’ve always known that I have it, it just took me a long time to look it up and find out what it is. If that doesn’t make sense to you… It makes sense to me. In fact the things which make sense to me usually sound like complete gibberish to others, but what makes sense to others often sounds like white noise to me. Welcome to my mind.

Chaos and confusion are my home. I can navigate them easily. I can also easily travel in and out of darkness and despair. No problem and no worries. Give me a Gordian Knot and I can unravel it. Give me something simple, simple by society’s standards, and I’ll stare at it for hours and not understand it at all.

When I’m tired, my dyslexia kicks into overdrive. This can have hilarious results. Well, I find it funny… other people, that’s up to them. I try not to confuse or harm others by confusing them, but sometimes it just can’t be avoided. When it happens I need to detach and trust that people are looking after themselves. They’ll let me know if they don’t understand me. They’ll express themselves. I have to trust that they will do and say what they need to do and say… I don’t need to cover all bases and think several moves ahead all of the time.

When I was too young to understand what was going on, I was made responsible for things which were not my responsibility. Just like with any habit or addiction, I have to deal with the repercussions of this on a day to day basis. I have to remind myself that I am only responsible for myself, and that others are responsible for themselves. Live and let live. And hope that others feel this way too. That they accept responsibility for themselves and don’t want me to take that responsibility on because they don’t want it. I don’t want it either. Meaning I don’t want to take on what is theirs, I do want what is mine and will not give them what is my responsibility.

You’re human… and so am I. Please don’t forget that part. Expecting me to be less or more than human… will lead to disappointment.

I’ve taught myself to have that shrugging whatever attitude, laissez faire, laissez aller, because otherwise I get so wound up it hurts on a visceral level.

One of the things those with dyslexia do is worry a lot about is being misunderstood, because misunderstandings are a part of the gift… yes, gift (thank you for making me see that – Gift of Dyslexia)… of having my brain wired this way.

I could go on and on about dyslexia trying to explain it to you – you being those who don’t have it and don’t get it and think that it makes people stupid because they jumble up words and numbers – but if you don’t have it, you don’t care about understanding it, and even if you do care, you just can’t because your brain is not wired for such things.

That sounded a bit arrogant and perhaps insulting. Never mind, you’ll recover. It’s just a tiny dent in the carapace of your ego, it’ll undent itself naturally as long as you don’t pick up a giant nail and hammer it, then blame me for the damage you inflicted. Just consider me to be an asshole and ignore me. Works every time.

So. Last night as I was waiting for my bath tub to fill up enough for me to have that bath I needed because I was very stinky and even I couldn’t stand the smell, I curled up into a ball beside the tub, listened to the sound of water slowly flowing, something which I loved to do as a child and which used to raise the hairs up on the back of my neck in a pleasurable way, a moment of pleasure in a painful world, and I had one of those moments where I wanted to die. It happens. It passes. I was very tired. And my life, all of it from there, way back there, to now just seemed a series of messes. I was very tired. It happens.

“Life’s a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you…”

And what also happens when I’m in one of those moods and places, which is not prompted by any events or people in my actual life here and now, but just darkness rising from the depths of the void within, an ancient darkness, is that my mind distracts me and reminds me of other things.

This song – Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – began to play on repeat. Love that whistle! And it cheered me up, reminded me that I am very bouncy when it comes to life and its challenges. I can go as high as I go low, and I can do them both at the same time to balance me out.

Eric Idle – Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python’s Life of Brian)

The biggest and bestest influence in my life is Monty Python. I said that in the reply which I had been fussing in my mind about. I wear Monty Python spectacles when I look at life. I have a sketch for every situation!

I grew up watching the Monty Python show on TV and I saw all of their films. I even saw one which I was not supposed to see because I was too young to see it, but I saw it anyway and loved it. I wasn’t supposed to see it at that age because of swearing and nudity. By that age I’d already heard that kind of swearing and seen nudity both male and female, those bits did not bother me or warp my young mind. My young mind was already warped and I was already bothered. What stood out and what hit me hard was the humour. Learning to laugh at life and the absurdity of it. That was priceless.

My learning style is to just stumble through life and all of its lessons. Make mistakes, shrug and sigh when I’m wrong, which is often, gasp and whoop when I’m right, which is amazing, and just keep going. It’ll all work out in the end and if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t but the journey has been both emotional and interesting. I’m just a philosopher of crazy wisdom… which may not be wise at all, but it’s funny. And laughing is fun!

All of my life… it’s just me being me. That’s that. To be continued…

This quote from the Life of Brian made me chuckle in a very indecent manner:

“Brian’s mother: What star sign is he?
Wise Man #2: Capricorn.
Brian’s mother: Capricorn, eh? What are they like?
Wise Man #2: He is the son of God, our Messiah.
Wise Man #1: King of the Jews.
Brian’s mother: And that’s Capricorn, is it?
Wise Man #3: No, no, that’s just him.
Brian’s mother: Oh, I was going to say, otherwise there’d be a lot of them.”

Very silly! I’m a Capricorn…

*whistles*

*winks*

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean (Eric Idle does).

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14 thoughts on “What’s the Biggest and Bestest (yes, I know it’s not a word, but it is) Influence in your Life?

  1. This video had me in stitches! How appropriate, given I had one of the lowest days today that I’ve had in quite a while (you know the one, where we don’t want to live anymore).

    I love this song…it’s in one of my all-time favorite movies, As Good As it Gets, with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. A great cast overall. The theme…even the most screwed up people can be rather soulful at times. Thank God for the crazies 🙂 I think they offer some of the best lessons. Besides, I could be one myself.

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    1. You and I have some great synchronistic connections. I had a similar low. Awareness is key during a low. Allowing yourself to feel what you need to feel, express it, losing yourself for a while in it, knowing you will not be lost for long and you will emerge from it stronger and wiser, even if it takes a while to recover. Those feelings, just like the highs, need to be honoured because they are a part of our whole self. The lows are as important as every other part of us.

      Love Good As It Gets! Brilliant film! Such wonderful actors and performances and script, the writing in that is magnificent! What a wonderfully philosophical film and view of being thoroughly human!

      Oh, I’m definitely one of the crazies… I just try to use it constructively 😉 Embracing the crazy, and making efforts to do no harm (or as little harm as possible, while realising that others are responsible for how you affect them and how they perceive you and it can’t be controlled because trying to control others is one of the greatest miseries in life for everyone involved. You are responsible but for yourself not for everyone else and the fate of the world), is healthy, because we’re all a little wild, and life and the world is a crazy place. 😀

      Take care of yourself beautiful soul!

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      1. Oh, I definitely lost myself in it…I worried my neighbor upstairs might call the ambulance :/ That would have been rather awkward…however, just as the moon shines bright, it also has a dark side…as do our souls. I guess it’s how we deal with that fact that makes us who we are.

        Anyhoo, I’ve been meaning to get back with you for a couple of days, and then to my delight, you nominated me for the blog award bundle. Wanted to let you know that you’ve inspired me to create a “Narcissist Slayer” award. I’m looking into the details and hope to get it implemented within the week.

        You know, we do have a connection. I’ve noticed several times after submitting a post, you posted something similar, or something I’ve pondered shows up in your writing. It’s like we’re floating around in the same place in the space-time continuum. It’s pretty cool…

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        1. Honouring ourselves and our feelings can be awkward, that’s the beauty of the challenge. Worrying about how it affects others… sigh! Twas ever thus!

          I absolutely loved your latest post! And I shall look forward to seeing what your ever creative talent does with the Slayer award 😉 You have so much inspiration coursing through your veins… wow!

          I have always found synchronicity fascinating. A friend of mine when I was a teenager introduced me to the concept via the very odd means of The Police who did an album inspired by Jung’s work… there you have it, life working in mysterious ways. We’re linked in some way which is weird and wonderful, might as well go with it and see where it leads, I’m very curious to see where that is. I think it’s cool too 😀

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  2. Hi there Ursula,
    I am writing here as I couldn’t find a way to reply to your last reply; if this meant that the conversation was over, I do apologize, I am very insecure and I always end up thinking that I bother the world…of course you have plenty to read and write. That’s why I have many friends but I can’t approach men without feeling ridiculous
    What you say it’s particularly difficult to me, I mean to apply it and put it into practice. I do find it difficult to love myself, it is as though I have never had this kind of habit, whilst being abused is familiar. I always fear my feelings takes too much inner room and I sort of tell myself off for being oversensitive, exactly as you have just written somewhere, I feel my empathy as a weakness which led me to put others’ needs first. I rationally don’t find it bad, but it’s true that in the end it turns out to be against me if they exploit it perversely.
    You post on dyslexia is great; I think you are such an incredible writer and psychotherapist in your soul, although I don’t know what you do in your life, but I am sure something creative. Maybe not being able to read too much allows you to have room you’re your thoughts and art, instead of looking for somebody else’s.
    I also feel at times as you do in your bath tub (or even elsewhere!) with that ancient, primordial feeling of nothingness, do you think this comes from my N parents too? When I was six I remember having thought that, it’s a very long time.
    You are well rooted on earth to be able to see the bright side of everything, I still have to learn it if I want to survive.
    The fact that in spite of what you have lived you have been able to be creative, expressing yourself, and having a non-Narcissist loving partner means that can happen, but I see it with the eyes of the mind and I am scared not to be able to get out of it.
    Before studying philosophy, I did fine arts (what an odd thing to wish to become as an N parents’ child!!) but I am stuck and I keep thinking about it but it seems I have lost the key to open that door. Has this to do with the bad self-image induced by my family and what I have lived? Is art conditioned by this psychological abuse?
    Just wanted to say thank you for being so generous and open to people you don’t even know. I insist you should write a book with all these meditations, the world is going to understand better what narcissism really is from the inside, under your skin, and not as an article from a medical encyclopaedia.
    Sorry if I overdo it writing so many times.
    I do cherish your presence, like an old friend!
    Wishing you to keep your inner sparkling always alive.
    Seashell

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    1. Thank you 😀

      The reply thing is due to a setting on my blog. I set things up a while ago when I created it and haven’t bothered to go over them again. I did not expect to get any attention so I just set things up for myself, kept it simple and left the default settings as they were. It’s a bit shambolic and I should tidy it up, but I probably won’t because I’m lazy about the tech stuff 😉

      So feel free to comment wherever because you’re still talking with me and you’re not bothering me at all. I have that issue about not wanting to bother people too, mine comes from my Narcissistic parents giving me the distinct impression that just by being alive I was bothering them and they grudgingly tolerated my existence but I had to exist as quietly as possible so as not to disturb their reality. I owed them my life and had to be grateful that I was allowed to live, so I had to live how they wanted me to and be who they told me to be.

      The experiences we have with the people, such as our parents, who are in our life in the earliest years set the standard for how we experience the world and how we experience ourselves. They create our reality for us, which is why we have to question it, break it and create our own. It’s as though they cast a spell upon us, a curse. Usually we hope someone else will break the spell/curse like in a fairytale, but after many years of not being saved by a prince or some other hero/heroine, eventually we realise that we have to do it for ourselves from the inside out. We have to be our own hero/heroine, smash the eggshell spell/curse which is encasing us like a prison and suffocating us. It hurts to break free, but it hurts more to stay trapped.

      The desire to die, to return to nothingness I think has much to do with organic memory that is why it feels ancient. Having Narcissistic parents simply puts us more in touch with our organic origins because they leave us with open boundaries, we never quite become comfortable being human, but unlike those with NPD we don’t seek to be superhuman we seek to completely dissolve because we are caught between being whole and being not whole. That rift is where the empathy comes from. Empathy has much deeper roots than what we experience usually with it. Being able to feel what others need comes from an organic connection between all beings.

      You definitely want to survive, your mind just has not grasped what your primal instinct knows without a doubt. You’re alive, that’s all you need to know about wanting to survive. And the fact that you’re interacting with me, shows how much you want not only to survive but to thrive. Your inner urge to truly experience life is guiding you. Trust yourself.

      I was creatively frozen for a long time. One of the things which has helped me is having my tumblr and posting the work of artists on that blog. Their creativity inspires me to be creative, like a challenge. If they can do it so can I, even if I am not as talented as them. That’s an old issue, never being good enough so why bother, but not bothering bothered me, so never mind if it isn’t good enough, just do it anyway. It takes determination to just do it even if your mind is trying to stop you from expressing yourself. It’s a very powerful act to just express yourself no matter what, at first it is painful and difficult and nothing feels right or good, but you keep going, and over time as you persevere, the juices start to flow and flow and flow. You are freeing what had been dammed up and frozen for years, so it takes a while to melt the creative spirit inside.

      As for approaching men. Men are prideful beings, it is an intrinsic element of their gender and comes with being a male. They need to be respected. Much of being male and female is a primal instinct, it’s just been civilised by modern life and explained away by the mind, tamed yet not tamed. They’re more afraid than you are of feeling ridiculous. Besides most men think all women are crazy and they find it fascinating, so anything you do as a woman is fine. Feel free to be ridiculous, they will find it fascinating that you are unafraid of something which they fear. It inspires them. Women represent the wild untameable spirit. Men feel the need to control the wild within themselves, so they enjoy the fact that women can’t tame the wild within. Men do try to tame women, but they don’t want women to allow themselves to be tamed. They sometimes think they do, but they don’t. When we allow them to tame us and control us, they get angry at us for allowing that to happen even though they like the power it makes them feel. It’s complex.

      All humans are afraid of appearing foolish. There are certain things we all share. I was excruciatingly shy for most of my life, I still am, but I deal with it differently now. What helped me the most was studying others, the others I feared, and understanding that they feel and think the way I do. My fears towards them are the same ones they have towards me. We’re all afraid of being rejected, and so everyone is protecting themselves and acting defensively, someone has to take the plunge or no one does anything. And making a fool of yourself is a liberating and empowering experience because everyone is afraid of that, so when you teach yourself not to be afraid of it… the world becomes a different place. Being shamelessly ridiculous is crazy wisdom. Zen shows that a lot in its teachings.

      I’m stopping here because this is turning into a post, but please keep in touch as much and as often as you want, I really enjoy interacting with you, you inspire me!

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      1. Dear Ursula,
        Thank you so much for your touching words, they reached my heart. You know, these days I feel very fragile with people and started inquiring about their behaviour and the emotions they trigger in me instead of feeling guilty for whatever happens, and it’s appalling to see how many perverse dynamics are there, not even hiding, just plainly out there under the sun…It takes time for people like us but eventually we get there. The conundrum is having nonexistent boundaries and making up your mind one day you just want to live without having to have all the shit people make their mind about throwing on to you: still in spite of the dangerous empathy and sensitive skin, I object to become like them, I don’t want to hurt just because I don’t want to be hurt.
        Trapped, another good word from you: open boundaries and being trapped, what an oxymoron, but how true. And yet, rationally, I prefer being trapped and suffer than being trapped the way the Narcissist is in his golden steel cage, as they don’t interact at all and they manipulate and use instead of loving.
        Today I thanked life for my cat, as it’s a simple form of love but it’s mutual, sincere and it warms my heart, his presence is graceful and rewarding. I have may good friends, but I have lost many friends along the way, and this is due to therapy as when you wake up it can be sudden and out of the blue and you perceive there is a wrong pattern since the beginning, if you change people usually don’t like it, as you are not providing what they were getting easily before, shall I say Narcissistic supply??
        The thing is that somehow, unconsciously, I have been looking for non-mutual love, I acted as though I had to earn it, not knowing unconditional love from my parents, I put myself into horrible situations, I think it was the nothingness pushing me towards death; but I always had something deeply alive I realize now, as you say, something calling for life and that was perceiving things with all my senses, being ecstatic in front of art and music, with my friends it has been my resilience, but it is hard and I very often feel stumbling on the edge of life, as though I were in the tub(!).
        The contact with you has taught me a lot, it has opened up something it has been bottled for a very long time as you are a perfect example of emotional intelligence and you trust your intuitions to interpret and get out of what the others want you to get entangled with, I will never thank you enough for your clear mind and the images which are like an instant faithful picture of what is going on in the minds of Narcissists. For instance, the fact they make you feel special, it’s like riding on a white horse with your prince charming (but last week I realized even women can do it to other women): now my question is, right they are acting, exaggerating and overdoing it, but where do I stand in all this? Why am I falling for this? This intensity. When the mask is off and it’s all over, I get the feeling of being abused and fooled around, I don’t think a word of it was true- but I read you said there is a part of truth, although they can’t be authentic. It’s a muddle, it’s a complicated issue for me to understand. Also something you said sounded as the painted veil unveiling reality, when you talk about the intuition, the feeling we might have, and an irrational pervading something telling us there is something wrong or phony in them. Judgment is a tricky issue, I always try to give myself time and evidence in order not to make a mistake but alas, I end up trapped.
        I write for myself and to understand what I feel, it can be poems or prose on art or music, maybe I still can approach painting as I would as it’s the irrational part and when I see what I have done, the first instinct is to throw it away as I label it as not being good enough. It takes time, I will give it a go to unlock it, you are right. Thank you for helping me to make differences, as for a very long time I was scared to death to be a Narcissist and I still don’t know if the inverted narcissist definition applies to me somehow, do you think it can be modified with time. For sure I am codependent and especially as far as love is concerned I have accepted the unacceptable.
        Another difficult thing is to react properly in all its hues, correctly, firm, compassionate but hard when needed: hard for me to choose my well-being and not being nice and possibly hurt someone, even if I can’t do otherwise as my poor boundaries allow people to invade me- oh, the metaphor of the house and the invaders…I have to face it tomorrow and I am scared to death, but my own territory of my soul is only mine! And guess what, once again, this woman I thought a true friend, is a psychoanalyst! So many loonies failed to get out of their own muddles and then they might mess around with patients; of course, she is a Narcissist!!! I think I am standing for myself a bit more therefore she doesn’t get for free what she wanted, I really admired her but now that the ride is over and she bit me snappily and nastily I wonder if I never existed as a person, as she can hurt and get rid of someone without a second thought with a very subtle manipulation to have power on you…My problem is that I never liked power but this feature has always been misunderstood as a desire to be under their thumb, not really I shall say…I have to express myself, at least in life and art; with men at the moment is a desert and I have no courage although I’d love to be in contact with someone. Maybe I have to work a little bit more on myself in order to avoid the usual type of N jerk!
        I really hope you are having a very creative day and thank you so much for being there for me; what you write is like a lighthouse to me and so many other people.
        I keep this mantra in my mind: the gift in the curse.
        I’ll go out for a long walk to mull over this precious exchange.
        You are a great person!
        Seashell

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        1. Thank you, truly you are beautiful and inspirational. I know you will have trouble accepting that, because I always have trouble accepting real compliments. It comes with the territory of being the child of Narcissists because you learn very early in life that you can’t trust anyone or anything. And since Narcissists use compliments to get under our skin, compliments become suspicious and you ask yourself why someone is being nice to you. I’ve learned to stop doing that to a degree and to accept compliments as an expression from one human to another of love. A love without conditions. The secret to unconditional love is in accepting the love but not the conditions (because there are always some subtle ones there).

          You said you studied philosophy, there are some brilliant ideas there, you just have to adjust them to suit you personally. I remember reading once that just because someone gives you a gift, it does not mean that you have to accept it. That struck me very profoundly, because what people say to us are gifts, it’s up to us to decide to accept what they say or not. I always pause and think before accepting a person’s words. I also look to see what the intention within and behind the words is. I got that – the intention – from Carlos Castaneda’s books. He was a piece of work as a person, he may well have had NPD, but his writing is very good. The thing to remember when you find wisdom in the work and words of another person, is that what you find is within you. So, what you have found in my words, that is within you. I say a lot of things, the wisdom you find, the things which touch you, that’s more your saying those things to yourself, you are finding in my words a way to say those things to yourself. I learned to do that with reading, and it makes reading so much more impacting, because it means you find what you need to know what you want to tell yourself. Hope it makes sense 🙂

          Good luck tomorrow, feel the fear and let the fear show you your strength. Fear can be an ally.

          When dealing with a Narcissist, the thing to always remember is, they need you more than you need them. They can’t exist without you because of the nature of the wound. They fear you more than you fear them. You have more power over them then they have over you, which is why they work so hard to make you believe the opposite is true. Their superiority and intimidation tactics shows how weak and inferior they actually feel.

          I’ve studied power in many forms. Real power is gentle, it knows it is powerful so it does not need to use force or manipulation. Those who are truly powerful, are gentle souls. Those who want to be powerful but don’t have the belief that they are, tend to spend a lot of time abusing power because they don’t know how to use it properly.

          With people, well, you’ve been trained by your N parents to believe that you were responsible for their every hurt and pain, your very existence hurt them somehow, that’s how Narcissist parents make their children feel, that the child is responsible for everything (including all the evil in the world), and it made you feel that everything about you caused others pain. That leads to inverted Narcissism. I was an inverted N for a while, then I snapped out of it. I realised that I was not the worst of the worst, that I was just an ordinary human, and that was a huge relief. So you are very cautious because you feel responsible for everyone’s well-being. I taught myself to see that others are responsible for what they feel and experience when they are with me. You have to consciously create healthy boundaries for yourself. If something you say or do bothers someone, it’s up to them to deal with it. Otherwise you end up censoring yourself into silence and eventually oblivion. You need to allow yourself to express yourself and just let what happens happen. Others are strong too, they can look after themselves, they can deal with being hurt and will be open to working through it and find a resolution, if they can’t they might be an N who doesn’t want to own their personal responsibility and wants someone else to shoulder it for them. Most people are not as fragile as you think they are, mostly only N’s play that game. As you come to see how strong others are, so you will feel stronger too and more confident in expressing yourself as you are. The rawness will start to become smooth.

          Cat’s are wonderful teachers of great wisdom. I have learned much from my cat. You can apply what you learn from your cat to human interaction. It’s very healing and helpful. Nature is a wonderful and wise teacher. It reminds us of our natural self.

          There is a saying which I use a lot for myself – “What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.” ― Martha Graham. She has some great wisdom in her words, this is one of my favourite quotes of hers, because so much of the pain we inflict on ourselves comes from worrying about what people think of us, and trying to control their ideas about us, and trying to make them like us the way we want them to, and so on. And the truth is, most people are not thinking of us at all, not in the way we think of ourselves, and not in the way we think they’re thinking about us, they’re busy thinking and wondering about what we think of them. And probably thinking that we’re thinking the worst. Humans are complicated, and simplicity seems to scare us. Besides, what really affects us is what we think of ourselves, it drives us. So that’s what we need to focus our energy and attention on. Our opinion of ourselves, our real opinion, not the one we think we should think.

          Definitely, if you feel ready, and even if you don’t, explore your creativity through painting, you truly have passion in your words when you speak of it. Lots of artists destroy their creations, don’t worry about doing that, just paint and see where it leads. Maybe one day you will stop before you destroy a piece, and then you’ll know you’ve found what you are looking for.

          Take care, and you’ll be fine tomorrow, trust yourself.

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