I am…

Enough.

I have been thinking my life has indeed been a journey of reaching for completeness, for ultimate peace. For me, this image depicts the journey of connecting to my own inner light, which to me is what I imagine death to be; to be fully integrated and whole spiritually.

reaching

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Disingenuous at Best, Manipulative at Worst

Being able to recognize the signs of a manipulative person is sometimes difficult. It is important for us to have tools in our repertoire in order to be cognizant of behavior that is  disingenuous and/or manipulative.

Manipulation is often used to coerce a conversation, instead of engaging in one, and can be used to intimidate and control.

Often, we go along thinking the best of folks and second-guess ourselves instead of second-guessing another person’s motive. We all need to be more attentive to our ever-present, and often disregarded intuition. If it just feels yucky or off, it probably is.

I have compiled a short list of signs that might alert us to manipulative behavior. Face it, we all are guilty of manipulation on some level, so we need to keep these in mind to guard against other’s subtle or aggressive manipulation, as well as our own possible conscious or unconscious motives.

These are but a few tactics used, and some of what I have found in my research over the years:

Feigning innocence: Quite often a person who is being manipulative will be adept at pretending they have no idea what you are talking about when confronted with their manipulative behavior: Who me? Be careful not to question your own instincts.

Shame and guilt: “You don’t care enough about me”, “I would never do that to you” or “You are selfish” are a few phrases used to shame or guilt a person. This is also an attempt to deflect the responsibility away from them.

Minimization: When you attempt to explain your feelings, a manipulative person will assert that his/her behavior was “not that bad.” Meaning: you are wrong to feel the way you do.

Victim Blaming: Turning your circumstance, tragedy, etc. into their triumph: “Oh, poor so and so, I hope they manage to get their life back together.” This is an attempt to make themself look compassionate, yet it is a dagger thrown at the victim while simultaneously claiming a self-righteous stance.

Anger and Control: “This is the way it is going to be and there will be no discussion about it!” Slamming of doors, walking out, and yelling are tools used to manipulate and coerce a person into submission.

Remember, you have a right to your feelings so don’t give your strength and power away.

Freedom

Surrendering to dramatized images of failure

Flashing in and out of consciousness

Absurd fears gnaw through my armor of bravado

Quietly slipping inward, my self-inflicted exile

Narration: A weary tool that maims

A radiant light has dimmed, history echoes

 

But I refuse to falter.

 

Or succumb.

 

To the demons that shackled me for so long.

 

I am free.

 

100 days of what makes me happy, in photographs. Day 28: Purple. Especially purple wisteria in the spring.

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100 days of what makes me happy, in photographs. Day 28: Purple. Especially purple wisteria in the spring.

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
― Ansel Adams

100 days of what makes me happy, in photographs. Day 27: Meditation.

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100 days of what makes me happy, in photographs. Day 27: Meditation.

Although I am not always able to sustain a quiet mind, meditation always brings me peace.

“It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn’t depend on how long it has been running; a shift in perspective doesn’t depend on how long you’ve held on to the old view.

When you flip the switch in that attic, it doesn’t matter whether its been dark for ten minutes, ten years or ten decades.

The light still illuminates the room and banishes the murkiness, letting you see the things you couldn’t see before.

Its never too late to take a moment to look.”
~ Sharon Salzberg

100 days of what makes me happy, with photographs. Day 26: A gift from the heart.

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100 days of what makes me happy, with photographs. Day 26: A gift from the heart.

Sometimes you are lucky enough to have someone in your life that is unselfish, someone who loves you despite the past, the hurt, the pain of a misguided heart. A gift to remind me of my connection to my father, unselfishly given out of the goodness of her soul. Thank you Cathy, for being a blessing in my life.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
~ Mother Teresa