Making Sense of Disobedience and Disrespect in Our Children

It is my belief that in first world countries we are raising children that are struggling a lot with being spoiled and entitled.   Furthermore, it is of my belief that over 75% of our children in first world countries struggle with narcissism, entitlement, and spoilededness, unlike most other children from 1st world countries.  Because of this belief, I have created the following; 12 Secrets for Saving our Children from being S-P-O-I-L-E-D.

It is also of my belief that we have created a culture where parents can not take parenting advice to save their life.    It is CRAZY MAKING TO ME, that we are diagnosing our children with all of these disorders such as attention deficit disorder, sensory processing disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, anxiety, depression, etc.  BUT I DONT THINK THERE IS ONE DIAGNOSIS IN THE WHOLE DSM TO ADDRESS PARENTING PROBLEMS.  Frankly, I think 9 times out of 10, when a child is diagnosed with any of the above disorders, the root of the problem is found within ineffective parenting.  I think the # 1 trait in a good parent is HUMILITY.  I hope you enjoy this article and feel free to share it with friends and family. As always, all errors in this article are done on purpose to heal us from that stupid perfectionism stronghold.

12 Secrets for Saving Our Children from Being S-P-O-I-L-E-D.

 

  1. Disrespect first starts in the eyes with children and adults. If you have a hard time looking someone in the eyes it is because they have been hurtful to you and disrespectful.  For our children and teenagers, if they disrespect you as a parent, they will start to look away and will not look into your eyes when you are speaking to them.  However, before you insist that they look into your eyes when you are speaking to them, it’s important that you ask yourself the question; why are they having a hard time looking into my eyes?  Is it because of their disobedience and disrespect? Or, is it because of my temperament as a parent?  For example, many children are parented by a parent who can be emotionally or verbally abusive and if that is the case, then the kiddo will look away because he or she does NOT respect you as a parent because you are being emotionally abusive.   If this is the case, parenting coaching can help you to become healthier in your communications with your child.  Parents need to develop discernment in this way and look inward at their own behaviors just as much as their looking outward at their child’s behavior.

2. Children should never be born into wealth, this creates entitlement, selfishness, spoiledness, and narcissism. Wealth should only be accumulated from hard work.  Therefore, if you are wealthy, protect your children from thinking their wealthy.  It is imperative that we teach our children the value of frugality and enjoying the simple things in life.  How can we do this?  Try some of my suggestions.

3. Try just shopping at Thrift Stores or Walmart for a year. On birthdays, just buy one gift for your child under $30 or a couple smaller gifts.  On holidays, instead of buying gifts, maybe try doing charitable acts to bless others.   Also, each of our children have been given the GIFT OF LIFE.  Because of this gift, we should try to make birthday’s more balanced and less “about me.” by taking turns each year with celebrating birthday’s with creating a special memory or giving a gift and then the next year celebrate the birthday by helping your kiddo be a GIFT to someone else by participating in an act of service in the community.  e.g, visiting nursing homes, playing bingo with elderly, visiting people who are sick, etc. Hmm, this makes me realize that there are NOT ENOUGH PLACES WHERE KIDDOS/FAMILIES CAN VOLUNTEER AT.

 

4. Enjoy the FRUGAL THINGS in life; fishing, hiking, board games, tenting, dancing, boating, neighborhood parties, swimming, drawing, painting, music, free concerts, river-walking, camping, cooking at home, mini road trips, etc.

 

  1. Shy away from buying a lot of toys.   Most toys creates selfishness, don’t believe me, visit third world countries and compare the quality of character to kiddos in 3rd world countries vs. the quality of character with kids in 1st world countries.  The proof is in the pudding, facts don’t lie.

 

  1. Your children need to learn the art of entertaining themselves sometimes and not needing to be entertained all the time. Therefore, on non-school days consider having your children entertain themselves for 1 hour, no screens. Of course, you can play with them if you want, but let them lead the play. Frankly, I think screens have turned our children into the worst version of themselves.

 

  1. Give your child a task each day and expect them to clean up after themselves. (For children who are 5+) We have a real double standard in our culture regarding this, if children grow up on a farm and work 1 hour before school we would think nothing of this, but a parent who makes their 9 year old do a 15-30 minute chore each day we would think is waaay too much.  No wonder why all of our children are spoiled, but we’re all blinded to it because of our own Narcissism, so because of this, know one will see and recognise that their own children are spoiled.

 

  1. Stop telling your children their SO GOOD at everything/GREAT at everything. Say to your child, “Yeah, you may be lousy at basketball now, because you just started, but we all start out being LOUSY AT FIRST.”   LET YOU KIDS BE JUST OKAY, FINE, MAYBE LOUSY AT SOME THINGS.  WHEN WERE ALWAYS TELLING OUR KIDS HOW GREAT THEY ARE AT EVERYTHING, THIS CREATES NARCISSISM AND ENTITLMENT.

 

  1. As parents, sometimes we “love” our kids too much and we are kind of addicted to our kids. We need to detach ourselves from our children sometimes if we are going to be able to parent effectively and take our blinders off.  A lot of parents have huge blinders on about their own kids. HUGE.  See # 6.

 

  1. Stop buying toys for your kids, the outdoors are the best toy they can ever have! I’m preaching to the choir here, I need to get my own kids outside MORE ?   Instead of buying toys, maybe go to the local dollar store once every few months and let your child pick out one item they can bring home.

 

  1. Do not tell your child; “don’t cry, I don’t want to see you cry”, “don’t be angry”, or “don’t be sad.” Our children need to feel comfortable to express all emotions to us including; sadness, anger, disappointment, insecurity, happiness, jealousy, hurt, excitement, belonging, love, entitlement, pain, joy.

 

  1. In terms of discipline, when a child is disrespectful or disobedient, have the child sit in the bathroom for the amount of time equaling his/her age. For example, if your child is 5 years old, then you would have your child sit in the bathroom for a 5-minute time out.  However, if your child comes out of the time out or starts yelling in the middle of the time out, then the time out would start over.   Time outs should really not start until the age of 5.   I think spankings/physical punishment typically are not effective, unless you can remain calm, explain effectively, and comfort afterwards.  However it takes a very special parent to be able to do this in the right way.
  2.  What would you put here, your insights are welcome.

We’ll all for now, I am done writing for the evening, have a good night.  No more recipes, one recipe for the day is enough.   🙂

Warm Regards,

Kelly Johnson, MA, LPC

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The Power of Virginity to Restore the Man Into A Gentleman

DISCLAIMER :  All of my blogs for the last 6 months and all of my future blogs are going to  be written in rough draft form only to help save us all from that man made perfectionism thing.  🙂  (or just me!)

The Earth Shattering Startling Truth is that the Gentleman is on the brinks of extinction.

What did I just say?

The Earth Shattering Startling Truth is that the Gentleman is on the brinks of extinction.

one more time…..

The

Earth

Shattering

Startling

Truth

is

that

the

Gentleman

is

on

the

brinks

of

extinction.

For every 10 women of character and integrity that I can find, I can probably only find 2-3 men of character and integrity.  (Tinder doesn’t help this cause 😉 This may sound 100% jaded or biased, however it is not, sadly it is just the reality of  the world we live in today.  The reason why this is so is because of premature sexual intimacy  in relationships.  People think that if you are an advocate for abstinence until marriage that you are conservative or narrow minded and this belief could not be farther from the truth.   The truth of the matter is a WOMANS’ VIRGINITY IS THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL KNOWN TO MANKIND TO TRANSFORM AND EVOLVE THE MALE GENDER INTO BECOMING A GENTLEMAN.  If there is ONE THING  in all of the world and in all of human history that can turn a man into a gentleman, IT IS A WOMENS’ VIRGINITY.

Hear me loud and clear, I am not even an advocate of  professing that a couple must wait until they are married, frankly I think this belief causing many other problems, because this belief just creates PREMATURE ENGAGEMENTS AND MARRIAGES and  hence the divorce rates are just as HIGH in the church as they are outside of the church.  People should not be getting married simply because they want to have sex, this is horrible theology.  When we are preaching no sex before marriage we are simply setting people up for failure because people are not taking the necessary time to get to know each other, court each other, and build a healthy relationship before marriage, BECAUSE they are just getting married so they can do the deed.   Because of this, I think that marriage needs to be out of the discussion when we are talking about Chasity and Virginity, we need to be smarter than this.   We need to be teaching our young women and men the values of Chasity, Modesty, Virginity, and Masturbation as the four greatest tools known to mankind that if practiced can ensure that we will rescue the Gentleman from Extinction foremost and secondly we will be creating marriages and relationships that are 100X better, healthier, and simply more amazing.  What do I mean by this?

Men are driven by their sexual desires more than women, men are biologically speaking wired to lust after their women.  In order for all men to become gentleman we need to be teaching our young women and men (16+) the values of Chasity, Modesty, Virginity, and Masturbation.  I believe sexuality education needs to be a part of our school education.

(In regards to education, we can not assume that parents are teaching children anything.  You know what assuming does, it makes an ASS out of You and Me.  🙂   As educators we need to take education into our own hands and create an education where every child is able to be successful in life even if they had horrible parents that did not teach them one thing.)

Chasity- We teach our Young Men that they must wait 2 years of being in a relationship (FOR THE FIRST TIME) to make love to their woman.  We need to be teaching our men and women what it means to “fall in love.”  Love is not as mystified as we make it out to be, “falling in love” is a real thing and we need to be teaching our young women and men how to have discernment in this way.  This two year period is not about stupid rules, legalism, conservatisism, frankly I’m not a fan of any of those things.  This Rule would completely change the male gender for all human history and it would turn all men into a gentleman.

Modesty- We need to teach our women how to dress modestly, yet beautifully.  By doing this we are teaching our women how to show honor to men and not cause men to stumble in the physical area. If you want a man to get to know your brain, dress in a way where he will be more attracted to your brain at first.   There is a kindergarten teacher at my daughters school who embodies the definition of modesty and beauty, she always dresses in a way that is classy, yet chic and modest.

Masterbation- Masterbation I think was given to human beings as a gift to help men and women maintain their virginity and Chasity until the right time.  We should never be teaching that masturbation is wrong or sinful, this is SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH!  Women have so much shame around masturbation and it is very sad.  Masturbation is a God-given right and all men and woman can and need to learn how to masturbate.   If a women masturbates when she needs to, she will be much more likely to remain pure in her relationships and not give herself away sexually before her man has completed his gentleman training. The truth is Chasity and Abstinence creates character, the longer you wait, the more your man will grow in character.

I feel SO PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS, IF I HAD THE RESOURCES, I WOULD LOVE TO CREATE A WORLD WIDE MOVEMENT WHERE I CAN EMPOWER TEENAGERS TO MAKE A COMMITMENT TO MAINTAINING their Virginity for 2 years after they fall in love for the first time.   You see, if we as women can form a sisterhood with each other and if we as women can  make a commitment to each other to all value and make a commitment to maintain our virginity for 2 years after we fall in love, then we will be 100% turning the tides and saving our men from extinction by turning them into gentleman in the process.

But the truth of the matter is, the power of virginity will only work if we  form a sisterhood as women and all commit together to upholding it. If only one woman commits to virginity, the man will scoff and say, “we’ll I’ll just go on to the next.”  In our world today, the truth is that most women will have sex with a man after 4-6 dates.  However, if we created a movement where there was no break in the chain, where every women made a commitment to maintaining their virginity for 2 years from the time they fell in love, then our men would have to evolve and become men of integrity and character that have to learn how to woe, court, and date a woman.  (instead of just shrugging their shoulders and saying, “we’ll I’ll just get it from the next, there are plenty other fish in the sea who will sleep with me!”

The Power of Virginity and Chasity is designed primarily for young women and men from the ages of 16-25.  As an adult, relationships are different and if men and women did their Chasity training in their younger years, they would not need to follow those same rules in their older years.  Chasity and Saving your virginity are primarily tools given to teenagers and young women and men in their early to mid 20’s to help them evolve into Women and Men of Virtue, Character, and Integrity.

Anyways, I’m signing off here!

Have an “alright” night.  🙂

Kelly Johnson, MA, LPC

P.S-I think if we took the word “good” out of the dictionary.  It would actually mean that we would have to give more emotionally honest answers when someone says; how are you?  We could say; marginal, functioning, I’m alright, I’m decent, I’m miserable, I’m delighted, etc. what  A     B-R-E-A-T-H    O-F      F-R-E-S-H       A-I-R.

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Narcissism Part III

This is my last blog post in this three part Narcissism Series.  In closing out this series, I would like to leave you with a tool that will be helpful for you in understanding Narcissism in yourself and others.  There is probably no better way to explain Narcissism than to examine the Emotional Safety Spectrum. The Emotional Safety Spectrum is a worksheet that I have created to help people understand Emotional Safety and Narcissism.

Here is a little history about this worksheet that I created.  I received a document that looked similar to the Emotional Safety Spectrum from a friend of mine who is also in private practice, however the original document did not have any identifying information on it to who wrote it and there was no copyright date,  so I can not give credit to the person who wrote the original document. However, if someone lets me know where the original document came from, I will happily and promptly give that person the credit they deserve.  🙂  So, I took the original document and added some traits to it to create the Emotional Safety Spectrum Worksheet that I use with clients. 

One easy way to start healing your own Narcissism is to make a habit of NURTURING HUMILITY.  Humility in human beings is BEAUTIFUL and it is designed to be nurtured.  One way that you can nurture your humility is to print off this sheet and put it on your refrigerator.  Anytime that you see yourself exhibit one of the emotionally unsafe traits on the list, give yourself grace, acknowledge it with the person you hurt and by doing this you are making it right.  🙂

So, without further ado, here is the Emotional Safety Spectrum.  FYI, Any therapists, counselors, etc. are more than welcome to use this worksheet and change it up as you see fit to better help your respective patients and clients.

Emotional Safety Spectrum

Unhealthy Narcissism/Unsafe People:

Have it all together instead of admitting their weaknesses.

Defensive instead of open to feedback.

Self-righteous instead of humble.

Apologize instead of changing my behavior.

Avoid my problems instead of dealing with them, does not think that I sin.

Demand trust, instead of earning it.

Believe I am close to perfect instead of admitting faults.

Blame others instead of taking responsibility. (manipulation/guilt-tripping)

Lie instead of being honest.

Are stagnant instead of growing.

Avoid closeness instead of connecting.

Are only concerned about “I” instead of “we” (not relationship centered)

Resist freedom instead of encouraging it.

Condemn us instead of forgiving us.

Stay in parent/child roles  (Preaching vs. dialoging)

Are unstable over time instead of being consistent.

Are a negative influence on us, rather than a positive one.

Gossip instead of keeping our confidences.

Will not apologize, but will justify behavior.

Will talk too much and not ask questions(no empathy)

Verbal Abusive Patterns such as; discounting, demeaning, saying I’m crazy, I’m too sensitive, mean jokes, name-calling ,anger outbursts, )

Healthy Narcissism/Safe People:

Expresses vulnerability by admitting weaknesses

Takes Constructive feedback and freely talks about sins.

Humility with Self Confidence

Change Behavior and Apologize

Actively work on my problems

Earn trust, not demand it.

Humility and Vulnerability

Takes full responsibility for mistakes and unhealthy choices

Practices honesty (or if someone lies they would immediately admit it afterwards through nurturing humility.)

Constantly growing and learning

Encourages Closeness

Concerned about We and I.

Encourages freedom vs. Controlling

Forgives us vs. Condemns us.  (no holding grudges)

Relate as co-equals

Consistent

Positive influence on us over all

Keeping our confidences

Apologize freely and often when need to.

Will ask questions and show concern for other person.  (empathy)

Encourages, Uplifts, Speaks Truth, Holds us Accountable, and Believes in us.

 

Here is another Gluten Free Five Ingredient or Less Recipe, this recipe is for Cauliflower Fried Rice….  Hmm Hmm Good!

Warm Regards,

Kelly Johnson, MA, LPC

 

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Narcissism and Perfectionism Part II

Welcome Back!

Here is my Part II to understanding Narcissism.  The reason why I am breaking this up in three parts is because narcissism is the ONE THING THAT PROBABLY EVERY ONE HAS ON SOME LEVEL OR ANOTHER AND NO ONE GETS THERAPY FOR.  🙂  So, we need a lot of information on what Narcissism is and how we can heal ourselves from Narcissism.  Narcissism and Perfectionism are closely related, but are not the exact same thing, but for simplicity purposes, I am just going to use Narcissism in this blog, however if you struggle with perfectionism you may as well benefit from learning more about narcissism.

Narcissism is a wound and/or a trait and if we developed this trait in childhood it is because we either  received “too much praise and no accountability” in our childhood or  “not enough praise and too much criticism” in our childhood.  I am using the word “praise” in substitution for the word “love.”  Because too much praise is actually poison for our children, and it should never be disguised as love.

However, I would probably say that its fair to say that a lot of people did not pick up Narcissism in their childhood, but rather picked up Narcissism as an adult.  As an adult, if someone does not receive healthy love in their life for a long period of time, they will naturally become narcissistic.  Narcissism is mostly caused in adults because over 90% of adults live lives where there is little accountability, discipline, and correction in their life.  You see, we all need way more accountability in our life in order for us to remain healthy emotionally and mentally.  If someone lives their adult life unaccountable, they will naturally become narcissistic.

In our jobs, careers, churches, schools, government, etc, there needs to be way more accountability, correction, structure, and checks and balances.  All of this is lacking SO MUCH and because of this we are all narcissistic and feel defensive and upset when anyone calls us out and/or expects anything from us.  Truthfully, we all need to save ourselves from our own narcissism.

What is Narcissism?  Narcissism is complicated, I have came up with 7 forms of Narcissism, but there are probably many more as well.  Covert Narcissism, Spiritual/Religious Narcissism, Overt Narcissism, Perfectionism, Career Narcissism, Mental Health Clinicians’ Narcissism, and Parenting Narcissism.

Covert Narcissism is much harder to treat because no one else can see it, except the spouse of the covert narcissist.  Overt Narcissism needs no explanation and most narcissistic books are written about this type of narcissism.  Perfectionism is the belief that you need things to be perfect, which is just a different flavor of narcissism.  Career Narcissism is where someone can develop Narcissism because of their career, because they may be excellent at their particular job.

with career narcissism its really important to realize that while you may be excellent at your particular job, do not let this narcissism bleed over into other parts of your life.  In order to keep your career narcissism in check, you need to know how to yield and submit to other people in their positions of authority who are experts at their particular field.  Frankly, the word expert and specialist can also create more narcissism.  Now, let me talk about this last type of Narcissism, this is a phrase that I made up on my own and its called; “Mental Health Clinicians Narcissism”.  Anyone in the Mental Health field is especially prone to developing “Mental Health Clinicians Narcissism” because we think that we can solve everybody’s problems.  We are so proud of our degrees, trainings, specializations, awards, credentials, etc. and because we are so busy trying to build our repertoire of skills, we are failing to notice that WE ARE NOT PROVIDING EFFECTIVE THERAPY FOR OUR CLIENTS.  If we were providing effective therapy for our clients we would be seeing far less addictions, affairs, divorces, and suicides.

But the truth of the matter is, all of these are at an all time high in our world.  Something is not right.  If we are going to heal our “Mental Health Clinicians Narcissism” we will start asking more questions, soliciting real feedback, letting our clients talk about deep pain, hurt, rejection, jealousy, pain, insecurity, etc. without instilling a fear in our clients that if they talk about these things that we will be diagnosing them with a slue of disorders.   Truthfully, music is far better at doing therapy than most therapists are at doing therapy, because music does not diagnose people, music lets people talks about hurt, pain, insecurity, etc, without instilling a fear into people that talking about those such things will equal a diagnosis of a disorder.  This is what I would call “Mental Health System Abuse.”

 

The next type of Narcissism that I would like to touch on is Spiritual/Religious Narcissism.  If you struggle with spiritual narcissism, you may feel that you are “better off spiritually” because you go to church 7 days a week, but you fail to notice that your frequent church going just creates ugly self-righteousness and this “holier than though” syndrome.  However, there are also a handful of people that go to church every day and are the most humble people around.  If you struggle with spiritual narcissism you may also use spiritual language as a way to overcompensate for feelings of insecurity and inferiority.  You may talk a lot about God, faith, spirituality, or use the word “Lord this” and “Lord that” like you are talking about your best friend.  This type of language creates superiority where you feel like you are better than other people because you have a “closer relationship” with the Lord because you talk about god like he/she is your pet or sister.  People around you who do not talk about God in that manner are made to feel less then because they don’t talk about Yahweh in that manner.  If you do this, in reality, you are simply using spiritual language to foster your own sense of self and ego as an overcompensation for insecurity.

Evangelical Christians struggle with this sin a lot, way more than other denominations/religions in my opinion.  I went to an Evangelical Christian University in which I loooooved for many reasons and disliked for just as many other reasons. But there was a sense among the campus that the men who used the most “lords” in a sentence were the most spiritual ones, it was and is 100% non-sense.    Catholics typically have much more humility in this arena and protestants have a lot to learn from Catholics in this way.  But nuns and priests struggle with spiritual narcissism as well because they think they have a closer relationship with God because their a priest/nun.  Also, I think the wardrobes that priests and nuns wear probably also foster a little spiritual narcissism, etc.

The reality is, when most people are talking about God, they are talking about God to bolster their own ego.   Because of this reason, we can not judge somebody else’s faith by their words, only Yahweh knows someone’s heart.  When someone has a genuine faith, they talk very little about their faith, (unless their a rabbi or teacher of religion.) because their faith is simply lived by their life.  For this reason, I think many non-religious people and agnostics have a much more pure faith than the so called devouts do.

I think this is EXACTLY what Jesus meant when he said; “The first will be last, and the last will be first.” 

…..The people that think they know me, have NO CLUE WHO I AM, the people that don’t think they know me, they know me quite well, they just don’t know that they know me.”

Spiritual Narcissism is an entity all to itself and there has not been many books, research, etc, done on this area, up until recently.  Because I am a Therapist by trade and I love learning about all aspects of human  behavior and because narcissism is one of my most favorite topics to treat, I have developed a special liking for treating and understanding all forms of Narcissism, including Spiritual Narcissism. Additionally, because I went to an Evangelical Christian College, I saw spiritual Narcissism in its fullest colors, however I did not realize it was Spiritual Narcissism until 6 years after I graduated from there and I started studying Narcissism.

Parenting Narcissism is the last type of Narcissism that I would like to talk about.   Parenting Narcissism is a type of Narcissism where parents are narcissically blinded to their own childs’ faults and issues and because of this bias and blind spot  they can not parent effectively.  Parents that have Parenting Narcissism are typically parents who will be more apt to point out flaws in other parents and  talk negatively about other parents, but fail to see their own flaws.  Another trait of Parenting Narcissism is that these parents think their children are so much better off than they actually are.  Behind their parents back, the child may be manipulating, lying, cheating, bullying kids, and doing other activities such as these and the parents are blind to all or some of these activities going on

Well, this post is getting long enough so I am going to break this post up a bit.  In my next post I will be finishing up this Narcissism series with providing you with a worksheet that you can use as a tool to help you heal your own narcissism called the Emotional Safety Spectrum. 

Goodbye for now 🙂

Kelly Johnson, MA, LPC

 

 

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The Ying Yang Effect

I have created a new concept called the; “Ying Yang Effect” and everything in life I see through this Ying Yang Effect.  In terms of politics, religion, parenting styles, etc. I do not see it like the world sees is as two opposing sides with opposing views, rather I see it as each side represents an important part of the “Ying Yang Effect” and both parts of the Ying Yang effect create Balance.  Let me explain it to you;

Liberals Need Conservatives & Conservatives Need Liberals

Protestant’s Need Catholics & Catholics Need Protestants

Agnostics Need Believers and Believers Need Agnostics

Democrats Need Republicans & Republicans Need Democrats

Attachment Style Parenting Folks NEED to learn from Baby Wise Style Parenting folks & like wise Baby Wise Parenting folks NEED to learn from Attachment Style Parenting.

This analogy is true in SO MANY WAYS, here are just the first 5 that came to my head.  In my next blog, I will get back to talking about; “How to Heal from Narcissism and Perfectionism.”  🙂  Before I forget, here is a recipe for delicious 3 ingredient Popsicles!

Warm Regards,

Kelly Johnson, MA, LPC

 

 

 

 

 

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Making Sense of Perfectionism and Narcissism Part I

So, two blogs back I was talking about Narcissism and I said I would explain Narcissism in more depth in my next blog.  But then I forgot about that and ended up writing about faith in the following blog. ?  So, I would like to go back to that topic and talk about Narcissism/Perfectionism for a little bit.

In our world, up until about 15 years ago, there was not a lot of accurate information available regarding understanding pathological Narcissism.

You see, Narcissistic Personality Disorder was created by Psychiatrists who have developed a system for diagnosing all of man-kind according to some 200+ or so disorders.  And it’s fair to say that Psychiatrists would not create a personality disorder that would fit them right into it, so inevitably I believe the definition that they came up with as to what Narcissistic Personality Disorder is, may be a little biased or impartial.  

However, please know I do NOT have biases towards all Psychiatrists in this way.  Some Psychiatrists are phenomenal and if you want to read a thought provoking book regarding this topic by a Psychiatrist whom I deeply respect and admire, please read the book titled; “Saving Normal.”  By Dr. Frances Allen. 

Anyways, Narcissism is the one thing that most of us probably have traits of, yet no one gets therapy for.  There are millions of people in this world who have been getting treatment for Depression, however the real issue is Narcissism, not Depression.  You see, when someone has a therapist that they meet with every single week for years and there able to 100% vent and process every feeling they had the previous week with that therapist, this can create pathological narcissism.  Case in point;

“I have one person every single week and I have a 100% one sided relationship with this person.  And week after week, month after month, year and year, I get to talk, vent, process feelings, and I feel no regard to ask them about their life.”

This is the 100% reality for MANY clients who are in therapy.   I think this traditional one sided relationship model of therapist and client actually can create more harm than it does good.

When I have a client who is very Narcissistic and does not know how to show interest in other people’s lives or ask people questions, I will help teach this client social skills by having them ask me standard questions, I will write down questions that they can ask me and then they will practice this social skill in session. We will do this by role playing that we are friends meeting for coffee. After this,  then I will give them a social challenge out of session as well, where they have to ask 2 people in their life 3 questions that they normally would not ask during the week such as; tell me about your work day?  What was good? What was hard?

If therapy is 100% one sided, I actually think this can (situation dependent of course) create increased levels of Narcissism on behalf of the client. In addition to not creating added Narcissism,  Healthy and discerning self disclosure at select times on behalf of the therapist allows the client to feel more comfortable because the relationship feels more natural and hence the client opens up more and shares more.  Let’s be honest, no one will open up with a therapist who is just talking therapeutic jargon, writing on their note pad, and saying; “how does that make you feel?” I think we would all agree we would rather watch paint dry than be in that type of therapy session.

Anyways, here is my “Top 13 List for Healing from Perfectionism/Narcissism.”

FYI, All spelling errors and grammatical errors are done on purpose to help us all heal from man-made perfectionism and narcissism. 

 

 13 Secrets for healing man-made Perfectionism and Narcissism

  1. When I hear someone say; “I struggle with perfectionism”, it registers in my head as; “I struggle with pretending that I’m a fish!”
  2. If you struggle with perfectionism, you probably also struggle with narcissism, read below to learn more about narcissism.?
  3. Make more errors, spell a few words wrong on purpose in emails, letters, journals, make more mistakes, let go, breathe, look stupid, be silly, laugh at yourself more, be wrong, be lousy at something, be inaccurate, it’s okay. Learn to LOVE yourself for who YOU ARE.  If people are going to juddge you for a spelling error vs. the content of your character, you do NOT want to be their friend or acquaintance anyway, truuuth.
  4. Be proud of your insecurities, when your honest about your insecurities in means that you are emotionally healthy.
  5. Accept the fact that most of us struggle with Covert Narcissism and Pride. When your Narcissism comes out, say; “Hey, my narcissism came out there when I said that comment.  I’m sorry I was prideful.”  If we each can develop the habit of doing this regularly we can heal ourselves of our narcissism.
  6. Read 3 books on narcissism, focus on yourself, not others. The wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing (explains spiritual narcissism), disarming the narcissist, and the wizard of Oz & other narcissists are all good books.  Read everything with a healthy grain of salt of course.
  7. Learn to say the phrase; “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, tell me more about how I hurt your feelings. Goal-Listen only, try not to defend yourself.
  8. Learn to show real interest in other people’s lives by asking GREAT QUESTIONS.
  9. Learn and become familiar with other people’s non-verbal’s. If there being distant, cold, shut off, or acting upset with you, ask why?  Learn to pay attention to people’s non-verbal’s and show care if your words or non-verbal actions hurt somebody else’s feelings.
  10. Learn to give a genuine apology as manifested by changed behavior. If there is no change in your behavior, your apology meant nothing.
  11. LEARN TO BE HUMBLE. LEARN TO BE HUMBLE. LEARN TO BE HUMBLE.  (hmm, 3 times, this must be IMPORTANT!  If you can learn humility, you can heal your Narcissism.  Humility is saying; Teach Me, Help Me, I’m Lost, I’m Listening, I don’t know what I am doing, I’m clueless, I need help, teach me more, tell me more, I am listening, I am wrong, I am unskilled in this area.
  12. Ask people regularly in your life, “Do you feel like I REALLY LISTEN TO you when you’re talking to me?” If they say, NO, then listen to their response, learn from their feedback. Learn to ask people; How was your day?  Listen intently to their answer.
  13. Give yourself GRACE, overcoming Narcissism will take time. If you have been this way for most of your life, givve yourself time to heal your Narcissism wound.

As I am closing up shop here, let me leave you with another gluten free 5 ingredient or less recipe.  This is a recipe that I made up in my own kitchen and it is VERY SIMPLE, I call it “Banna Spice.”  This recipe name I came up with because my daughter Kaylee wrote down bananas on my grocery list as “bannas” and now whenever were talking about bananas in our home,  we just call them banna’s.   🙂 

Ingredients

1 Banana pealed.

1 zip lock bag with ½ cup of oatmeal, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. 

Mix the last three ingredients together in a zip lock bag and then take your banana and “dip” your banana in the oatmeal bag.  This is a delicious snack when you are on the go and need something quick.    ENJOY!  Continue reading

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What the HECK is healthy spirituality? Meh only knows :)

Hey Ya’ll!  I’m back!  So a little confession for you.  🙂  I do not write for anyone else’s eyes, except for my own.  Frankly, I could care less if anybody else reads these blogs or not.  You see, when I write, I connect to my own soul and when I am connected to my own soul is when I provide the BEST THERAPY.  Any who, I am in the process of writing several books and its a little bit of a confidence builder for me to put some of my stuff from my books on this stupid blog, even though there in the “ROUGH draft” stage of development.

I love writing rough drafts with errors, and all.  Frankly, I may very well just have to publish some books with a lot of spelling errors and grammatical errors ON PURPOSE because I think it would help heal us all from that man made silly “perfectionism.” stuff.  I was just reading that looooooong blog about “75 words I want to take out of the dictionary bla bla bla post” and as I was reading that I thought to myself, “wow, that part sounded REDICULOUS and RIGID, I DON’T THINK LIKE THAT!  I make myself laugh sometimes.

Everybody has there vices I guess and I would probably say that one of my vices is my website, silly as that sounds.  I love going on my website and making stupid changes, tweeking this, tweeking that, whatever.   I think the reason why I like it so much is, just like my writing connects me to my soul, my website connects me to my soul as well.   Why?  Because I am a therapist, or a healer of pain…on my good days that it is….  On my BAD days, I just make myself think I am a Healer of Pain and then I feel better…. chuckle, chuckle, some good ol narcissistic humor for you.   Any who, enough tangents.  Let’s talk about something else……drum role please…..

WHAT THE HECK IS HEALTHY SPIRITUALITY?

I don’t know, but I’ll take some guesses at it.   I don’t feel like typing much longer, so lets do a top ten list!

  1. Healthy spirituality is about; “Being Humble, Because You Could Be Wrong.”
  2. I believe many Atheists and Agnostics know Yahweh  or Meh. (btw, Meh is my all time  favorite agnostic name for god.) Why?  Because a lot of the time agnostics and atheists just think god is marginal or Meh at best.  They just don’t know that they know yahweh.  Case in point, if Yahweh was manifested in a human being today, I think He/She would probably be a open-minded, agnostic, peace making, truth telling, Friend of Jesus, Hippie loving soul.
  3. People of all Religions can know Meh or Yahweh.
  4. A Healthy Relationship with Meh or yahweh is summed up by Micah 6:8.

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.  that’s it.”

Yes, Sam Harris I believe you know Yahweh, you just don’t didn’t know that you knew Yahweh because Yahweh is not who you think He/She is…and I believe you are right on about many of your thoughts regarding religion….

6. What does it mean to Walk Humbly with God?  Be Vulnerable, admit your issues, yell at God, scream at God, tell God how much you think He/She is a Sociopath.  Truly, I think one of the phrases to best descrive God would be that of a “Loving Sociopath.”  I do not mean that in a negative way at all, I mean that in a realistic way.  You see, Yahweh looks at the heart, man judges outward appearances.    Tell God how much you hate him/her, are indifferent, etc.  whatever.

7. Meh is NOT going to help you solve your problems.  Yahweh IS THE CREATOR, NOT YOUR PERSONAL GENIE.  He/She gave you a body, a brain, and all creation as your playground.  Bad things happen, horrible things happen, HORRIBLE THINGS HAPPEN, REALLY REALLY REALLY HORRIBLE THINGS HAPPEN, that does not make Yahweh innately bad.  Frankly, I would not want it any other way.  Free will is the most beautiful gift that we have been given.

8. Healthy Faith is about having some eternal optimism.  Eternal optimism is the belief that; IN ALL ETERNITY, MERCY AND JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL FOR ALL.  I believe in this to the core of my being.  This is my reality in my life irregardless to how my life will turn out. People who equate God’s sovernigy with; “what did or did not happen in their life” is really seeing God through a humanistic/narcissistic lense.

9. “Prayer” does NOT work.  I THINK GOD WANTS TO TELL YOU;  “I WILL NOT HELP YOU IN THE WAY YOU THINK I WILL.  I Helped you by giving you a brain, a body, eyes, nose, feet, arms, insight, etc. I HAVE GIVEN YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO  HELP YOUR SELF.  So, you really think I am going to answer your prayer for a 4th kid, all the while there are MILLIONS of starving children WHO ARE DYNG EVERY DAY AND BEING KILLED? REALLY?  WAKE UP!  Many of you devout and religious people enrage me with your so called ego obsessed life that is masked as  “faith.”      I believe the original intention behind prayer was that when we prayer for others, we are healed in the process.  When I volunteer, give to others, pray for others, help others out, I am not focusing on myself for the moment.  Because of this, prayer can heal us from selfishness, narcissism, egocentrism, etc.  However, the best prayer is simply a hard worker, just work hard.   (word of wisdom to the devouts!)  In God’s eyes, I believe your work ethic IS your prayer life.  He/She could care less about your prayers, he sees your true character by your work ethic. Prayer is just words, words mean nothing, actions mean everything.  God does not answer prayers like religious people think He/She does.  If God did answer prayer like that, faith would no longer be pure, because people will only have “faith” for what God can do for them.  This is not faith at all, this is just selfishness, religious narcissism masked as faith. 

10. Healthy confession is an integral  part of a relationship with God.  You see, we all sin and we are all LOOOOOVED BY God more than we know.   🙂  We need to be honest about sins and our struggles with Yahweh.  What is Sin?  Sin is ego, sin is rationalizing, self righteousness, “perfectionism”, narcissism, piety, lying, not committing to our word, pride, murder, image, image addiction, artificiality, addictions, lust, (when you let it control your life.) promiscuity, richness, etc, etc. etc.  Disclaimer, there are many people who may be rich and do NOT struggle with the sin of “richness.”   I believe we all sin AND I believe God sins.  🙂  We are not made to be perfect, we are made to struggle with sin, we are made to confess our sins and be cleansed, we are made to be quirky, flawed, insecure sometimes, beautiful, etc.  Sin is anything in our life that stops us from EVOLVING into our truest potential.  For example, someone may see someone like Mother Theresa and think, “She did not sin.” Yes she did.  Her sin was that she blindly accepted the Catholics teachings as infallible and she did not use her God-given brain to decipher whether those teaching were accurate or not.   Her sin was also that she put  the saints and the pope on a pedestal and no one should be put on a pedestal like that.  (In my own humble opinion.)  So what does healthy confession look like?

Take a piece of paper out.

Write on there; My sins, my struggles, and Your Forgiveness.

Write out your sins and what you have been struggling with.  Then Let God intervene and express his forgiveness and mercy over you.  When we are heart felt and genuine with our confessions, we will  receive forgiveness and mercy. However, when we just say a confession for the sake of it and we make no attempts to change our behavior, our confession was probably just for our own conscience and there is no redemption there.  At the core, the purpose of confession is to receive complete redemption and restoration. What would a confession look like?  Write on a piece of paper these things and then go into a church, synagogue, or mosque and leave the paper at the alter.  When people do this exercise, it will feel like a burden has been lifted. ( if you were honest.)  You may also want to burn the paper and put it in a fire as a sign of God’s cleansing.  Here is an example:

My sins,

I lied to my girlfriend because I was afraid to tell her the truth about my past last week.

My struggles,

I am really lonely, I feel like I have no one.  god, you feel so far away.  I don’t like you sometimes.  I miss my family.  I miss my best friend louise.  Why wont’t he call me any more?  I am scared to need my girlfriend, so I end up doing all these stupid games to try and keep her close, but it just ends up pushing her away.  I’m scared to let her in and open up to her about my past.  I need to tell Louise that it hurt my feelings that he stopped calling me, how do I do that?

God intervening,

Thank you for being honest with me.  Tell Louise, if Louise is a real friend to you Son, he will LISTEN TO YOU vs. GET DEFENSIVE.   I know you are so scared right now.  I know I feel like I am a million miles away right now.  Son, by you confessing your struggles and sins to me right now I am in the process of cleansing your heart.  I am giving you courage to tell your girlfriend about your struggle with lying.  I will also give you courage to talk to your friend.  Please know, courage is not moving forward without fear, courage is MOVING FORWARD in the MIDST of fear.  Your sins are forgiven my son, go in peace.

yahweh

I believe God is way more enraged by piety, spiritual narcissism, image obsessed people than he is with people who struggle with addictions for example.  That’s why you always found Jesus with the down and outs, the addicts, etc.  These people were typically much more humble, AUTHENTIC, and WAY MORE ENJOYABLE TO BE AROUND than the pharisees of the time.  We have SO MANY PHARISEES IN OUR DAY, IT’S C-R-A-Z-Y!  I believe a lot of Evangelical Christians for example may be spiritual narcissists, but they do not know it. They wear their faith like its something to show off, always saying; “lord this, lord that, lord willing, lord, lord, lord, lord……They in turn raise their children in the same way and they think they are raising their children to “Fear the Lord.” however, in actuality they are just raising their children to be spiritual narcissists often times.  The priest/pastor who is all “holy” and “self righteuos” and thinks he/she has a closer relationship with the Lord simply because he/she is a “Pastor” and/or may think he is better off than other people because of their “spirituality” is far worse off than the drug addict who knows who he is and has no pretense.

11. What are your thoughts on Faith?   I am curious…

 

All for now, I’m signing off!  Here is another Gluten Free 5 ingredient or less recipe for you!  Here is a recipe for Pesto Chicken Soup from:

Via Gimme Some Oven

“If you love pesto pasta, then this is the perfect recipe for you. Obvioulsy, your favorite pesto and chicken fettuccini is full of gluten and all those ingridients you’re trying to avoid with a new lifestyle. However, this pesto chicken soup is perfect for easing that craving without giving in to the things that are bad for you. Use homemade pesto or store bought (I won’t tell!)”

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups good-quality chicken stock
  • 3 handfuls (about 3 cups) fresh spinach
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans Great Northern or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup pesto

Mix all the ingredients together in a pot and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. ENJOY!

Warm Regards,

Kelly Johnson, MA, LPC

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Words I want out of the dictionary…and other wild hair+ ideas :)

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Family of Origin Wounds Part II

Hello!  I’ve been quite busy here the last couple weeks, so blogging has been put on the back burner:) I will get to part II of Family of Origin Wounds in this blog, but before I do that I must share a story.   Last week I was looking at my website page regarding eating disorders and there was a statement on my page that said something a long the lines of, “there are temptations all around Denver to side tract you from your weight loss goals so you must be prepared!”  When I read that I was SHOCKED!  WHAT?!  I never wrote that!  I would NEVER say that in a million years.  Food is AMAZING, food is GREAT, God gave us food for our enjoyment, not to restrict it.  How did that sentence get put in there?  Then it dawned on me, I hired an SEO company several years back and they went on my website and made changes to my content to optimize my SEO.  Word from the Wise: All Therapists, never allow SEO companies to change your content.   (or make sure you pre-approve all changes before they put it on your website.)

Anyways, more about Family of Origin Wounds, the last few blogs were just cut and pasted from a book that I was working on, but for this second part I’m going to shoot it straight from the heart because I can’t find the computer chord for my computer and I don’t have my book content to copy and paste from. (probably a good thing actually.)

So how do we heal from our family of origin wounds?   For starters, be honest about your wounds and be honest about how you have wounded others as well.  What did you need from you parents emotionally that you did not receive?  In what ways did your parents hurt your feelings growing up?  Pay attention to these answers, write a list of the painful memories that you carry, what are the questions that you wanted your parents to ask you that they never did?  Shy away from glossing over these questions.  Additionally, if you are a parent, be honest with yourself about how you have wounded your children.  When we are comfortable in our own skin, we can look at this stuff head on and we don’t feel a need to justify or minimize it.   For example, as a parent you may say; I have blessed my children by;____________________________________________.  I have hurt my children or enabled my children by; __________________________________.  The more you can be open about this stuff, the more it will help YOU to heal from your own family of origin wounds.

There are many excellent books on this topic, for a list of some of the books I would recommend please click on the link here.   Also, if you read the book “Toxic Parents” and think to yourself, “Wow, I am a toxic parent!”  I want you to know that wounded people, wound other people.  So if you are a Toxic Parent, please give yourself some love because more than likely your parent(s) were a toxic parent as well.  BTW, just because your a toxic parent does NOT mean that you don’t LOVE your child very much, it just means that you can be toxic in how you parent and you need to learn some skills and tools to help you to become a better parent.  🙂  An INCREDIBLE parent is a parent that recognizes their toxic as a parent and get’s help.

As I am wrapping up here, its time to share with you another “Gluten Free 5 ingredient or Less Recipe” So here is a recipe for a copy cat cilantro rice recipe.  (Because cilantro rice at Chipotle is simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

 

Warm Regards,

Kelly Johnson, MA, LPC

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Making Sense of Family of Origin Wounds

So, if you had a wonderful childhood, you may want to skip this blog.   But if you didn’t, please read on.   🙂

What defines your identity?

Growing up, most of us defined our identity by our popularity status, academic achievements, sports awards, who we dated, and most importantly, most of us define our identity by what our parents told us about who we are or perhaps what they did not tell us about who we are.

Most of us associate our sense of identity by what we had done, not by who we are.  So, when we achieve, perform, win, excel, we feel good about ourselves, however when we fail, lose, and are defeated we feel lousy about ourselves.  Therefore, our sense of identity is like the house that was built upon a sand foundation.  When the storms and rain come, surely the house may come crashing down. Our identity rather needs to be based on something greater than our achievements, status, success, or lack thereof, our identity needs to be based on a firm foundation and understanding of who we are.  Take out a sheet of paper right now, write your name on the top of it.  Then for 15 minutes, write down anything that comes to your mind when you think of the question; how do you see yourself?  I want you to write down reflections that depict how you see yourself right now, not how you want to see yourself.  I want you also to be brutally honest, say what you really think.

The answer to this question may shed light on the messages that you heard growing up about who you are.   These answers also shed light into whether or not you may have a Family of Origin Wound. To further explore this issue, on the back side of your sheet of paper answer the following questions.

What did you hear growing up from your parents regarding your identity and self portrait?  Sarah is ________________. (write down the first ten words/phrases that come to your mind in terms of how your parents saw you.)

Did I feel invisible in my childhood? Yes, No, Maybe. A little.  Explain.

Did I feel comfortable talking about my feelings w/my parents?  Yes, No, Maybe. A little.  Explain.

Did I feel really cared for and loved by my parents?  Yes, No, Maybe. A little.  Explain.

 

Disclaimer: knowing something and feeling something are two different things.  So, you may have always known that your parents loved you, but maybe your didn’t feel loved by your parents.

All of these scenarios from your childhood give us more insight into the development of your identity and personality as an adult.

What does the word FAMILY mean to you?  Family is___________.

Family is such a loaded word and it can mean something entirely different to each person.  Family can be a source of strength and love and family can also be a source of deep pain and hurt.  Many of us may have Family of Origin wounds that we are not aware of.  When these Family of Origin wounds are not acknowledged, they wounds can cause Depression, Anxiety, and Relationship Difficulties in adulthood.

What is a Family of Origin Wound?  A Family of Origin Wound is an emotional wound that is left from our biological, adoptive mother, father, or the person that was responsible for raising us, where maybe made us feel like we were; “invisible, defective, and inadequate” or on the other side of the spectrum, made us feel like we were “too special, too amazing, golden child, and/or cannot do anything wrong”  Additionally, a family of origin wound can be also be a wound in which our parent(s) did not teach us an essential life skill necessary for a successful life, such as learning how to interact with people, initiating socializing, and/or taking feedback.    I have created a “diagram” to help show how our family of origin wounds can affect us in adult hood, however I will save that for next time because this blog will be waaaaaay to long if I don’t break this up a little bit.  With that being said, it looks like it’s time to share with you another gluten free five ingredient or less recipe, so here is a recipe for; Orange You Glad It’s Not Green Smoothie! … Because I just LOVE Smoothie’s!

Warm Regards,

Kelly Johnson, MA, LPC

“Create the kind of life right now that you will L-O-V-E.”

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