Nov 12, 2015
daKelly O Brien

Most of us have been in a relationship with a narcissist. Perhaps you've been sucked in by a self-absorbed family member, a spouse, a boyfriend, a co-worker, or a friend. 

Perhaps you thought it was your fault when the narcissist left you feeling diminished and full of despair.   v

The truth is, your only "fault" was getting involved with the narcissist in the first place! 

Learning to spot this toxic behavior before it hurts you is crucial to your health. A huge part of wellness is surrounding ourselves with healthy people and healthy relationships. If we have unhealthy relationships, we need to assess whether or not they can transform, or we must find the strength to walk away.

So, let's talk about how to spot a narcissist and how to walk away from one.

Here Are 6 Qualities of a Narcissist
  1. He or she rarely takes responsibility for problems and instead blames them on everyone else.
  2. The narcissist expresses little emotion, particularly during conflict with you. When you do express emotion, he or she blames you for doing so. It's a subtle form of abuse.
  3. He or she drains you, but thrives on your energy. Consider how much energy you are expending on this relationship... my guess is that it's your effort keeping the relationship alive. You're most likely exhausted emotionally and physically because you do all of the planning, all of the apologizing, and all of the work to 'fix' what is wrong.
  4. This person is charming, often a flirt, and thinks very highly of himself. 
  5. This person is irresponsible with his finances, career, drinking, and/or keeping his home in order.  
  6. Jekyll & Hyde: This person is so incredibly endearing, but when you say one thing wrong, she snaps at you. You walk on eggshells wanting to do everything right. 
Once you have determined that you are with a narcissist, the wisest thing to do is to walk away. 

Why?  

There is no reasoning with this individual. You will inevitably lose every single argument and end most conflicts thinking everything was your fault. You will end up apologizing. You will end up in counseling and you will be the one to end up losing your self-esteem.  

You can avoid all of this!

Here are 5 Steps to Ending a Relationship with a Narcissist:

1. Distance yourself emotionally and physically from this person. 

If they are a co-worker, do not accept their invitations anymore. If it's a boyfriend, take a step back to get your bearings so you can walk away. If it's a family member, this may be more difficult, but there are numerous ways to distance yourself from a person like this. 

2. Realize that the problem is not you. 

You need to explore why you attracted this personality type, but that's the only place where you need to put your focus. Anything this person said or did to you is their challenge and not a fault of yours. A narcissist will never blame himself. 

3. When you are ready which I hope is quickly, walk away. 

It will be painful but walk anyway, and quickly. Do not argue with them or provide long explanations as they will attempt to bait you into staying. Walk and don't look back. You will be glad you did. If it's a spouse or boyfriend, narcissists move on quickly. Within weeks or a few short months, they will be in love with someone else. 

People may wonder how you let such a "charmer" get away. Stay true to yourself and do NOT worry about what others think. Trust that any intelligent person will go through the same situation and will walk as well.

4. Free yourself from needing others approval. 

Often, people who need approval are the ones who attract this abusive personality type. Do not look to another person for 'approval' because you will never feel fulfilled. If you look to a narcissist for approval? You will fall into feeling completely abused and you will regret.

5. Love yourself and surround yourself with people who genuinely love you.  

When you do, you round out the picture of wellness in your life.Most of us have been in a relationship with a narcissist. Perhaps you've been sucked in by a self-absorbed family member, a spouse, a boyfriend, a co-worker, or a friend. 

Perhaps you thought it was your fault when the narcissist left you feeling diminished and full of despair. 

The truth is, your only "fault" was getting involved with the narcissist in the first place! 

Learning to spot this toxic behavior before it hurts you is crucial to your health. A huge part of wellness is surrounding ourselves with healthy people and healthy relationships. If we have unhealthy relationships, we need to assess whether or not they can transform, or we must find the strength to walk away.

So, let's talk about how to spot a narcissist and how to walk away from one.

Here Are 6 Qualities of a Narcissist
  1. He or she rarely takes responsibility for problems and instead blames them on everyone else.
  2. The narcissist expresses little emotion, particularly during conflict with you. When you do express emotion, he or she blames you for doing so. It's a subtle form of abuse.
  3. He or she drains you, but thrives on your energy. Consider how much energy you are expending on this relationship... my guess is that it's your effort keeping the relationship alive. You're most likely exhausted emotionally and physically because you do all of the planning, all of the apologizing, and all of the work to 'fix' what is wrong.
  4. This person is charming, often a flirt, and thinks very highly of himself. 
  5. This person is irresponsible with his finances, career, drinking, and/or keeping his home in order.  
  6. Jekyll & Hyde: This person is so incredibly endearing, but when you say one thing wrong, she snaps at you. You walk on eggshells wanting to do everything right. 
Once you have determined that you are with a narcissist, the wisest thing to do is to walk away. 

Why?  

There is no reasoning with this individual. You will inevitably lose every single argument and end most conflicts thinking everything was your fault. You will end up apologizing. You will end up in counseling and you will be the one to end up losing your self-esteem.  

You can avoid all of this!

Here are 5 Steps to Ending a Relationship with a Narcissist:

1. Distance yourself emotionally and physically from this person. 

If they are a co-worker, do not accept their invitations anymore. If it's a boyfriend, take a step back to get your bearings so you can walk away. If it's a family member, this may be more difficult, but there are numerous ways to distance yourself from a person like this. 

2. Realize that the problem is not you. 

You need to explore why you attracted this personality type, but that's the only place where you need to put your focus. Anything this person said or did to you is their challenge and not a fault of yours. A narcissist will never blame himself. 

3. When you are ready which I hope is quickly, walk away. 

It will be painful but walk anyway, and quickly. Do not argue with them or provide long explanations as they will attempt to bait you into staying. Walk and don't look back. You will be glad you did. If it's a spouse or boyfriend, narcissists move on quickly. Within weeks or a few short months, they will be in love with someone else. 

People may wonder how you let such a "charmer" get away. Stay true to yourself and do NOT worry about what others think. Trust that any intelligent person will go through the same situation and will walk as well.

4. Free yourself from needing others approval. 

Often, people who need approval are the ones who attract this abusive personality type. Do not look to another person for 'approval' because you will never feel fulfilled. If you look to a narcissist for approval? You will fall into feeling completely abused and you will regret.

5. Love yourself and surround yourself with people who genuinely love you.  

When you do, you round out the picture of wellness in your life.

Posted at 07:56 am by tantrictantrum
Make a comment  

Six Kinds of Loneliness

Six Kinds of Loneliness

Thoma_Loneliness"Thoma Loneliness" by Hans Thoma - cyfrowe.mnw.art.pl.

To be without a reference point is the ultimate loneliness. It is also called enlightenment.

In the middle way, there is no reference point. The mind with no reference point does not resolve itself, does not fixate or grasp. How could we possibly have no reference point? To have no reference point would be to change a deep-seated habitual response to the world: wanting to make it work out one way or the other. If I can’t go left or right, I will die! When we don’t go left or right, we feel like we are in a detox center. We’re alone, cold turkey with all the edginess that we’ve been trying to avoid by going left or right. That edginess can feel pretty heavy.

However, years and years of going to the left or right, going to yes or no, going to right or wrong has never really changed anything. Scrambling for security has never brought anything but momentary joy. It’s like changing the position of our legs in meditation. Our legs hurt from sitting cross-legged, so we move them. And then we feel, “Phew! What a relief!” But two and a half minutes later, we want to move them again. We keep moving around seeking pleasure, seeking comfort, and the satisfaction that we get is very short-lived.

We hear a lot about the pain of samsara, and we also hear about liberation. But we don’t hear much about how painful it is to go from being completely stuck to becoming unstuck. The process of becoming unstuck requires tremendous bravery, because basically we are completely changing our way of perceiving reality, like changing our DNA. We are undoing a pattern that is not just our pattern. It’s the human pattern: we project onto the world a zillion possibilities of attaining resolution. We can have whiter teeth, a weed-free lawn, a strife-free life, a world without embarrassment. We can live happily every after. This pattern keeps us dissatisfied and causes us a lot of suffering.

As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity. To the degree that we’ve been avoiding uncertainty, we’re naturally going to have withdrawal symptoms—withdrawal from always thinking that there’s a problem and that someone, somewhere, needs to fix it.

The middle way is wide open, but it’s tough going, because it goes against the grain of an ancient neurotic pattern that we all share. When we feel lonely, when we feel hopeless, what we want to do is move to the right or the left. We don’t want to sit and feel what we feel. We don’t want to go through the detox. Yet the middle way encourages us to do just that. It encourages us to awaken the bravery that exists in everyone without exception, including you and me.

Meditation provides a way for us to train in the middle way—in staying right on the spot. We are encouraged not to judge whatever arises in our mind. In fact, we are encouraged not to even grasp whatever arises in our mind. What we usually call good or bad we simply acknowledge as thinking, without all the usual drama that goes along with right and wrong. We are instructed to let the thoughts come and go as if touching a bubble with a feather. This straightforward discipline prepares us to stop struggling and discover a fresh, unbiased state of being.

The experience of certain feelings can seem particularly pregnant with desire for resolution: loneliness, boredom, anxiety. Unless we can relax with these feelings, it’s very hard to stay in the middle when we experience them. We want victory or defeat, praise or blame. For example, if somebody abandons us, we don’t want to be with that raw discomfort. Instead, we conjure up a familiar identity of ourselves as a hapless victim. Or maybe we avoid the rawness by acting out and righteously telling the person how messed up he or she is. We automatically want to cover over the pain in one way or another, identifying with victory or victimhood.

Usually we regard loneliness as an enemy. Heartache is not something we choose to invite in. It’s restless and pregnant and hot with the desire to escape and find something or someone to keep us company. When we can rest in the middle, we begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cooling loneliness that completely turns our usual fearful patterns upside down.

There are six ways of describing this kind of cool loneliness. They are: less desire, contentment, avoiding unnecessary activity, complete discipline, not wandering in the world of desire, and not seeking security from one’s discursive thoughts.

Less desire is the willingness to be lonely without resolution when everything in us yearns for something to cheer us up and change our mood. Practicing this kind of loneliness is a way of sowing seeds so that fundamental restlessness decreases. In meditation, for example, every time we label “thinking” instead of getting endlessly run around by our thoughts, we are training in just being here without dissociation. We can’t do that now to the degree that we weren’t willing to do it yesterday or the day before or last week or last year. After we practice less desire wholeheartedly and consistently, something shifts. We feel less desire in the sense of being less solidly seduced by our Very Important Story Lines. So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds we sit with that restlessness when yesterday we couldn’t sit for even one, that’s the journey of the warrior. That’s the path of bravery. The less we spin off and go crazy, the more we taste the satisfaction of cool loneliness. As the Zen master Katagiri Roshi often said, “One can be lonely and not be tossed away by it.”

The second kind of loneliness is contentment. When we have nothing, we have nothing to lose. We don’t have anything to lose but being programmed in our guts to feel we have a lot to lose. Our feeling that we have a lot to lose is rooted in fear—of loneliness, of change, of anything that can’t be resolved, of nonexistence. The hope that we can avoid this feeling and the fear that we can’t become our reference point.

When we draw a line down the center of a page, we know who we are if we’re on the right side and who we are if we’re on the left side. But we don’t know who we are when we don’t put ourselves on either side. Then we just don’t know what to do. We just don’t know. We have no reference point, no hand to hold. At that point we can either freak out or settle in. Contentment is a synonym for loneliness, cool loneliness, settling down with cool loneliness. We give up believing that being able to escape our loneliness is going to bring any lasting happiness or joy or sense of well-being or courage or strength. Usually we have to give up this belief about a billion times, again and again making friends with our jumpiness and dread, doing the same old thing a billion times with awareness. Then without our even noticing, something begins to shift. We can just be lonely with no alternatives, content to be right here with the mood and texture of what’s happening.

The third kind of loneliness is avoiding unnecessary activities. When we’re lonely in a “hot” way, we look for something to save us; we look for a way out. We get this queasy feeling that we call loneliness, and our minds just go wild trying to come up with companions to save us from despair. That’s called unnecessary activity. It’s a way of keeping ourselves busy so we don’t have to feel any pain. It could take the form of obsessively daydreaming of true romance, or turning a tidbit of gossip into the six o’clock news, or even going off by ourselves into the wilderness.

The point is that in all these activities, we are seeking companionship in our usual, habitual way, using our same old repetitive ways of distancing ourselves from the demon loneliness. Could we just settle down and have some compassion and respect for ourselves? Could we stop trying to escape from being alone with ourselves? What about practicing not jumping and grabbing when we begin to panic? Relaxing with loneliness is a worthy occupation. As the Japanese poet Ryokan says, “If you want to find the meaning, stop chasing after so many things.”

Complete discipline is another component of cool loneliness. Complete discipline means that at every opportunity, we’re willing to come back, just gently come back to the present moment. This is loneliness as complete discipline. We’re willing to sit still, just be there, alone. We don’t particularly have to cultivate this kind of loneliness; we could just sit still long enough to realize it’s how things really are. We are fundamentally alone, and there is nothing anywhere to hold on to. Moreover, this is not a problem. In fact, it allows us to finally discover a completely unfabricated state of being. Our habitual assumptions—all our ideas about how things are—keep us from seeing anything in a fresh, open way. We say, “Oh yes, I know.” But we don’t know. We don’t ultimately know anything. There’s no certainty about anything. This basic truth hurts, and we want to run away from it. But coming back and relaxing with something as familiar as loneliness is good discipline for realizing the profundity of the unresolved moments of our lives. We are cheating ourselves when we run away from the ambiguity of loneliness.

Not wandering in the world of desire is another way of describing cool loneliness. Wandering in the world of desire involves looking for alternatives, seeking something to comfort us—food, drink, people. The word desire encompasses that addiction quality, the way we grab for something because we want to find a way to make things okay. That quality comes from never having grown up. We still want to go home and be able to open the refrigerator and find it full of our favorite goodies; when the going gets tough, we want to yell “Mom!” But what we’re doing as we progress along the path is leaving home and becoming homeless. Not wandering in the world of desire is about relating directly with how things are. Loneliness is not a problem. Loneliness is nothing to be solved. The same is true for any other experience we might have.

Another aspect of cool loneliness is not seeking security from one’s discursive thoughts. The rug’s been pulled; the jig is up; there is no way to get out of this one! We don’t even seek the companionship of our own constant conversation with ourselves about how it is and how it isn’t, whether it is or whether it isn’t, whether it should or whether it shouldn’t, whether it can or whether it can’t. With cool loneliness we do not expect security from our own internal chatter. That’s why we are instructed in meditation to label it “thinking.” It has no objective reality. It is transparent and ungraspable. We’re encouraged to just touch that chatter and let it go, not make much ado about nothing.

Cool loneliness allows us to look honestly and without aggression at our own minds. We can gradually drop our ideals of who we think we ought to be, or who we think we want to be, or who we think other people think we want to be or ought to be. We give it up and just look directly with compassion and humor at who we are. Then loneliness is no threat and heartache, no punishment.

Cool loneliness doesn’t provide any resolution or give us ground under our feet. It challenges us to step into a world of no reference point without polarizing or solidifying. This is called the middle way, or the sacred path of the warrior.

When you wake up in the morning and out of nowhere comes the heartache of alienation and loneliness, could you use that as a golden opportunity? Rather than persecuting yourself or feeling that something terribly wrong is happening, right there in the moment of sadness and longing, could you relax and touch the limitless space of the human heart? The next time you get a chance, experiment with this.


Posted at 07:07 am by tantrictantrum
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Sep 29, 2013
Berkurban, Berkorban, dan Berqurban

Berkurban, Berkorban, dan Berqurban
1 Desember 2006 12:10:36

Oleh: A Mustofa Bisri

IDUL ADHA -biasa juga disebut Idul Kurban, Hari Raya Adha, Hari Raya Haji, atau Hari Raya Besar- seperti kita ketahui, adalah hari raya Islam, kembaran Idul Fitri. Ketika Nabi Muhammad SAW datang ke Madinah, di negeri hijrah itu telah ada tradisi semacam perayaan tahunan, satu tahun dua kali, yang disebut Mahrajan. Oleh Kanjeng Nabi, kedua perayaan itu diusulkan diganti dengan yang lebih baik. Itulah Idul Adha dan Idul Fitri.

Jadi, dari sudut perayaannya, kedua hari raya itu memang boleh dikata merupakan semacam "pesta rakyat". Hari gembira umat Islam. Tapi, dasar orang Indonesia, kedua hari bahagia itu di sini malah sering dijadikan pasal pertengkaran juga. Biasa, gara-gara fanatisme kelompok. Tabiat khas orang Indonesia dan kaum jahiliyah!

Adha, Haji, atau Kurban, semuanya berasal dari bahasa Quran. Adh-ha yang berarti kurban (jangan kacaukan dengan korban pakai ’o’! Maknanya lain!) karena pada hari itu umat Islam merayakannya dengan menyembelih ternak sebagai tanda bakti dan taat kepada Allah. Sedangkan Qurban bisa berarti pendekatan. Tentu saja pendekatan kepada Al-Khaliq, Allah Azza wa Jalla. Kita sering mengistilahkannya dengan taqarrub, mendekat-dekat atau berusaha dekat kepada-Nya. Karena itu, sejak 1 Dzulhijjah, kita dianjurkan memperbanyak amalan-amalan ibadah seperti puasa, bersembahyang, bersilaturahmi, dan berzikir, mengagungkan Allah.

Di saat-saat Idul Adha seperti ini, biasanya umat Islam -"baru"- teringat kepada Bapak para Nabi, Khalilullah Ibrahim dan putranya, Nabi Ismail -alaihimus salaam! Mereka yang teringat pun banyak yang tidak sempat merenungkan keagungan pengorbanan kedua nabi itu, apalagi sambil membandingkan kesiapan berkorban diri sendiri.

Bayangkan. Nabi Ibrahim sudah lama sekali ingin mempunyai keturunan yang dapat melanjutkan perjuangannya. Baru setelah sangat sepuh beliau dikaruniai Ismail. Tempatkan diri Anda di tempat beliau dan rasakan, betapa gembira dan bahagianya. Lalu, tiba-tiba setelah si anak ketok moto (membanggakan dipandang, Red), seperti sudah kita ketahui, Allah memerintahkan untuk menyembelihnya.

Bagi umumnya kita, kehilangan anak saja sudah merupakan malapetaka, apa pula dengan menghilangkan anak yang nota bene sudah lama didambakan dan diidam-idamkan. Adakah keikhlasan berkorban demi kekasih yang sehebat dan seagung itu?

Ya, ada. Yaitu, keikhlasan berkorban sang putra, Ismail, yang dengan ketulusan luar biasa menyerahkan nyawanya demi Sang Kekasih yang sama. Dua hamba Allah telah membuktikan cinta mereka yang agung dengan pengorbanan yang agung. Anak, belahan jiwa, dan nyawa sendiri! Allahu Akbar!

Keduanya telah membuktikan bahwa pernyataan mereka tulus, bukan pernyataan kosong yang hanya sebagai kembang lambe (pemanis bibir). Mereka benar-benar memurnikan kepasrahan hanya kepada Allah. Mengakui dan menyadari bahwa pemilihan hakiki hanya pada Allah. Bahwa semuanya, tanpa kecuali, adalah milik Allah, tak berbagi dengan siapa pun, termasuk dengan diri sendiri.

Inna shalaati wanusuki wamahyaaya wa mamaati lillahi Rabbil ’aalamien; laa syarieka lahu wa bidzaalika umirtu wa ana awwalul muslimien. Sesungguhnya salatku, ibadahku, hidupku, matiku, semata-mata milik Allah Tuhan sekalian alam; tak ada seorang pun yang ikut bersama-Nya memiliki. Untuk itulah aku diperintahkan dan aku adalah orang pertama yang menerima, yang pasrah, yang Islam!

Maka, sudah sepatutnyalah kedua nabi agung itu mendapatkan tempat terdekat di sisi-Nya sebagai kekasih-kekasih-Nya.

Sekarang kita, yang setiap saat juga berikrar seperti Nabi Ibrahim AS, Inna shalaati wanusuki… dan seterusnya. Jangan tanya tentang apakah kita sudah mampu melepas "kepemilikan" dari diri kita sendiri dan menisbatkannya hanya kepada Allah? Tanya saja, apakah kita sudah dapat menghilangkan rasa sayang melepas sebagian "milik" kita demi Allah?

Membeli kambing untuk kurban -meniru Nabi Ibrahim AS- saja, kita membelinya ngloloni pada bulan-bulan sebelum mendekati Dzulhijjah untuk mendapatkan harga yang lebih murah. Jika sedang di masjid, ketemu "kotak amal", kalaupun kita membuka dompet, maka yang kita cari untuk kita masukkan ke dalamnya adalah pecahan yang terkecil. Ketika dekat Baitullah, rumah Allah, saja kita tak sudi berkorban sedikit tempat atau sedikit kesempatan kepada sesama hamba Allah.

Kita memilih berkelahi dengan sesama saudara -yang dilarang Allah- daripada, misalnya, mengikhlaskan sedikit tempat di maqam mustajab atau sedikit kesempatan mencium Hajar Aswad kepada sudara kita. Padahal, kita hafal sabda Nabi Muhammad SAW, "Laa yu’minu ahadukum hattaa yuhibba li akhiihi maa yuhibbu linafsihi." (Tidak sempurna iman salah seorang di antara kamu sebelum dia menyukai untuk saudaranya sebagaimana dia menyukai untuk dirinya sendiri).

Setiap saat kita terus dituntun kehidupan yang serba material untuk semakin menjadi orang yang kemilikan. Jangankan apa yang kita anggap milik kita sendiri, "milik" orang pun, kalau bisa, ingin kita kuasai untuk kita sayangi. Bahkan, kehidupan yang serba material itu, tanpa sepenuhnya kita sadari, telah menyeret kita kepada mencintai diri sendiri yang berlebihan.

Maka, dalam kondisi seperti itu, berkorban tentu merupakan sesuatu yang sangat berat, bahkan mungkin ganjil. Lihatlah mereka yang suka berkoar-koar seolah paling nasionalis atau paling patriot, untuk sedikit berkorban bagi rakyatnya sendiri pun seperti disuruh njegur sumur (terjun ke dalam sumur). Apalagi berkorban untuk Allah yang memerlukan pengenalan kepada-Nya.

Bahkan, karena kurang pengenalan ini, justru Allah-lah yang sering di-"korban"-kan. Masya Allah. Karena tidak tahu bahwa Allah menghendaki semuanya mendekati-Nya, maka baru merasa memiliki Allah saja, sudah merasa paling dekat kepada-Nya dan tidak suka bila ada orang lain berusaha ikut mendekati-Nya.

Karena tidak tahu bahwa Allah menghendaki dan memfitrikan perbedaan, maka baru "memiliki" keyakinan yang belum tentu benar saja (karena yang mutlak pasti benar hanya Allah), sudah mentang-mentang melarang orang lain "memiliki" keyakinan sendiri. Karena tidak tahu bahwa Allah menghendaki manusia hidup harus saling menghargai, maka baru "memiliki" pengetahuan sedikit saja sudah tidak sudi mengorbankan waktu untuk mendengarkan orang lain. Baru memiliki kekuasaan sedikit saja, sudah marah diminta berkorban untuk mendengarkan dan mencerna kritikan.

Semoga tahun ini kita dapat merayakan Idul Adha dengan mengagung Allah. Bagi yang mampu, dapat berkurban (dengan ’u’) dengan semangat berkorban (dengan ’o’) dan menghayati maknanya bagi upaya ber-qurban, mendekatkan diri kepada Allah. Taqabbalallahu minnaa wa minkum! Taqabbal ya Kariem!


Posted at 10:42 pm by tantrictantrum
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