Word!

Little Red Survivor's Thrive Edition

Hi Friends!

So many people have forgotten their resolutions by now, but a word for the year lives on. If you actually have one...

You know how some parents don’t name their new baby for a few days because they want to see the child’s personality first? Well, I wanted to see where baby 2020 was headed before I named her.

Along the way, I’ve been trying to figure out if this is a new year or just last year repackaged with a fresh label. Politics seems about the same. The patriarchy still claims to be running the church—although we all know otherwise—that God’s true church is made up of people who can’t be contained by any building or men’s rules. Weather? Not much different than last month.

And then came new trials. Seriously? I had a chest cold and it took me over three weeks to breathe normally again. Then just as I was recovering and almost back to normal, my 82-year-old mother broke her hip. And now the world is struggling with a new virus.

It seems most of my writing time was hijacked for the first month of the year. Instead of writing articles, I was texting my sister and calling the nurse. So here’s a catch-up note. Just to let you all know—I’m still in the land of the living.

I got home from seeing my mom and finally sat down to write. Then I looked at the calendar and said WTF? It’s the last day of the month! Of course, this post won’t go out until February 1st. I plan to make up for January by writing more in February. I hear we get a bonus day this year—so I think I’ll use it.

Authenticity

It’s taken a while, but this toddler new year has now been christened “Authenticity.”

Last year my word was “Release.” Don’t laugh, but for two of the last three years, my word was Release. This is because it was my intention to publish my memoir Chasing Eden, which of course, took much longer than I thought.

But now that’s done and I have 84 reviews and the #bookstagram pics to prove it. Not bad for an indie book! Thank you for everyone who took the time to hear my story! That mug by artist Kelly Rae Roberts is one of my favorites because of the words on it.

Brave in love, in sadness, and in joy. It requires fortitude to be brave in all these things life throws at us.

As I view the events of 2020 so far, I’m sensing a need for authenticity everywhere I look, especially in my own heart. For one thing, as I’m writing a sequel and it wouldn’t be credible or even as interesting without authenticity.

Authenticity is something the narcissist never wants.

Narcs hide everything behind closed doors and heavy drapes. They like to conceal the family secrets. They often hiss, “Don’t tell anyone else about this ever!”

Trust me, I’ve seen and heard it all!

When we choose to live authentically, it not only irritates the narcissist, but it makes the flying monkeys nervous too.

But here’s the thing—

Hiding destroys authenticity.

Authenticity allows us to be ourselves.

Without authenticity, I can’t actually love you—unless I can be fully myself first.

And I can’t be myself unless I remain awake and present.

Authenticity is where I stood in the hospital room seeing my mother and father for the first time in ten years. It was a little awkward. I can’t pretend I never wrote the story of my childhood. But I was able to show up because I’m choosing to be myself.


A Woman in harmony with her spirit
is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.

-Maya Angelou 

I am able to love my parents better because I am only myself.

When I see my dad lovingly bringing my mom food so she can supplement the hospital fare, I see him differently than in the past. We still have our differences, but my heart forgives him for his past failures and I pray he forgives me for mine. However, I would not be able to do this if he was still in a position of power over me.

There are times to be far away and times to draw near and only being awake can show us the difference.

As I consider the next eleven months left this year, I want to be authentic in my relationships, spiritual practices, and writing. To do that, I’ll need to stay awake and even staying awake sometimes leaving me feeling lost.


"Lost"

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you 

Are not lost. Whatever you are is called Here

And you must treat it as a powerful stranger. 

-David Wagoner


Here. This is where we are now.

How about you? Did you choose a word for the year?

How are you choosing to be authentic?

Please feel free to share in the comments. I’d love to hear about how your year is going.

Speaking of authenticity, here is the raw truth of my life and marriage.
Which might help you understand how I became an ally for LGBTQ people.

The Complications of Being a Straight Woman Married to a Gay Man

And my latest articles that other topic which so many of us have in common

How to Negotiate With a Narcissist to Get What You Want

It helps to understand what we are talking about in narcissistic abuse survivor circles

Narcissistic Abuse Survivor Terms

And my all-time most-read article is still on a roll

The Dance Between the Narcissist and the Empath

Welp! I have a lot to say about religious narcissism and the resistance so I’ll be writing to you again soon.

Here’s to authenticity and sending a little love your way in February!

Cherilyn


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