Sound Character Requires Reverence


We often associate the word reverence with religion. We even affix the “reverend” modifier to the titles of our religious leaders. But reverence is not an inherently religious matter. Being reverent is mostly about attitude. The reverent person experiences a sentiment akin to “awe.” They see the magnificence, wonder, or extraordinary value in something. And, therefore, they hold it in high regard.

Just having reverence for certain important things can positively affect us. Reverence often inspires us. And it should always humble us. A reverent attitude can make us want to understand things more deeply. And, it can make us want to care more. Reverent hearts feel a duty to preserve and protect the things in life worth cherishing.

The author Paul Woodruff argues that reverent souls embrace three sentiments at once. And they’re are crucial to character. Respect, awe, and a potential sense of shame (not toxic but healthy shame) combine in the reverent person. And the healthy shame is only experienced when the valuable things in life aren’t held in high enough regard. It can also be experienced for not adequately recognizing and accepting our shortcomings and limitations.

Reverence has more to do with how we relate than the religion we profess. The reverent soul ultimately seeks to elevate humanity. She or he works to preserve what’s good and strives to make better what needs improving. That always starts at the personal level. So, reverence is ultimately about becoming a better person. And that leads to feeling more united to others and striving to make the whole world better.

Reverence and Character

Having worked with disturbed characters for many years, I’ve seen how their irreverent attitudes wreaked havoc.  Sadly, we live in a largely irreverent age – a “throwaway” society.  Everything is disposable. But  some things are worth preserving and revering. And learning to revere these things profoundly impacts character development.

We do well, for example, to have reverence for our planet, which sustains all life. All of us are paying an ever increasing price for our lack of regard for this precious gift. We also do well to revere the miracle of life itself and to do our best to cherish and preserve it. Most of our social ills derive from our lack of regard for one another. This stems from our lack of reverence for life in general. But when it comes to forging a healthy, decent character, perhaps nothing matters as much as a deep reverence for the truth.

Revering Truth

The irreverence disturbed characters have for the truth has caused many a problem. Some characters regard the truth only as a barrier. Sometimes it stands in the way of what they want. Other times, it may be an obstacle to something they need to believe. Disturbed characters notoriously play fast and loose with the truth. Some blatantly and habitually lie and deceive. Some even come to believe their own fictions. A proper sense of awe and respect for the truth would go a long way toward putting them on a different path. Truth not only has the power to heal but also to set a person free. Embrace it, and reckon with it faithfully, and life is no longer a shipwreck.

The Power of Truth

The eminent Carl Rogers suggested good therapists need to have “unconditional positive regard” for their clients. The more I have reflected on this, the more I think he was really advocating reverence. I’m in awe every day of this miracle we call existence. And this awe has always provided the inspiration help heal the wounded, and to the best of my ability, to avoid doing harm.

Sometimes, the healing process calls for confrontation. With disturbed characters, that means confronting negative attitudes and destructive behaviors. But confronting the truth is only half the battle. You have to confront it in a way that’s “palatable” enough for a client to even consider what you’ve put before them. And, of course, they have to be of a frame of mind to accept it. You see, it’s not enough just to be willing to admit the truth. That’s the relatively easy part, especially when someone has been caught red-handed doing wrong. What matters more is the person’s willingness to actively embrace the truth and then humbly learn from it. And that willingness, of course, requires reverence.

(See also: Revering Truth: Character’s 4th Command.)

I’ll have much more to say on this topic in the coming weeks.

As always, my sincere thanks for recommending my books and this blog to others.

Character Matters may feature a rebroadcast of an earlier program. If we’re live, I’ll announce it at the beginning of the program Sunday at 7pm Eastern.



85 thoughts on “Sound Character Requires Reverence

  1. Dr Simon I have a great deal of reverance for you Sir. You took away my feelings of guilt and gave me a healthy sense of shame. I am trying so hard to live a life that is truthful but sometimes I am an Idiot.
    I am only human and I am trying EVER SO HARD TO be a better one.
    In the space of three year my life has gone from a prison cell to receiving a commendationfor from my employer for my work so far.

    Thank you so much

    Joey Zanne

    1. Joey,
      Real changes take hard work and truth. Sounds like you’ve come a long way.

      Being able to appreciate poetry and depth of Dr. Simon’s work is something no idiot is capable of.

      Your comment showed a real understanding of what reverence and gratitude means.

      Much respect.

  2. Reverence to me is another word for respect, or honoring. I am learning to accept myself since I didn’t get that growing up, but its been an awful long road to get there. What choice is there but to pick up the pieces no matter how long it takes us to get there and give that to ourselves and then we can extend that to others when we learn to accept and respect ourselves, I’m still working on it. Thanks for your topics Dr. Simon, they really are so helpful.

    1. Part of being a grownup is acknowledging wrongs you’ve done to others, not using your childhood as an excuse for the way you treat others poorly.

      You’ve used this comment section to play games and hurt people.

      A Christian who can’t apologize has no reverence for their God’s truth and love.

      Using the comments section with no reverence for Dr. Simon’s blog disrespects Dr. Simon’s message of character building.

      1. Aishiteru, you are the person who is playing games and trying to hurt people. You are not showing respect for others. You are transparent in your comments, not fooling anyone.

        1. That is not true Kat, but it has been thrown around here for a long time.

          Your behavior has been deliberately hurtful.

          Turning a deep piece of work on reverence into unhealthy self-focus isn’t going to cut it.

          Not if you really read the article and love Jesus. Only truth will do.

          Matthew 25: 44-45
          “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
          “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

          1. Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

        2. Aishitero and All,


          I have been quiet for long time, listening and reading all the posts. In the beginning I had given you the benefit of the doubt. However, all you have done is displayed argumentative contempt, hostility towards others, disrespect and blaming others for conduct you, yourself display.

          You were given opportunities by others to correct your conduct. LisaO eloquently provided a “kind” attempt to offer you an explanation of your offensive behaviors to others were. Instead you turned and blamed others for the very conduct you yourself perpetrated.

          I am not here to educate you on how to talk to others and behave, you already know this as it is unacceptable to you to receive the same type of treatment you dish out to others. You do know what you are doing…..

          I believe I suggested you see a counselor, I again suggest you obtain psychiatric help. Again, I will give you the benefit of the doubt by suggesting your subconscious is crying out and seeking answers for your own behavioral issues. Otherwise, you are here to cause discord and get your supply.

          In order to begin the journey, you have to have the guts and courage to look within and admit you have a problem, own your behavior and stop projecting onto others. I am sure you have been told many times by others to seek medical help.

          This is not a forum to tear down others, the very people who have suffered immensely by charactered disordered individuals and that means you as far as I am concerned.

          You have been given many opportunities to treat others in a respectful manner. I refuse to give you anymore of my energy, nor will I read the toxic word salad posts spewing from you……………….. Silence is Golden

          Good Bye Aishitero

          Bonfire of the Vanities

          1. BTOV,

            I would gladly leave if this was your blog. You have not made me feel welcome.

            Many years have you been here, repeating the same thing over and over to people who come here in need of help. People overshare with the group, or are in disagreement, and they are exiled after being subject to every tactic listed in chapter 6 of the fine read that is Dr. Simon’s “Character Disturbance”. It has been awe inspiring. Not in a good way.

            I have spoken with a therapist. He gave me great encouragement and comforted me with the knowledge I was not responsible for my son’s poor life choices and lack of character. Which was not what I was told here. We can revisit that later.

            Describing my posts as toxic word salad is very dismissive and not at all accurate.

            When someone challenges you, that is not disrespect. Voting them off the island and calling them unstable is.

            As a child of God, I have every right to be here. I’m here to learn and be a part of something that has changed my life. The work moves and inspires me.

            I’m also determined to elevate and honor all Dr. Simon and God have done for me.

            Aggressive narc hunting, labelling others character disturbed and stonewalling creates division. It is deceptive. It insults and mutes this fine blog. Hell, it insults me.

            Silencing anyone here with social rejection is a very aggressive act.

            Submitting to it would simply not be reverent.

            As a fellow Christian BTOV, where is the love? Why are you here?
            Why have you done this for years?

          2. I totally second that BTOV – Silence is indeed Golden my friend.

            How is the winter going over there? You will no doubt be shoveling ice and snow while I am brushcutting overgrowth and other assorted weeds and long grass.

            I’ve finally got it under control now looking forward to settling down into much cooler weather. I’m actually piling kindling now so we will be well stocked for the winter.

            I’m on my back deck looking at the some fledgling honey eaters all out of the nest hoping along a branch – I’m eye level with them. It’s nice being up on the ridge among the tree tops. Watching nature in all it’s splendor.

            Won’t be long now before you’ll be out doing grass and I’ll be lighting the fire but I don’t have snow.

            Big huggzzzzzzzz you beautiful kindred spirit

      2. Aish
        Your comments are judgmental and derogatory, always trying to bring down a person. Anyone can quote from the Bible. Your actions and words are unchristian-like.

        1. Yes, the Bible, I’m just grateful to use it as a life guide. Great source of wisdom, guidance and poetry.

          Stop lying and insulting me. My comments are truth.

          My faith is a gift. Insulting it is unacceptable. Check yourself.

        2. Lucy & Kat

          About narc supply – just a reminder ladies……………….

          “When a narcissistic source of supply has reached its end, the narcissist behaviour becomes angry,and abusive. The exchanges become nothing but bizarre while lies and punishing behaviour ensues. Because the narcissist is unable to be truly intimate or have empathy, it would not be long before the other person realizes that something is seriously very wrong with how the relationship is going. And as in any healthy relationship, the target, believing that they are in a normal relationship, begins to fight for the relationship and so challenge the narcissist as to what is actually happening between them. They fall into a pattern of having to fight to maintain decency after a vicious assault.

          When this begins to happen, the narcissist feels rebuffed, and unable to handle the rejection and conflict, they become even angrier. Because they have been through this process many times before, and recognize that the other person is no longer their source of supply for admiration, and they are losing their grasp they want to quit first.

          Also, rather than risk being rejected further, the narcissist wants to move on, so rejects before being rejected. Leaving the other unsuspecting person totally confused. The more hurt and confused the target becomes, and the more the target tries to fight to maintain their own decency. The more the victim/target fights to maintain their decency, the more the narcissist will up the ante and obtain negative supply. A narcissist will continue to launch many vicious character attacks and insults consisting of totally fabricated nonsense, and the more the target attempts to defend themselves the more the narcissist’s sadistic tendencies are rewarded in the form of negative supply”.

          This is what is meant by Stave The Beast……………………..

  3. To All,
    Off topic. I want to say how my life is changing back to normalcy, back to where I’m not being assaulted (not physically) on a continual basis. Being legally tied to a CDN and having no control on the CDN’s actions, when those actions adversely affected me, took a huge emotional toll, every day and night on me. Being legally tied to the CDN can destroy finances, health, family, joy.
    But now, finally, after the onset of major problems in 201, I am freed from him.
    I no longer feel sickened when checking my email, afraid that more bad news has come.
    I no longer have an attorney on my payroll. Three and a half years of legal fees is enormous, and the worries it creates knowing that it keeps continuing is depressing.
    But that part if over.
    I no longer have homes he’s destroying and devaluing. They are sold and gone.
    I no longer have the bills attached to those homes.
    I no longer have to read his snarky emails, full of hate, and lies and threats. I can no block him totally. But I need to keep it open because we do have adult children. But if he sends threatening, demeaning email, I’ll block, because I have no further litigation with him to deal with.
    I can now sleep without enormous worries. I no longer awaken in the middle of the night with worries.
    I can now plan MY LIFE, and am in control. If it goes wrong now, that’s on me.
    The giant leech is off my back.
    It’s time to heal and re-live and force out those negative thoughts, negative images, negative conversations and forge forward. The past is has happened and I don’t want to be stuck in that hell hole.
    Now to surround myself with positive people who can help me heal.
    And You All Are the positive people in my life! And I thank you.

    1. Lucy,

      What a beautiful post, I am truly happy for you. In my heart and being I feel joy for you and can’t begin to express how your journey has effected my life. To know where you were when you first posted to where you are today, it is amazing.

      I know the pain and misery you went through, use that journey to grow as a person, exceeding where you otherwise would have been. With your empathy and character you will go far. Now, is the time to blossom into that beautiful person you are.

      Gods peace, joy and many blessings to you Kindred Spirit and your family.
      Forgiveness, will set you free forever.

      I am glad you are getting back to caring for yourself, Nia for me too. Thank you for the inspiration. Truly, you have set the pace for my day. I have a special Fly Sister who inspires me and she is an amazing lady.


          1. Not at all Lucy – it’s a clear case of projection hon – she’s showing her own character :-

            Aishit has just literally testified against herself – ignore it don’t engage or you feed the beast. It doesn’t exist – they need our energy to keep their narc supply tanks full.

            What we do is starve them out of existence. She’s done her dash here now everybody can clearly see what it is. CD

          2. Lucy,

            We all know you have character. Throughout your whole divorce the CD tried to steal your gifts, at the same time accusing you of the very misdeeds he was guilty of. As you found out, the best thing to do is not play into his lies. SB and all CDN believe their own lies, confabulations and self created perverted reality, its part of their delusional sickness.

            Yes, Eudox, starve the beast. Silence is Golden

          3. I’m calling your behavior into question. Your character is your responsibility.

            When you’re ready to address it directly and honestly, I might be open to listening.

    2. Lucy,
      Glad to hear you have the freedom now to block him when you need to. I remember the day when I had removed myself and kids from his presence and we were on our own, he called and started the name calling and I told him, “I’m only going to tell you once, if you start calling me names I’m hanging up”, within 15 seconds he was starting again and I hung up. He called again and started with the names and I hung up, he called again, same thing. He quit calling. That felt so good to be able to do that.
      I’m glad you can now move on and are no longer at the whims of the CD. That is a great feeling. Out of the hell hole and into the light!

      1. kat, BOTV

        That’s great. The jerk just couldn’t believe he couldn’t abuse any longer.

        Thanks for all your compassion and advice. I was breaking down. You all helped me through it.

        1. Lucy,

          I am sure SB is wallowing in self pity, they all do, rather than own up to their own CD selves. Cry me river, no more supply for you. Feels wonderful to be free doesn’t it. Now you are free to soar to new heights rather than stagnate with the CD. Truly, now after all this time, you are the Captain of your own ship.

        1. Lucy, Kat,

          We just got done with Christmas, now Valentine’s day is fast approaching, so get ready for Hovering Time. The CDN are like a Jack in a box, they pop in and pop out. So get ready, Hovering Time is at hand.

        2. The only power we have is over our own actions Lucy.
          Calling me names and treating me with disdain is not grown up stable behavior. It is aggressive.

          Growing in character is not for everyone. Gotta quit repeating old patterns and have respect for others and our surroundings to make any progress.

          The truth is you’ve also been here for quite awhile, treating people deceptively and aggressively for years.

          It was a surprise, because first you treated me like I was a friend.

          Diagnoses are just for insurance purposes and to design an effective treatment plan. They were never meant to be used by laypersons as a weapon.

        3. Lucy,

          Yes, you can….. everyone can…… Silence is Golden

          Thats right, the CDN can’t believe they can’t abuse you anymore. The CDN will always feel they have the right to abuse anyone they feel entitled to abuse. Remember, the CDN are severely, mentally disordered and believe their own lies, although, they deep down inside know they are liars. If the CDN says its true, regardless, if everyone in the CDN’s life says its false, the CDN will say the world is against them.

          The CDN will never take responsibility for their actions unless forced too, then at the first sign the coast is clear, will revert back to their defective self.

          The CDN can only abuse if we let them…… We alone have the power to cut off supply and starve them out.

          Silence is Golden

          1. Hello, this is my first time here. Came across Dr Simon’s webpage and the article above is the first one I’ve read. Good stuff. Then I began to read this comment section. You all seem to know each other and for the most part be supportive of each other. Please, could you tell me what CDN, SB and CD stand for.
            Thank you.

          2. HI Mary, and welcome you to Dr Simons blog. Many of us have posted for quite sometime and we do get to know one another. CDN stands for Charactered Disordered Narcissist. CD, again, Character DIsturbed and SB stands for Shit Bag one of our posters coined in relation to her CD then Husband.

            Please continue to read the blog and ask any questions you may feel you don’t understand. Again welcome.

        4. Lucy – I’ve got a better idea…………..

          Just imagine her in a car accident where she loses her left leg and her left arm – then she’ll probably be all right -wink-

          1. Hi Sampson,

            Calling me names without knowing me serves no purpose.

            It is rude and unacceptable.

            For all I know you might be a fake account playing games with people needing support.

            Be careful. That goes on here. First they’re your friends then you’ll get to be the troll.

            Welcome. Take care. Whoever you are, take care.

    3. And we will continue to be positive support in your life too precious soul :-

      You are part of the ATeam who I also refer to as the season ticket holders who have shared our deepest sorrows and have nothing other than amazing support by each of us to each of us.

      You have a bright and shining future now the giant leech is off your back so I say go out and have the celebration of your life Lucy!

      Sending you a big hugg!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I just thought I’d mention this again…………….

    “A boggart is an amortal shape-shifting non-being that takes on the form of the viewer’s worst fear. Because of their shape-shifting ability, no one knows what a boggart looks like when it is alone, as it instantly changes into one’s worst fears when one first sees it.

    When facing a boggart, it is best to have someone else along (or many), to try to confuse it, since facing more than one person at once would make it indecisive as to what form it must take, usually a mixed-up amalgam of the victims’ fears”.

    Too many confuse it and we end up with “word salad” boggart wise anyway – according to Harry Potter that is.

    There is a spell that can be cast to diffuse them and it is called “Ridikulus”! Make the boggart rediculous and it crawls back into its hole………………..but did you notice boggart is also spelt with a small “b” that is because, in reality – it is totally insignificant and good wizards know this -wink-

  5. All, I knew engaging would be futile, this person is extremely angry. I agree, don’t supply fuel. Totally agree with what BTOV and Eudoxia said and others. Focus on the positive, almost all here are so supportive.

  6. Really great article by Dr. Simon! I am working on reverence. I have it for the planet, nature. Am in awe of the magnitude of the universe and what or whoever created it. It’s beyond awesome. It’s mind boggling. And the complexity, curiosity of life here right down to the quark and maybe tinier. Maybe infinity goes both ways. That too is mind boggling.

    And now scientists figure there is “dark matter” and “anti-matter.” Crazy!

    Amd then there is “doesn’t matter,” — most anything the character disordered come out with while trying to cover their deeply ingrained elevation of self. It’s irreverent, so it doesn’t matter.

    1. Me too Lisa – I’ve always had a reverence for nature in particular. Nature is life itself.

      I was sitting on my deck yesterday afternoon and I am in a two story pole house right on top of a ridge overlooking a vast panorama. It was before I read this article and I was in awe over a pair of honey eaters – 2 fledglings out on a branch flapping their wings and grooming themselves. They had not fully fledged yet and I was hoping I would catch a glimpse of them doing so but no – I believe they took their first flight this morning in the early hours.

      Nature is awesome – it is self perpetuating and self correcting. The only thing buggering it up is maladaptive humans. However, nature is in the process of correcting that too I believe. Dark souls can no longer fly under the radar undetected as well as they could before. They are being seen – why because their usefulness has gone past it’s use by date.

      They have/did serve a purpose – to wake the rest of us up. In order to know and fully appreciate what love and reverence is we must first learn to know what it’s not. Lesson learned here.

      1. Honey eaters. They sound divine, Eudoxia. When I am sitting on my deck in Late Spring and Summer it’s like catching a glimpse of what lies beyond, somewhere after death. It’s inspiring and comforting.

        What is a pole house?

        1. lol a house on poles ……………………………….

          Must sound strange for sure, it’s a high set house on pylons or poles but it’s built in underneath with a granny flat.

          It gets wild during storms that’s for sure but I like storms. Ruby (my female shepherd) hates them! She is never any further than about an inch away from me and usually touching me. Or she’ll be sitting on the couch with me or on my bed depending on where I am – she’ll be there lol. The other one doesn’t give a damn – he’s just Mr Cruise along………….. and it’s all good :-

          1. Lisa – no I’m actually high on a ridge about 250ft above sea level – if my house got flooded I suspect the whole of Australia would be flooded LOL

            During the floods last year which totally left a small town under water (the nearest town near me) I was high and dry. The damn levee was breached and the whole town went under water.

            I was flooded in as in the road was cut off in two places not due to flooding but excessive rain causes landslides blocking access to my small community town center and the town that got flooded.

            Being farming land we cleared one block ourselves using two tractors and an excavator – very handy. There is roughly about 150 – 200 people who live up here all dotted up and down the roads and on the ridge itself – I’m on the ridge. I sore with the eagles and erm honey eaters lol – their nest was at eye level when I was sitting on the deck at my table.

  7. You know, it just dawned on me that this was my father’s style. His sense of humour, though not always cruel, was often at our expense. A little good natured teasing is all fun and games, but when it is cutting and used to control, it is irreverent and the victim of this treatment, WILL react. I reacted by not placing any value on my father’s opinion of me.

    When I was younger I used to get the, “well don’t you want to prove your father wrong by succeeding?” This just stuck me as so monumentally odd. And odd to the point that I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to be the child of someone who wanted their father to be proud of them. And I had a good imagination.

    My father was pretty irreverent. And as a result he didn’t command respect. He demanded it — and that just didn’t work with me.

      1. BTOV

        We don’t have to earn respect. All we need to do is to stand in our truth with integrity and purpose that amounts to having self respect. It matter’s not one wit what others think of us or if they respect us or not. That is their problem not ours.

        It is totally pointless and an effort in futility to earn respect from another. That amounts to co-dependency and looking for self validation outside of ourselves. It is counter to life.

        1. correction “try to earn” respect from another.

          Also I appreciate those who show truth and integrity – does that mean I respect them? I better position to hold on it would be “I respect a person’s capacity for honesty and integrity” if that makes sense.

        2. I believe we earn respect by actions, honesty, generosity, kindness, decency, work ethics, treating others with respect and dignity etc..

          I believe we can demand respect and we can command respect too. However, how we come by the respect makes the difference.

          I know CD individuals who stand in their truth, with their integrity and purpose and don’t give a hoot what others think. It does matter what others think of me and I am speaking of others who are good, decent, respectable people, I care what they think, I care what all of you think.

          In the beginning others didn’t know me, over time they found they could count on me, trust me, etc… I had to earn their trust before they gave it to me. Likewise, people have to earn my trust, too.

          I think great leaders earn our trust, ie., Dr. Simon has proved his worthiness, having earned trust and therefore commands trust and respect by his actions and reputation, he does not have to demand trust.

          Conversely, leaders that expect trust/respect and demand trust/respect without earning it will be resented. If a leader comes on stage standing in his own truth which he can call integrity and purpose without earning it can cause discord and ultimately the fall of a nation.

          I believe it does matter if we are respected by others, when we respect ourselves in a healthy manner, others will respect us in kind. CD individuals, well they speak for themselves and will never be satisfied unless it is destruction and confusion and usually don’t truly respect anyone.

          An example, it does matter to me what others think of me on this blog and if they respect me. If I present with dignity and respect for others and someone doesn’t respect my opinion, I agree it is their problem.

          In my lifetime I have had people comment to me that they respected me. This didn’t happen right away, it took a long time to build these relationships which were based on honesty and a mutual respect for our positions in life. For all involved it was by no means pointless, the reason being, we communicate our thoughts and needs, the other parties knowing they can count on sincerity and truthfulness.

          In life we all need others and relationships take many forms in building. We all need self validation, we also need positive validation from others. It is mainly what we try to build here, we encourage positive self validation by validation in itself.

          In my humble opinion and at the same time respect the opinions of others.

          1. BTOV

            Nobody can demand respect – that’s a wet dream why? Because we can’t control how others see us it’s that simple. Secondly, it’s an exercise in futility to expect respect from somebody if they are unwilling to give it. You can lead a horse to water etc……………….

            Why would you wish to waste your energy in attempting to demand or command something from someone who is unwilling to give it? As I see it if they are not willing to do this or that, there is little point in pursuing it. Being our true authentic person means being the person we are without sacrificing pieces of ourselves in order to get someone to like us/respect us whatever??

            That’s not being authentic. It’s self abuse, by attempting to mould or change who we are in order to please another in order to gain the benefit of what exactly? That’s Wrongtown.

            If somebody doesn’t like what I stand for then that’s okay, they don’t have to and in saying that neither do I have to stand for their judgement either. They can knock themselves out trying it’s water off a duck’s back to me. That’s why I can’t be successfully manipulated.

            We don’t need positive validation from others BTOV – sure it’s nice and to a point I agree but we don’t NEED it. Co-dependence at it’s core is seeking self validation from external sources and needing it to survive. True independence means we are the sole source providers for all our self validation and are therefore not dependent on others for it.

            I know myself better than anybody else does and I don’t need anybody to validate my expression of myself. If they don’t like who I am they don’t have to talk to me or have anything to do with me and that suits me just fine.

            We can respect another’s opinion without necessarily respecting the person expressing that opinion. There are subtle differences. Where CD become become abusive and the same can apply to seriously maladaptive co-depenents is if we don’t agree with them or conform to their reality then we get abused and judged for it.

            Understanding co-dependence and fully freeing ourselves from it is liberation from abuse.

          2. Eudox,

            One can write books on the individuals throughout history who have demanded respect. They didn’t command or earn it, they demanded it. Doesn’t mean they will get it. Just look at the tyrannical, murderous, despots of the last century.

            Many people meet the demands of others to keep peace and for numerous other reasons.

    1. Lisa the tool of the narc is “irreverent speech” it’s one of their greatest strategies. Whether your father was or wasn’t – it’s interesting looking back in hindsight isn’t it.

      I don’t think my father was full blown NPD but I believe he had many narc attributes and strategies. But it’s intergenerational imprinting isn’t it? Passed down across generations. CD are another kettle of fish altogether.

      I’m glad I picked up my mother’s parenting style, even though she was emotionally aloof I would prefer that to manipulative any day. It has taken me a lot of self work to be able to fully express my emotions thanks to keeping a tight lid on them most of my life. Better late than never :-

      1. Btov, if irreverence, easy anger and frustration, self centeredness and smacking your kids around is being a Narcissist then that’s what he was. But he wasn’t devious and stayed out of our business. He was either insulting us or ignoring us. Truly the most negative parent I have ever witnessed.

        1. Woops! I meant to address Eudoxia’s point there in last post. I am such a simple minded stumble bum today. Has Mercury gone retrograde?

          1. LisaO,

            Whoops! Never, a stumble bum, its part of our human side and the onset of old age, my dear. Narcissists come in all shapes, sexes, sizes etc…. One size doesn’t fit all in what they do.

            Just like the ones that hide behind the cloth, where many lying hypocrites and narcissists are. They lie in wait using and throwing around their bible thumping words likes Lucy pointed out, in reality using the church to ensnare and pull the wool over ones eyes.

            Its the same with toxic parents, toxic is toxic, whatever, they package themselves in.

  8. Yes, Btov. We sure do. You can only force fear and that may look like respect but sure isn’t. Admiration isn’t there.
    His opinions of me, both negative and positive were immaterial to me. We got along alright after I left home. I never related to him like a daughter. Shudder

    Eudoxia. It’s like we had the same father! And anger…hoo boy. Sit on that for 20 years! Lucky we didn’t explode!

    1. Lisa – totally agree with everything you’ve said especially “the Bible thumpers” standing they hypocritically demonstrating their narcissisim in all it’s pure malignancy. They are soooooooooooo transparent.

      I had a lot of stored anger and betrayal toward my father Lisa – but I did not judge him for it. I did when I was younger before I did any self work. But with self awareness comes understanding. I accept he was the way he was not due to cruelty of malignancy of character but dues to unconsciousness – ego fixation. I believe his father was a narc – my grandmother was an empath. She divorced him when dad was pretty young. So he still had his father’s parenting style etched into him.

      He wasn’t abusive per say although we copped the odd hiding but only when we pushed it. It wasn’t for nothing – my sister and I used to fight like cats and dogs too so the odd slap over the head wasn’t absent either LOL

      My issue with him was betrayal – I felt unsupported and unprotected by him and that’s the pattern of men I’ve been attracting into my life it’s also a pattern of “people around me betray me”.

      I’ve broken that pattern now it’s looking like that anyway :- yayyyyyyyyyyyy New type of people are turning up in my life and former people who were showing up that were in alignment with that old pattern can’t show up anymore. They can’t come into my space at all. I’m seeing it all over the place. It’s great!

  9. Btov, agreed! Hiding behind religious texts and berating people with the bible? It makes me shudder. It misses the point of Christianity. Christ was a loving soothing presence who, in my opinion, was tasked with correcting the hard edged fire and brimstone of the Old Testament.

  10. Eudoxia, I try not to be too hard on my father, as well. He was a Nihilist. Believed in nothing…and a hedonist…too, as was my mother. This lack of belief in anything other than the immediate and what can be seen, common to educated people of that time, was a VERY difficult environment for me to grow up in. Equally difficult for one of my brothers.

    So, having dogmatically religious parents who miss some of the most basic messages of the New Testament, must be hard. But the void within a family left by a complete lack of spirituality, isn’t the answer either!

    1. Same here Lisa my father and mother were both athiests and hedonists especially in their hay day. While the adults were partying away us kids would run amok! We had a ball!!

      As kids we would often wonder how the adults could possibly be enjoying themselves. We all thought sitting around arguing over politics and drinking was boring LOL We were always looked after though, fed entertained we didn’t want for anything.

      Fast forward 20 year and guess what I started doing ………..well I’m not an atheist but I was most certainly hedonistic for much of my life. Especially in my hay day during my late 20’s & 30’s. That was my normal.

      I found Church goers and teatotlers totally abnormal. Not because I was an athiest I always new there was a higher power. But I thought how organised religion presented itself just didn’t line up. Nobody can enforce their interpretation of things on another.

  11. Btov, thanks for the kind words! And for sure some of this is age. I just hope aging gracefully doesn’t mean not walking into walls and tripping over your dog!

    1. LisaO,

      Aging gracefully, is there such a thing? All I know and that is the hard part, knowing your screwing up. When I reread some of my posts with all the typo’s and the grammatical errors, wow, I must be writing on auto pilot. Saving face, its old age and the bi-focals. Yuk…. I bet you don’t buy that one… I bet I put a smile on your face though.

  12. Eudox
    Your home and surroundings sound lovely. I’d think it would be peaceful – that is till you go to town wearing orange lipstick!

    1. Lisa – it is it’s brilliant I don’t wear orange lipstick around the house just to town sometimes……….depending on whose around -wink-

      A few pictures of the local stuff…………… of the famous markets and local tavern – they take all the drunks home in the school bus – not with the school kids of course lol

        1. The Channon is a small town I live near, it’s just down the hill. The tavern is called The Channon Butter Factory Tavern and I reckon I’ll be heading there very soon :-

          I’m on the outskirts sort of overlooking it but not right in town.

  13. Lisa/BTOV

    There is such a thing called “aging gracefully” it’s called self acceptance and loving the skin you’re in! With age comes wisdom albiet not in all cases. But each and every one of us has a choice in that respect. It’s emotional not physical so it doesn’t matter if you have bifocals or trip over your dog!

    I do that a lot, Ruby is jet black try seeing that at night! LOL

    1. Eudox,

      Yes, there is aging gracefully. I was trying to be silly and make light of LisaO’s post. I do think we can age gracefully with age, if we have opened our hearts, minds and souls to life, embracing it all and integrating it in to our being. To me age becomes irrelevant except for the things we can’t do to maintain taking care of ourselves any longer. Its all a choice..

      You can sit in the house looking at the most beautiful person in the world and if they do not have love in their hearts? I learned long ago, beauty is skin deep. Love the old gals on Golden Girls, Grumpy Old Men too……….

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