"Biting Back takes a compelling look at self-care, setting boundaries, and protecting ourselves from friends, loved ones, enemies, and sometimes even ourselves. Written in a page-turning and warm style, Claudia’s refreshing addition to the self-help shelves offers empowering solutions to effectively remind us to stop inviting troubleinto our homes and souls." -- MELODY BEATTIE, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF CODEPENDENT NO MORE


Yes, But What About ME?

Maybe you've already answered this, but how do you know if you are someone else's vampire? Is there a way to tell if the potential host is too timid to say so?

That you even have the desire and ability to see yourself in the mirror says A LOT, remember. Vampires just don't have that kind of relationship with mirrors. Or themselves.

But for those of us who truly do want to throw some light (whoops -- there's another thing vampires aren't interested in: light) on ourselves, there is more we can do than just gaze and wonder in the mirror -- there's an actual procedure for how we look into our mirrors, and even a list of exactly what it is we're looking for.

In my book I call it using "spiritual garlic," since garlic has such powerful cleansing properties (and because of the whole -- you know -- vampire allergy thing), but you, of course, can call it anything you want.

Here's how it goes...this is the abbreviated blog version, by the way:

Before we go to bed we set aside a few minutes to review our day. The way I do it is to wait until I have a few moments of quiet after everyone else has retired, and then I take a look at my day (almost like I'm watching a movie of my day, but in fast-motion).

As I watch, I usually can't help but notice just a heck of a lot of nice stuff that's happened during the day: a laugh I had with someone, or a kindness given or received, a great meal, a confidence shared, that we all made it home safely to our beds -- stuff like that.

Having taken note of these things, I then say, "THANK YOU."

After that, I watch for the times during the day when my behavior made me or someone else uncomfortable: an argument I had or impatient or harsh words I might have spoken, or something I did that I feel I might need to apologize for -- you know, situations where I was perhaps selfish or self-centered, or where I was resentful (reacting in anger to the same situation in my life over and over again) and behaved in a way that hurt me or someone else -- you know, stuff like that. Then I say, "PLEASE SHOW ME THE WAY TO CORRECT THIS." Or words to that effect -- how you express your need for help in these matters is your own business, of course.

And whomever/whatever you're addressing your request to is also your own business, also of course.

And, okay -- that wasn't so abbreviated, I guess. But in this way we can end the day clean, without bringing all of today's garbage into tomorrow, and with a pretty good idea of who we are and just exactly what we've been up to.

Vampires can't do that. Shoot, they don't even want to.

Thanks for the great question!!


Sherri said...

Feedreader missed this post, glad I thought to stop by. Sorry I got here so late.

I guess the first step to stop being a vampire is to admit that you might be one. You're right, vampires don't like the light. If I find myself hiding something, that's a sure sign that it needs to come out.

Thanks for the great advice, PVS. I can't wait to buy your book.

pvs said...

Yes, I agree, Sherri -- it's that stuff we shove into the darkness that scares the crap out of us, and usually gets us in the end.

Dancer said...

This is brilliant, Madame Slayer. I think vampires are very good at making us feel like we might be the one with the fangs. I've been checking my teeth a lot lately.

This post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders & absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Thank you.

pvs said...

Yes, vampires are experts at turning the tables. As my dad used to say, "the crooks of the world are counting on YOUR integrity." And so say I, except I replace the word "crooks" with the word "vampires," of course. They count on our open-mindedness and our sense of fair play to feed, but I don't believe that (ultimately) we are harmed by that. Our integrity and willingness to know ourselves will always serve and strengthen us. We should never fear that.

And that's a beautiful quote. Thank you!

Sherri said...

Dancer, I like that quote so much I'm going to put it in my sidebar.

jennifergg said...

Thank you for the language. As usuual, you have the right words, the precise words, to say what needs to be said. I really appreciate the example, and if I find myself in a similar situation, I am ready to say what I mean.