A Jarring Thought

I suspect that you may have come across this tale before, but it is worth recounting and to enable us to consider what we have in our own jars. A professor was once stood in front of his class of students and he produced a large glass jar which he placed on the desktop for all to see. He then picked up a bucket containing some rocks and tipped them into the jar until they reached the brim of the jar.

“Is the jar full?” the professor asked his students.

There was a murmur of assent. The professor picked up a second bucket and this one contained pebbles. He poured them into the jar and they spilled downwards finding their way through the cracks and gaps between the rocks.

“Would you say the jar is full now?”

There was another murmur of assent although a few students remained silent waiting for the professor’s next gesture.

The professor picked up a third bucket and this time he tipped sand into the jar. The granules percolated their way between the rocks and the pebbles, until the third bucket was empty.

“Would you agree that the jar is full this time?” asked the professor.

There were more nods of agreement as the students wondered what else could possibly be added to the jar which now contained rocks, pebbles and sand. The professor produced a pint of beer and tipped this into the jar. The liquid was absorbed into the sand, turning into a dark brown. The professor waited for the gentle laughter to abate and then spoke.

“The jar represents your life. The rocks are all the important things which really matter. Your health, your family, your partner and your children. The pebbles represent other important matters but on a smaller scale, for instance your job, money, friendships and your home. The sand amounts to the small stuff in life. If you put the sand in first and the pebbles there will be no room for the rocks. If you fill up your life with the minutae you will not be able to accommodate the really important things which matter. You need to prioritise what you feel your life up with in order to be fulfilled rather than worrying about the small stuff.”

The lecture theatre erupted into smiles. A student raised his hand.

“Professor, what does the beer represent?”

“Ah, I am glad you asked. That goes to show that in everyone’s life there is always room for a beer.”

I found this tale interesting and wondered what would be in people’s jars? What would yours look like now? I am not prone to introspection but on this occasion I went to the figurative cupboard at the top of the house and opened it up to examine my large, glass jar. It was full to the brim with darkness.

26 thoughts on “A Jarring Thought

  1. Asp Emp says:

    Interesting read. A really good example of lateral thinking. To me, it summarises “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and to concentrate on the bigger picture.

    When one is in the middle of their emotional and mental “storm” (within themselves), it can be extremely difficult to visualise the ‘end goal’ of removing the ‘nooses’ (the unnecessary psychobabble) of the past.

    It is achievable, not impossible. One needs inner strength to persist and never give up.

  2. Witch says:

    It sounds like a narc’s jar is jarring

  3. lickemtomorrow says:

    This is an interesting post to me. Strangely my narc told me this very story after we’d had (another) falling out.

    He had triangulated me (again, though I didn’t understand what was happening then) and after giving him the necessary amount of fuel he came back with an apology/explanation (fake, of course) to tell me this story and go on to tell me I was one of the rocks in his jar.

    Of course, that made me feel special. He put me back on the pedestal after knocking me off and I took this story to heart.

    I’ve no doubt his jar in reality looks much like yours, HG. And, sadly, can never be full.

    I am reading ‘Loved and Loathed’. I think the story is contained in that book. There is also a beautiful poem which I think is quite revealing, too. I like that you also engage in this aspect of writing. I didn’t realize that until I read this book. I haven’t finished it yet. And I’ve got some more lined up to read. You are keeping me busy!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you for reading, do leave reviews, those are important.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        Yes, they are important and I’ve been meaning to leave one for the Disordered series. Amazon told me I couldn’t leave a review unless I’d spent $50 on books, so I spent the advised amount on more of your works 🙂 I have them piled up waiting to read and review … well, I’ve read several now, so I guess I will get on to that this weekend!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          HG approves.

  4. Kasia says:

    1.Is it true that the narcissist does not know what is funny and what is not funny and learns by watching other people when he or she should pretend to be happy, laugh?
    2. if you were alone at home watching comedies then they would be able to make you laugh?or Do funny situations are indifferent to you and you only laugh to adapt to the environment?
    3. We had a situation in my country where the president of the city was killed by punching his heart with a knife at a charity concert. The whole of Poland was shocked when at his funeral his two daughters, aged 9 and 16, did not cry but smiled. His younger daughter burst into laughter several times.
    Because of this, there was rumors that the president was alive, it was just playing actors and he went abroad. Others said that sometimes people get this reaction to stress.
    My question is :is it normal for narcissists to react in such a way?
    Because assuming that the girls had a psychopathic or narcissistic personality, they should know that in such a situation one should pretend to cry, sorrow for regret to be well on television. Besides what could make them laugh so much if they do not know what’s funny and they do not feel joy?
    4.If you had your own child and he or she would die for some reason, you would really feel nothing any sadness or longing?

  5. Jax55 says:

    A few years back my jar was filled with rocks and pebbles and all the good stuff, but then I visited Planetnarc. It slowly filled with smoke and mirror shards. But that was then…

  6. Nikita says:

    Glad youre back! I really missed the blogs.
    Concerning the jar… Yes you say that you never have enough… So this would mean yes the jar is empty.. But I wonder if there is a not a person in this world who would give you enough?? Amanda??
    Why dont you write one blog where you let fly your fantasy and your dreams and you tell us how would it have looked and felt life with Amanda??

    1. malignnarc says:

      Thank you for the compliment. Empty and dark is the way it is. Would someone provide enough? Yes, Amanda might because she is untainted by the failures that everyone else has when they let me down. There will be more Amanda in due course band I may use your interesting suggestion because we do have wonderful imaginations, so envisaging how it will be when I find her and we come together is something I may well share. Thank you.

    2. nikitalondon says:

      hello Alice. It is not hateful. It is a matter that i come back and stand up for myself which is something i did not do years ago when you called me covertedly a narc addict. It way bullying. I showed your message to another reader and she thought the same „ how harsh“ . You comment at that time from the blue came from trying to be my friend and meeting in Konstanz, to a slap on the face,calling me an addict „ by remaining in the blog you are changing one addiction to another one“ etc.
      Was hard to read that when i was on my way to recovering from abusive relationships. Actually feeling like an addict and fighting against it and then came your hurtful comment .
      So no Alice I am not being hateful I am being truthful. Years later but now i have learned to stand up for myself and I am doing it. Your comments were hurtful. This is ly truth.
      By the way I still dont beliehe you live or lived on Kõln.
      Its late to stand up for myself but better late than never.

      1. Alice says:

        Dear Nikita,

        Thank you very much for your message and for explaining why you suddendly, two years after our interaction, called me “a liar and a rotten person” for no apparent reason (at least it wasn’t apparent to me). First things first: I think it is a great thing that you are now standing up for yourself! And looking back, I understand that my remark on you/me/narc targets being addicted could have been hurtful or even sound insulting. If I hurt you personally, I apologise for it.

        However, I strongly believe that co-dependancy to a narc really IS an addiction, trigerred by old childhood wounds and former relationship patterns, and that the narc knows how to ‘play’ these wounds and patterns. Our brain which is already ‘programmed’ for the highs and lows of bumpy relationships gets overfloaded with a mixture of happy, anxious and shock feelings (#reward system and #reptile brain) in the same way a drug addict’s brain reacs to their shots by releasing hormones and neuro-trasmitters. There is a lot of science to out there to back this up.

        I myself still felt very addicted in 2015, the narc was still hoovering at that time and it took all my willpower and strength to stay no contact (in fact, I did fail a couple of times and that dealing with that was a real challenge). I remember feeling that this page here also felt like a ‘substitute drug’. Your total adoration for the persona (real not) of ‘HD Tudor’ obviously triggered something in me, like resistance and worry, so this is probably the reason why I wrote this to you instead of phrasing it in a more general way. I understand that this might have sound patronising and hurt you, and I truly apologise for that.

        There is a quote from Pogo saying “We have met the enemy and it was us!”, I love this quote – and I work very hard on not being my own enemy anymore. This includes not lashing out at other people who have been equally hurt but focusing only on healing my own unhealed parts.

        Looking back from a now ‘narc free’ and much more happy and serene place, I realised how incredibly fragile and broken I felt after leaving the abusive situation and going no contact, and how I thought I could never trust anyone again in this life-time. Thank God I overcame these trust issues, but I know how hard that is and how long it took me. So I fully understand if you
        have doubts as to whether or not I live in the place I told you, but fact is: I do work in Cologne and live in a town a couple of miles nearby. I don’t ask you to believe me, but that’s simply the truth (which HG can confirm because I contacted his site on FB where I am with my real name). So I reject the insult of being called a “liar and a rotten person” by you, since I never lied to you and never did anything to intentionally hurt you – on the contrary, I somehow felt a closeness and connection with you when I read your comments.

        Anyway, I hope this clarifies thngs and if not, at least I tried to set things right

  7. Nikita says:

    Malign Narc is in withholding mode… Ive not seen any more blogs 🙁

    1. malignnarc says:

      Ha ha, he has been about other things Nikita, but has returned.

  8. Nikita says:

    Alice sounds great idea! Can you please try to write to me

    1. Alice says:

      Thanks Nikita,

      I will write you privately when I am back from the Europe Convention!

    2. Alice says:

      The system forwarded your latest (hateful) comment to my previous comment from years ago, so I read it. Since there is no way to ‘reply to a reply’, I am trying to answer here. I am kind of shocked: why do you, out of the blue, write such a hateful & nasty comment to me? Although we never met, it makes me sad:-/

  9. Nikita says:

    Anyway Alice I wrote long but it seems to be blocked. I thanked for the info but cant make it this time but wish you an enlightning meeting. 👍🏻👍🏻😃

    1. Alice says:

      No problem Nikita,

      I know it was very short of notice;-)
      Maybe next time indeed, I am curious what it will be like and look very much forward to the Convention! I took over a near-to-simultaneous translation job so that’ll probably be a challenge, but I enjoy good challenges so I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun:-))

      If you speak German or French and need someone to talk to over the phone we could also exchange contact details through an anonymous mail address here – this extends to other fellow ladies who would like ‘real-life-contact’ as well of course – wouldn’t it be great to have a mini ‘European Narc Abuse Survivor and Thriver Meeting’ somewhere in Europe? We could gather speakers such as Kaleah La Roche, Melanie Tonia Evans, Ross Rosenberg, DelusionDispellar, Adelyn Birch, Claudia Moscovici, SpartanLifeCoach et al. for presentation à and maybe even invite Sam Vaknin or another ‘insightful narc’ (if any) for a presentation on the other side of the coin:-)

      Organising sich an event would be a wonderful challenge for me, and since I work in the networking/event/PR business, I am seriously thinking of setting this up! 😊

      x Alice

      1. nikitalondon says:

        I found this by coincidence and just profit to tell you that you are a total lier and a rotten person.

  10. Nikita says:


    Somehow my reply to you on the Bodensee workshop does not appear. 😓😓

  11. Nikita says:

    Yes!! All these intense followers have to bring light to your jar. We have PhD in being narcissistic supply 😝

    1. malignnarc says:

      I am obliged Dr Nikita !

  12. Alice says:

    Aww, poor HG!

    But come on, cheer up – you know you can *rely* on us to mix some light into your gloomy jar, duh! 😜

  13. Nikita says:

    Dear Malignarc
    How come your jar is full of darkness?? Out of supply ?? I understand supply is supposed to be what fill your jar?

    1. malignnarc says:

      A fair observation. My life is full of darkness. The darkness of the jar does not denote being out of supply but rather signifies the dark-hearted way I lead my life. Of course, if I was referring to supply the jar would not be brimming would it, since we can never become full?

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