(JESSOP’S JOURNAL – ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) There’s nothing quite like being outside on a beautiful day. In this episode of Jessop’s Journal, I sat down with a person that shares that love. She loves to “connect people and plants in fun ways.”

Meet LaRene Bautner. I let her give a shameless plug because she provides all of the plants for the ABC4 backyard set that I had the pleasure to design and plant. She happens to be the owner of one of my “happy places”, Millcreek Gardens. To say that plants are a part of her life is an understatement. There’s an old house at the nursery that serves as their office. What you might not know is that LaRene grew up in the house that her parents started the nursery around. You’ll have to drop by and ask her to point out what window was her bedroom as a little girl.

LaRene and I are admitted plant geeks. I post my plant pictures on a regular basis on social media under the hashtag #dougsdailyplantpics. I learned by love of plants, and especially roses, from my Gramps. I asked LaRene if there was someone that influenced her. She smiled and told me stories of what she learned from her grandmother

The power of plants is amazing. When you smell a certain fragrance it can transport you back in time. For LaRene the fragrance of flag/iris conjures images of time with her grandmother. Think about that for a minute and you might just start hearing Louis Armstrong singing “It’s a Wonderful World.”

Sometimes a tree is more than a tree. We had some pretty ferocious winds lately that took out a lot of trees. You start asking people about “that old tree” and you find some pretty interesting stories about ancestors that planted the tree. I agree with Audrey Hepburn when she said; “to plant a tree is to believe in tomorrow.”

The winds kicked up a little as LaRene and I were talking. The trees swayed in the wind and we talked about the fact that the strongest trees are those that bend. That same axiom is true when it comes to life as well. When you think about it, there are a lot of metaphors relating plants and our existence on this Earth.

Come to find out that LaRene knows a very appropriate poem, with a lot of metaphors, that she learned from her father. He apparently kept a book of poems he collected. LaRene picked this specific poem to learn because of those parallels between nature and life.

I’m not going to write the words to the poem in this article, because I don’t think I can do justice to how LaRene recited this poem on camera and made it her own anthem of struggle, survival and hope.

You see Larene has been going through something that I admire her for being willing to talk about. We are talking about being the target of a narcissist as well as a big piece of advice if you find yourself in that position.

Here’s an overview from The Mayo Clinic:

Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial affairs. People with narcissistic personality disorder may be generally unhappy and disappointed when they’re not given the special favors or admiration they believe they deserve. They may find their relationships unfulfilling, and others may not enjoy being around them.”

Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and the severity of symptoms vary. People with the disorder can:

  • Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
  • Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerate achievements and talents
  • Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
  • Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
  • Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
  • Take advantage of others to get what they want
  • Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Be envious of others and believe others envy them
  • Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
  • Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office

At the same time, people with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism, and they can:

  • Become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
  • Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted
  • React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior
  • Have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior
  • Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change
  • Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection
  • Have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation

I’m blessed to do a number of news story series that air on ABC4 News. www.ABC4.com It is also my pleasure to have a number of my stories appear on various Nexstar Media Group TV station websites.

*You can also see my positive business profiles called “Utah Success Stories” every Sunday in the ABC4 News at 10 p.m. and online at www.ABC4.com/Success

*Everyone has a Story. Stories have Power. They help us Understand each other. “Jessop’s Journal” features in-depth, on-demand interviews not normally available in the news. A new segment is published every week at www.abc4.com/journal .

For a sneak peek at stories I’m working on and to see archives of previous stories, please consider following me at www.DougJessop.com, www.YouTube.com/dougjessop , www.Facebook.com/dougjessopnews, www.Instagram.com/dougjessopnews and www.Twitter.com/dougjessopnews

I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.

A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories. I invite you to watch each episode of Jessop’s Journal at www.ABC4.com/Journal and share these stories with your friends and neighbors.  Your feedback is always welcome at DJessop@abc4.com

I’m also grateful for the generous underwriting support of Rustico, Tailor Cooperative, JW Custom Hats and Ogden’s Own Distillery.

Thank you for watching, reading, liking, subscribing and all that other fun stuff. I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.

Doug Jessop
For Doug Jessop, it all started with a cassette recorder he got for Christmas when he was 12 years old growing up in Southern California. Doug interviewed relatives, friends and anyone else that might have a good story. You can follow Doug at www.DougJessop.com, on YouTube.com/DougJessop, and @DougJessopNews on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.