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Jen, a client, came into my office totally upset. Her partner didn’t want to join her today in the session. He was angry because of what Jen said to him, and he was “done”. At least, that’s the excuse he used. “I told him that he was a real narcissist and that he listened too much to his ego and never to me.”
“Well, if you attack him, for sure he won’t listen to you. First, never express your frustration by attacking someone. You bring in attack and defense mechanisms from the courtroom; this is not a great arena for compassionate relationships. When attacked, no one will listen to what is really hidden behind the words… There is no compassionate, heartfelt connection at that moment. Second, if you are hurt do not hurt back, but EXPRESS your feelings and needs.”
Unfortunately, hurting back is the technique that most of us have learned. If we are hurt, we hurt back, hoping that the other person really would understand us now and would finally get why we are so upset. Forget it, it doesn’t work like that. It just alienates us even more from each other. Yes it is very difficult if you are not heard, and if others walk away without telling you their true feelings or ideas. Unfortunately people are so hurt and wounded by life experiences that many hide behind their ego, and are so afraid to show their true feelings. Or worse, they deny themselves greatness out of fear of being hurt in the future.
Love and fear are opposites. Ego, not the Freudian concept but the more metaphysical vision, is the companion of fear and provides us with thoughts to protect us, but from what? Everything that comes from the ego is NEVER love-based. And fear? To live fearless is what most of us want, but hardly anyone really knows how to do that.
“Jen, even ifyour partner would have serious signs of narcissism, it will help you to realize that narcissism is covering a deep absence of self-love and appreciation, predominantly the result of insufficient nurturing and the lack of love and acceptance for who you are during the first years of life. Unhealed issues and traumatic events of parents can also easily be taken over by our little ones. “
Many issues are derived from the lack of balance, yin and yang.
Narcissism, an extreme way of being self-centered, can eventually only heal when responsibility will be taken and a path of self-reflection and real inner work will be done, together with conscious reinstating and healing of love and self-worth. ”
Jen looked sad. She knew she had choices to make. “We live in a world where labels are used to make things simple, to identify a problem and to fight that problem. In this way we miss out in viewing the bigger picture. By using labels you become your label, but you are much more. Our subconscious takes it for granted. You are or become what you hear that you are or have.
If you look at the other end of the stick, you will understand that it is all about balance. That it is all about healing. Look at this! Arrogance is compensating deep insecurity. Greed? That’s another heavy loaded trait, and it’s the fear that speaks of not having enough. A greedy person will never be happy, but guided by fear. It also means to me that this “greedy person” is aligned to a part of his family consciousness, that most likely carries scars of severe suffering by lack of means, food etc. Unknown fears can run our lives! Anger? An angry person is burdened and disconnected from joy. Anger is often masking deeper emotions like sadness, pain, powerlessness etc., because its easier to feel anger then pain.
For well-being and fulfillment giving and receiving must be in balance. The value of giving, a virtue that is so validated, will become detrimental if receiving is not implemented too. If you only give, and not feel worthy to receive, you deny yourself growth and will end up empty. Then there is nothing to give anymore. A relationship where one only gives and the other only receives is very unhealthy and of course imbalanced. In our group-consciousness, it is deeply anchored that the “giver” is of a higher quality than the “receiver”. But that is not true! We need both qualities to nurture and balance our well-being. Do you feel guilty when you receive? When you identify yourself as a giver, you might be tickling your ego. Think about it, what motivates you!
Often the one that gives advice to others thinks he or she is doing a great job. Honestly, when he gives advice, he might feed his ego as well. “I help you so I feel good about myself.” Of course you can “buy” specific advice, sure. That’s balanced, give and take. With life problems, advice is less needed but it is an art to ask the right questions to guide another to their true core and help them find the answers within themselves. That is empowering! It keeps us humble, while self-confidence is our inner compass. Giving for the joy of giving, to contribute to others’ well-being shows functioning on a higher level, love-based, heart-based and unconditional. A place where oneness appears and differences become less significant.
In the course of the session Jen realized that judging and accusing her partner was not helping her to get her needs met. But she also realized that he really did not listen well. When she would talk about a problem at work, after a few sentences he would take over and start to talk about something concerning him. I could see that there where real imbalances. People who only talk and don’t listen, don’t really connect and will end up lonely. Even if he would receive the label “narcissist”, the problem wouldn’t be resolved. What only counts and matters here, is the attitude of BOTH partners, to be humble and honest in looking at “what is” and “what could be”. For being ready to do what it takes to change and to heal and that are choices one can always make. Not easy, but doable. Love is ultimately the answer, for one-self, for the other, love is healing and love can conquer it all.
All designs by my dear friend Irene Muller!