Have you ever heard the saying “what you focus on is what you create?” Quantum Physics and the Law of Attraction as talked about in the films “The Secret” and “What the Bleep Do We Know” talks about the power of our minds to create our reality. This means where we focus our attention and energy is where we see the results in our life.
If we were to apply the law of attraction to a situation such as narcissistic abuse, it follows the same principals. If we continue to focus on the abuse and the narcissist in our lives, we will continue to experience that energy in our day to day reality. This is why in my support forum I try to direct those in recovery to focus on their recovery rather than what has happened in the past. I know this can be tricky, since it is important to get validation from others that what you have experienced is “not normal or healthy!” However once we come to realize that we have undergone a process of abuse it is time to change our focus to overcoming the affects of the abuse rather than continue to focus on the details of the abuse.
I know it is tempting to continue to rehash the events and all the horrible things he or she has done to you. But continual rehashing will only serve to keep you stuck. In my support group I see a lot of “comparing notes” happening on a regular basis. The importance of comparing notes is to see that “yes this was typical narcissistic behavior I was dealing with.” But how much confirmation do we need before realizing that YES I was in a narcissistic relationship and I was deeply affected by it.
The goal for everyone who shows up on my Websites is to move beyond narcissism and get their lives back. This means healing to a point where you can feel good about yourself again and use the experience of the abuse to launch you into an even better life than the one you had previously.
Sometimes darkness visits us to move us to the next level and the next level isn’t always what we think it should look like. Many people see success in what can be observed on the outside such as material/financial success, nice home, nice car, good job, good looking spouse, academic achievement and so on. But true success can only be measured in our experience of inner peace, love and light. How we feel about ourselves and our experience of being in the world is really the only thing that really matters; because from our own experience of peace and self-love we are able to extend this inner peace and love to others. It is in the darkness that we learn to be a radiant light.
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are terminal victims! People who are victims create situations in their lives where they constantly feel victimized. When we are in relationship with a narcissistic personality we also feel victimized by their behavior, only they are unable to see their own part in creating a painful reality for us. Because we are caring and compassionate we are normally the ones who yield and give-in. We are the ones who normally take responsibility for the relationship. Over a period of time that constant yielding begins to break us down and drain our energy. When we finally declare ourselves a victim of abuse in many ways it gives us permission to withdraw from a harmful, dysfunctional situation and take care of ourselves. But we can’t both be victim and empowered. We can be only one or the other. My goal for the support forum is to be a place where we can quickly transition from being a victim to being empowered. This is why I encourage only telling our stories one time and then moving beyond our stories. There comes a point where we need to realize that the narcissistic personality is no longer a chosen part of our reality therefore continuing to focus on him is keeping us stuck in that negative energy.
In my own self-exploration I realized that my constant focus on the Narcissist in my life really kept me from being truly responsible and accountable for my own dysfunctional involvement in the relationship. I was allowing him to treat me in ways that weren’t acceptable, respectful or honorable. This is about me, not him! I did not speak out and I didn’t say NO! Not until the end of the relationship! By my very willingness to be his toxic dumping ground for his own repressed emotions, I was part of the dysfunction. I can’t possibly blame him for everything! If I am unwilling to see my own part in this, then I will never truly move beyond it. Because until I see my part, I can’t truly be empowered. When we realize that everything is a result of the choices we make, then we are empowered to make new choices. On the other hand, if we feel powerless then we have not only given him our power but we continue to give our power away each day we wake up and chose to be a victim.
The truth is, our world is filled with people who don’t have our best interest at heart. There are a lot of cold, uncaring people out there. We even have times where we feel cold or uncaring towards another. It is part of the human condition. However it is our personal responsibility to teach others how to treat us. We can’t change what someone else does, however we can change how we react or respond to it. If someone says something cruel to you, you can let them know that their behavior was cruel and uncalled for and disengage from that energy. If we wait for validation from someone who treats us badly or cling to the hope that he/she will recognize their poor treatment of us and have remorse, then we may be waiting a long time. Some people simply don’t have the inner capacity to see their own participation in creating the circumstances of their lives.
This is where the process of our own recovery comes in. We have to sort through what is our responsibility and what isn’t and let go of anything that doesn’t belong to us. For example our narcissistic partner’s behavior is not our responsibility no matter how much he may try and convince you otherwise. In fact nobody’s behavior is our responsibility except our own. We may get angry as a reaction to something our partner does or says, but it is still our reaction. If we find that we are with a partner that constantly provokes us to anger through disrespectful, undermining or dishonoring behavior than we need to consider changing dance partners. We deserve to be treated with love, kindness and respect and if we bring people into our lives who don’t treat us well, it is our responsibility to change that.
Sometimes we draw people into our lives to show us how we truly feel about ourselves deep inside. This is what we call mirroring. It is typical that those people we attract into our lives mirror some aspect of ourselves, often an unconscious aspect.
The narcissistic personality, famous for his projection, is great for triggering those deep seated unconscious aspects of ourselves. If our self-worth was really solid, then an outside entity wouldn’t have the power to strip us down to our lowest point. But sometimes we have to be stripped down to the core of who we are in order to find our true selves and bring it into the light. So if we were to look at the situation from an empowered perspective we could see how the narcissistic entity is actually serving our highest good by providing an opportunity for us to meet our true selves.
The true spiritual path is a path to the authentic self. And it’s really quite ironic that a narcissistic personality, one who spends all his energy avoiding his true self, is the catalyst for others to come in contact with their true selves. Perhaps the deep truth behind what appears to be a tragedy is that you were ready for this journey to the depths of your own soul and this person came into your life to assist you on that journey. He led you into the darkness so that you could find the light of your own being. Now…you can emerge into the light with more than you were before you met him. Because when you enter such darkness your only choice for life is rebirth, to become the light and find your way into a whole new dimension of being.
So…with all this being said you can see that focusing on the narcissist in your life only serves to keep you stuck in that dark reality, where to focus instead on the gifts that have come from that experience you will see and experience more and more of the gifts.
What I would like to see more of in the group focus for recovery is that really deep soul searching where we identify what we have learned from the experience, what we intend to do differently in the future, and to talk about that authentic self who is emerging as a result of being stripped to the core. This is an opportunity for your growth! Embrace it!