Relationships with Self!
Narcissism vs Self love:
This is a huge concept and hot topic these days. What is narcissism?? The term narcissism refers to the personality trait of self-esteem, which includes the set of character traits concerned with self-image or ego. The terms narcissism, narcissistic, and narcissist are often used negatively or with a negative connotation, denoting vanity, conceit, egotism or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.
Freud believed that some narcissism is an essential part of all of us from birth. Although, a teacher said to me recently, it is a survival mechanism, but as we grow spiritually, we then evolve to sharing and growing out of our narcissism, to altruism, selfless service. Higher levels of narcissism can be dysfunctional, and may be classified as pathologies such as narcissistic personality disorder and malignant narcissism. Psychopathy, as defined, contains a narcissistic factor.
So although self love is in the concept of narcissism, it is the positive form of it. Where narcissism doesn’t typically have a positive form. Self love goes beyond self pleasure, yet, it is interesting that typically we say, how can someone else love you if you don’t love yourself. Self love is how we feel about ourself. It is not an action and it is something we will continue to explore!
Ego comparisons: Our ego, plays havoc with our mind and often is what interferes with our ability to have any confidence or appreciation with ourselves. We can’t win at the ego game, because we can never be at the top and if you do somehow manage this, it can’t be for long! There will always be someone prettier, smarter, better. And if you do manage the top of some list, the anxiety this creates to stay there, creates impossible standards for you to live by. Our ego will always find ways to compare us with others. We have to learn to accept ourselves for who we are. Unique aspects of the Divine, without which, the Divine would not be whole. We are completely unique and US!! Why we try to be something other than us, is what has created all the pain, suffering and fear in this world. We are trying to be someone who will be acceptable and lovable to someone other than ourselves. and this create impossible standards to live by. We are looking for the approval and acceptance outside of ourselves. What we sought as children, once our love became conditional ie. when we were told or shown that if we stop crying we will be picked up and loved.
We are making someone else responsible for our happiness. There is no one is responsible for our happiness!! If we find ourselves in a position where we are blaming someone for our experience, our unhappiness. Then we are in a “you” story. To understand this, read or listen to my interview of The Mandala of Being by Dr Richard Moss! We are projecting your own experience onto someone else. People are not responsible for how we feel. We ARE!!! What we are feeling is valid, but it isn’t because someone did something to us. It is our inner programming that remembers a past experience that caused us to feel unhappy, sad, in pain, or fearful. It is our unconscious programming that is projecting a past experience into the present. Except we are too focused on the person who we feel has “done” something to us, that we aren’t in the now. It is just an old program that is playing out, one that was programmed before we were 7. It is a pattern/habit we created because we were dependent when we were young. Even then our reactions and our perceptions of what was happening was in the context of our own experience or our parents experience because we can’t see the “bigger” picture. We are taught we can be victims. So we believe that we are. But it is only our perceptions of what is going on, from our egoic mind, from our childhood experiences and memories. And although someone may say something or do something that “appears” to be against us. We have no idea what their experiences are or what is happening to them, or what we are to learn from each experience. We just react from an outdated program in our mind and unconscious. If we wanted, we could uncover each of our reactions to our experiences as children and then we could ask ourselves if this is worth our unhappiness? However, it is important to note, that it is authentic to acknowledge our emotions, not to stuff them down! Rather become aware of them! So we are not blaming
someone else for them. Then we can take responsibility for them and feel them, understand them and let them heal!! They are most definitely not someone elses fault! No one ever is responsible for our happiness (and thank God for that, because why would we ever want someone else to be responsible? We thought our parents were, and clearly we have realized as adults that not even they were perfect nor able to love us unconditionally for who we were, and were not able to make us happy! Isn’t it refreshing to know that only we can be responsible?). However, we need to know what makes us happy. We need to know what we need and want, what we desire. And even though we may not always get what we want, the Universe always gives us what we need. It may be in a package that we don’t like!!! However, we can always decide how we choose to react to it.
Control vs in charge: This expands on our discuss on making other responsible for our happiness because we try and have control over our lives. How things turn out, how or what happens in our day/evening, date etc. We try and control everything in our lives and this is our ego! We want to control our finances, our jobs, our partners, our children, but we are not in control over anything, ever! We can, however, be in charge of how we react to everything! We have a choice in how we respond to every situation and person in our life, including ourself. We have to realize that we are in charge, we may feel that because someone broke up with us, that they are in charge, that they took control over our life and this just isn’t true!! They only have control, if we give it. Taking charge isn’t about control, it is about making choices. We can choose how to respond to someone breaking up with us. That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt, and sometimes the grief is unbearable. Which depends on our situation, our past or our abandonment issues. However, regardless of what you think, you are still in charge. Feel the grief! Heal the grief, and this can not be done by burying it further down! Yet, even this is a choice, to feel!!! To experience and honour ourselves and our experiences, to choose to respond to our healing process and honour it, to choose how we want to interact in the future. From a place of pain/suffering/grief or from a place of healing. A place of empowerment, a place of self love! Do we attract the wrong people into our lives, or are they there to assist us to heal! To create better choices, to re-empower ourselves and choose how we want to respond in our lives.
Breathe- get in the now. Take a deep breath and focus on your body, how it moves with each breath and where your energy goes. Quiet your mind and let your breath bring you back into your self! When we are in the NOW we can respond from a place of empowerment. We can become more aware of the programs that are playing out and center ourselves so that we have choices! If we are unhappy, sad, angry, acknowledge this and make sure you aren’t blaming someone or feeling guilty, anxious and fearful or in a memory. These are past, future experiences and an indication that you are not in the flow of NOW. This doesn’t mean you won’t experience unpleasant thoughts, or feelings. But it does mean you will come from a centered place, which will allow you to be aware of your situation and allow you to make a choice to detach from the attachment of whatever you are experiencing. Again, this does not mean to detach from the feelings! But to give yourself space to experience them in the now, not, from the past or future stories.
Meditation, is communion with self and allows you to create space to connect with your inner being, this can be done in many ways! It is to create a quiet that allows you to go deeper within yourself. It doesn’t always have to be sitting in a chair or cross legged on a meditation pillow. Meditation is a state of being and when you acheive these altered states you want to re-experience them. They bring you to a place, like when in the NOW, that allows you to quiet your mind, sink into your heart and enjoy life! Plus it creates this incredible connection with your inner being/God that allows you to co-create your life. It also allows you to connect with your intuition, which allows you to get divine guidance and to create space in your life to create your dreams!
Prayer, is communion with God/Universe/higher self and this is direct communication outside of self (or depending on how you see it, your Divine Being within) because we are seeking answers. Prayer is asking for guidance and then being open to receive the answers. Both meditation and prayer are helpful and mandatory in our spiritual growth.