Narcissistic abuse changes you fundamentally, impacting the Self on a multitude of levels:
- Paradigms: You view life with a scarcity mentality, seeing yourself as incapable and limited, and the world as overwhelming and unforgiving.
- Beliefs: It is given that you are flawed — at least in your mind. Your beliefs shape how you experience yourself, and your emotional patterns and paradigms reinforce these beliefs.
- Body: You carry tension all over, your posture slumps, and you often feel exhausted and anxious.
- Spirit: Hope eludes you. You lack the willpower to speak up, set boundaries, or to make your wishes known.
Undoing the damage means you must re-mould yourself in a new image. You were shaped by your experiences, and so you must re-shape yourself with new experiences that channel the core elements of the Self. With a higher state of consciousness, you will be energetically immune to further manipulation. And even when you regress into old patterns, you will have the resources to evolve out of the situation. The days of despair and torture are over. Now, anything is possible.
The true and tested blueprint for the actualisation of the Self comes directly from the ubiquitous ‘hero journey’ found in mythology. This style of storytelling points toward the four archetypes of the Self, patterns of energy which we can channel and direct toward our actualisation. These archetypes come in the form of corresponding emotional forces, all built on the foundation of security:
For the hero to find themselves, they must venture away from what they consider to be their home. That is, they must temporarily disengage from anything familiar. In doing so, they enter into the flow of life. Although this path leads through the land of chaos and confusion, it does offer the hero a chance to discover a sense of home within.
Unless you are grounded within the True Self and in harmony with your life energy, the Self cannot function optimally. Too much raw energy, and fear will overwhelm you. Too little, and you fall into indifference and despair. As babies, we ground ourselves in our mother, and we rely on her to temper our flow of life energy by calming us when we are overwhelmed and mirroring and encouraging us when we become disengaged. She regulates our sense of security until we develop the capacity to do it ourselves.
Security is not about being isolated and free of all threats. This is a common misconception. Rather, security is about remaining in harmony with the flow of life at all times while mastering situations in a way that brings us optimal power. Because life is always changing and evolving, we are required to adapt and grow with it. Only by embracing this truth can we experience true security, and thus feel safe and empowered enough to awaken the lover within.
2. Vitality (The Lover)
Once security is established, you notice the presence of hope, joy, curiosity and desire. You expand mentally and energetically, looking to engage the world and to integrate new experiences into the Self. This is life in motion. With vitality, life energy loses its rough edge, and fear transforms into pleasure and ease. You are ‘in the flow’, able to steer your way in and out of situations and to absorb the experiences they provide.
Vitality offers you an insight into your potential. In this state, anything can happen. Think of the times where it all went your way. You got home after a night out having made new friends with ease and having serendipitously fallen into interesting and unforgettable situations. This is because you were in the flow, free of the sabotaging force of the ego. You stopped thinking and started being, and life simply took over and happened through you. Narcissistic abuse aims to trap this vitality within a rigid and oppressive role. Freeing it allows you to navigate out of despair and suffering. However, before you can hone the power of raw life energy, you need to develop your capacity to withstand the tension it creates.
3. Tenacity (The Warrior)
Overcoming narcissistic abuse requires that you venture beyond your usual limits. This includes stepping into situations that make you uncomfortable and learning to see yourself in new ways which challenge what you considered to be your identity. In short, evolving your True Self thrusts you into the realm of chaos, which is where growth happens. Here you will experience things you do not understand. You will face states of energy beyond what you thought was possible. As a result, you will experience high amounts of tension and stress.
The warrior not only tolerates tension, however — they actively welcome it. Like a woman giving birth, or a seed thrusting out of the soil, life cannot grow without first overcoming resistance. If you learn to see discomfort and pain as agents for growth, you can transform your relationship to them. This new paradigm challenges your beliefs about yourself. It helps you to make stress your ally and to develop your willpower.
Ways to practice working with tension include: making strong eye contact, resistance training, speaking loudly and firmly, or approaching a group of people and introducing yourself. All of these experiences and more place pressure on your interactions and demand that you be present and confident. Thwarting such efforts is your inner saboteur. To challenge this limiting force, you need to believe that you are worthy of impacting the world. You need a sense of legitimacy.
4. Divinity (The King/Queen)
The narcissist makes you feel like you have no right to influence the world. They shame you, ridicule you, question you, block you, and confuse you. With enough time, your divine essence ceases to shine, and the darkness of the saboteur descends on you. Your mind grows dull, doubtful and slow. You question every step you take, and feel a sharp pain in your chest whenever you are exposed to a new situation. Should I, or shouldn’t I? you ask.
Divinity is about facing up to your inner saboteur. Why does the narcissist have the right to tell you what is right and wrong? Where did this divine right come from? Who bestowed it upon the narcissist? They did, of course. The narcissist empowered their ego by pitting it against others and making the people in their life feel small. They grew their light by dimming the divinity of others, then used that energy to feed their ego. The narcissist corrupted your paradigms, re-programmed your beliefs and crushed your will. Knowing this is the first step. Although you may not feel like you have the right or legitimacy to impact your world, that capacity remains dormant inside you nonetheless.
Once you successfully channel security, vitality and tenacity, you will notice tiny beams of light emanating from your True Self. The saboteur will fight this rising sun, but in time, your divinity will impose itself. The King or Queen awakens. Your energy shines out into the world, and you are able to offer it to others with ease and minimal shame. You use this energy to create a safe container for others, you learn to lead with confidence, and you are able to guide your True Self out of the madness of narcissistic abuse. With this energy to support and nurture you, the narcissist’s power eventually loses its potency. Narcissism has no impact on the person who has successfully channelled their divine essence.
5. Wisdom (The Magician)
When divinity awakens, your final challenge will be to overcome the doubt and confusion which narcissistic abuse creates. With a direct line of access to your True Self, you will begin to intuit the right path for your life. Like tuning into a radio station, you will sense the frequency upon which your life evolves. This is wisdom.
The uncertainty of life remains a factor. But as long as you stay centred and aligned with your True Self, you will experience certainty and peace. Solutions seem to come to you like magic, and your emotional intelligence thrives. You get a sense not only of what to do, but also the wisdom to know when to hold back. This sense of healthy shame becomes an asset. It keeps you aligned with the sacred and on the path toward your actualisation by ensuring that you fight the right battles.
Cultivating and aligning the five forces is the blueprint for evolving beyond the madness of narcissistic abuse. Check out Narcissism To Rebirth (ebook/print) to read more about this process, or How To Kill A Narcissist (ebook/print/audiobook) to begin with the basics of recovery from narcissistic abuse.