Narcissism Versus Spirituality by Andrea Mathews

Rather, what it intends to facilitate is an awareness of how even narcissism can become an awakening.

First, everyone is a narcissist to some degree. We all have a primary concern for self, self-protection, self-actualization and self-facilitation and more. We all wish to fulfill our desires. So, in the same way that an infant, toddler and preschooler is narcissistic, we are all similarly narcissistic. We want what we want when we want it.

Our maturity comes into play when we are able to recognize that it is not always possible for us to have what we want when want it. A person who has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), on the other hand, not only never grew out of that early narcissism but has added a whole identity to it.

Most of us, have by now seen the list of DSM-V characteristics of the narcissist. It’s a very popular topic. And so it should be. Prior to the past four or five years this very common issue was barely noticed in books, blogs and media.

Many have now begun to recognize that a previous relationship or a parent was an undiagnosed NPD. They begin to pull themselves out of the dysfunctionality of that dynamic. They do it by drawing appropriate boundaries and learning how to self-nurture.

Many have also begun to look back over history. We see the NPD or the sociopath in leadership positions around the globe-with disastrous results. Currently, several different mental health professionals diagnose the Republican candidate for President of the United States, long distance, as NPD. And we can also look back at various cult leaders to understand that they also were probably NPD or sociopathic.

So it’s hard for us to imagine that we might be able to get something out of narcissism, particularly something spiritual. But we can.

First, those impacted by the antics of the NPD can gain exponentially by waking up to the fact that all bargaining is useless. It will not ever get the NPD to see or do something in a way that has one iota to do with anything or anyone other than the NPD. Bargaining is that magical thinking we do. We say, “If I do X, or think X or try X, then he’ll do, think or try Y.” And we try X repeatedly, until we realize we just can’t get past the wall created by the defense mechanisms of the NPD.

Once the person realizes there is no changing the NPD, to make them care, it becomes possible then to make major leaps in consciousness. They may begin to understand that the only person that they can help is themselves. They see there is no such thing as changing another human being. The best resource may be to go to their core to survive the pain of releasing this old trance state. This can be a time of enlightened sorrow for the person learning to get out of relationship with an NPD.

But it is also true that our own narcissism is part of how we bless the world. The self-interest that allows us to think about ourselves, to pray for ourselves, to heal ourselves, to seek the truth about ourselves, is nothing short of profound. We must be very focused and very self-involved in order to grow into a real person.

That doesn’t mean that we won’t also have and demonstrate great feelings of compassion for others. But it does mean that that will not really ever happen until we have first begun to have great feelings of compassion for ourselves. This thing of self-love is the foundational energy of compassion for others.

When we assume that what we should be doing with our lives is only being there and serving others, we contrive a false spirituality. It has nothing whatsoever to do with becoming real. We must learn first to be present in and with the self, to honor and love it with depth and real concern. When we are fully open, we can therefore, give that same honor, depth and concern to others.
Source: Om Times


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