"Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." ----- Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi, 13th century Sufi poet.

"Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in a muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you?" Greg Baer

"The Secret in healing Narcissism is not to heal it at all, but to listen to it. Narcissism is a signal that the soul is not being loved sufficiently. The greater the Narcissism, the less love being given." ~ Thomas Moore, 'Care of the Soul'.

Q. Is it really possible to heal NPD?

A. Anything is possible. You do not have to be a negative statistic on a probablity curve of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Heal NPD :: Open Topic :: Possible Promise
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Cyber Healing PhD
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Possible Promise ( 14:30:48 ThuSep 18 2003 )

Some time ago as I was strolling around other support forums I came across a thread started by a person in recovery from another personality disorder that really caught my attention. The was lableed, "What Do You Want to Tell the World". This spoke to me for a variety of reasons. People suffering from NPD have often sent a message of anger & fear to the world, while craving intimacy and love at deep levels I know this is true in my own case.

As I look through my history I can see places where I spent unbelievable time and energy releasing raw emotions at people who had never done anything to harm me, and in some cases didn't have a clue who I was. I can understand, to a certain point anyway, how I justified this in my mind. Soemtimes I was asking people to help me, or showing how I smart or funny I was. Unfortunately the people on the other end of the equation were not provided with a copy of the code book to understand what I was trying to say. All they saw was anger, rage, and someone who had little or no interest in communication to develop an understanding of what I was really saying. Most people didn't have the time or inclination to try and figure out what I was trying to say. The message that I sent to the world was that I was a smart person with a lot of anger, to the point of rage that concerned people because I behaved in some rather unusual ways. People found me aloof and difficult to form close lasting relationships with.

This is not the message that I want to send to the world and I have begun an conscious effort to change this. My work with my therapist and Dr. Hamilton, Healing of Persons Exceptional and Attiduinal Healing have allowed me to make significant strides in letting go of my anger and fear and learning how to give and receive love. I do not yet consider myself to be a student of love but I crave the intimacy that comes with giving and receiving love. I have always craved that,, yet the way for me to begin to learn how to do this has only recently opened for me.

In the work I do with reforming and transforming justice I came across a project known as the Impossible Promise Keepers. These are people who have made what on the surface seems to be an impossible promise to do something to change the way our justice system works to allow us to move away from demands of retribution and revenge, toward forgiveness and healing. This group comes up with ideas about incooperating forgiveness as regular part of our justice system by the year 2015, making restorative justice the first response to crime and conflict by the year 2012 ,and so on and so forth. And they don't just pull something out of thin air and say that by the grace of God and one or two small miracles this is going to happen. They make a promise to themselves to engage in action in their own life and in the wider community to make these things happen. Sometimes they meet as a group and discuss their progress and ways that they might be able to support one another.

I would like to suggest that the people in this community engage in a similiar project that I would like to suggest to be labeled, "Possible Promise Keepers." In this effort people who are working through their healing journey would make a promise that might seem impossible to themselves or others at the time, but whose focus and objective would be to make this become possible in their daily life.

I believe that if I could choose a message that I want to send to the world it would be that I care deeply about other people, the work of peace and justice is important to me, while at the same time having some fun along the journey. I want to give and receive love and I want to be able to trust people and allow myself to believe that God does indeed have a plan.

I have found two excellent guidlelines to help me in my journey toward healing. The first is the twelv principles of attitudinal healing; the second is the concept of Ubuntu as defined by Bishop Desond Tutu in his book, " No Future Without Forigveness."

"Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. It speaks of the very essence of being human. When we want to give high praise to someone we say, 'Yu, u nobuntu''Hey so-and-so has ubuntu'. Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, 'My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours.' We belong in a bundle of life. We say, 'a person is a person through other persons.' It is not, 'I think therefore I am.' It is rather, 'I am human because I belong. I participate. I share.' A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is dimished when others are humilated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as though they were less than who they are."

The possible promise that I am making in my life is that I will use the principles of attitudinal healing to allow me to achieve a state of living that can be described as being Ubuntu. I'm not going to put a time restriction on this, as I believe with this level of healing we progress at our own rate.

I invite others to join and share their own possible promise and together we can find ways to support each other and work to make this community and our personal lives much richer with the experience of healing.


Tony (TcBrown) :smile:

You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self . .. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime , you are the only one you will never lose.

~ Jo Courdt

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Re: Possible Promise ( 18:56:22 ThuSep 18 2003 )

I really like the idea of making a committment or promise to doing the healing, ideally everyone in this community has already taken that step. I say that with my eyes wide open to the reality this may well not be true. For those who've made the committment it is simply reinforcing it and for others it could be the begining of something special.

I'm wondering if is appropriate for two or more to share the same promise as I really like what you've got here. I'll give it some thought and see if there's something that really calls out to me. I'd also like to try and involve my son in this as I believe this could be of some interest to him. I'll get back to you in the next couple of days, thanks.

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Re: Possible Promise ( 23:07:28 FriSep 19 2003 )

I've been thinking about this all day and wondering what I could pledge as my possilbe promise. It worries me a bit because I'm not sure what I'm committing myself to but I would like to allow giving and receiving unconditional love as my promise. Now what?:biggrin:

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Cyber Healing PhD
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Re: Possible Promise ( 03:29:19 SatSep 20 2003 )

This is a good idea to make a committment to healing. I was going to make my promise to be more empathetic but I think I have to first get over my fear of other people and being hurt. I wonder if other members can relate to this? I also want to be more assertive, but I think this also relates to fear of others.

I would like to do it through Attitudinal Healing as well as spirituality and anything else that I come across that might help. I am thinking that it might be helpful to give myself a task to do along these lines every day, like something as simple as asking another person a question about something in their life and then try to stay focused on what they say and try to identify their feelings. I know this alone will be hard to do, but I definitly think I need this kind of structure to keep the promise. I'll have to think about this some more.

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Re: Possible Promise ( 14:26:59 SatSep 20 2003 )

This sounds like a good idea to me. It also sounds like hard work. I would like to make forgiving the unforgiveable my promise. CoolBlonde's idea of giving ourselves daily homework sounds like a good idea. I'm reading a book on forgiveness and it has some excercises that I can get started with, so I guess there is no time like the present?

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Re: Possible Promise ( 14:50:01 SatSep 20 2003 )

I think you're onto something, taran...I imagine forgiveness (or rather lack thereof) may be the greatest barrier to love there is.

It's not an easy thing. I have a lot of, to some, sound reasons to hold back forgiveness from my husband - but I don't. For my own sake, because the last thing I need is to become a bitter old woman, and also because he deserves that consideration. He HAS demonstrated remorse and made sustantial efforts at restitution.

Even if he hadn't, though, and we were not here today, I would need to forgive (though not forget, thus learning nothing) and move on to ensure my own future happiness and stability.

I think what helped me to get this far, aside from his efforts (which have had a great impact), is my dedication to myself...in the sense that I have refused (admittedly not effectively at every moment) to allow the actions of others to determine my worth for me. Though it's been hard to keep that attitude at times, I have worked at redirecting my thoughts about it - and now I KNOW that when others are harmful, it isn't very likely about ME at all...

So long as I am secure in who I am, I cannot be made bitter by others. Temporarily hurt/angry, sure...but not permanently and certainly I have, so long as goodwill for myself exists, no NEED to demonize the perpetrator in order to prop myself up.

The drawback to demonization of others, while it may make us feel better temporarily, is that if you engage in it, you are, by default, a candidate for it.

This is exactly why I fled the "other" boards, and why (even though it bugs some here at times) I try to look objectively at the experiences (and lack of experience) of all who visit here.

This, I guess, is the promise I've been working on for a long, long time...I will always try my best to listen objectively to other persons and keep my feelings about myself separate from what they have to say, thus preserving humanity and dignity for both of us.


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Re: Possible Promise ( 12:02:32 SatSep 27 2003 )

Forgiveness is definitely one the goals I am praying and working on. Athena brings up a good point about forgive and forget. I remember in the [recent] past I would say I forgave someone dear to me, but yet I would never forget it. I am not just talking about forgetting the offense so I would learn and grow from it, but I would constantly hold the offense against the person by referring to it over and over again. Consequently, I did not really forgive the person.

True forgiveness is healthier for me and the person who wants to be forgiven. :biggrin:

Peace and balance,


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Re: Possible Promise ( 02:03:10 ThuOct 16 2003 )

My possible promise is to take responsibility for my own contributions to the failure of my relationship with my ex and the hurt that this caused all of us. At some point I would like to be able to forgive but as I am still coping with the fall-out from his acting-out behaviour, it may be a bit early for me to genuinely forgive him in my heart (what you were talking about, Nandi).


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Re: Possible Promise ( 23:16:47 TueOct 21 2003 )

I would also like to make a possible promise to be more accountable for my part in the failure of my relationship. It has been so easy to say to myself, well, no one could live with this person, he's irrational, he rages, he hurts me. But I could have insisted years ago that we go to therapy, and I didn't. I let myself be subsumed (is that a word?) into the world he created for us. And I benefited from this world, materially speaking, and I let that allow me to numb myself from the ways in which my spirit was dying.

I also-- and this is hard to admit to a bunch of folks I only know here-- but in the midst of feeling so neglected and emotionally abandoned by him fell in love with someone else. There was no affair (except, while we're being accountable, an emotional affair), and I'm not sure he ever reciprocated, but we became friends, and I put emotional energy into being attracted to this person instead of putting it into either fixing the marriage or getting out. I understand why it happened, I have compassion for myself about it, but I also know it was wrong.

I don't think I can begin to forgive my husband until I can at least start forgiving myself, and before I can do that, I have to become accountable for my actions, and before that, I have to be in a place of safety. But these are all goals. I guess my promise is to keep making baby steps towards unconditional love for my husband (whether or not we stay together), my child, my world, and, hardest of all, myself. So much for baby steps-- Maybe I better just stick for now with I promise to be as accountable as possible for my actions.

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Re: Possible Promise ( 21:24:25 WedOct 22 2003 )

Thanks for sharing this, hestia. Its a testimony to you and the level of healing throughout the community that you feel able to open up to this degree. Chances are we all need to work on accepting more of the accountability for what has occurred in our lives. That's not to beat ourselves over the head with guilt, but to grow through responsibility!

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