"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 :: How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross?
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TcBrown
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How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross? ( 02:37:04 ThuApr 28 2005 )

The subject for this thread is a quote from Stephen Levine's book, "Turning Toward the Mystery." I picked this book up this afternoon after not having looked at him for a long time. I had forgotten how powerful Levine's teachings are, and how he addresses healing the wounds of the self without ever using the psychobabble so commonly littered around our society. I suppose the recent discussion about rebirthing called me to Levine as he is perhaps the most powerful teaching I have ever experienced on the subject of completing one's birth by releasing ourselves from the cocoon which shelters us from the pain that gives life to what some refer to as NPD. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to those who are serious about moving past the pain in their minds and getting to a place of connecting with your true self.

As I was rereading various passages I was torn by the same pain which has ripped through my soul for nearly a decade. When I came across the quote of how long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross it really made me stop and think about the deep meaning of this question and how this experience has blocked my healing at an important level.

I have made peace with a lot in my life, both inside and outside my family, there is still work to be done for sure, but I feel things are moving in the right direction, in all but one exception. This exception has haunted my thoughts, played tricks with my mind and in many ways prevented me from moving forward with living. All the teachings of Attitudinal Healing, Eckhart Tolle and others in regards to living in the present has not been enough to release my Narcissus from the cross.

I am referring to my behavior which directly resulted in me seeking therapy. I have referred to this in various places in the past, but I have not reached a place where I feel peaceful enough discussing it in a lot more detail online. Not because what I fear it will do to others, but because I have so much guilt and shame wrapped into this that when I look at myself in the mirror this is still often what I see. I suppose in many ways it is the ultimate truth telling with my new girlfriend that I fear the most.

I have spent a lot of time lying to myself by saying that I don't know why I have struggled so hard to come to terms with this event. The reason is that I intentionally attacked a group of people, including three teenagers, emotionally. My behavior was fueled by jealousy, envy, and a painful disllusionment with life and a deep fear that no one would ever love me enough to allow me to have the things I perceived these people as having. All I saw was what I suppose could be called the glimmering public image of these people and that was enough for my ego to say they did not deserve to have what I felt as though I could never achieve. This was not a case of two people in a friendship or romantic relationship where in truth each partner is a co-creator and there are no victims. This was an attack on people who had never done anything to me and they were indeed victims of my behavior. At the same time I was a victim because none of the things I was crying for were heard, all anyone ever saw was the mess I created. The fearful little boy was left with an adult sized mess that he had no clue how to clean up, and so I ran. The good news is this time my running lead me to therapy and started a process that has brought me more joy and peace then I dreamed possible, and the journey is no where near complete.

Yet, my Narcissus remains on the cross because I have not given myself permission to bring him down. I do not know how to bring him down. I have tried writing letters of apology but have never sent them. This has served no healing benefit where it has in other places in my life. I have analyzed and reanalyzed this in therapy and it has brought clarity, but no healing. Tonight I see that I cannot do this alone, for some reason I cannot give myself permission to bring my Narcissus off the cross. So I am going to ask the source of life higher than me for help. Tonight I recognize that I need help in healing this wound which only can be given by this source of life.

I feel myself becoming very anxious as I write this. Asking for guidance of this nature has never been my strongest quality. I hope I have the faith to give myself permisson to hear my innner voice. Greg Baer writes about faith. "Faith is the act of consciously choosing to experience something we don't know." I don't know how this will heal itself, but I give permission to experience the unknown.

[1 edits; Last edit by TcBrown at 02:48:12 Thu Apr 28 2005]



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Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you? Greg Baer.
 
 
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kay_neich
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Re: How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross? ( 06:19:05 ThuApr 28 2005 )

with more and more ability to access your feelings, Tony, i'm sure the strength you've gained will see you right in the long term. you have worked through the reasons why you acted in the way you did, and in that maybe you have or are working though forgiving yourself. who knows where that will lead and what narcissus will represent to you in the future? faith in yourself and in the healing process must have got you this far, whether you were consciously concerned of it or not. others may or may not come to understand that you are walking a path of peace now, but the most impt thing is that you are.

k

  
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Re: How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross? ( 14:28:25 ThuApr 28 2005 )

It seems to me you might still be looking at your actions as the disease rather than a symptom of the diease. Perhaps there is something you are avoiding by keeping your Narcissus on the cross? I'm talking about the inner pain that led to the jealousy and other feelings. It could be this event has become so important to you because you still don't feel safe getting to the wound itself as it relates to this kind of behavior. Jealousy and such don't appear for no reason. Maybe the jealousy is in itself a teacher for you? I don't know what the lesson might be but I suspect the answer rests somewhere within yourself.

  
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Re: How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross? ( 14:53:10 ThuApr 28 2005 )

Tony,

Seems like you are aware of why your Narcissus is still on the cross - because you won't give yourself permission to take him down. Maybe you still have to figure out why you won't give yourself permission? Maybe you don't WANT to reconcile with those parts of yourself? Clearly you acted when you were in a very bad place and dealing with a lot of negative feelings within yourself... Much strength in your healing journey,

Steely

  
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Re: How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross? ( 14:59:09 ThuApr 28 2005 )

In a way, perhaps your Narcissus on the cross is hard to take down because it is part of your identity. Because of it you were able to heal. You recognized that part of you and it led you to therapy. Now you have to take down that very part of you that drove you to healing in the first place.

I know for me, Narcissism is somewhat all-encompassing. I am frightened by how much work I've done in the past year, how much I have applied thought and caring to most of my actions, and yet how easily it is to slip back into Narcissism when I'm feeling bruised.

Sounds like you want to experience a form of closure. A lot of Narcissism is reaching into the past. Healing old wounds, or running from them. I want to change my childhood. I want to stand up to all the abusers I had to face. But I can't. It is past.

Sounds like you have healthy remorse for your actions, especially since you have come to the point where you recognize not only the harm of what you did, but more importantly, what drove you to lash out.

Being self-aware is a huge achievement. Just knowing your Narcissus is up there on a cross is a positive step in itself. Acknowledgement. I think you're right about not trying to seek an immediate answer on how to take him off the cross. It sounds like it might be something you find in time.

  
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Re: How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross? ( 17:15:07 ThuApr 28 2005 )

I once spent an afternoon wallpapering my attic and thinking about and ultimately "forgiving" an old boyfriend. The thing is, I was the one who treated HIM badly. I was very ashamed of myself for years afterward, and heartily resented him for it. Somehow that day, while screwing around with wallpaper, I managed to acknowledge to him, in my mind, that I had done him wrong. This was the first time in my life I can remember doing something like this, and I was plenty old enough to finally get around to it... 28 or 29, I guess. It was my first experience of "getting right" with a bad act . It brought me peace and healed an old sore.

The historical man on the cross forgave his executioners as he was dying, a feat possibly beyond most of us. Indeed forgiveness of anything is beyond many of us. But if you can get your head around the fact that such forgiveness is possible, and really does happen, and can happen to you, your mind will at least be open to forgiving yourself.

Here is a verse:

Once in a saintly passion I cried,
My heart all full of grief,
O Lord, my heart is black with guile,
Of sinners I am chief!

Then whispered my guardian angel,
Bending from behind.
"Vanity, my little man.
You're nothing of the kind!"


  
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Re: How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross? ( 18:40:39 ThuApr 28 2005 )

I have been meditating and in various stages of contemplation since I wrote this piece, leaning heavily on the teachings of Levine. Just now I came across a passage which states, "we are in training to see beyond what we see." For me this speaks directly not only to the difficulty I'm experiencing, but the wider question of narcissistic wounds in general. I believe that these wounds are rarely what we see on the surface, as the true infection rests well beneath what we can see with a fearful mind. I believe my fear around this is still very high, and is blocking me from seeing beyond what I see. Inverted's comment that I might have to bring down what led me to therapy in the first place has a lot of strength to it. Part of me does not want to do this because for some reason leaving Narcissus on the cross is still important to me. Perhaps there is something of importance for me in this passage from Levine where he suggests, "Narcissus often uses pain to define, even outline, the image he finds reflected on the murky surface of the mind." Often times when I look at myself I don't see me but the people who were at the other end of this whole incident. Its as though I'm using these people to define my pain, giving them a power over me which is preventing me from allowing love to heal my pain.

The following from Levine has always served as an inspirational teacher for me with a new message everytime I read it.

Quote:



Even the addiction I cultivated under that dull yellow bulb above my favorite tattered couch on the "shooting balcony" could not obscure the longing for wholeness that continued to insinuate into my shadowy corner.

One nigh, sick-addicted on my way to get dosed and disappear into my couch, I became enraged at a long stoplight in Mexico City. Pounding on the steering wheel, nauseous and drenched in sweat, I knew I had to do something right then or I would be sick the rest of my life. It was agonizingly clear that the herion could kill the pain, but not the suffering. And even such understandings were not enough to open the closed fist of addiction.

I knew I wanted God and clarity more than anything. Weeping, I pulled off the road and stayed there soaked in perspiration and teas with my head in my hands for perhaps an hour. A sweet voice repeated slowly and without the nervous urgency of the body, "You have to want something more than this to be free of it. You must choose between God and Herion!" And it was over! And so it has been ever since.

It takes a big desire to dislodge addiction. Something you want more than dreaming a life away. Ramakrishma speaks of using a bigger thorn to pick out a smaller one. In the world of form, as Carl Jung pointed out to the founders of Alcholics Anonymous, God, "a higher power," is often the most skillfull thorn.

One of the great difficulties tdrugs create is that, for some, the first time they use drgus may be the first time in their life they feel completely satisfied. Which leads us to the morbid dissatisfaction we call addiction, as they attempt for the rest of their lifes to recapture the moment of satisfaction.

Indeed, meditators too often sometimes suffer from a condiserable, letdown after their first deeply satisfying insight experience. But for meditators the tools to deal with varying states of mind are well-established, whereas for drug users their only tool intensifies suffering the more they attempt to relieve it. I had a friend with a severe stutter who during his first use of herion wa able to spkea with difficulty. He told me the next day he was already addicted for life. He died of an overdose a few years later.

After nine reckless months, having completed the cycle, the choice made at the stoplight, once again kicking as I drove, I headed north to retrieve my soul.



The drug for me is fear and pain. This incident stands out as the first time I was ever aware of feeing either, and it was a rush of life unlike any I had ever known before or since. So far not even my new relationship has been able to equal this flow of life circulating within my veins. Its almost as though I don't want to lose this feeling because I fear I will die on the cross. Or it could be that the feeling isn't as good as I want to believe it to be and the wounds resting beneath all of this are too much fear for me to face.

I believe for me the choice is choosing between love and fear. As is taught in attitudinal healing this is the only meaningful choice we will ever make in our life. I now see though that as much as I want it, I need to want it more than where I am at right now. I have never fully appreciated the teaching that love and fear cannot coexist, it has to be one or the other, until I really started looking at where I am right now.

I feel something is happeing with all of this right now that I don't entirely understand. Perhaps, all I'm asked to do is to have faith that the lesson will become clear I'm ready to implement the teaching in my life.




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Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you? Greg Baer.
 
 
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Re: How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross? ( 02:44:31 FriApr 29 2005 )

Events are what stick out in our own minds and in our memories, but really it is the process behind the events which is why these have meaning for us. so it is of absolutely no suprise at all that what led you into therapy has an incredible amount of meaning and pain for you.

moreover, it is understandable that with narcissism involved, the most anxiety-provoking moments will involve intense fear and shame. Id agree that the jealousy you mention would also, relate to a lack of self-esteem & self-worth in some way, as you probably will keep finding. You talk about the choice really being between love and fear. Could this involve <b>treating the fear with love</b> and in knowing you only acted with what you understood and felt at the time?

as things pan out, i've become comfortable in respecting the meaning an event had for me in the past. you may find that what events meant to you in your healing quite rightly deserve respect for what they meant for you at any given time.

that doesn't imply you must always look back at these and draw from solely the same meaning in the future.

If it matters to you, i believe that you won't be disrespecting your past or forgetting others and even a gratitude you may hold towards them, if in your earnest search, you find a grace in developing your own understanding of how life is everchanging.

(i write according to what has helped me in many areas, but don't know what is actually applicable for someone else and who knows what other factors have really gone into what I more explicitly think is healing?)

k




  
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Re: How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross? ( 14:11:41 FriApr 29 2005 )

Something has begun to become clearer in my mind as I try and understand my thoughts regarding this matter. One thing that does speak to me regarding the immediate question is another quote from Levine, "To call the mind into the heart reminds me to tell the truth and meditate a big more on what I dare call truth."

For some time now I have had an awareness of my feelings on one level, but in cases where there has been considerable pain of one kind or another there is often still a block. I have moments where I can experience the pain, but usually only for a brief period. I've talked about my develoing a nervous tick during my first therapy session. It literally developed when I told my therapist that all the walls had come down, there were no more secrets. The tick has always been at its worse when I am most in connection with my feelings. The more tender I feel the more I feel connected with myself, but the more uncomfortable I feel at the same time.

I recall one time in particular working with my therapist in Idaho when I was discussing an event in my childhood that I know has been the source of considerable pain that I never really processed. It occured to me in the midst of telling this story that I had never before shared this with anyone or talked about it all with someone who did not have some awarness of what had happened. Somewhere near the middle of the story I was on the verge of breaking down and crying, and I felt myself consciously hold back the emotions and make the decision to continue talking about this as though I was a reporter reflecting on someone else's life. The emotions were gone, poof!

Looking back to the first time I ever really showed a strong emotion other than anger in therapy was about a year into the process. I was discussing an event around my sister's death and I lost control and started crying for a brief period. That was the time when I learned more about how our bodies are really very electrical. I'll never forget how both my shoulders started twitching at incredible rates for several minutes as I was flooded with all kinds of pain. This took place near the end of the session and my therapist was concerned about how I would handle myself during the week. I managed to block out that pain to a large degree and directed therapy away from that area for a long time to come. Several weeks later I engaged in a kind of acting out period that risked derailing my entire therapy process. Until this moment I had never been open to the possiblity that whole event was built around the pain that was not too far from the surface, in fact had shown itself in the most painful of ways, if only for a brief time. It hurt a lot to feel that way. At the same time it felt good to allow another person to see that I do have feelings.

When I look at my rather strange behavior leading into therapy I think its primary purpose in my mind has been to build a wall so that I don't have to feel the hurt that lead me to make such a dysfunctional cry for help. Both my therapists have suggested the guilt I feel is actually rather healthy, but at some point I need to let go of the guilt and do what I feel is appropriate to move beyond that place in my heart. There is some fear about apologizing and exposing myself to those people, but there is a bigger fear. If I find peace with this and the wall is brought down, I will still be left with some of the pain that gave life to this whole mess. The truth is what lead me to therapy is not the incident itself, but the pain that gave life to the incident. This is something that I feel comfortable calling a truth even though the thought of it makes me very uncomfortable. I am running out of reasons not to experience all my fear and allow myself to receive love and forgiveness. In one way this is a wonderful feelings. In another way nothing has ever terrified me more.



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Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you? Greg Baer.
 
 
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Re: How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross? ( 18:59:48 FriApr 29 2005 )

I wonder if we're addicted to our pain...like we need it around at all times, sorta as fuel. Without it, who are we? Hmmm...:crazy:

  
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