Doubt is like the rude uninvited guest that keeps showing up to your party. It’s the rain on your parade. It has the power to completely overhaul your plans, what actions you take and to keep you stuck replaying the same tapes over and over again.
I get downright giddy when I see something that I strongly believe in manifest in real life. I never want to wish ill will on someone, but what I witnessed this week reminded me, yet again, of the importance of our emotional energy.
Sometimes our hearts haven’t quite caught up to our heads and when you throw a little physiology into the mix, getting over a Narcissist can seem like you’re trapped in a maze, unable to find your way out.
As we mentioned last week, the first thing we have to do to extricate ourselves from our dysfunctional relationship, is to become aware that this relationship is toxic and damaging to our sense of self-worth. That’s the easy part, because for the most part, we know when we’re being disrespected and generally treated poorly. The next few steps have to deal with driving an emotional wedge between our addiction to our Narcissist and ourselves, which will allow us to gain distance and some perspective.
“Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.” -Iyanla Vanzant
I felt stuck and uncomfortable for much of my life and as much as I tried, I couldn’t figure out a way to get unstuck. In many ways the tragic events that happened on the day my mother was killed seem to have been prophetic. It was a culmination of all of my angst that had built up inside of me. The events
Tanya and her siblings were taken from their home when she was just three. Her mother had tried to kill them by starting a fire in the family home and leaving them alone inside. Tanya was later adopted by kind, but deeply devout Jehovah’s Witness parents. Her adoptive parents moved from the UK to North America and she moved across the pond, leaving her siblings behind. She rebelled against such strict religious doctrines as she got older and was rebuked by the church community and her parents for her teenage angst.
I hate myself. I am flawed. I am unworthy. No one will ever love me and I will never be good enough. These were the beliefs that I carried around with me for most of my life. This cloak of self-loathing was fastened so tightly around my neck, that I could never get it off. It was always with me as far back as I can remember, so wearing it felt quite normal. It was a gift, or more like a curse, that was passed down from generation to generation in my family.
When I was a newborn I was good enough. When I was a toddler I was good enough, but somewhere around the time that I had learned to speak and form sentences, I kept getting the message that I was not good enough. It was with me in adolescence. It became more than apparent as I started dating and when I reached adulthood, every time I pulled up to life’s feast, I would take a few crumbs from the table and pretend that I was full. Everyone around me had plates piled high with delicious delicacies, but never me. Other people were worthy of such things, I was not. So I accepted the crumbs I got in my relationships and I pretended that that was enough. I accepted the crumbs from my employer and I pretended that that was enough. All I ever got or expected were crumbs and I was starving for something more.
Life can change in an instant. Everyone has the ability to wake up one day and take their life in a new direction. Change happens the minute we make a decision and then follow through with immediate and consistent action.
Change usually occurs when we come across something that has an emotional hook for us, when it touches us and hits the right nerve. It can happen after a crisis, or an incredibly painful experience. Or it can simply be when you’ve reached a point where you say to yourself, that enough is enough, I want more than this.
Science has proven that our energy creates our environment, but I believe that the Law of Attraction and all of its guru’s fall short on one aspect – that nothing happens without action.
We can hope to lose weight, focus on it, believe it, visualize ourselves thin, but if we don’t do something, if we don’t act then nothing changes.
In my journey from pain to self-love the first step for me was recognizing who I truly was. As I discussed in part one, entitled Spirituality, when I finally realized that I was this massive, powerful eternal being, my beliefs about me changed. Knowing that I was a huge energy field, capable of all things – I could no longer look at myself as a weak, helpless, out of control, victim.
Once I got that, I realized that all the baggage that I had been carrying around with me wasn’t mine. It belonged to my mother, my father, my siblings, my friends, the bullies at school and every man I had ever dated. I had been walking around with hundreds of pounds of other people’s junk that didn’t belong to me. I was able to see that the criticism my mom so lavishly heaped on me, was the same baggage that was heaped upon her and I decided I wasn’t going to carry it anymore. When my boyfriends would act in an unkind and disrespectful manner, I stopped taking the blame for it. I stopped internalizing their bad behavior and I gave them back their baggage and handed them their walking papers.
I’ve received a lot of queries lately from people asking how they can get revenge against their Narcissist that left them. When people are angry and hurting and they realize that they’ve been duped, lied to and manipulated, it’s normal to want the person responsible to feel what you’re feeling.
One of the most difficult things to cope with is watching the one that hurt you, trot off unscathed, while you are left writhing in agony. While it may look rosy from where he’s standing, keep in mind that while you have the ability to grow and become a better person, your Narcissist does not. So before you start plotting out a method of revenge there are a few things you should consider.
“Know thine enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are sure to be defeated in every battle.” Chinese General Sun Tzu.
A few years back, I went through a major life crisis. My mother was fatally injured in a car accident and within a few short weeks of that, I had lost everything. I had no parents, no partner, no home, no car, no job and no friends. All of the things that make a person feel safe and secure were gone and I was in no man’s land. It felt as though the rug had been pulled out from under me and I sank into a deep depression.
During my struggle I travelled alone to South America and I stayed there for a long time. I learned to speak Spanish, I climbed the Andes and I tried to do anything and everything to make the pain bearable. Upon my return I immediately left for an Orthodox Monastery in Michigan and spent a few days with the most holy men I have ever met. Depression was new to me. I’ve always been a happy-go-lucky kind of person, but this experience, as horrific as it was, started me on a path of deep soul searching. I needed answers to how my life got so far off track and why I was so miserably unhappy.
For much of my life I believed that relationships hurt. I thought that love equaled pain, because when I was in love, it always ended up hurting. Somewhere, subconsciously, I believed that that’s how you knew you were in love – it hurt.
Not surprisingly, most if not all of my relationships, ended with me feeling that way, regardless of who did the leaving. Heartache was always my default setting and it went with me everywhere I went.