“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.” – Eckhart Tolle
The body is a miraculous thing. When it’s sick it develops symptoms that tell us that something is wrong. When our spirit is sick our bodies also provide us with symptoms, which manifest as feelings of anxiety, deep emotional sorrow, panic attacks, depression, heart ache, hopelessness, helplessness, frustration, and despair.
Very few of us pay attention to the physical symptoms our body gives us when it comes to our emotional health. We all know that love feels great. We know when we’re experiencing those feelings, but what about when we’re experiencing, I’m being disrespected feelings, or, he/she is using me and doesn’t really love me, feelings?
A lot of us have relationships that aren’t working, but we’re determined that they’re going to turn out the way we want them to. We keep trying to make it work, keep living Einstein’s definition of insanity. It’s like we keep trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. We’re smashing and smashing this poor peg trying to get it to go through, but it just won’t.
For whatever reason, when we’re emotionally involved, we can’t comprehend the idea that only a round peg is meant for a round hole. When we keep trying to force that square peg, all we do is get frustrated and we destroy the peg and the hole and we blame ourselves in the process. It’s like we stop using our common sense and our intuition. We get tunnel vision and we are determined to make two things fit that aren’t supposed to. We develop an allergic reaction to the truth. We don’t pay attention to and miss, what would be easier and what actually will work, because we’re too preoccupied with what isn’t working.
I met a woman years ago that could speak to the dead. Really. Like John Edwards and Long Island Medium kind of speak to the dead. During our conversation she said to me, “There are people in your life who are meant to come and go. Once they have fulfilled their part in your life and have taught you what they’re supposed to, they’re supposed to move on and no matter how hard you try to make it work, or how much you deny it, it will never work out because it’s not meant to go any further.”
The Carrot or the Stick
I was bound and determined to make my relationship work with my Narcissist. I had physical symptoms, my body was twisted up in knots, I felt hopelessly lost, I was miserable beyond belief, but none of that mattered, nor was it enough to sway me to let go.
Pema Chodron, author of When Things Fall Apart, tells us that in life, we either get the carrot method, or the stick method and if we’re too dense to follow the carrots, we get the stick.
My mind was so wrapped up in my relationship that I wasn’t paying attention to what was going on around me. I knew something wasn’t right, but I continued to ignore it, because for whatever reason I wouldn’t let go of the picture I had in my mind of how it was supposed to be.
So life did what it always does when you aren’t going in the right direction – it gave me the stick. I lost everything in a matter of weeks, my spouse, my mother, my house my job, my car, my boat….and all things material.
The Universe knew it had to do something drastic to bring me back to life and reunite me with my true self. It had to take the option out of my hands, because if given the choice I would have continued to make the wrong one every time. This time it felt like the rug had been pulled out from underneath me and I had nowhere safe or familiar to land.
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” J.K. Rowling
I was beyond terrified, had the universe not made the choice for me, I would still be in that awful, abusive relationship. I would still be in my high-paying/soul-sucking job, this blog would never have come into existence, my writing career wouldn’t have taken off and I wouldn’t have grown and evolved into the happy, strong, fiercely independent, self-love warrior that I am today.
If I was to compare my life then to now, anyone would say, “Oh girl by far you are in a much, much better place, financially, emotionally, spiritually, physically….” There is no area where my life isn’t better, but at the time, all I could see was the loss of what I had – not the opportunity that was waiting for me.
Starting over is scary business. But when you’re in this position you have two choices, you can a) keep doing what you’ve always done, or b) do something completely different and travel down a different path. An unfamiliar path.
I had to reach out and take the life that I wanted. This is the point in the road where a lot of people turn back. Not only is it a scary place, but it’s full of uncertainty and fear. How can you move towards something so unfamiliar where the outcome is 100% uncertain? It’s no-mans-land. In Chodron’s book she talks about how being in no-man’s-land is utterly terrifying to most people and when you are scared, you’re on high alert – all senses are revved up to the max.
Imagine walking through a jungle and all of your senses are attuned to your surroundings, ready to react to any threat. This is what it’s like to be in no-man’s-land. Chodron says this is the time when you are really alive – because when you’re in this place, you are highly focused, fully present and completely awake.
When you step through that door and stop doing what you’ve always done and you take a step in a new direction, an unfamiliar and uncertain direction, you gain control. That’s where your life is. Your real life. It’s where you find yourself, who you really are and once you move in that direction, you won’t be the same person anymore. Once you’ve chosen the red pill instead of the blue pill, you can’t go back and you won’t want to.
You will never go wrong walking away from something that harms your soul. The key is to move towards your purpose and what makes your heart sing, and not to keep moving towards the same harmful choices you’ve always made, because you will repeat this lesson and this scenario until you learn to step forwards and not backwards or sideways.
The Universe sends us clues, our bodies, also tell us, when we aren’t living authentically. The signs are all around us. Oprah Winfrey has said that, “Your life is always speaking to you,” but what she left out is that, only those who are fully awake in their lives, are the ones that will hear the message.
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My STBX was a dick when we were dating. He rarely paid for dinner, let me know when I could see him, broke up with me one night after flirting with my friend (DUH!) and a bunch of other red flags that I was simply too young, inexperienced and naive to see through. I loved him because I believed in him and that he was a great guy. (Spackle much?) Now, 20 years later he cheated on me (how many times I ll never know) and he s a big pain in the ass. We share a child so I ll never be truly rid of him.
This couldn’t be more true. I was in a relationship with my ex for 8 years. The last 3 we were on and off). this past December I found out he was seeing another girl from work. a girl he told me not to worry about (isn’t it always like that? lol) so of course I snapped but I began to accept it and let go. and of course he came running back saying he wanted to be with me and not her. said he was embarrassed by her. so of course I went back this was about a month ago. not even a few weeks into us trying again. he began belittling me calling me names lashing out if I asked if he still talking to her (cause I had that gut feeling he was). well come to find out she was pregnant. I found this out a month ago and i’m still in shock and hurt. I havnt spoken to him since. I heard recently there together and shes staying at his house. but when I confronted him he told me he didn’t want the child and he didn’t want to be with her. I know hes a narcissist. everydays a struggle but I know this was a sign to finally get him out of my life and, a sign to move on with mine. I know I cant see it now but I feel like this saved me.
This has helped me a whole lot I’m still in the relationship with my narc it took me over three decades to telly know what I’m dealing with im looking for an apartment he doesn’t know please pray I get it im ready to start my new chapter in my life to rebuild myself this has really given me hope thanks a lot
I developed a frozen shoulder because of the trauma I went through.
Rose, I understand. My Father was an abusive alcoholic. I looked for me who were no good because that was comfortable. I just ended a 2 year relationship with a narcissist who treated me like dirt. It’s a struggle but it’s best.
I’m just getting out of the strangest relationship I have ever been in. He pursued me. I was not looking.He started out as the let’s become friends and it moved slowly from there. I kid you not! It took four months to start “dating”. Every week for months.Called daily.Two or three times a day.Loads of emails. Only weird statement was that he claimed “not to be good at relationships.” Looking back, his words were relationship building. It seems though as he realized there was a connection he became a master of disappearing. He still called all the time,but the excuses for not actually seeing me got better. I do not know why I stuck around for months longer. I’m guessing I just wanted to be wanted as much as I wanted him.
Please, any one else out there been through this? And now, he claims we can still be friends.He can be a good friend to me, and we can hang out cuddle and spend the nights yet.W/o doing anything.
While we are at it HOW do I get it through that FRIENDS DO NOT cuddle and spend the night together?
I think I knew it was over when my teenager told me that this was not healthy behavior,because I was always curling up in my bed crying and trying to figure out why he could make time for his friends,but he was always to busy for me……
Reply to electra:
Sounds just like the “relationship” I just got dumped from…except mine was 5 years. We’ve known each other, but not well, for about 15 years. He played everything so perfectly until he moved in. Then it was like he flipped a switch.
My thought is that if they tell you they’re not good relationship material, believe them.
“Imagine walking through a jungle and all of your senses are attuned to your surroundings, ready to react to any threat. This is what it’s like to be in no-man’s-land. Chodron says this is the time when you are really alive – because when you’re in this place, you are highly focused, fully present and completely awake.”
It just dawned on me…I think this is why I had such a hard time letting go. It wasn’t my feelings for him or obsession it was Because I was so constantly on edge and high alert(not in a good way)but for the first time I really felt alive. I truly think that’s what kept me stuck.
Normal relationships with normal people are easy, low key, no drama. With him it was all anxiety, drama…pure hell actually. But I felt alive. Now that I know the draw…Guess I will need to find more healthy ways of ‘feeling alive’. Thanks for the a ha moment. I’ve been looking for this since no contact in September!
You’re exactly right LS read my blog entitled Are You Mistaking Intensity for Intimacy?
I am thankful for the article. Jus ov er a year i left my narcissistic love. He is selfish, bigot, Can blo up in an instant. I could not believe that my independence üas compromised in so short time.
Savannah this message is for me. I knew that my fiancé is a narcissist but I find it difficult to break. pls help.
Why doesn’t the Universe bring the Narcissist to rock bottom? Instead, they always seem to land on their feet.
Thank you, Lola for your response and kind words. It helps so much to know that there are others out there who have experienced the same things and that it’s not just me or an abnormal reaction. You’re right about them getting into your mind and soul. I was married 22 years and my ex never stayed in my thoughts like this. I remember early in my relationship with the N I said he was really getting into my head and he said he liked it in there. It sounded cute and sweet at the time. Now it seems sinister. Like you I have wasted untold hours trying to figure him out. I guess I knew long ago but didn’t want to accept it. I couldn’t believe he could be so heartless. I wanted to believe he was the person I fell in love with. I know I romanticize. I miss the companionship and physical contact but not the other side. Cold, manipulative, lying user who could be vicious in an argument. These weekly blogs help me remember the reality and help keep me strong.
Layla, you’re very welcome. That’s what we’re all here for. 😀
Just FYI, the night before I responded to your post, I actually did cry a little over my narc ‘friend’, so even though I am healed, for the most part, there are still instances where I get sad and I’ll get weepy for like 5 mins. Then it goes away and I feel fine. It happens now maybe once every few weeks, maybe even less.
A year ago, I used to cry for over an hour and much more frequently, and then even before I went NC, when I discovered all his lies, I used to sob 2-3 hrs per night, every night. This went on for 3 months or so.
So the hurt still happens, just with less frequency and nowhere as potent. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that you can still be healing while it’s hurting but you are.
My narc ‘friend’ had 7 yrs to get his act together and he couldn’t do it. I just know he’s not going to change and that there’s nothing to be found there but more hurt.
I just want to know when it’s going to end. I have known this NPD since 2009, lived together three times, been apart for over a year now and still think about him every day. I had no contact for a year and then unwittingly did when he pretended to be someone else via text. I realized later it had to be him. I still miss him and have this feeling that he is the only one for me despite knowing better. I have read so much about narcissism and know he is but still can’t seem to shake these thoughts.
Layla, I understand what you’re saying. I met my narc ‘friend’ in ’07 and in ’09 is when he began showing signs of his NPD. I then spent 5 years trying to figure him out and wasting lots of energy.
Not a day goes by, even since I’ve been NC for over a year, that I don’t think about him or even miss him in small doses.
I never did this when relationships ended with boyfriends. There is just something with these people that makes them merge into our minds and souls much more. And it takes so much more effort to expel them from our heads.
Let me ask you, what is it you miss? Why do you think he is the only one for you? These people are just a losing battle and you have to remember the pain he caused you and be careful not to Romanticize him.
I would make a list of all the things he did that hurt you and keep it on hand for when you do feel you’re missing him. Also, for me, I plunged into my artwork, new hobbies, reading, studying, anything to keep my mind occupied.
It acts not only as a distraction from him and to strengthen myself but as a reminder that there is a huge world out there and when put into perspective, fixating on someone who is hurtful and manipulative seems silly.
But I know what you’re going through. I’m going on knowing of my narc’s existence for almost 9 yrs. The 1st 2 he put up the false self, then the last 5 were hot and cold spells, gaslighting, belittling, never following through, followed by my year+ of NC.
Yet, I still think of him everyday. Not as much as I did, but I still do it. Even though you are hurting, you are healing. I wish there was a recovery formula but it is a process.
Another on time article. I learned a new label today. I am an empath. I have to keep a distance from toxic people because they just drain me. I often take on their problems and issues. So it’s important for me to keep my circle tight.
The universe heard me say that I wanted to be cherished and loved. The relationship I was in was not serving me. I believe in God. I prayed over my toxic relationship, every time my ex did something foul or disrespectful to me. I wanted to hold on with all my might. It took him being physical to get me to leave him alone. I left and through the tears and the pain I never looked back. I am so much better without the drama in my life. I welcome and open to having a healthy relationship. First I had to learn ti rebuild myself after being broken by my narcissist. It was not meant to be.
Thanks a lot Savannah, this is one of the best articles i’ve read in the last period of time and it is the “mmissinmissing lid ;-)”! For me it is about moving to another country… new language, people; customs…. there is fear but since years i feel not quite happy where i am since more than 25 years…. i am in the New town for some weeks and sth feels soo right also my mind tries to talk me out of it…. ! Thank you!! Love Samira
Perfect timing as always!!! I don’t always post a reply but I always read the weekly articles. This just hits home, I have done so much inner work ( great book btw) this last year and feeling better than ever. Recently ended a dating relationship as all kinds of red flags started popping up. Started out great!! I kept going over in my mind all I had learned this last year about NPD/P, learned to listen to my gut again and ended that relationship before it went any further, I was so proud of myself. Thank you Savannah because I was just starting to doubt my decision a little, I am so thankful for your impeccable timing, you truly help millions, a quality I admire greatly. I’m sticking with my decision it is right for me and after being married over 20 years, I have to look after me and pay attention to actions and my gut. Because of this site, others, books, friends and therapy I know a healthy relationship serves both people positively and if not it’s time to walk away. Thank you again!!!
I have been waiting for your post this week and it did not disappoint! It came in perfect timing! After 20 days of no contact my toxic ex reached out to me looking to just pick up our casual nonsense once again. And while I picked on myself all night about my “perfect reaction” I did not give in. The Universe is forcing me to see and to align my life in the right direction. He wants to remain in his toxic situation let him however he will no longer bring me down with him. The last line of this post gave me chills. Your life is always speaking to you but those that are truly awake will be the only ones listening. And he will never be truly awake however I will be…
Thank you for this- I needed this today. I am with you Trecia, that the universe is speaking, or should I say screaming at me to look inside and fix my inner child and my codependency issues. It is hard to do so. I am 25 and a bit thrown off that I am probably going through one of the most difficult transitions I may ever have to endure. Being a nice and over nurturing woman hasn’t gotten me anywhere in my relationships and my last break up with my alcoholic Nx almost killed me. Reading in this post about how the medium said that people will come in and out of your life to show you or teach you something and no matter how much you deny or try, it will never work because it just isn’t meant to be-enlightened me but it also kills. Of course I dream that if I work on myself and become a better person to myself, then maybe the X will too and we will meet up in a coffee shop in years to come and we will be the perfect couple (image ) that I have in my head. I still have trouble letting that go. Being realistic isn’t easy for me- I’m a very emotionally driven woman (empath). All I know is that I hope that I can do this work and stop existing through the pain and start to live through it and that one day I will be stronger and when I think about the Nx- I won’t even have a second thought that he in fact was a shock to my system, a painful one at that And I can’t ever look back. I deserve to treat myself better and to establish those boundaries that were never established as a child growing up in an alcoholic household. My soul is stuck in a repeat cycle of the same lessons. Lord give me the strength to stop this cycle and enter into a new awakening of my soul! I pray the same for all of you here, stay strong beloveds.
I really enjoy your articles. You’re always on time when I’m dealing with what you’re saying to me.
I needed this article today, I’m losing my sense of reality and ‘me’. Wrapped up in a man with NPD who discarded me to try and get back with an ex-wife in the most atrocious painful manner and then I half-heartedly took him back when it didn’t work for him. Even after spending time with the ex-wife and understanding that it’s his normal behaviour and not me, I have still questioned whether it can work!! Not now, not after this article. I realise that I deserve so much more than this man in my life. I need to take that first step forward and I’m looking forward to it. Thank you.
Been checking my in box all weekend for you. Just in a nick of time you were there today . Thanks for the booster shot.
This article is incredible. Thank you for such amazing words of wisdom! I will never ignore my intuition again. Cheer and blessings.
Sometimes a person also needs to take good care of themselves…its not always the fault of the ‘other’. Had I not gone through 1.5 years of intensive therapy I probably would have always been a square peg.
Thanks you for all the time and energy you put into your posts. Greater thanks for sharing your courage, your lowest moments and the incredible growth you’ve experienced. You are a true hero!
I can personally vouch for the truth of this message. After my exN discarded me last year, I moved half way across the country to attend graduate school. All I brought with me were whatever personal items I could fit in my car and my dog, Sam. Talk about scary (and freeing), especially for a woman in her mid 50s! But I knew I was on the right path because my level of happiness soared! Fast forward to now (11 months later) when I finally allowed myself to start dating a guy I thought was a good fit. Lately I’ve noticed feeling like things aren’t so rosy in my life. Classes have become less interesting, my TA responsibilities are less enjoyable, I’m having awkward conflicts with my new friends At first I thought maybe I was anxious about becoming intimate again after being hurt so badly last time. But reading your blog post this morning (following a week of my guy being out of town) helps me realize that it’s more than that. He is a square hole, I’m a round peg, and it is never going to work between us. I don’t want to fall back into that unhealthy pattern of trying to change myself to make a relationship work. Thank you Savannah for the timely reminder!
this is exactly where I am having taken a position which I’m now unsure I can do without heaps of stress. This morning I spent time looking for avenues to avoid this move! Am I being a coward or is my soul telling me the move is wrong?
This couldn’t have come into my inbox at a better time. After educating myself for hundreds of hours on NPD, the Truth has finally and totally set into my heart and mind. I now know what I have to do: No Contact and heal my inner child of codependence. And for the first time, I know how to heal myself: Listen to my gut first and act on that, establish boundaries and no longer form relationships with narcissists. I also have to weed out all the narcissists in my life. Anytime someone causes me emotional pain, I have to examine that and take action to rectify and prevent them from doing it in the future.
I’ve now been through two experiences where the universe took matters into its own hands. The first time, I lost my health and had to start all over, even battling through a morbid depression on my own and losing a parasitic N along the way.
The second time the universe made my wish to get us out of that crappy money pit house deemed suitable for the first time buyer come true in a very painful way. I have learned if one is going to make wishes, one must be specific as to the details of those wishes.
The trudge is not over yet. I’ve landed in a nest of what is known as relationally aggressive women and their children here in this small town I’ve followed my spouse to, but I think this is the last of it and I believe I was put here to do what I did, and I might have to do a bit more. Turns out it is a good thing so many of those women decide they don’t like me at first glance, especially when I uncover the fact these very same women were hiding and incubating not one, but two little girls (the teacher’s favs, it seems) who are masters of relational aggression at the age of seven. I believe the teacher is the Narcissist in this case. The sneakiest one, in fact. I hope none of these women will bother speaking to me, anymore, as I see on their faces someone has spread lies about me, but I do have what I will say down pat, and it is nothing more than the truth. They are under a certain Narcissist Teacher’s thumb. I’m new in town, so an easy mark for that teacher, too bad for her my record is as clean as a whistle. No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
A needed boost today. My heart is so heavy as I miss my husband so very much but I know that leaving him IS the right thing to do, to make it to the unknown place, where I have hope it will be more peaceful. Gosh my heart hurts.
You always write as if you are speaking to me. Thanks for that and for sharing your self.
Wow, another essay of incredible inspiration. I’m on a daily mission to be free from the past. Your posts always help.