This article is incredibly relevant to narcissism, and anyone who has been caught in the throes of narcissistic abuse.
This article was inspired by a book I read over my break called ‘A Return to Love’ by Marianne Williamson and it is about one of my favourite topics…. the ego.
It truly is mind-blowing how at certain points of our journey we feel called to read a certain book – and it relates to exactly where we are at with our own development.
I have written a few articles regarding ‘ego’ previously, and in the past I struggled to believe that anyone could have mastered the understanding of the ego more than Ekhart Tolle, but now after reading Marianne’s book I feel there is a serious contender.
As a result of reading this book there is no way I could have kept it to myself. If you are interested in the ego this book is a must read!
In this article I share my thoughts on the ego and explain why the egoic part of us will do anything it can to separate us from real love.
Every Relationship is About Love or Fear
I have believed for a long time that our most profound teachers in life are the people who we are involved in relationships with.
As Neale Donald Walsch states ‘There is only one person in the room’, which means that every significant relationship we attract and create in our life is a reflection of our own deep inner self.
Our important relationships reflect back to us the parts of ourselves which are whole, and the parts of ourselves which are wounded that require healing.
The wounded parts of ourselves that are not as yet ‘healthy self-love and self-acceptance’ appear to us via other people who trigger us significantly.
These unconscious parts become conscious as a result of relationship experiences.
I truly believe relationships are priceless and completely necessary in regard to our evolution. Especially our most difficult relationship experiences.
Of course as children we were incredibly powerless, we didn’t have the ability to understand complexities and we did not have the sophistication to reason or process information, nor did we have the healthy modelling to heal these wounded parts.
Rather than be able to transform these inner parts we created defences, adaptations and ‘strategies’ to try to get our needs met and minimalize more emotional damage.
We went into survival mode, and for the best part this worked. It kept us alive and functioning and saved us from emotional annihilation.
What we did not realise is, as Marianne states from A Course In Miracles, ‘what we protect ourselves from is what we continue to create’.
What we discover as adults is that the identical patterns of not being seen and met, not being valued and not being loved unconditionally continue throughout our life despite our survival strategies.
Upon further investigation we also understand how we have failed to love, accept and value ourselves in our self-talk, our self-perception, and our ability to ‘be’ with ourselves and how we have trained other people to treat us identically to how we really do feel about and treat ourselves.
This is why as adults it is our responsibility to work out how to heal these wounded parts that we have tried to cover over and merely survive with.
The truth is no-one else can do it for us, and we can’t turn the clock back to the formative years and have our role models do it any differently.
Our role models were simply acting from their unhealed wounds as a result of their unconscious teachers.
The damage was done, and now we have to un-do it. Not just for ourselves, but to be responsible and healthy models to create future generations where the madness of fear and pain can finally end.
To be able to transcend our fear into love we need to understand some fundamental energetic / spiritual truths, and these involve a deeper understanding of Who We Really Are, and how our ego, as the ‘agent of fear’ is the ultimate saboteur of love.
The Ego’s Purpose
There are only two energies – truly.
Love and Fear.
Some synonyms for love are: connection, relatedness, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, trust, authenticity, transparency, honesty, vulnerability.
Some synonyms for fear are: separation, competition, invalidation, condemnation, judgment, distrust, pretending, non-disclosure, dishonesty, defences.
It is so vital to understand that the ego’s purpose is to keep you from experiencing love.
When you are being the experience of love there is no pain – only a sense of Oneness and coming ‘home’ to Who You Really Are.
When we come ‘home’ we experience being ‘heaven on earth’. We experience our authentic nature. We become and know our True Self.
As our essential nature we can understand that outer events don’t produce this ‘beingness’. It is achieved by cultivating an inner state – one which is not precariously reliant on outside events.
The ego conversely is an inner entity which requires pain to survive, and is intensely attached to the control, judgement and eventual sabotage of outer events.
The cycle of ego’s self-fulfilling illusion is this:
I am dependent on you (this thing or person) from delivering me from my emptiness and pain
I will create an obsessive relationship based on fear, need, unrealistic expectations and clinging
You will disappoint me, don’t fulfil me or leave me, or I will deliver the pre-emptive first strike and leave – and then I need ‘more’ again.
When we are being ‘light’ (love) – truly ‘darkness’ (pain) can’t exist.
This is why the ego creates every illusion possible to keep thrusting you into the darkness.
The ego through unhealed inner parts that get painfully triggered, ‘stories’ in your mind and the results of defensive maladaptive ways of ‘showing up’ – presents all the evidence to keep you trying to source your life through engaging tactics of separation, competition, invalidation, condemnation, judgment, distrust, pretending, non-disclosure, dishonesty and defences.
If your ego is running your life, there is no possibility of you being love or experiencing love, and every attempt will be thwarted.
This is emotionally devastating, because every human entity without exception seeks love, and ever human entity is in pain when love isn’t generated.
The ego is pervasive, it damages many people in its path.
The Ego and Narcissism
Narcissism is the epitome of egoic living.
The very definition of a narcissist is a person who has submerged (killed off) their True Self – deeming it unacceptable and unworthy – and created the ‘buffer’ of a False Self (a fictitious character) to replace it.
This False Self is pure ego.
As Marianne states there is a distinct difference between ‘grandeur’ and ‘grandiosity’.
Grandeur is the beingness of magnificence (love). Grandiosity is the malfunction of trying to compensate for feeling anything but magnificent (fear).
Grandeur manifests love and attraction, whereas grandiosity creates toxicity and ultimately repulsion.
Narcissism is extreme grandiosity and attempting to source love and approval from an unhealed wounded inner centre that has been dismissed, ignored and unattended to, and which is surrounded by impenetrable egoic defences.
I’d like to use this metaphor to really grant you the understanding.
Imagine an ‘opulent’ castle with a malformed, distorted child imprisoned in a cell underneath the castle.
Imagine this child as completely abandoned, totally shunned, and as a result he has become a demented, twisted and irrational abomination.
Now imagine the master of this ‘opulent’ castle is terrified that someone will find this child and despise him for housing such a pitiful, worthless and disgusting creature.
The master adopts the persona of being affable and charming in order to create a smokescreen for what really lurks beneath the castle floor.
Additionally the castle’s master has employed henchmen to ferociously guard the underground cell.
Anyone who gets too close to discovering the passageway to the cell is attacked and thrown out of the castle, and if necessary that person’s reputation and credibility is systematically destroyed so that they can’t credibly relay their suspicions to others.
The master of the castle would rather risk losing anything and everyone, and is willing to destroy everything and anyone rather than allow the sordid truth to be discovered.
The master of the castle cannot expose himself and love others due to the risk of the shameful child being discovered.
As a result the master is forever isolated and condemned to never experience real connection and love.
Now you can understand that the castle and the charm are the pretences and ‘cover-up’ of the ego. The henchmen are the defences of the ego viciously guarding the truth, and the child in the cell is the narcissist’s severely damaged and disowned Inner Child.
The only way the master of the castle could stop this horrible existence and be himself and live an authentically loving life with other people would be to bring the child up and out of the dark underground cell and love and accept him back to health, and believe he was acceptable to others.
The master would never believe the child could be accepted by others unless he had decided to accept the child himself.
Because the master refuses to accept the disowned child – he has no option other than to live an illusion, that is always at risk of falling apart, and attack anyone mercilessly to try to uphold it.
Especially the people who threaten to get too close and discover the truth.
There in a nutshell is the egoic reality of narcissism and HOW it MUST destroy love.
The ego will NOT allow love to occur.
It NEVER can…
How can the ego allow connection with anyone when it is hellbent on destroying anyone that gets too close to the real ‘unacceptable’ person trapped inside?
The truth is: the ego masks itself as ‘perfection’ and ‘love’ yet condemns, punishes and demonises every perceived imperfection that it cannot accept within itself.
The ego MUST sabotage and reject love in order to survive, because authenticity, trust, connection and real love annihilates self-loathing, separation, projection and judgment.
The Fault Finding Capacity of Ego
Because of the ego’s repulsion with the imperfection of the Inner Child, and how ‘imperfect’ it is to be repulsed with self – that self-repulsion MUST be disowned and projected outwards.
The truth is this: The most conditionally loving people and judgmental people are suffering from an intense lack of unconditional self-love and self-acceptance. Their ‘unacceptable’ Inner Child has not been rescued and loved back to health.
This is where we all need to take radical responsibility, and have compassion not just for ourselves but also for others – so that we can transcend the intense pain of egoic judgment.
I would like you to try this on for size…
Say the following statement
“I hate you and your evil ways for what you did to me..”
Feel in your body how this feels…
“I understand and accept how damaged you Inner Child is, how you can’t go inwards to love and accept yourself, and how tormented your behavior is as a result.”
Feel in your body how this feels…
You should feel a distinct difference.
I would like to remind you again of Neale Donald Walsch’s quote “There is only one person in the room’.
In reading Marianne’s book you will be granted an even deeper understanding of the self-healing power of compassion and acceptance. She states “It is as though we are holding a sword above their head. The sword, however, doesn’t fall on them but on us. Since all thought is thought about ourselves, then to condemn another is to condemn ourselves”.
Marianne’s teachings are about – only love is real and any other behavior is an illusion. The narcissist behaves like a narcissist because his / her life conditions and choices (usually adopted unconsciously at a very young age) have caused the narcissist to forget Who He / She Really Is, and to source a life distortedly through fear instead of love.
Within this understanding we can start to break free and be unshackled from our ego which painfully holds on to blame, pain, shame and judgment which ONLY keeps us in fear, egoic defences and separated from loving and accepting ourselves and creating true healthy connections in our life.
Then because of the trapped inner pain that our egos are generating we show up in life trying to fearfully avoid sustaining more pain, yet unconsciously we continue to attract and create more of what we are judging and trying to protect ourselves from.
We keep the painful trapped emotions of victimisation alive and prospering in our bodies – and this is exactly what keeps our ego energized, alive and running our life and sabotaging love.
Our Real Job
We can’t heal darkness by throwing more darkness at it (another Marianne quote) – period.
Throwing more darkness is fear and adopting the strategies of: separation, competition, invalidation, condemnation, judgment, distrust, pretending, non-disclosure, dishonesty and defences.
Now this is where we need to take full responsibility in order to get well.
We need to look for our own damaged Inner Child underneath our floor. It doesn’t matter whether we are living in a castle pretending “I’m fabulous and everything is wonderful”, or a battered caravan whining “My life is falling apart and I will never be the same”.
We need to go toward our Inner Child instead of away from him or her. We need to pick the child up and grant him or her all the love and acceptance we can no matter how damaged and deranged this child is.
We then need to accept and love this child so much that we allow this child to be seen by others. But we need to ‘meet’ and ‘see’ this child ourselves first.
We don’t allow ‘our pearls to be smashed by swines’ by exposing our Inner Child to people who are sick and dysfunctional (such as narcissists), but we can open up and connect to non-narcissistic people with authenticity, with truth, and with the real deal about how we feel and who we are now – warts and all.
We can also look after ourselves if we need to by speaking our truth, knowing we are no longer crippled with the fears of being criticised, rejected or abandoned for being our real self – which is love and loveable as a force within itself, and which naturally ‘as ourself’ (God / Source did not get it wrong) attracts more unlimited love from healthy sources.
By adopting the principles of – connection, relatedness, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, trust, authenticity, transparency, honesty and vulnerability – we allow and co-create with people the opportunity to love us authentically for who we are, and not who we think they want us to be.
…Which really always was ‘who I thought I had to be’.
The Happy Ending
By loving and accepting yourself, unlike the master of the castle, you will let people in – you will let them be with the real you, and then by being ‘seen’ you can be ‘met’.
Realness even with ‘imperfections’ (goodness we all have them) is magnetic, it is powerful and it is insanely attractive!
The reason it is insanely attractive is because it grants other people FULL permission to also be themselves! People feel incredibly comfortable when they are with someone who emanates REALNESS.
But first you need to ‘see’ and ‘meet’ yourself – truthfully – without defences. You need to deploy the henchmen who have been guarding the child.
Total self-devotion states this: “I love and fully accept you into my heart. I will never abandon you again, and no matter how damaged you are I adore you enough to do everything I can to stand in and for you, and I will do everything in my power to help you heal. I am NEVER ignoring you or leaving your side again”.
By doing so you have just thwarted your ego. You have slayed the inner demonic dragon, because your ego requires self-avoidance and self-loathing to exist, and can ONLY creep back in if you fall back into those traps.
You have become a force in the world that spreads light and does its part to put an end to egoic madness, because no longer will you be an enabler or recipient of narcissistic relationship violence.
By meeting yourself with love and acceptance, then no matter what your life has been you are on a direct trajectory to claiming your True Self, dispelling the darkness, becoming love and co-creating real, authentic love.
I hope you enjoyed this article – if you have any comments or questions please post them in the section below, I respond to each comment personally.
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