Codependency and Narcissism: The Elephant in the Room We All Tend to Ignore
Codependency and Narcissism
Codependency. Ew! What a gross word huh? What does this word feel like to you? Slimy? Clingy? Broken? Powerless? Gross?
What about the word Narcissist? How does that feel to you? Bad? Evil? Overbearing? Control freak? Or do you immediately go to thinking of someone you know in regards to these labels? A parent? A friend? An ex? ..How does that feel to you?
What’s your current state of how these labels feel to you? Do you even understand them? Do you feel lost in some way and wish you had a better understanding, more empowerment with this topic? Do you ever feel like saying fuck you! to conventional psychology and it’s offerings? If you do, great! -this is your empowerment wanting to emerge from within you. This is your intuition telling you there’s more to the story. I highly suggest you allow that to channel from you. Why? Because you are the only one that can decide what you experience in life and what life means to you, not a ‘professional’, not a friend or family member and not a teacher, You! You’re the decider of what your life experiences mean to you.
Release of Judgement
It’s time we all stop judging these habits that these labels point to. Why? Because they’re created through unconscious means. No-one out there consciously chooses to be either codependent or narcissistic and it’s no-ones fault that this came to be. So let’s learn more about this topic and how they come about as a means of transcending, changing and moving forward leaving them in the dust along with the old tired paradigm that holds onto them like a confused addict, believing themselves to be a victim to life rather than a powerful creator who’s awakening.
Don't Fall Into the Victim Trap
Codependency and Narcissism are words created by the field of thought called psychology. Psychology has been around for a long time, not that long but long enough that the fundamentals of the field could use some redefining, some higher-level-conscious understandings around the basics of who we all are and what life is. Most psychologists, not all but most, perceive life from the worldview of capitalism and scientific rationalization all the while most people (again, not all) who are on a conscious path of discovering their own spiritual nature to deeper and deeper depths have actually transcended that worldview of capitalism and scientific rationalization, psychology’s home base.
And what tends to happen when a person who perceives life through a much more expansive level of consciousness goes seeking advice from a lower-level of consciousness? What happens is the lower-level consciousness attempts to put the higher-level consciousness into a box they can comprehend at their lower-level, they attempt to pull the person down to their level and they use tools and understandings with the person that can actually do real harm. In psychology’s own definitions this is called projection and gas lighting, this is called abuse.
Why does this happen?
This happens because the person in need is vulnerable, feels broken and is looking for guidance to feel better about life. Because western culture buys into the idea that a person with degrees has authority, these people in need seek out help accordingly and most often fall into a trap. Most often they fall into a trap of being projected on and believing that the issues they seek to resolve will be with them for the rest of their lives…and ‘we can manage them’ but they will never fully go away. A perfect example of this is people who’ve had issues with addiction in the past are taught to believe that they are forever an addict in recovery? WTF!?!!!! I don’t know about you but I’d rather leave my past in the past and move on with my f-ing life through healing, resolving conflicts within Self and facing my shadows — releasing and moving the fuck on. And I definitely don’t want to walk around life believing I’m broken the rest of my life, using labels as crutches and enabling victim mentality with Self.
Shifting to a Higher-Level
What if I was to tell you that for every label old-school psychology offers, there is a higher-level understanding defining what exactly the ‘issue’, what the label is pointing at means. There are in fact higher more expansive definitions for everything in life and as we evolve, as we transcend we should be open to and looking for these more expansive definitions and understandings that set us free, that offer much more empowerment to be had.
So let’s get on that…
Codependency and Narcissistic habits do not mean you are evil, gross, slimy or anything along those lines. What these labels are really pointing at is more of a Self-Love issue. Somewhere in your childhood, you experienced trauma (trauma can be and is to a child, anything less than nurturing) and through this trauma you learned to seek outside of yourself rather than learn to go within and see your true innate value as a Divine and Infinite spiritual being experiencing as a human. Something went awry and you picked up habits from the people around you that are not-so-healthy, no-so-empowering, not-so-loving to Self.
A perfect example of a child learning to seek externally rather than learning to validate from within, is a parent not giving the child choices. A parent may have habits of controlling others and instead of asking the child what they prefer, the parent makes the decision for them (we’re talking about children that are old enough to make choices of course). This teaches the child that their opinion, their perspective means nothing and the child then creates habits of seeking for validation, love and respect from others rather than learning that they are beautiful, unique and precious just for being alive. This creates an issue where the person as an adult, seeks for others to just ‘tell them what to do with their life’. This creates what psychology calls codependency, what I refer to as a Lack-of-Self-Love issue, a person that believes they are incomplete and constantly seeks outside themselves for others to ‘complete’ them. All you have to do is think of what the average persons idea of intimate relationships is to see how prevalent this unhealthy and dis-empowering habit is. If you believe you need a soul-mate to complete you, you’re currently perceiving through the lens of codependency, a self-love issue that can be healed if you work at it.
People who have healed this habit don’t feel lonely because they love and respect themselves and relationships are simply icing on the cake that already exists for them. These healthy people don't jump from one relationship to the next, they respect the boundaries of others as well as their own, and they don't throw up walls and run away when things don't go their way. Healthy people have learned to communicate and negotiate in their relationships with friends, family, colleagues and significant others. They don't take on the issues others are experiencing as their own and they give space to others when appropriate. And they definitely do not attempt to manipulate or gain vantage from the situation with someone around them is going through something intense.
Another example on the other side of this dualistic spectrum is a parent building the child up in inauthentic ways where the child learns that they are ‘better’ than others. For instance a parent that has narcissistic habits will sham the child's friends or babysitter when disagreements or fights happen. The parent never gets into whether or not their child actually did anything wrong in the dilemma and falsely empowers their child leading the child to believe that they can never do wrong and are ‘perfect’ when in all actuality their child is being a jerk and or crossing a boundary and should be reprimanded in a healthy loving way. This dynamic of ‘my child can never do wrong’ creates habits of narcissism within the child and the child grows up being a controlling self-centered asshole to others and believing that they are better than others — which couldn’t be further from the truth. No one is better or worse than another and we all are unique…including our baggage that none of us are immune to…no-one!
A healthy parent will teach the art of negotiation to their child when arguments come about with their friends, will teach healthy boundaries and show both their child and the friend respect and love, showing by example that both are precious just as is and that working things out is to their mutual benefit should they choose to remain friends.
Do you see the duality in the above two examples? Do you see that both codependency and narcissism are simply two sides to the same coin? They both stem from a misunderstanding within us regrading what true Self-Love is, where it comes from, what it looks like and how to create it for Self. While it’s easy for most to see that codependents don’t love themselves the same is actually true for the narcissist because the power that a narcissist projects is actually fake, superficial power (albeit most in modern day society are attracted to this fake power, this is only because most are unhealthy themselves) and deep inside they have misconceptions about who they are and where they fit into life. Many times they secretly judge themselves and don’t know what true empowerment actually is. Both codependents and narcissists have a lack of respect, acceptance and love of Self. And both are sloshing around life seeking externally for love, validation and respect, never knowing that that stuff all comes from within. No matter how many people they run to or from, these people will never find true love until they learn to sit and love themselves.
This is Not Your Fault
This is NOT your fault. This is NOT anyone’s fault. This topic is one of the largest dilemmas humanity currently faces and you CAN heal. You can move forward and leave it all behind. It takes a lot of work, it can seem hard at times but it is totally possible for you and it all starts with a strong desire to grow and willingness to whip out some courage from within and face yourself rather than continuing the habits of running away…a common habit of anyone with Self-Love issues.
How, When, Why do These Habits Come About?
How does this happen? This all happens through the epigenetic effect. Epigenetics is a fairly new school of science that moves beyond classical Newtonian laws of physics and recognizes the energetic workings prevalent all around us. Epi which literally means above is tied to the word genetics and we end up with a new field of thought that has transcended the old paradigm field of genetics. No longer is it appropriate for us to believe that simply because our parents or grandparents had cancer, that we ourselves are destined to the same. …life simply doesn’t work like this and humanity is just now beginning to awaken to this truth.
So why do we get cancer when our parents or grandparents had cancer as well? We get it because we believe we will. We condition our minds to create it, that’s why. We believe we are victims to circumstances and we create what we believe. We are so much more powerful than the old paradigm systems teach us and it’s time we accept this and move forward into empowerment and love.
Through the understandings of epigenetics we learn that as a child our brains are in a theta wave state of consciousness until around the age of seven to ten years. While in this theta wave state of consciousness we vacuum up our surroundings and we take on the habits, traits, beliefs and worldview of our care takers, those around us as a young child. We vacuum this all in and transfer it all into our subconscious mind who as an adult is the one really driving the car. Think about how exactly you get to where you’re going while driving and on the phone? Your conscious mind is talking on the phone while your subconscious is driving the car. Driving in this example is automatic, you just do it! You drive yourself safely without even remembering most of the drive. This is the power of your subconscious mind and who is really running the show that is your life. And changing your subconscious programming is possible for you now!
Stop Blaming Your Parents
It’s not your fault that you are the way you are. It’s not your parents fault that they were the way they were when you were a child and the same goes for their parents and so on all the way up the family tree. Your parents honestly did the best they knew how, working with their own baggage that bogged them down. And it’s not their fault. The problem here is that we’re all unconsciously living life through our subconscious programming and many times this programming is not serving our highest good. It’s no-ones fault, however it is your responsibility now as an adult to recognize how this all works and face your shadows as a way of growth, as a way of consciously chosen change.
These Unhealthy Dynamics Are Everywhere
Anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional environment, an environment that offered anything less than nurturing, regardless of severity and frequency will with out a doubt, grow up with lack-of-Self-love habits within them. And it’s time we as a culture stop judging, shaming and ‘making-wrong’ these habits. The truth is the overwhelming majority of us, if not everyone, have them and it’s time to cut the shit and face ourselves. Why? Because this is how we grow. This is how we eventually move forward and transcend. This is how we create and walk into a new paradigm.
Now that I know where all this shit comes from and it’s no-ones fault, how do I change things for myself?
Forgiveness is Key
Your intellect might now know that it’s no-ones fault but that’s different than truly accepting, forgiving and moving on. It’s time to heal. It’s time to forgive. It’s time you own your true power. Forgiveness has nothing to do with anyone but you. You forgive so that you can let go and when you do, you leave your victim-cage behind and enter into a whole new world no longer bogged down and trapped by giving your power to the one who hurt you. This is your life, not theirs. Do it for yourself. Start Now!
Along with forgiveness you must truly learn and accept who you are, hot mess and all. Life is messy and anyone who says it’s not is living in a fantasy world hiding from their own shadows. Dive into your own spirituality. Discover who you truly are beyond the physical experiences, beyond the body, beyond the limitations of this reality we all play within through our focused awareness. Learn yoga, learn meditation, find spiritual resources that are empowering and loving.
Change Your Habits
Practice changing your habits. Watch yourself. Observe through the eyes of non-judgment how you react and respond to situations in your life. Nurture a nature of curiosity and observance of Self. When you find yourself acting in ways you don’t want to consciously, pause, look at it and choose something more loving. Stop worrying about other people so much and focus on yourself and how You respond to life, not anyone else. This is about You!
Stop Being a Weirdo Manipulator
Let go of any attempt to manipulate others as a means of getting what you want. You’re not a child anymore, let’s face this and grow up shall we?
In order to let go of manipulation you’ll have to discover what you want in life and admit it, starting with yourself. You have more options than you realize. You can have anything you want. Begin to believe in yourself and know that you can tell life what you want. You have every right in the world to proclaim what you desire without being a weirdo attempting to manipulate others as a way of getting it. This is all about asking for what you want from life rather than manipulating others as your go-to for getting what you want. This habit comes from parenting styles that disrespect the child and their own desires, many times shaming the child for wanting something and as with all of these unhealthy habits, you can train yourself to change.
Read my article on: How to Stop Being a Weirdo Manipulator
Harness the Power of Choice
Learn boundaries. Many people push back from this word called boundaries and believe me I understand why but nevertheless you’re going to need to learn how to state what you want and respect that desire. And at the same time you need to respect the boundaries of other people, the desires of other people. Stop taking shit from the people in your life and put your foot down. Stop taking shit from yourself. Stop crossing peoples boundaries and doing what you damn well know they don’t want you to do. If you’re not sure about this one, ask. Ask your partner if they actually want to have sex and don’t try to change their mind when they say no. You deserve to be treated with nothing but love and so do the people in your life. If you’re not getting what you want, maybe it’s time to let go of certain relationships you’ve been holding onto out of fear. Remember, you can have what you want, just maybe not from the one you’re pigeonholing.
Boundaries are not walls and if you’re someone who has a habit of throwing up walls and shutting people out when something you don’t like happens, you’ll need to learn how to be present, to listen, to not take on the projections of others while hearing them out. You have the ability to listen to another’s experience without making it your own. You have the ability to listen to feedback without taking it on as if it’s your truth, cause it’s probably not, your missing the point, feedback is about other people’s experience, not yours. Walls stem from fear in believing deep down that the only way to protect yourself is to cave yourself in behind an energetic wall. While this may work temporarily, long-term this creates awkward relationships, burning yourself out and people feeling like you shut them out, sometimes at the drop of a hat…which can be incredibly disheartening especially to someone who loves you.
Healthy boundaries come from a place of confidence in knowing who you are and what you expect from life. Healthy boundaries are flexible and by allowing them to be flexible you invite in intimacy and acceptance of the diversity of life. You allow others to have their unique personal experience while you’re having your own. Flexible yet firm lines in the sand is the goal, not walls.
We Are All One
If you’re someone that sees others as less-than you, you’re going to have to learn compassion. For you the path is realizing the oneness in all life and realizing that these people you are ‘othering’ are nothing but you in a different body, in a different lifetime. And remember, intellectually comprehending this is only the beginning, the goal should be to really, deeply, allow yourself to feel here. I have immense compassion for those out there with narcissistic habits. These are the people who need help the most and usually the last to admit it. However, when they do choose to face their shadows, they tend to be some of the strongest motivational leaders out there.
Learn to Feel
Yes, you will have to learn to feeeeeeeeeeeeeel. Your emotions exist for a reason and by avoiding them, by pushing them down and repressing them, you’re only creating a pressure cooker dynamic with yourself where eventually, life will trigger you and seemingly out-of-the-blue, your top is going to pop…. and it’s usually not pretty and can destroy relationships quickly. This can even get you in jail if you go overboard in certain situations. Feeling emotions is how we heal. No they’re not going to take you over and control your life if you do this responsibly (this only happens when you're purposely being a drama queen for attention which is common among people with lack-of-Self-Love traits, a form of weirdo manipulation). What you need is a container, something or someone that holds space for you while your kick and scream and cry your face off temporarily and purge. If you go into this with the intention that you’re purging, you’ll do just that, you’ll feel the emotions, eventually they subside and you move on with your life healed to the next level.
Stop Running Away & Face Your Shit, We've All Got It
Most people with any of the above habits tend to run away from themselves on a regular basis. They run from their shadows and they avoid, many times at all costs, facing themselves. They do this because it scares the shit out them to think of dealing with all the emotion, pain and past trauma that they intuitively know will come up if they do face themselves. They don't know how to work through their pain in a healthy manner simply because they've never been shown how to in a way that isn't dramatic and drawn out, in a way that is actually much easier than they make it to be in their minds. Maybe they think about their dramatic mother that they swore they would never be like and when they do, they run. People with narcissistic habits tend to 'drop bombs', throw up a wall, and run from their intimate relationships when things don't go how they want. "I'm taking my toys and going home!" "You hurt me (I won't admit it however) so now I'm going to punish you by taking back my love, throw up a wall up and run from you." ...most times they come back tho and the vicious cycle starts all over again.
And the biggest one of all, is learning to love yourself of course. I’m not talking about superficial love, I’m talking about real love. Love does not judge. Love does not discriminate. Love sees all as perfect and divine. Love sees value in all life, all experiences. When you truly love yourself you allow yourself to be imperfect, you allow yourself to go through lessons of growth and you see the contrast in life as just that – a lesson to learn what you truly desire, which tends to be the opposite of the contrast of course. How else do we learn what we want other than by experiencing the opposite? Be easy on yourself, we’re all going through our own stuff. You’re not that special. …but you are! We all are in our own ways!
Get Help on Multiple Levels
Get yourself some help. Find someone that you resonate with and find a way to work with them. Look for people who have transcended that which you wish to transcend. Seek those who are empowered and have left the victim story in the dust. Getting help from someone who still blames others is not going to help you at all. Seek the empowered teachers, the authentic ones who are in integrity with what they teach.
This Takes Work, Practice & Time
You can do this! I’m not going to sugar coat this and tell you it’ll be a breeze. This is some deep shadow work here but then again, it doesn’t have to be such a big deal. Chip away at it, take your time. Document your progress in a journal or something similar. Find an encouraging support network and get going today! Remember, this is all about habits and you can change your habits. You can teach yourself new tricks and you can heal. Creating new habits take time. Be easy on yourself. Be Dedicated and Don't Give Up!
My intention with this writing is to shed some light on this huge topic from a non-judgmental perspective and from outside of victim consciousness. This is by no means all inclusive and I’ve left a lot out on purpose. My hope is that through this writing you too can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and consciously choose to walk forward into more empowerment and love than you’ve ever known in this life.
I Love You. I See You for Who You Are and I Respect You for the Powerful Journey of Evolving You Are On.
Reach out to me if you feel I can be of further assistance to you.
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