I have written quite a few times on the topic of Narcissism in this blogroll. It often seems as if there is no hope with family members whether they are Narcissistic or not. We give up with people in our family because they don’t fit the lifestyle we have created as an adult (as a surviving mechanism), which we feel is much saner. Sometimes we have to hang around family members we don’t like to be around those we do. I have given tips on here, in the past articles about Narcissism, to help cope with this. There is even more to it than that.
It has to come from you though, solely. This isn’t an easy task to take on, especially when you feel exhausted already from trying to “change” them. Gandhi said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” This was easy for him to say because he was a philosopher and was already living this mantra when it came out of his mouth. In this age of “awareness” we see it on many people’s email signatures or people constantly quote it and misquote it about as easily as we used to say “dysfunctional.” It is the new buzz phrase that we want to say to make us sound good and loving and aware.
The Buddhists have an additional phrase “To know and not to use, is to not know.”
So we, as family consciousness builders, need to sit with ourselves in meditation and listen to our higher conscious to find out what the heck Gandhi’s phrase means in our life.
I will give you some hints in the meantime, while you are in contemplation.
1. Let go of your ego. Let go of needing something from someone. Get your needs met from yourself. If you don’t need something from someone, they can’t take it away from you.
2. Be patient and be silent. As you begin this process of changing the inner self, be quiet and wait. Only talk when you know that you are coming from a loving place. This does not mean “I am only saying this because I love you.” It means waiting till your higher conscious tells you to speak and then you speak from the soul, not the ego. Your inner voice never makes mistakes and it comes when you least expect it. If you hear yourself talking, that is you. The inner voice talks only when you keep quiet.
3. Ask your higher power, God, Goddess, how you can be a better person, not how can they become a better person. LISTEN. The answers will come from places unexpected. The radio, TV, friends, psychotherapists, spiritual leaders and even family. Yes, the people who annoy you the most are giving you answers that we often ignore. They are saying “I love you” in the craziest ways.
4. Set boundaries with people around you. Especially with those that you love. If it means you don’t hear from someone you love for a year or two, then you go on with your life and continue to feel love for them and work on yourself in the meantime. Every time something cruel wants to come out of your mouth – because you just have to get your word in – because you have been patient long enough – just breathe. Saying nothing is more potent than saying something. In the meantime, breathe long slow breaths – Not loud sighs that everyone can hear. Just slow…breaths.
Eventually love, boundaries, patience and being silent find results. The more you focus on being the change, rather than waiting for them to change, the more love that will come into your life. These are just hints though. Listen to your higher consciousness and wait for the answers.