Loving someone who cannot return our love is not easy to accept. When in a relationship with a narcissist, we often lie to ourselves in order to keep going. We lie to ourselves that things aren’t as bad as they really are. We do not want to accept that the person we fell in love with is not who we thought they were. No one wants to admit this. Why would we want to admit this without a fight? We have invested so much in this relationship. We do not want to believe that our soul mate is not real. We would rather exhaust every possible excuse or explanation we can before we admit this inconvenient truth to ourselves.
No matter how hard we try to fool the mind into thinking everything is ok, it knows the truth. The mind is amazingly powerful. We may try to avoid thinking about it by keeping ourselves busy with work or projects. We may even try to numb ourselves with drugs and alcohol, but at the end of the day, we know we’re lying to ourselves.
In order to keep the lie alive, you disconnect from yourself. You then begin to get angry with yourself for not being strong enough to face reality. Anger turned inward turns into depression. So now, not only are you miserable in your relationship, but you feel dead inside, angry and depressed.
“When one is pretending, the entire body revolts.“
~ Anais Nin
We cannot avoid reality. We have to be honest with ourselves. If not, we lose all trust in ourselves. We must "Get Real to Heal," as I like to say. When I finally got real and faced reality, it explained everything to me and gave me a second chance at life and love.
It is important to understand that the only closure you can possibly hope for in a relationship with a narcissist is the knowledge that this person is permanently disordered and disturbed. They will never change. You must accept them for who they are and all their limitations or move on and create a new life for yourself.
Whatever arises, we must not judge. We must not avoid. We must use everything that happens to us as a means for waking up. We must reverse our habitual pattern of trying to avoid pain by allowing ourselves to feel the moment and understand what it is we are meant to learn from it. We must stop looking for alternatives and cheat ourselves of the present moment.
Our modern culture has conditioned us to avoid pain and seek pleasure and to think only in terms of dualities or complete opposites. Instead of finding a balance, we are led to believe everything has to be either:
RIGHT OR WRONG
BLACK OR WHITE
FAIR OR UNFAIR
CERTAIN OR UNCERTAIN
....and here’s the biggest misconception that ruins our entire view of life:
PLEASURE OR PAIN
Yes, we are conditioned and programmed to think we can:
SEEK PLEASURE AND AVOID PAIN
Everything we do is centered around running from pain and enhancing pleasure. But guess what? Guess what is so fundamentally wrong with this?
And this lesson (besides learning to live in the moment) has changed my life and my attitude towards everything...
We cannot avoid pain. To think we can is ignorant. Yet, many of us spend our lives fooling ourselves to think we can. Suffering is part of the human condition. It is part of life. We lie to ourselves that everything is ok when it’s not. It is this behavior that keeps us stuck and dead inside.
"Pain and pleasure, like light and darkness, succeed each other."
~ Laurence Stern
We must accept that with pleasure comes pain and with pain comes pleasure. We must learn to live in the grey and stop trying to force certainty in life where there can be none. The more we deny our reality and lie to ourselves, the deeper we put ourselves in the dark.
Unfortunately, this is how many of us learned how to get through the tough times. We have learned to use denial as a coping mechanism. What we fail to realize is that the very method we thought was helping us is really killing us inside.
“God instructs the heart not by ideas, but by pains and contradictions.”
~ Jean Pierre De Caussade
When something hurts in life, we typically avoid it. We rarely think of it as something we are meant to learn from. In fact, we immediately try to find a way to get rid of the painful feeling and tell ourselves we will be happy when something else we’ve been waiting for happens.
We run away thinking we can avoid our reality, but what we don’t realize is:
NOTHING EVER GOES AWAY UNTIL IT HAS TAUGHT US WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW.
We can lie to ourselves or run all we want, but the lesson will keep returning in different forms and manifestations until we learn what it is trying to teach us about our reality. The very first noble truth the Buddha points out is that suffering is inevitable in human beings. It is part of the human condition. We cannot avoid it.
We must accept suffering and open our hearts to look at how weak we are being by trying to avoid it. Only then can we discover that the very thing that terrifies us is in fact a way for us to reconnect with our true self. Facing reality shows you who you are and what is true. Facing our fear and waking up tells us something about ourselves. We must get to know fear, become familiar and intimate with it. It teaches us something. When we stop running and don’t act out, repress or blame, we encounter our true self.
Unlike the Toxic Personality, engaging the ego is an OPTION for most of us. We must remember to let go of our ego and discipline ourselves not to escape reality. Instead, we must practice acceptance. The ego always feels threatened and always lives in a state of fear and want. Once you understand this, you can step out of it so you can get real, wake up and heal. Face your fear.
Surrender your ego! When we do not run, we discover our innermost essence. Whatever arises, we do not judge. Give up the idea that pain can be avoided and have the courage to relax with the reality of your situation.
Don’t avoid your personal experience thinking there’s something better out there. We must totally commit to our reality. Only then do we experience the world fully. We must stop thinking we can just run away. Only when we don’t hold back and prepare to escape, do we experience life and truly find ourselves. Commit to staying in the moment. Things become very clear when there is nowhere to escape.
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark: the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
To accept uncertainty and stay with it is the path to true awakening. Sticking with uncertainty and learning not to panic or run is the path to spirituality. Accepting that we cannot control everything and everyone around us is to let go of our ego. Being pre-occupied with our self-image, what others think of our success and failure is like being deaf and blind. We lose sight of what is important and that is our relationship with ourselves.
Embrace the moment and be open to what you are supposed to learn from it. Acknowledging that life is messy and never perfect is the first step to waking up and living in the moment. It allows us to discover our innermost essence. We must learn how to allow ourselves to stay in the moment and connect with the richness of it, the rawness of it, the tenderness of it and the pain of it.
“All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.”
~ Hellen Keller
When we don’t close off and let our hearts break, we not only find ourselves, but we discover our kinship with all beings. This is why our on-line forums are so powerful. Connecting with others on a level no one else can and in a manner that is so real and naked is life-changing. Together, we help each other face the truth. While this is painful, it is absolutely essential in order to heal. To me, this is the essence of waking up. Bochichista is a Buddhist term for a noble or awakened heart and describes this process beautifully.
We must not be afraid to feel. We must not be ashamed of the love and grief it invokes in us. I would rather feel pain and know I’m alive than feel nothing. We must take it all in. Let the pain of the world touch your heart and turn it into compassion for yourself and others. Only by doing this, do you realize what you are meant to learn from it all.