Im running a workshop this weekend and came across a wonderful quote from “Crossings the Soul’s river – A rite of Passage for Men”
It made me ponder on the elaborate fantasy world us limerents create!
And so my friend, who happens to be a psychotherapist tried to humor me
“We have to paint lines on our parking lot down at the office, Weve noticed that our patients are parking according to their diagnoses- Schizophrenics take up two spaces, Obsessives park so close to the next car they can’t open the door, paranoids always back in.”
He continued to talk. I dared to ask. ‘What is my diagnosis?” ‘You don’t want to know,” he said. -No, I really do want to know,” “Not now.” he responded, smiling wryly. “C’mon, you’re supposed to be my friend. Tell me the truth.’ -Okay,” he said with a slight pause, *you’re narcissistic.-
I asked what that meant—what that meant for me.
“Well, narcissists spend their lives trying to get people to mirror back approval. ‘They will do anything to get approval. Even adoration. The good ones actually construct whole environments that will feed them approval.” (Suddenly, I thought of my relationship with the congregation,) *Narcissists: “have thousands of tentacles that can pick up signals from their worlds- On each tentacle, thousands of sensors. And all these sensors are constantly working to pick up signs of approval.’ I took all of this in.
What do you do to cure narcissism? I asked. “Its a character disorder” he responded grimly. I don’t think can finally cure it, It comes from a wound, probably very early in life. You just have to know that you have that wound. Become conscious of how you try to fill the wound with mirrored approval. You tend to vacillate from being grandiose and being depressed. You’re always afraid of being humiliated, so you always have to make sure your smart, powerful, sexy, respectable. It’s a helluva s way to live and can miserable for those who try to live with you.
The challenge is to learn to live the edge of the wound rather than going into it all the time.