I’ve written a lot about Narcissists this year. Both my parents are Narcissists, and although I have been estranged by personal choice from them for over ten years, they returned into my life due to my father’s death which occurred at about this time last year. So much of what I have written is due to my needing to resolve issues in my life which stemmed from my past but were very relevant to the present.
I needed to unravel a Gordian Knot by slicing right through it with a sharp sword.
I needed to understand my story.
I needed to understand their story to better understand my story.
Narcissists live in a version of reality which makes myth and fairytale seem real. To them it is reality. And to those they suck into their story, myth and fairytale also become a reality. And every myth and fairytale has a dark side as well as a light side.
People often ask of themselves – Why do I attract Narcissists? – and – Why am I attracted to Narcissists?
The answer to both those questions, and many others which a relationship with a Narcissist and the ensuing confusion it evokes prompt, lies within your life story.
What is a life story?
The simplest way that I can think to explain it without going into copious amounts of words and quoting Jung, who centred a portion of his work around life stories and called them – Archetypes, is to point you towards a fairytale or film or book with which you have bonded with because when you discovered it, it explained your life to you. You connected with the main character, you felt you were the main character, and his or her life and the path it took showed you your life and the path which you are walking.
Sometimes our stories evolve, change, and mature. You go from being Harry Potter to perhaps being Neo in the Matrix. You go from being Tom Sawyer on his adventure to Perseus on his quest. You go from being Cinderella to being Bella Swan. You go from being Alice in Wonderland to Persephone being abducted from her innocence and inducted to the dark underworld and being made its Queen.
Finding your story is quite easy, you already know it and are thinking about it right now, figuring out what it means is the hard part, especially if your reason for finding out is because you want to change your script.
Changing your script is not always possible, even if Life Gurus claim it is using the power of will. The power of will is predominantly reliant on the mind. The mind is one portion of your whole self. Your conscious mind thinks it is all powerful as long as it ignores the subconscious, but the subconscious often reminds the conscious mind how ineffectual it is at times – Try breaking a habit and keeping it broken for a long period of time or forcing a change which all of you is not ready to make.
New Year’s resolutions show you just how much you need all of you to want something to happen, and how much the mind has control over the rest of you. The mind can keep control as long as all is quiet everywhere else within you and in your life, add a stressful incident to the perfect self control you have going on and it all starts to quiver and shake and fall apart as though you’ve been targeted by a personal earthquake.
What is the average duration of a New Year’s resolution? What is the average time it takes for your life to pick up momentum after the holiday break?
I’m not saying it can’t be done…
Narcissists are proof that self control and living by mind power alone is possible. Some illusions and stories can be maintained for a long time, even a lifetime, as long as you disown the rest of you.
Want to understand a Narcissist – figure out their story. They have one, probably based on a fairytale, a myth, or a super hero. They’re trying to make it real because it is real to them. And they have probably told you exactly what it is. My mother had an obsession with mermaids – the myth of Circe in particular. My father identified with the main protagonist of the book – The Tin Drum – a child who refused to grow up and became a despotic brat.
Want to understand yourself – find your story and understand it.
My favourite fairytale as a child, I’ve had quite a few, but the one which hit the deepest chord was – Salt Over Gold. It’s a Russian tale about a little girl who gets disowned by her family because she tells her father, when he asks his daughters to describe their love for him, that she loves him more than salt. This offends him… until many years later when his kingdom is suffering because all the salt has vanished, then he realises the worth of her statement. That tale to me wasn’t about proving my love to my father, but it was about seeing the value in things which are often overlooked because they are such an intrinsic part of everyday life and we take them for granted and don’t value them as much as things which are scarce.
Of course you’ll probably find you have more than one story which is a part of your life story. Your life story is rich and deep and multi-layered.
The image which I coupled with this post is a scan from a book I bought in a secondhand bookshop – Psychology and Kabbalah by Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi. I was curious about Kabbalah and I love psychology. I was staring at the pile of books on my desk and noticed this one which I haven’t looked at in a while and when I opened it, it was at the page on which this chart was displayed. So… it is a randomly unrandom connection to the thoughts which inspired this post.
This image also includes Jung archetypes and astrology, both of which I love and have explored and have used to better understand myself and others.
One of the things I enjoy about astrology is the mythological side of it. How by using astrology you can apply ancient myths and archetypes to your personal chart and see their influences upon you. And I decided to post the chart for those, who like me, like to explore different perspectives.
Sometimes all your life needs to breathe fresh air into it and you is a new view of something old. To appreciate the salt and value it as more precious than gold.