Spiritual-Adulting, Narcissism, and FGOs
August is an important month for me. Seven years ago, on August 1st, I made the
move to get out of a 16 year relationship with a narcissist. I think of that date as my personal Independence Day. And it was so much more than that.
Making that move, was the first step toward becoming a more emotionally and spiritually mature adult. I say "more" because as long as we're alive there is always room for growth!
It was my midwife, a wise woman indeed, who said to me that he was a narcissist. She wasn't saying it in a mean way, but in the calm clinical sense of the word.
At the time I had no understanding of what the word narcissist meant beyond someone being full of himself, but as I researched the topic, I felt like Neo after he took the red pill in The Matrix. My reality was crumbling. It was scary, but at the same time, my awareness was expanding and it started to make sense - all of the insanity I had been experiencing.
At the root of Narcissism is emotional immaturity, but the same is true for it's counterpart - codependency.
It's amazing how this dynamic plays out in our culture. Whether it's promoting a grandiose facade through social media, or needing the approval of others, the self-centric focus and projection of our shadow-self onto others makes for some serious imbalances
I consider myself a recovering codependent, but as I said to my midwife after I gained my independence, "I'm working on increasing my emotional intelligence." She approved.
As a new mother, I found it fascinating that people would talk about babies needing to learn to self-soothe, when most adults around me didn't know how to do it.
I was learning.
Increasing your emotional intelligence and spiritual-adulting means having the tools to come back to your center.
I was taking responsibility for my feelings and not relying on anyone else to make me feel better, taking care of my "stuff" as to not project my unfinished business onto someone else, creating better boundaries - to end the abuse.
Babies need to feel safe, and to have their needs met in order to survive, children still rely on the adults around them to help them navigate tumultuous emotions. As spiritually mature adults, we are willing to take, as Gay Hendricks would say - 100% responsibility for our part in this co-creation. As spiritually mature adults there is no blame - no victim.
Perhaps the worst possible place for the dance between narcissism and codependency to take place is with our children. Our children are not responsible for making us happy, nor is it a parents job to make our children happy.
A friend once said to me, "It's not your job to make her happy." - referring to my daughter - "It's your job to ensure she has the skills required to cope with life."
This really struck a chord with me because I was aware that in some ways I was attempting to compensate for what I felt was a less than ideal situation. I would give in and not set appropriate boundaries with my daughter in attempt to make her happy.
To hear that it wasn't my job to make her happy made me feel as if I was "let off the hook." To all the parents out there - we can never guarantee our children a life of happiness, but we can teach them tools to handle life's ups and downs.
It's natural to experience growth and expansions, and it's opposite - decomposition and contraction. We live in a life of contrast.
I really feel, as Joseph Campbell said, we are all on the Hero's Journey. We all have the potential to rise above obstacles and be the hero of our own lives.
It's been a hard lesson, but I've learned to view the obstacles in my life as opportunities. It was all just another FGO - Another Freakin Growth Opportunity.
If we are to be in the game, creating life as art, our obstacles provide the rich medium for growth.
It is said that growth only happens outside your comfort zone. The bud, by the imprinting of life-force energies, is forced to bloom.
All around us and coming from within, is this creative life-force energy. If we can see ourselves as we truly are, all perceived obstacles dissolve, as we rise to the next level of our lives. In that space, opportunities abound.
Imagine the same creative life-force energy that forces a flower to bloom in
perfect divine order, working in our world, and in our lives
The atrocities we see, are they not a wake up call to collectively overcome the obstacles of our time? The opportunity is for humanity to really embody the higher, heart-knowing that to hurt another, to hurt the Earth, is to hurt the self.
That is growth.
The Hawaiian healing art of Ho'oponono asks the question, what in me allowed this to be mirrored in the outside world? Instead of pointing the finger, taking 100% responsibility for this collective co-creation - that is spiritual-adulting, the opposite of narcissism, obstacles turned into opportunities for growth.