Where did you go? No, not the ‘you’ who’s reading this now. The ‘you’ who fell in love with your narcissist. Do you remember the beautiful, carefree spirit that everyone thought was so amazing? You know who I’m talking about: the person that walked into a room and quickly either became the focus of attention or the social butterfly effervescently flitting about from this person and conversation to that, the spritely person with whom everyone was eager to engage. Where did those mesmerizing smiles go? The sparkling glint in your eye that effortlessly beamed in the darkness? Where did the jovial laugh and hearty laughter go? The joy, the indomitable wit and witticisms, the curious, questioning, inquisitive, always eager-to-explore ‘you’ who attracted your narcissist to you in the first place. Where did the ‘you’ who’s truly you, go?
Let’s be honest; you, the you that is truly ‘you,’ the person who loved your narcissist, left with them. And in their stead remains a very scared, scarred, and hurting person. I can’t stress this enough: don’t hurry your healing. As we addressed in last month’s New Year’s post, Rise from the Ashes, when we hurry healing, we invariably miss the necessary gnammas on the road to recovery where we absolutely must stop, taking much-needed time to reflect both inwardly and outwardly, whether it’s to rest and rejuvenate for the night, for a week, a month, or even longer, allowing ourselves to grieve for as long as our heart and our soul needs. We must accept that grieving is the most critical ingredient in healing, an ingredient that should never be used sparingly just because each bite leaves the bitter aftertaste of a much-cherished something we have lost. And as unsavory a meal as it is, albeit a single helping or a banquet fit for a usurped king or queen, we must finish this meal that has been placed before us lest we find ourselves returning time-and-time again, wondering why we can never truly leave this table.
Answer this question for me: do you feel that the love you held for your narcissist was genuine, sincere; unconditional? I’m willing to wager the answer is a resounding regret-filled, “Yes.” This grief you are now feeling is the love you once felt for your narcissist, only that love has collapsed in upon itself – an unconditional love that is now ubiquitous pain. Give the grief born of that love the attention for which it’s begging. And once you have paid your respects, give it the dignified burial it deserves and continue on your journey of healing. Until you do so, its specter will haunt your every dream, its shadow will follow your every step, and its voice will echo in every silent tear that drips from your chin or is wiped away with trembling hands. You gave someone a love that they had never before known because they helped you awaken a love that you had never before known was within you. The fact that they were undeserving of that love is now a moot point. So leave the doors and windows into and out of your heart and soul open. Allow that pain to flow freely into and out of you, but don’t serve it tea – it’s not your guest, it won’t be staying – it does not need to be hosted or entertained, but it does need to be acknowledged because it is of you.
My beautiful, you carried so much love in your heart and you gave it all to your narcissist. When did you ever give yourself even the smallest morsel of that same banquet you gave in spades and so freely to someone who was both undeserving and unappreciative? Don’t you think it’s about time you gave that gift to someone who would not only appreciate it, but cherish it? Yes, I’m talking about you. And, yes. That may sound a bit cliché, but think about it, if you keep waiting for someone else to give you the love that you so eagerly desire to share with them, when are you going to be loved the way that you love? The way that you long to be loved? Here’s the thing: the love you give is equal to the love you yearn to receive, with a depth and breadth that no one but you can encompass or surpass. That is the love you give. And that is the love whose warm embrace your heart craves to be nestled within.
Let me guess, “Who would want me?” Is that what you’re thinking? My beautiful, it’s not that you are unloveable. It’s that you don’t feel worthy of being loved. And there is such a monstrous difference between the two. One is a mentality, the other is a reality. Our narcissist isn’t loveable, and yet we loved them! You, on the other hand, are not only loveable, you are capable of giving great love as well as worthy of receiving that same great love. So grieve. Weep rivers of tears! “Lacrimosa,” from the Latin, meaning to weep or lament tearfully.
Then leave this place and continue on your journey of healing. This is not your destination. It never was. It is merely a painful breve in an unfinished symphony your heart is still writing. There are still so many mellifluous notes yet to be written. And somewhere out there is the one person for whom your symphony will be the most dulcet, euphonious sound to ever touch their heart and caress their soul. You are capable of giving great love. And, more importantly, you are worthy of receiving great love.