*The Shackles of Un-Love
No man is free who is a slave to himself.
Not being able to love is a bondage. It’s a bondage to hate and rage, and in the end, grief. The problem here is that perhaps there wasn’t a lot on the menu when the narcissist you know was growing up. Love wasn’t served. Being required to perform, being plastic, appearing to be picture perfect…THAT is what they received instead of true, authentic love. And being praised for meeting those external demands resulted in what is called “operant conditioning”, meaning they were basically trained to have a performance based value system.
When you look at the cells of the body, you find that they have receptor sites for different things that the cell needs to function. Being somewhat familiar with biology, I thought it would be a good idea to apply vitamin D topically, since it’s so important to the body, I thought the skin would benefit too- that is until an instructor mentioned that there are no vitamin d receptors in the cells that make up our skin. So applying this goo topically would be of absolutely NO benefit.
I liken this to the way that you can try to apply love to someone who has no receptors for it. It doesn’t “take”. It remains meaningless. It’s a waste.
I have also thought that perhaps- those of us who have not been “taught” love- having this void in us, we interpret it as evil- when maybe it is just lack. But if it’s lack, who is responsible for filling that lack? Who is responsible for filling the lack of others (and we watch those who appear to have it all- love, comfort, a place to really call home). Also- lack is a vacuum. If there is no love, only darkness can fill the void. I think it’s important to note here that maybe- as Robin Williams told Matt Damon in the movie Good Will Hunting: “It’s not your fault”. It IS, however, your fault- when you start to actively feed the beast of destruction inside of you and choose to inflict pain on others out of some sort of cosmic revenge plan on Fate, or God for enjoyment and indulgence in a temporary emotional killing spree.
I remember a time when I threw myself away… I didn’t fit anywhere. No one seemed to care. blah blah blah. I often wonder if that’s the exact feeling that those who cannot love get when they turn the corner and veer into the abyss of hate and destruction.
What you believe about yourself..this is IMPORTANT. We used to believe in genetic determinism- that our genetic code determined our fate. We are now learning that the WAY and that WHAT that we think switches certain genetic switches on or off in our genes that either support wellness or illness. When you believe something about yourself, you tend to act on that belief. Therefore, if I believe I am evil- I am evil (or I end up being evil). There is no reason to believe otherwise. And if I believe that, I may as well do it up right.
I once had a friend who I tried to extend love and friendship to. Actually, I didn’t even have to try. I cared about him very much. I did what authentic people do. I showed up. Every day. I was good company. I was funny. We had a good time- it was like being kids (because that’s how I roll). And then he dumped me. He didn’t or couldn’t value what I had to offer. He had to go find what was next, and that’s fine (it sucked) but I’m still not sure what he is looking for. I think in the end, he just didn’t have the receptors for what I had to offer (like actual honest kindness and concern).
Perhaps some of us have been given the insurmountable task of loving those who are bent on destruction. This does not mean that we are to stay in the line of fire. What this means is that this cosmic injustice of being “unloved” is made right, in the here and now. It means that they have someone rooting for them, if we can get our pain and ego out of the way. For some of us, the destruction is too great and there is no choice but to flee, and this is understandable. But perhaps- just perhaps- this great and unfathomable love we have is meant to serve a greater purpose than achieving our earthly comfort. Even Jesus himself said that he had no place to lay his head. When someone we love decides to go all prodigal, it destroys our hearts and our homes as well. We don’t have the story we wanted. But if you believe that this existence is temporary, then maybe we are to be praying for something past this existence. Maybe we are supposed to be praying for the blindness of our fellow man- because this blindness is going to lead them into an eternity of pain that they already exist in now.
It seems, for some narcissists, that the driving force for them is to matter. And they will use whatever means it takes for this to happen, even if it’s simply being an insurmountable force of destruction, because let’s face it… tornadoes matter. Tornadoes get people’s attention. Most of the time, it means that they will set up a scenario of the tornadic destruction of another because it makes them Godlike and this makes them matter. Very much. I feel like it’s a form of power/revenge over the a God who appears to have abandoned or neglected the narcissist somehow. I think that’s what is at the root of it all. When man has power over creation, they feel as if it’s the ultimate power a human can have. Interestingly, this is not true because man cannot conquer the spirit when the spirit is bent on victory. And mine totally is.