So with that clarity a question was raised. If I have faith, which I definitely do, that I will be ok, that I will be safe, regardless what life throws my way because I have returned home to my unborn Buddha mind. If I know that my childhood and adult life have on balance indeed been good, filled with much love and friendship, and that I have lived my life well because I have offered others joy and made a difference in people’s lives. And if I am happy and content in the present because I have released all desires that my life be any different than it is right now at this moment … then why was I still walking around most of the day with a frown on my face, or more accurately with my facial muscles in serious repose, not feeling any joy?
As you know, this question of my habitual frown has been something I have sat with many times over at least the past 6 or 7 years. yes, there are things I can do, everything from Thich Nhat Hanh’s mouth yoga to conjuring up my smiling toddler and radiating loving kindness to all around me and saying “hello,” that will result in my facial muscles turning into a smile and my feeling a lightness come over me, free of burdens. But as soon as I’m distracted from such purposeful activity, the frown returns.
In the days since I reclaimed my story, I have numerous times said to myself, when I was aware of my frowning facial muscles, “Why not smile?” And I did. “After all,” I said to myself, “I know I’ve lived a good life, I am happy and content with the present, and I know that I will be ok in the future regardless what life throws my way.” It was something so easy to do, and yet it still wasn’t my default facial expression. Why?
The other morning while meditating the answer came to me in a flash of realization … I had been subjected to Narc physical and mental abuse/attacks when I was a child and as an adult. To protect myself, my ego-mind had closed myself off from others; I erected a wall of protection that I only opened when I felt someone could be trusted. My facial muscles were habitually in a frown because I never knew when the next attack would come and so it was very difficult for me to truly relax and be present; and I felt isolated.
Since most of you know nothing about Narcs, I need to back up and explain. Narcs are people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), a mental condition recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is not the simple narcissist we are familiar with who looks at him- or herself in the mirror too frequently to admire himself or thinks he’s great. This is someone pathological who is dangerous to themselves and others: 1) has significant impairments in personality function such as exaggerated self-appraisal and requires excessive admiration to support self-esteem; 2) impairment in interpersonal function such as a lack of empathy; relationships are largely superficial and exist to serve self-esteem; little genuine interest in others; exploits others for personal gain; 3) pathological personality traits such as antagonism and grandiosity, believing one is better than others; condescending, arrogant, haughty; excessive attempts to attract the attention of others.
But these clinical words don’t really convey the danger that Narcs pose. They are evil, they have lost their humanity. They are the devil incarnate. Extreme words, I know, but believe me. One of the things they do is look for people who have the light, who are empaths, to either destroy them out of envy or steel their light. They suck the life out of people. They are very similar to vampires.
When I had previously thought about the abusive experiences in my life, I had not made much of them. I knew they had been demeaning, humiliating, but I didn’t understand their impact on me. I had moved on with my life, after all, and made a success of it. I thought they occurred because I was different; it was because there was something wrong with me. Even when I began becoming familiar with the modus operandi of Narcs, I made no connection with my life.
But that morning it all fell into place and made sense. When I was a child, the smiling toddler I saw in the photos of me, I was filled with light and joy. My father used to refer to me as “my sunshine.” My mother wrote in my baby book that I was always in good humor; never a problem.
When I thought about how I came to lose this state of joy, I had contributed it mostly to problems I had with my father, feeling unloved by him. And secondarily, to feeling different from my peers and being treated differently by some. But now I know that while those experiences certainly had an impact, the primary negative impact on my life came from my reaction to those childhood abusive experiences.
Thus, even after as a result of my spiritual work I loved myself unconditionally, believed I would be ok, safe, regardless what life threw my way, was content in the present, and knew I had lived a good life … I was not able to shake off the discipline of not being open to people, to abandon my wall. I continued to be isolated in so many ways, whether it was not being friendly to wait staff or cashiers or not responding to people who approached me. I felt separated from others and I was on guard; this negativity enveloped my every moment.
I watched a video afterwards about how people of light can protect themselves from the psychic attack of Narcs or other predators. The answer is to always be in touch with the joy that is you, with the positive energy in your heart. That then creates a forcefield around you that no negativity can penetrate.
Interestingly, readers of my blog will remember that some time ago I wrote that when I conjured up my smiling toddler and radiated loving-kindness to all, I felt like a forcefield was created that no negativity, no emotion from my ego-mind, could penetrate. I instinctively knew what I learned in the video. And that reinforced my faith.
Now that I have embraced what really happened to me, now that I have embraced how I reacted to those experiences, I feel relieved of the power those experiences had over me. The internal struggle is gone. I feel a lightness, my facial muscles have begun to relax, not just for a few moments, but for days.
We must always remember to listen to our bodies. My facial muscles told me that something was not right. It just took me a while to figure out what the problem was … or actually that it was several things. First, I thought I was filled with “what-if’s,” I feared the future, and so I found the ability to be one with my heart and know that I will be ok, safe, regardless what life throws my way. Next, I thought that it was the ambience of my past, its heaviness, that was the problem, and so I healed my inner child and in the process discovered that my childhood and life was in reality not heavy; it was filled with love and friendship.
Finally, it was revealed to me that I had been the victim of Narc attacks and that as a result I both lived not knowing when or from whom the next attack would come and had closed myself off from others and suffered from the isolation. Since this aspect had not be realized earlier and therefore had not been embraced, I now opened my heart and embraced those experiences and my reaction and was able in all respects to be one with my heart and its positive energy and joy throughout the day, knowing that positive energy will protect me from any negativity directed at me.
I am at peace, and in the days since this revelation at last filled with a lightness of spirit. I am one with my heart. I take pleasure in each passing moment.