Sometimes, when empaths are on a journey toward empowerment, it’s easy for us to question our own actions as we move through the phases. You might have even wondered if you’ve reverted to full blown narcissism and wondered where all of your empathy had gone! Oh no!
Recently I read an article posted on the internet (it must be true, right?) that really ruffled my feathers. It was titled “Are You a Empathic Narcissist?”
The article made some really great points about empaths not always being empathetic. It’s true, we’re not! We actually need to be a little narcissistic every now and then so that we can show more empathy when we’re called to - and we’re not already drained and tired.
Then the article went on with a laundry list of traits that mean you’re a narcissistic empath. Note that the verbiage was changed from Empathic Narcissist to Narcissistic Empath… two very different things, one would think.
The list was brutal. You can look it up if you want! I don’t even want to share it out of compassion to prevent you having the same reaction that I did - which was a state of being relentlessly fear-mongered and saying “OMG am I a narcissist?” Now, I laugh at this reaction, because I actually see how ridiculous it is.
Rather, I’d like to step into what I think is a better way of dealing with this type of negative self reflection we can experience. I’ll give you the why and the how.
The why behind questioning our narcissistic behaviors is for a few reasons. First, we’re often exposed to the actions of those we attract, including narcissists who feed off of our energy, and we become concerned because we know just how horrible it felt to be on the receiving end. The reality is, we become like the people we hang around. It’s completely natural for us to learn their behavior and totally human of us to try it on for size.
Secondly, during the process of becoming empowered, it’s common for the pendulum to swing the other direction. We spend so long being a receptacle that we start wondering what it feels like to be on the other side. We might be bitter. We might be impatient and tired. When the wound begins to heal, it has to scab over first.
So, while we’re still moving through the stages it can seem like we’re narcissists for a time. We may become self-centered, but it’s because we think it’s necessary to protect ourselves. We might even become vicious and self-serving as we safeguard our raw soul. We think we need to, and we might be right.
Once we have a chance to heal, and let the wound become a shiny remnant of our experiences, we ourselves learn how to shine in spite of the trials we’ve endured. We learn to have more grace, less anger, and live in equanimity.
In the end, we need to remember that it’s OK to be a bit narcissistic sometimes. It’s ok to think we’re important, and to value our superpower, and to feel unique, and still to understand that everyone is important, everyone has superpowers, and we are all unique.
It doesn’t make you any less awesome if you need to take some time to do something you love instead of serving others. As a matter of fact, doing so will make you even more effective when you decide it’s time to serve.
Stop asking yourself if you’re a narcissist or an empath. We’re all both, to some degree. Instead, start to flow with your feelings and forgive yourself for any perceived shortcomings. You are phenomenal.
A NEW SELF-TALK RECIPE TO TRY
From my (vegan) kitchen to yours:
RECIPE FOR: Loving Your Journey Toward Becoming an Empowered Empath
PREP TIME: However long it takes your wounds to heal.
COOK TIME: Been cookin’ your whole life, girl.
Give yourself space and time to recover from all you’ve been through. What you’ve experienced in your life is not to be minimized. You are a magnificent person. The things you have endured have been meaningful in bringing you to where you are now, and now is all you have.
Look at your experiences with forgiving eyes. Don’t judge yourself too harshly, but have awareness to grow through your mistakes and wins.
Sort out what belongs to you and what doesn’t. Do this with your emotions first, then with your personality. Are you being who you want to be, or are you adapting to what you’ve learned?
Be nice to yourself. Stop judging every little thought and action for whether or not it is appropriate. Tell yourself nice things, and the angry little girl inside will calm down once she feels truly loved by you.
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