So last year you discovered you were raised by a narcissist. You also discovered the narcissist will never see it, will never agree with you about this and of course will never change. Knowing this brought a sense of peace because now you no longer need to jump through hoops to play a game you can never win. You’ve survived the holidays with your loving spouse, a good friend and a couple of pets, but now what?
It’s the end of the year–time to remember and release. It’s time to clean out the closets and give back everything you don’t need. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need more guilt trips, shame or arguments about who I am and what I believe and how I choose to live my life.
Of course we are speaking of all the non-material junk dumped on us by critical, judgmental, narcissistic people. It’s not like taking a sweater the wrong size back to the store. At first it seems there is nowhere to take it, so we hold it all inside wondering how to absorb the pain.
Remember those twin towers on 911? They imploded because they could only hold so much stress. People implode differently, we can only hold in so much heartbreak and stress and if we don’t figure out how to let go, we will eventually crash. Many have paid with their health, but narcissistic relationships are not worth paying for with your health, so it’s time to remember and release.
You can call up the narc and complain or demand an apology, but if you are dealing with a bonafide narc, you already know that won’t happen.
You can play the victim and whine to your friends and spouse (whining and telling your messy story are two completely different things) and be depressed, but then you’d be giving that narc even more power to ruin your life.
You can defend yourself and try to correct all the lies the narc spread about you to friends and family, but the truth is your true friends already know the truth and the others don’t care.
You can also join the narc in beating yourself up and giving negative messages to yourself, but ouch, why even go there?
So where is the line for narc returns? Where in the world do we give all this crap back? Not to a store. Not to a friend or spouse, and certainly not to the narc. A few Christians will say give it to Jesus, but to date no one has actually shown me what that looks like. (My pastor friend Sarah Dickerson taught me to invite Jesus into the mess. I like that much better.)
We remember and release. It’s a lot like catch and release if you like fishing. Don’t be scared of what you will find in the past. If you invite Jesus into the past, He will sort through this mess with you. If you don’t do religious stuff, you can still go through the spiritual practice of remember and release.
Maybe it’s been awhile since you cleaned out your closets, if so, you might need to go back to 1999. But no matter how far you need to go back, remember and release will make room for a better year in 2015.
- You can journal. Last year, I took an art journaling course from Brene Brown that was really fun and healing. This opened me up to taking more art classes on line and I found profound healing through art.
- You can write a letter to the narc and tell them how much they hurt you and mail it in a bonfire. Remember the narc doesn’t care how you feel so this part of release is important, but don’t mail it to your narc parents or ex-lover. This is so you can acknowledge what happened and forgive yourself for letting them do this to you.
- You can also write out your messy story—telling our stories heals us and it also heals others. It’s good to know we are not alone.
Whether you tell your story, journal or make art, if you are a Christian, Jesus can show you how He is different from the narcs and where He was leading you all along. If you are not religious, you can still find gratitude for your journey with different signs along the way where the universe or karma was bringing you to a better place. Someone is watching out for you despite the pain. Open your eyes to the journey.
Remember and Release has nothing to do with forgetting. As a matter of fact when we journal, make art or tell our stories, it helps us remember better and re-frame so the healing can begin.
After you clean out the closet of your heart from all the junk the narc dumped on you, chances are there will be a big empty hole left where the hopes and dreams you had once resided. That’s okay, it just leaves more room for new people and better dreams.
It’s time to start dreaming now how to make 2015 a better year. What have you always dreamed of doing? How can you live a better story?
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
I also think it’s time for a new drawing. If you leave a comment or share this blog on FB, I will add you to a drawing for a set of Healing Flowers cards to give you some encouragement in the new year. Happy dreaming!