If you grew up with narcissistic parents, you might have spent years pleasing them—only to discover you haven’t listened to your own heart. Narcissistic parents want to see their own reflection in their child, so they impose their standards on them. The ACoN* wants their parent’s love so they listen to the narc’s heart instead of listening to their own. The first step away from narcissistic abuse is to listen to your own heart.
If you grew up in a Religious Narcia, you might have been told to NOT listen to your heart. Some Christians say this based on a Bible verse, but they forgot to read the rest of the verses that tell how much God Cares About Your Heart. It’s no secret that the human race has a heart problem and no one knows this better than ACoNs who have spent years trying to get love from a stony heart. Jesus even describes the heart problem of a narcissist:
For the hearts of these people are hardened,
and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.
All things are possible with God. Jesus longs to heal even a narcissist, but a narc has to want it. The damage of selfishness in the narcissistic soul might keep them from turning to God to be healed, but this doesn’t describe the heart of an ACoN.
ACoNs are more likely to accept healing from God because they have open eyes, ears and hearts. The heartfelt empathy that is often manipulated by the narcissist facilitates healing because it allows ACoNs to connect with God and other people. If we are open to Him, God promises to give us a new heart:
And I will give you a new heart,
and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take out your stony,
stubborn heart and give you
a tender, responsive heart.
Once God puts His Spirit in you, He wants you to listen to your new heart. This is the heart that shows you how to love other people, tells you when something is wrong and helps you figure out what’s missing in your life.
The Spirit in your new heart might tell you to help someone in need, while other times it might warn you about helping a narcissist. Jesus tells us to love our enemies, but He doesn’t ask us to give narcs all of our money or let them ruin our health. Throughout the Bible, God holds people responsible for their abilities. We would be terrible stewards if we allowed the narcissist to manage our resources and gamble them away.
God fills our new hearts with discernment and wisdom. Listening to your heart can help you create art, write poetry and make music, but if it was up to the narcissist you wouldn’t do anything of these things. You might have noticed the narcissist is often at odds with your heart—this is because the narc has his own selfish agenda.
He might pretend to care because he wants something from you, he might say he loves you when he wants your money, but the narcissist is incapable of having a relationship. He is so consumed with getting what he wants and protecting his reputation that he has no capacity to care about anyone but himself.
Until the narcissist allows God to give him a new heart, his plans for your life cannot be trusted. And most people who have dealt with narcissists will tell you he will never change. Meanwhile you have a new heart and it would be a crime against God to listen to the narc’s heart above your own. God gave you an open and empathetic heart to care, create and share—don’t let the agenda of the narcissist keep you from listening to your heart.
*ACoN–Adult Children of Narcissists