Somewhere in Religious Narcia, a narcissist started the rumor that anything with the word self in it is selfish. They claim individuality is wrong so only those who give up self for group-think are morally right. This fallacy isn’t biblical and comes from black and white thinking–or rather no thinking at all, since it’s merely a repetition from the accuser of the brethren to steal our God given uniqueness.
We live in a universe where every snowflake and flower is a one and only. Yet Narc parents want to steal their child’s distinctiveness. In Religious Narcia, people are often told to train their child in a certain way to make them conform. Narc parents take this personally because they view their child as an extension of themselves. What could be more selfish than stealing someone’s individuality? But that’s exactly what Narcissistic parents do.
The saying on this art has touched a tender part of my soul, but I still haven’t found the author. When I created this piece I was making it for myself. It’s a reminder that it’s not wrong to be myself despite what I have been told all my life about selfishness.
I was not surprised to find comments about selfishness coming from several directions. My guess is that such comments come from several sources–narcs who want to use us and how selfish is that? Flying monkeys who repeat what the narc says without thinking about it. And then there are the religious people who over spiritualize everything and miss the point.
My guess is the latter group is not made up of people struggling as ACoNs* so they just don’t get it, but if they would apply some empathy and try to imagine what it was like to grow up with a parent who wants to control you day and night, they might understand a little better.
The point of such a statement is that Narc parents suck the individuality out of their children. Even after they leave home, “Narents” push their religious beliefs and political agendas on their adult children because they still see their child as their mirror. They want to see their own reflection in their children instead of accepting and loving them for who they are. Narc parents would rather destroy their adult child’s sense of self rather than know them for who God created them to be.
And it’s not just Narents who do this–sometimes it’s a narcissistic spouse. The warped Christianity of Religious Narcia suggests it’s selfish to be yourself when others wish for you to change, but nothing could be further from God’s design. Here are the facts from the Bible:
- You were created in God’s image (Gen 1:2,27).
- God planned all the days of your life (Psalm 139:16).
- You existed in the mind of God (Eph. 1:4).
- God has plans for who you will become (Jer. 1:5).
- You have your own unique gifts (1 Cor. 12:14-22).
Jesus said to love our enemies, but any request that requires us to act without freedom is not love. Caving to please a bully is not love because it neither serves us, nor the bully and it certainly doesn’t glorify God. Sometimes we need to use tough love even with our enemies.
As children of God, our first responsibility in serving Him is to be who He created us to be. If we fail to express our individuality, we shun the gift God gave to this world when He created us. When the flying monkeys descend and accuse us of not honoring our parents, we need to remind them our first Parent is always to be honored above our earthly parents. It helps when we distinguish our Heavenly Parent from our earthly parents.
The biggest threat to an ACoN’s individuality comes from the narcissist who wants to use them for narcissistic feed. The big conflict for many ACoNs comes down to whether they will be who the narc wants them to be–or step into the individuality that God has given them. It’s sometimes hard to take a stand but we have to remember we are not their kind of people. God can’t use us if we shun His design for our lives because we are trying to please others.
So NO, self-care is NOT selfish. Self-respect is NOT selfish. Self-control is NOT selfish and sometimes the hardest self-control ACoNs struggle with is to be themselves. Without our authentic selves, we have nothing. Self-love is NOT even selfish because love begins with understanding who we were designed to be so we can recognize what we have to share with the world.
To be yourself in a world that is
constantly trying to make you something else
is the greatest accomplishment.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
*ACoNs Adult Children of Narcissists