One thing we empaths seem to have in common is that we attract narcissists. In the past I would’ve said that attracting and keeping the narcissistic, manipulative, emotionally draining people in my life wasn’t intentional, but I’m not sure how true that really was.
October is my shadow work month where I get really f**king real with myself, so I’m going to share a little reflection with you. Sometimes us empaths attract the people who are absolutely nothing like us or find them to be mildly or extremely attractive because they have character traits we’re missing.
Narcissists are disgustingly charming.
We know it. We hate it. BUT let’s just pause for a moment and think about where they get the charm from. They aren’t pushovers. They exude a ridiculous amount of confidence and charisma. Depending on where they are on the NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) spectrum and if they’re not completely lost in their grandiosity, they can be incredibly intelligent and apply their intellect to get nearly anything they want. Their level of confidence and the strength of the boundaries they set can be admirable to an empath.
We’re so used to being open that we rarely balance our openness to others with time for ourselves (and everyone’s balance is different, by the way. That’s realized as you learn more about yourself). And let’s not forget that the reason why narcissists can be attracted to you isn’t all about empaths being “an easy target” because your sensitivity and compassion seem easy to exploit to them, but it’s also because they know they’re missing that ability to connect with others genuinely and are so incredibly shallow once their farce of a persona is exposed.
However, there is no need for us to succumb to the cycle of being seduced and then escaping the narcissist over and over again. We need to recognize the areas in our life that are lacking sufficient boundaries. Empaths have trouble with boundaries due to the fact that we’re so naturally open and have a natural insight that is praised by others, so why would we shut that down? Dare I say, we may hide a the part of ourselves where our insightful abilities can be used to pry into the inner truths of others and manipulate them as we wish. But we’re not “bad” people because we do that…right? We’re not like the narcissists who manipulate people and ignore their conscience deliberately…Well…if we’re invading the emotional or psychic boundaries of others are we any different?
I’m not trying to guilt trip you, I promise. I believe Deborah has the same intention not to guilt trip anyone, but to address that common and vicious cycle of the empath-narcissist dichotomy.
Deborah, aka The Peculiar Daughter on YouTube, discusses her own shadow self, how it’s linked to her empath ability, how being an empath attracted narcissistic people, and how she put an end to that. Comment below what you think. I think there are many of us who go through this and perpetuate their pain rather than pursue their power. I admit that I’m one of them and am grateful for Deborah’s insights.
In simple conversations with others, I mute myself unintentionally… …and it feels involuntary because I’m the type that wants to spill my heart’s contents. I just feel like when I’m around the majority of the people in my life, they have shown me what they really care or don’t care about through rejection, belittlement, invalidation, […]
I had not thought of violets late,The wild, shy kind that spring beneath your feetIn wistful April days, when lovers mateAnd wander through the fields in raptures sweet.The thought of violets meant florists’ shops,And bows and pins, and perfumed papers fine;And garish lights, and mincing little fopsAnd cabarets and soaps, and deadening wines.So far from […]
…that they never existed in the name of evil or to make the “darkness” seem evil. The shadow is the part of us that’s trying to tell us what we need to be our real selves. It’s a process, but a worthwhile one where you do feel better about revelations about yourself. Shadow work isn’t meant for you to find the “enlightenment” destination, where you understand everything and you’re supposedly just “done” learning about yourself. It’s an ongoing journey that can be taken in gratitude if you humble yourself and listen to your shadow.
Alone in the library room, even when othersAre there in the room, alone, except for themselves:There is the illusion of peace; the air in the roomIs stilled; there are reading lights on the tables,Looking as if they’re reading, looking as ifThey’re studying the text, and understanding, Shedding light on what the words are saying;But under […]
Someone standing at the mouth hadthe idea to enter. To go further than light or language couldgo. As they followedthe idea, light and language followed like two wolves—panting, hearing themselvespanting. A shapeless scentin the damp air … Keep going, the idea said. Someone kept going. Deeper and deeper, they sawothers had been there. Others had left […]
How quickly our thrones become cages from a single stroke of misery. Convinced our legacies past are erased by hidden difficulty. Dismay destructs our strengths lighting fire at our feet; weakness become more transparent than the thinnest silk sheets. Don’t forget your prudence in hours of adversity. Unlock your cage and venture to rebuild and […]
“…is an archetype that forms part of the unconscious mind and is composed of repressed ideas, instincts, impulses, weaknesses, desires, perversions, and embarrassing fears. This archetype is often described as the darker side of the psyche, representing wildness, chaos, and the unknown.” – Loner Wolf
The shadow is an archetype formed in the unconscious or subconscious coined by clinical psychologist and mystic Carl G. Jung. Working with your shadow requires confronting and embracing repressed feelings. Confronting one’s shadow can be done through divination, meditation, creative projects, journaling, therapy/counseling, and many other ways. If you find that you’re able to honestly express yourself through writing and journaling, you will love the Shadow Work Journal on Loner Wolf, a spiritual mentorship site run by Mateo Sol and Aletheia Luna. This year, I’ve decided to combine divination techniques with their shadow journaling prompts and have found it to be a very thoughtful collection of prompts that help you address what needs confronting and what self-care needs require more attention. My previous shadow work sessions focused on confrontation and I rarely gave myself self-care time. I wanted to give the journal a try because I was very impressed by Loner Wolf’s breakdown of the shadow self and all its potential.
So What’s The Point?
The point of shadow work is to work on the part of yourself that you have labeled as “evil” or “shameful” and instead of turning away from it, you see the shadow for what it is, starting with the fact that you are the shadow. Rejecting any part of yourself often develops into subconscious defense mechanisms, losing your sense of self, robbing yourself of autonomy, and even losing touch with reality. Psychologically, the repression of an aspect of the self creates a dissonance between one’s personal reality and reality as it is. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Repression in itself is a defense mechanism and defending ourselves is innate. However, defense mechanisms can build into unhealthy and unwanted habits.
Those of us who need to work with our shadow see ourselves pushing our loved ones away, having trouble connecting with others, struggling to see ourselves in a realistic light, believing negative and inaccurate perceptions without challenging them, hurting ourselves and others more than we meant to… the list goes on. The point of shadow work is to take that step towards understanding ourselves. Additionally, don’t believe that this is just for the “spiritual” person. The aspects of shadow work has appeared through works of art, philosophical discussions, scientific studies on humanity, and even in our particular day-to-day events where we have these epiphanies about ourselves. Shadow work in itself is a reflective process and I strongly recommend reading Loner Wolf’s article on the Shadow Self and take that step towards self-actualization.
I enjoyed my Yule then jumped right back into work. The couple of weeks off was really needed and one week to just focus on work helped as well. Blog posts and updates are coming back. And more is coming… I hope you all are well. – Kris Leliel
metonymy metonymy: “A figure of speech that substitutes the name of a related object, person, or idea for the subject at hand. Crown is often substituted for monarchy…should not be confused with synecdoche, a substitution of a part of something for the whole or the whole for a part.” – NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms […]
I’m inching closer and closer to meeting my creative goals and a little bit of terror creeps deeper in my psyche because I’m one of those people who fears success. I fear being excited and proud of myself because my reactions have been “too much” sometimes. I fear being happy for myself because there’s someone else who isn’t happy and I need to be there for them. I fear the pressure that comes subsequently after being in the spotlight because of a success. I fear that all the hypothetical stimuli, all the changes and events that could occur, after a success or failure will overwhelm me and cause a mental breakdown. Shame, was the best counter to my fears, so I thought. Instead, shame magnified all of that. It discouraged me from truly embracing the achievements I had made in life and simultaneously added fuel to the fire.
So let’s knock that shit off, said my spirit guides.
Today, I spoke with the spirits about shame, my biggest fear and my favorite defense mechanism. I’m going to breakdown what I was told about shame during the reading. I used the Tao Oracle Deck, the Raider-Waite Tarot, and the Psychic Tarot Deck.
The Tao Oracle Cards
Surrender: Submit to how you’re feeling. Acknowledge what you’re upset or ashamed about. – It’s so habitual for us to bury whatever we’re feeling when shame comes around because we’re introduced to it early on. Repressing your emotions brings temporary relief and long-term emotional scars. To have a more functional relationship with the part of you that feels overwhelmed by shame, you need to acknowledge your own feelings. Express in your own way how you’re feeling to yourself.
Grounding: Neutralize the situation and reassure yourself. Don’t completely blame yourself or others; just address what’s happening and what you need to do to ground or calm yourself again. – Once you know how you’re feeling, discuss it as neutrally and honestly as possible. How are you feeling? I’m sad. I’m pissed. I’m depressed. I’m worried. I’m anxious. Why? Because [insert distressing situation here] is happening. Okay. What will help you calm down right now? I need to be alone. I need to cry. I need a friend. I need to hit something (inanimate). I need to scream. Really, I think the best part about grounding is just being as real as possible in the moment, preferably alone or with someone you trust and without brining physical harm to yourself or anyone else. Grounding is dropping that emotional baggage. Let that sh*t fall.
Be Your Own Sage: Although you’ll be tempted to recall past experiences this situation reminds you of, look through those memories with compassion. Think about what you can and can’t control. – So, most of the fury has passed, but the shame is still lingering. I think this is when the brain starts thinking up ideas on how to cope. If we let shame take the lead during this brainstorm session, we won’t look at our past coping mechanisms with compassion. We may repeat self-destructive tendencies or think of something new. Compassion for the self and others, however, counters shame. The three tarot cards at the bottom, the nine of swords (the situation), the ten of swords reversed (the action), and the page of cups (the outcome), revealed that my anxiety and despair (the nine of swords) isn’t permanent. It will eventually end (the ten of swords reversed). When I look back on how I recovered, it can inspire a greater revelation about my unconscious (page of cups) and if I choose to, I can trust that experience to help me move on and prepare for the future. Thus, shame is no longer required. I felt like sh*t. I let that sh*t go. Now, I am the sh*t because I learned something new about myself. Good job, me.
Be Cautious: Shame and other emotionally exhausting situations will not heal in a day, a week, a month, etc. . Be patient with yourself as you try to apply what you’ve learned from the past to your present situation. – During the healing process, sometimes the wound will reopen unexpectedly or we relapse and rip it open ourselves. It happens. Sometimes shame appears because we’re not healing fast enough or getting over it quick enough. You may have just learned to be your own sage, but all of the best advice for your problems won’t do much if you don’t give it time to sink in. Think of it like glue. You have to give it time to dry before it can do its job. If you keep expecting it to be instant and mess with the adhesive before it dries, you’re going to end up with mess and disappointed. It’s not just impatience, but also self-sabotage. When that happens, you go back to acknowledging your emotions, grounding yourself, learn from the experience, and apply the experience to your situation. It’s a process. Let it take its course.
This isn’t easy…
Dealing with shame in this way isn’t easy. I don’t think it’s meant to be easy. So don’t expect it to be. I’m going to just keep trying. The two of swords on the left in the second picture signifies indecision in my subconscious, which is very true right now. I feel torn between addressing my shame in this new way and letting it win, but on the right, the two of pentacles, representing my conscious, is a good reminder that shame brings up a lot of things that are hard to juggle. I can find my balance eventually if I give it time. Lastly, the third picture shows four more cards that stood out to me: Balance, to recall that two of pentacles energy, the four of wands reversed, pointing out what I’m struggling with is most likely linked to what I’ve been through with those close to me, Longevity from the Tao oracle, signifying the use of this new way of processing shame, and Emotional Loss, the core to my shame, I would say.
So, yeah, just wanted to share that. Thank you if you read all the way through. This was a bit hard to write, being more transparent and all that. But whatever. I’m not ashamed 🙂 .