Feeling safe with others who honor our authentic experience is the heartbeat of a joyful life. In such relationships, essential simplicity is a way of being.
On the other hand, grandiosity and fear of being ordinary are the mainstays of a narcissistic personality. Constant complexity is the order of the day. Shame and fear are used to keep the true self hidden and the false self large.
But what could possibly be so awful that it must stay hidden at such high costs?
In this video, Francis Weller spotlights a most dis-honored, dis-favored human experience. It’s something we’ve been taught to dismiss, repress and shun in exchange for constantly appearing big and strong.
Being true to this experience can offer us a gateway to both freedom and intimacy. Individually and collectively.
So what is this thing which we so vehemenly avoid?
Weller says that to the degree grief is compressed, joy is also compressed. Compressed grief becomes unmetabolized grief and this is what leads to the rage and violence which we see in our culture.
So let’s turn toward it, together. Metabolize it. Set it free for goodness sake!
One thing a narcissist never wants to hear from someone (especially their targeted co-narcissist) is healthy anger or disappointment in them. It’s a surefire way to set off narcissistic injury and rage.
I love what Weller says about healthy anger, intimacy and soulfulness.
“. . . Anger is its own rightful emotion that speaks to boundaries and violation and justice and protection. That’s a very necessary energy . . . [for individuation] . . .
We need that ability to say, This is where I stand. This is who I am. And I make this declaration. And it comes out of that energy . . . The thing that we don’t typically do is develop it into a martial art. We remain pretty unskilled around mars, around anger, around that energy. So we need to actually mature that quality.
Anger, when it’s done well, is a relational process. It is revelatory. I am telling you about me. I am telling you what is upset, what is troubled, what has gotten into my body that is causing me to feel deeply about something.
Intimidation is an attempt to silence a relationship. It is meant to push you away from me and to feel frightened of me. So it is a rupture. It is the breaking of a connection rather than a deepening of one.
True anger leads to intimacy. It is revelatory. Like I tell you, I am telling you something so deep about me. Why I’m angry is because something got to me so much, at the heart of who I am. Something I love, I cherish, something I want to protect has been injured and violated, and so I need to tell you about this so you know me more deeply.
Intimidation does just the opposite. It breaks the bond. It creates the distance. And fear. Healthy power, healthy anger, is something that serves the greater good, where intimidation tends to serve the narrow interest of either the individual or even the country. We intimidate a lot of countries, with our might and our force. But we lose a certain degree of soulfulness in that process of intimidation.”
At some point in my healing process, I chose to exit such relationships and replace them with healthier ones.
The tension is not gone, though. But it’s a different quality. It’s a tension which I choose.
The old tension has been recycled into a worthy challenge of living a life of meaning. Of facing and integrating these un-popular and un-spoken emotions, and helping others find their voices in the midst of the chaos. Expanding into the leading edge of what’s possible.
I’d like to offer you a piece of wisdom I gained along the way:
One of the healthiest things you can ever do is make friends with people who will honor your anger. If your anger has become rage and is too much for a relationship to reasonably handle, you may need more experienced help . . . if you need therapy, please seek it.
If your rage is due to narcissistic abuse, be sure to find someone who understands the intricacies of this challenge. You’ll receive the reward of deep cleansing, more freedom and more joy than you ever dreamed possible.
You’re worth it.
Our culture is made up of individuals just like you and me. The more we embrace our authentic experiences, the more soulful and joyful we will become.
We, as a human species, are worth it.
ps. If the topics of shame, grief, anger and joy are something you would like to explore, please check out my book Authentic Presence: Lead With Your Soul.
3 thoughts on “Healing collective narcissism – thoughts on healthy anger, grief, intimidation and honoring our most basic experiences”
A heartfelt “YEE-HAW!!! for this right-on-the-money blog-post, Debbie! Wonderful and soul-stirring quote from Francis Weller… and your ‘words of wisdom’ at the end are also superb! It seems to me your valuable, probing & insightful collection of blog-posts & videos about healing from narcissistic abuse are developing into what could make for a kick-ass book (and/or video series) on the subject… Just sayin’. 🙂
Thanks, Will :-). It just keeps pouring out so I’m ridin’ it like a surfer!
You. Go. Girl. 😉