Flying Free – Let’s talk about Spirituality – Especially after Narcissistic Abuse


I’m thrilled to bring this conversation about spirituality to the table side by side with the topic of healing from narcissistic abuse. I think it has everything to do with awakening healthy power and even inspiring great leadership.

The ONLY reason narcissistic abuse is a problem is because it’s a denial of who we truly are. To insist that anyone play small is a suffocation of our divine, gorgeous, brilliant, curious, naturally expansive nature. Our desires are endless as are our possibilities. This doesn’t make us selfish or greedy. It’s who we are born to be.

When our power is suffocated – we suffer. When we are free to roam, to explore, to expand our wings – we soar. When we believe in someone else’s story of our smallness, we hold ourselves down with a big fat grandiose lie. Yet, logic is not enough to break the toxic bonds which hold us hostage – especially when they appear as love and protection, or when we truly believe our security and survival are at stake.

When we talk about living our life purpose, or manifesting, or vibration, we are entering the realm of spiritual conversation: our connection to each other and to the larger field of life. But – and – the topic of spirituality can be almost as sticky as narcissistic abuse. So let’s go there, for heaven’s sake. Let’s talk about our connection with Love and Divinity, with the Mystery which unites us all.

I’m surrounded by heroes and heroines who have escaped the sticky webs of narcissistic abuse and are now living their purpose. One of the things I love and admire about my tribe is a deep thoughtfulness and respect around the topic of (and practice of) spirituality.

Due to the coercive control and ambient abuse we had to navigate and escape, we became first-class truth-meters and bullshit detectors. For some of us, the religious indoctrination we received validated the narcissistic abuse, which turned us off from anything to do with religion or God.

Bottom line: we want truth handed to us as cleanly as possible. Our powers of discernment are off the charts. This doesn’t make us dis-believers in a higher power. It makes us conscious, open-minded and willing to explore new ideas. If something doesn’t feel right, we simply don’t buy it. When it does, we let it feed us and fuel us. This can look like any number of things:

  • Connection to nature
  • Following Native American rituals and wisdom
  • Christian Science
  • Mother Mary
  • Kabbalah
  • Esther Hicks and other channels
  • Magic rituals
  • 12-Steps
  • Astrology, connection to the planets
  • Unity church
  • Mainstream church, synagogue, mosque, organized religion (this is less likely but still possible)
  • A guru
  • A meditation practice
  • Mindfulness
  • Science, a belief that one is part of a much larger field of energy
  • A Course in Miracles
  • Books like Seat of the Soul, Conversations with God or The Celestine Prophecy
  • A quiet belief in something larger without naming it
  • A mixture of some or none or all of these things (feel free to add your own in the comments)

One thing holds true: all of us at JBL respect each other’s choices while maintaining our own perspectives. Even at very young ages, many of us experienced a sense of connection with a higher power, and this became an important source of strength for us. And there are also those who avoid religion and who struggle with the mere idea of spirituality.

It’s my experience that in the work of inner transformation, it’s vital to feel connected to something larger. It gives a person confidence to know that their intuition, their healing, their relationships and even their business ideas are all being guided by a larger and higher calling. When this experience is truly known (when belief is backed by deep faith), it can offer a deep sense of security and stability. This sensation positively influences a person’s outlook, decisions, vibration and yes, manifestations. Embodied, this sensation feels like core stability, security and a sense of belongingness.

At Joy-Based Living, I believe it’s important to be respectful toward each other’s spiritual beliefs. I also promote that everything we bring to the table should be practical in nature and should easily include everyone. I make a point to find teachings that can unite rather than divide so that we can create common ground and share conversation.

If you’re struggling with feeling spiritually connected and you would like some “neutral” readings by teachers who do their best to be inclusive, I highly recommend:

  • David Hawkins book “Power Vs. Force”
  • Brene Brown’s “Rising Strong with Spirituality” (I think this is only available on audio, which is fine because Brene is a very lively storyteller.)

My friend deJoly likes to say, “the personal is the political and the political is the personal.” The ripple effect we create when we transform our experience from stuck to soaring, from powerless to powerful – is personal – and infinite.


Much love,

Happy D!

5 thoughts on “Flying Free – Let’s talk about Spirituality – Especially after Narcissistic Abuse

  1. There’s a guiding, reassuring vibe to this “Spirituality 101” blog-post, which I really appreciate, Debbie. Good on ya’ for sharing such, ‘cuz we ALL need to occasionally take time to review the basics of where we are, where we’ve been and where we wanna’ go. Yes? πŸ™‚

  2. I am curious as to what you mean by β€œI also promote that everything we bring to the table should be practical in nature.”
    Practical: of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than just theory and ideas.

    1. Well, hmmm, I might need you to be more specific but I’ll give it a try. At JBL, we don’t spend time debating about any of the spiritual ideas mentioned above (is Course in Miracles really written by Jesus? are mermaids real? how many planets or chakras are there, really? etc) In the recommended readings of Brene Brown and David Hawkins – they both offer very practical wisdom, tools and techniques that people of any religion or spiritual belief can apply.

      β€œThe world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” Sarah Ban Breathnach

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