Uncover The Sun

On Narcissism

Many of us have the experience of dealing with narcissists. In some ways, the self-centered, isolationism of narcissism may partly be a function of the human experience. To originate from oneness and a connection to the entire universe, and then incarnate into a separate, tiny human form would seem to focus one’s attention on self and the relationship of everything in the world to the self. Our individual personalities, body, psyche, ego strategies, and senses help promote this feeling of, “I’m alone in here, and everything and everyone else is peripheral.” The development from child to self-actualized adult means moving from that self-centered existence into a greater relationship with other human beings, living creatures, and the world in general. How then do we develop engaged, deeply nourishing relationships with others, and experience true intimacy?

There are many theories of human development, psychological, emotional, physical, and spiritual. And there are many paradoxes in developing a healthy sense of self. From an initial dependent state, we need to develop autonomy and self-responsibility, as well as a deep and abiding connection to others. If we do not attach properly to our primary caregivers, we may have difficulty forming healthy, trusting relationships later in life. And if we do not learn detachment from our own emotions, we may not achieve any mastery over them, and may also sabotage our relationships as well as our personal development. Attachment and detachment then, are both required in order to have healthy intimate relationships.

What happens if one or more of your primary caregivers is a narcissist? First, emotional immaturity isn’t the same as narcissism, nor is the creative urge to focus on one’s work. Self-care is not narcissism, and people may behave selfishly at times without being narcissists. There may be a confusion for children raised by a narcissist about when and where they are able to get their own needs met, or even if they are allowed to have them. Having parents who set boundaries and enforce them is not narcissism. The bandying about of the word narcissist when someone does not agree with us or insists on having their own way, helps to cloud the issue of what narcissism is. We all have motivations based on self-interest. If we didn’t, none of us would be alive.

Narcissists may treat others as if they don’t exist except in the presence of the narcissist, or when they are useful. Children of narcissists may have been told they are loved, but they do not feel real, or as if they truly matter. And in relationship with a narcissist, your needs often don’t really exist, unless you make a big deal of fighting for them. And if you dare to have needs, the narcissist may either ignore you, or punish you for having the gall to need something. In a healthy relationship between parent and child, an adult is, at appropriate times, able to set aside their own desires to take care of the needs of the child, as well as set healthy boundaries and limits, and as children grow, gradually give them the tools and practice in responsibility to ultimately take care of their own needs.Continue reading

Uncover the Sun


In this blog, I will be exploring different facets of being a sensitive, spiritually-oriented person in a culture that cares more about money than people.  It can be difficult when your deepest, heartfelt values do not match the general population’s, however, there are others out there that have similar concerns.

I welcome your input, and will be taking suggestions for topics, as well as answering questions you may have.

In order to be a happy, fulfilled human being, there are certain experiences and qualities that come in handy, like having your basic necessities covered, living in safety, being with kind and compassionate folks, and having a good sense of humor.

Face it, being human is pretty absurd.  We have these big brains and still haven’t figured out how to live together peacefully. Being able to laugh at ourselves lightens things up. And for those of us with sensitive nervous systems, and who tend toward empathy, a bit of lightheartedness may soothe our souls.

To be aware, joyful, and kind, we don’t need to eat perfectly, avoid all sugar, and meditate every day. We may or may not have a consistent, formal spiritual practice. Sitting quietly and checking in with yourself regularly to see how you’re feeling and what you need, can be really helpful. I sit silently sometimes when I feel the urge, but most of the time I live in an open, playful state of relaxed optimism. Or, as my youngest daughter used to say, back when she was alive, “you’re freakishly happy for no reason.”

Yes, my youngest daughter died at the age of 23. And despite terrible grief, I still manage to experience joy as well. How? Like a kid, by feeling everything as deeply and as thoroughly as possible, while still understanding that we humans are not merely our feelings. We are more than what has happened to us, what others may think of us, or even how we perceive ourselves. And after a loss we discover that love continues even after death.

Most of us are intimately acquainted with fear, sorrow, anger, frustration, disappointment, loss, jealousy, and numerous other emotions. The trick is not to  judge yourself or others for having feelings. You might think of them as indicators that you need to pay extra attention to some part of yourself. And most of us respond better to kindness and acceptance rather than condemnation. It’s also helpful not to throw your feelings around all over other people, or to hold onto them for too long. Not easy to do, and we all have varying degrees of success at this.

Maybe we don’t need to achieve perfection, or even a formal idea of enlightenment, but more a state of loving kindness for ourselves and others, as much as possible in this little human form. If we embrace being human in the absolute sense of what that means, flawed, annoying, foolish, quirky, creative, mortal, amazing, and all the rest, we may find out it’s actually kind of cool. And if we are kinder to ourselves, we will find more comfort when life is painful, which it will be at times, no matter how spiritually or emotionally adept we are. Continue reading