|A Year of Making a Difference|
It's curious, the people who trust and love after the narcissistic relationship, the psychopathic encounter, the pathological fire-and-gasoline destructive duo. These people were spittin' bullets as some might say, brandishing machetes, beheading anyone tripping on the cobblestones in their enemy-filled path. And then one day, anger spent, hallelujah, something beautiful emerged. They had forgiven themselves and faced the reality of a world gone mad with dog-eat-dog deluded individualism and avarice. Surprising as it may seem when "newbies" begin a recovery journey and are so hurt and so angry they can't imagine not feeling that way, other people profess being MORE compassionate and loving than they were before the abusive relationship. They bear surprising witness to the transformation of childhood suffering into a wizened compassion and a broadened capacity to forgive.
Witnessing someone claim their anger to protect themselves and then let their firepower go, is pretty fascinating, even humbling. Why, when anger feels so powerful and self-righteousness so yummy, would anyone willingly lay it down for love? And why would they, after having been betrayed and abused, open themselves to being hurt again? Their intention to love and the profession of it is a curious thing when you've witnessed the trajectory of their life. By all accounts and purposes, nobody would blame them for hardening their hearts. If they carried a shield between themselves and the brutish world 'til their very last breath, we'd understand. When someone shares the cumulative details about a conniving, snake-bellied, yellow-backed and cowardly rat bazturdizing abuser, victims earn their place in the Survivor's Hall of Fame. They can stay there rent-free as far as I'm concerned. They paid their dues. But they usually aren't content to stay there.
"The best difference is to stop doing what we've always done that doesn't work for us and choose to become accountable for how we are in the world today." ~LouiseIt takes all kinds of people to help all kinds of people. Just as I joked about my comfort with anonymity, that's how it is with me and Louise. I don't mind hanging out in basements with angry furious people because that's where each of us starts the healing journey. Besides, it's WoNderful when victims transition to survivors filling the voids their spent anger leaves behind with gratitude, hope and love. (Lesson in emptiness: voids make room for love to grow. Think about it). This is why the anger stage never worries me too much because you know the day will come when the risk to remain tight in a bud of indignation is more painful than the risk it takes to love. *wink*
The love Louise talks about is not the reductive variety based on the Pleasure Principle. In other words, if somebody makes you feel good, you love 'em; when you stop feeling good, you don't. There's a lot of tom-foolish wrongheadedness in narcissistic societies viewing love as more of a game than a virtue. Love as a virtue, consciously practiced and intentionally directed, resides in the will, not our fleeting emotions. The following scripture comes to mind when talking about Louise and I hope it's not inappropriate to say so.
1 Corinthians 13 (Audio Link) "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
"Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
I was there when Louise stumbled into a Narcissism Forum overwrought with anger at her abuser and crushing self-blame for her choices. She has stared into the glass darkly---make no mistake of that.