It seems narcissism is an epidemic in our country. If you are unfamiliar with that term, let me tell you, it is not a flower. So many people do believe it is all about them, which leaves little room for anyone else.
1. inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity. Synonyms: self-centeredness, smugness, egocentrism.
2. Psychoanalysis. erotic gratification derived from admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.
Growing up, my sister Abby and I knew all too well about the effects of narcissism. We continue to encounter family members who display these same selfish, self-absorbed qualities. Our mother was absolutely convinced that the only way to do things, the only beliefs and interests to have, and the only one true way to happiness was her way. It was her way, or the highway, she often informed us.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to have a normal relationship with people who never take responsibility, never accept reality and truly believe they are the center of the universe. It’s kind of like being stuck in a room full of two-year-olds.
Our mother always believed her way was the best way and the only way. If you would just accept her view and do exactly as she said on any given day, then we might be happy. This of course was not true, not reality, and not going to happen.
When we were young, Mother grew frustrated that Abby and I tired easily of her antics and she realized that we were not falling under her spell. She would bellow out some demand and we may or may not react. Mostly not, actually.
Your past can define you and our mother allowed every negative experience to tell her story. She simply could not rise above the negative experiences in her past, and she used them as an excuse for her own poor behavior. Resilient? Not in her vocabulary.
Your past can, alternatively, be a touchstone, a series of experiences from which you learn valuable lessons and modify your future behavior to make things better (better for yourself, and better for those in your life and in our world).
Life is not always rainbows and bunnies, but you can rise above those times when things do not go “normally” and truly become stronger, better, and happier by rising above them.
Lesson learned: Write your own story. The power is within you to write a happy ending!