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The Narcissist's Gift - A Spiritual Beginning

Linda Martinez-Lewi Ph.D.

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Humans are spiritual beings. We just don't know we are. Many of us are fast asleep, somnambulant, or dozing. We are in a state of restless wandering and nagging want. Most individuals are clouded by delusions of the world's compelling voice to seek gratification when the familiar warmth of desire fills the senses, to acquire more when we need less, to complicate our lives wearing elaborate masks that cater to the whims and currents of what is socially popular.

Becoming attuned to the spirit within is a subtle process. It can begin with a physical illness that causes great pain and fear. Illness reminds us that we are mortal. Physical illness can be a motivator to re-order our priorities, to discover what really matters and to respond to an inner voice that demands that we take charge of our lives to create and manifest true peace and meaning. Marital and couple breakups that leave us abandoned with feelings of confusion, anger, regret and sorrow, can unearth and re-awaken personality, spiritual, and creative strengths that were never recognized in their past.

There are those who are incurious about what lies in the deeper oceans of their minds and hearts. Many stride paths that lead to worldly power and material largesse. They seek the praise, adulation, stature, even adoration from a retinue, a charmed circle of admirers. Often these individuals are narcissists. “The narcissist lives in an intricate world dominated by inflated illusions of self importance. . . everything flows from him. . . "

Some of us discover that we have pieces missing, even if our lives feel comfortable and secure. There is a nagging empty space, an indefinable aching for a sense of peace and deeper knowing. Our minds are tangled in thoughts from one moment to the next. Our moods shift without warning in endless positive and negative cycles. Our bodies are not still: wiggling and grasping for the next experience. Our desires are ravenous, despite frequent satiation.

Although it is certain to be connected with psychological pain, spiritual growth can begin when a narcissist enters and exits our lives. The narcissist has a severe personality disorder, characterized by a sense of grandiosity, superiority, deceit, manipulation, and limitless self entitlement. Narcissists who function at a high level are frequently enormously successful in the world, often acquiring great wealth, prestige and power. These individuals can be seductively charming, even charismatic. The high-level narcissist surrounds himself/herself with a golden circle of followers and devotees who constantly inflate his ego with praise, loyalty, and adulation.

"Relationships with narcissists stretch our psychological stamina. . . Encounters of this kind flex our growing muscles of consciousness. A narcissist becomes a ‘gift’ that presents us with opportunities for becoming more awake. " The word “Buddha" comes from the ancient Sanskrit language and means “one who has become awake. " A Buddha is an individual who seeks the truth despite overwhelming obstacles. The historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, was born into princely splendor. In adulthood Siddhartha left his comfortable surroundings to become enlightened. The historical Buddha and other human beings have freed themselves from restlessness, fear, anger and want. Through their spiritual practice they attained a state of inner serenity and calm surrounded by an expanding consciousness and an open heart. The narcissist in our lives provides us with an invaluable opportunity to become attuned to our spiritual natures. One of the best ways to contact the spirit within is through meditation. Choose a method that works for you. Be consistent in your practice, even if the time spent meditating is short. Be kind to yourself, drop any judgments. There is no such thing as a bad meditation. Making the effort is in itself a great achievement. Meditation becomes a powerful spiritual instrument in your life that expands awareness, deepens intuition, and brings serenity to your life.

Linda Martinez-Lewi holds a Ph. clinical psychology and is a licensed marriage family therapist. She has extensive clinical training in narcissistic and borderline disorders. Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi is the author of the book “Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Life. "

Dr. Martinez-Lewi has worked for many years with patients experiencing psychological problems as a result of personal and professional relationships with narcissistic personality disorders. She has clinical experience treating patients suffering from childhood trauma, anxiety disorders, and depression.

Dr. Martinez-Lewi has been interviewed on numerous radio talk shows throughout the country.

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