Monday, November 19, 2007
Thanksgiving -- The Holiday Narcissists Will Never "Get"
One of the bedrock fundamental realities of a narcissist is their absolute refusal to be grateful. For anything.
Think about it. When have you seen true gratitude demonstrated by the narcissist?
Their lack of gratitude is the natural result of their extreme covetousness. They must have it all. All the love, regard, and attention. Especially your share. Every faculty of their mind is focused on this quest to have it all. All the other sins of the narcissist spring from this persistent and pervasive covetousness. Because they must have it all they become predatory. They stalk all sources of human warmth and kindness so as to make sure you don't get a sliver of it...unless they decide to stingily pass a crumb of it to you. That way you have to be grateful to them for anything you have. If there is to be any gratitude in the room it is coming from you and going toward the narcissist. Never the other way around. It is this predation of what rightfully belongs to others that defines their malignancy. Their covetousness leads straight to theft and murder.
The last commandment in the BIG 10 (found in Exodus 20) is usually perceived in the negative...don't covet this, don't covet that, etc. But when turned 180 degrees, the last commandment shows another facet. It is a positive command to be grateful for what you have. Thankfulness is the antidote to the sins that follow in the wake of ingratitude. It protects you and those around you from the negative results that always follow when we are ungrateful. A covetous spirit can lead you to violate the spirit and letter of all the other commandments. If cherished, it will lead to the destruction of the soul. Our narcissists are the living example of this reality. Read Romans chapter 1 with this truth in mind. Paul introduces his letter to the Roman Christians with a picture of the debasing sins of humanity which begins with a spirit of ingratitude. (vs.21). Read verses 28-31 and see if that isn't a description of the behaviors demonstrated by the malignant narcissist.
One of the narcissist's illusion models springs directly from their ingratitude. This illusion is their sense of total self-sufficiency. They need no one. They pretend all day long that they are sufficient to themselves. This thinking is the path to complete degradation of body, mind and soul (see Romans 1). Because they don't need you, they don't appreciate you. They aren't grateful for anything you do for them either. Anything you do for them was theirs by right. You were only fulfilling your duty. (Or they ascribe selfish motives to your generosity. "You're really doing this for yourself.") Lack of gratitude for the kindnesses bestowed upon us is an ugly, selfish and grotesque thing. It warps our hearts and souls to persistently practice this kind of ingratitude. Anytime you need an example of this truth just look at the narcissist again. There it is. Hideous spirit, is it not?
Because the malignant narcissist is not thankful for anything this means they are incapable of truly entering into the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday. It is bereft of meaning or depth for them. It only represents a day off, food, and opportunity to gather the family together so as to feed off their humanity. At its core the holiday is antithetical to the spirit, nature and practice of the malignant narcissist.
I encourage each of you to enter into a spirit of gratitude this Thanksgiving. Even if the narcissist is still in your life and attempting to create havoc...take the week off of thinking about them and their evil little ways and focus on every single thing you have to be thankful for. Even if all you can think of to be thankful for is the air you breathe and sun that warms your face. Even the poorest on this planet have reasons for gratitude.
Once you start counting your blessings the list tends to get longer and longer. This leaves you with a full heart and a sense of quiet joy. A heart full of joy and a sense of fulfillment is something the narcissist never feels. So spend some time this week enjoying what they can't. In doing so, you'll set yourself so far apart from the narcissist that they may as well be from another planet. It is a spiritual experience...one that can be experienced regardless of what circumstances you find yourself in or regardless of religious affiliation (or lack thereof).
Prove to yourself this week how different your spirit is from that of the narcissist. Be grateful. Deeply and profoundly grateful. Thanksgiving is our holiday. The narcissist is left out in the cold. The cold of their darkened and selfish hearts.