Note: Before we proceed, The Shamanic Process can be quite raw, just like Mother Nature tends to prefer it. If you have been a victim of a narcissist and you are still emotionally “tender”, please consider some of my wording can seem insensitive (it’s not the intention, it’s the process). Reader discretion is advised.
Legends and myths when seen from different perspectives will enlighten us with a universal wisdom that cannot be explained in definitive terms. This is what Wikipedia says about the original narcissist, Narcissus:
“In Greek mythology, Narcissus (/nɑːrˈsɪsəs/; Ancient Greek: Νάρκισσος Nárkissos) was a hunter from Thespiae in Boeotia who was known for his beauty. According to Tzetzes, he rejected all romantic advances, eventually falling in love with his own reflection in a pool of water, staring at it for the remainder of his life. After he died, in his place sprouted a flower bearing his name.”
That short description says enough to understand how to deal with a narcissist. First, we know that narcissists are hunters. Secondly, and most importantly, in my opinion, we need to decide who we’d be in the story if we were involved with one. Would you be one of the rejected advances, the pool of water, or the flower?
lets’s talk about the person involved with a narcissist. This is someone that understood at some level that the “hunter had rejected many”, so felt very lucky and honored to be next to the narcissist, believing that perhaps they are very special and the exception. In other words it is the presence of the narcissist that validates the value they put on themselves. This is why when the abuses begin, they are fully worth the cost of that fake validation. I don’t blame them, it’s basic innocent human nature to enjoy something without working for it. It is very hard work to be a self made person. If you can gain that facade just by being accepted into someone’s inner circle…well I guess an abuse here and there can be overlooked right? If you were hurt by a narcissist, at some point you noticed your dignity was slowly being tarnished and you also made the conscious decision to sacrifice that for more fake self validation.
For the victim, my first suggestion would be to take some time for yourself and in the most honest and intense way to apologize to your self. In Shamanism we have rituals for this. Take care of that inner innocence that has been repeatedly raped for so long, heal it, embrace it, commit from now on to always protect it and fully understand the magnitude of your irresponsibility. It’s not about how terrible this person was to you, but rather how inept you were on drawing the line. In other words re-center and re-focus on your inner Power.
Next comes the decision of who you are going to be in your story. You can be another rejected one and let it go and start to mend yourself. You can understand the big picture and symbolically allow the narcissist to die in your own personal story and become your own flower. You can even, if still involved with this person become the water. Water in mysticism is considered, among other meanings, the threshold to magic. In Jungian Psychology it is the portal to the unconscious mind. In Shamanism it is the essence of life and harmony. I think in dealing with a narcissist, Bruce Lee said it best in an unrelated interview:
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”