One Narcissist Causes Pain to an Entire Family

If you know the narcissistic personality disorder well, especially if you have divorced one of these individuals or been on the receiving end of a narcissistic parent, you know that this one person can cause extreme stress and psychological pain among the members of an entire family. Everyone surrounded by the narcissist’s destructive traits–chronic lying, deception, betrayal, manipulation, exploitation, emotional sabotage–is highly aware of the severe damage that this highly pathological individual can wreak. Narcissists do not care who you are–a stranger, an acquaintance, a close family member, a child. If you get in their way, they will intimidate, threaten and retaliate if you buck their wills of steel.

Some family members make excuses for these horrific people. They will say: “Oh that’s just the way he/she is. Don’t be so tough on him.” “He is so bright and successful. Look at his good points.” This person is running roughshod over the minds, hearts and psyches of those closest to him. No one person has the right to invade your boundaries, demean you, humiliate you or taunt and terrorize you. I don’t care what this individual has accomplished in the world, how much power he/she wields.

We are at a time right now when narcissists are applauded because they are so driven to move ahead as they trample on everyone else. Those who have suffered under this treacherous treatment write about the terrors and tortures they have endured under the sadism of one narcissist. This happens all of the time but most people remain unaware of the severe psychological and emotional damage this highly disturbed person has caused. Become fully aware of the nature of the narcissistic personality psychopathology. Listen to those who have suffered under its iron boot and merciless treatment.

If you have a havoc wreaking narcissist in your family, you may have to make a 180 turn away and sever the relationship. I know this can be difficult but remember this severe personality disorder does not change. The quality of your life–psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual–is invaluable. Learn to put self care into your daily life. You are entitled to quality sleep, to exercise in the way that is best for you, to explore your many creative gifts, to listen to guided meditations that appeal to you and to follow your intuition in all things.

 

 

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Stop Making Excuses for Your Narcissistic Spouse’s Abominable Behavior

Many people repeat the traumas and horrors of childhood by marrying individuals who are highly abusive, explosive, cruel, cold, manipulative and duplicitous. Those who survived the wars of abusive childhoods don’t always escape from gross mistreatment in adulthood. Many start the cycle again by marrying a narcissist. (This post refers to male and female narcissists.) Eventually, despite his/her charm, allure, accomplishments and smooth talk, you will be faced with the true nature of the narcissist you have married. He will start critically picking at you for no reason. One moment he is telling you how wonderful you are. In the next he is pointing the finger at some small mistake or oversight or better yet, inventing terrible character flaws that you have that exist only in his deluded mind. You are confused; you take the blame. You might even think that you are mentally unbalanced. Narcissists love to tell their spouses that they are not thinking clearly. It is a clever cruel terrifying accusation. There is something about being told that we are not in our right minds that strikes a chord that has a mighty charge.

Narcissists are incapable of introspection but they know like a great predator just when and where to strike. Narcissists are dirty underhanded players. They constantly lie to their spouses. They convince you they are loyal and they have their eyes all over the place. They tell you they are flat broke and they have bulging hidden bank accounts. They tell you they are spiritual and they spend most of their time, cheating other people.

If you are a loyal, fair human being who does not know about the narcissist’s dark nature and psychopathology, your tendency is to make constant excuses for him. Many spouses are terrified of being on their own. Others expect the incoming fire of abuse since they have been accustomed to this since childhood—It is all too familiar. When we have been in a constant psychological war of survival since birth, there is a tendency to repeat this pattern in other relationships.

There comes a time for many victims of marital narcissistic abuse, a reckoning, when the spouse can no longer and will not take it anymore. It is over. The fork in the road has come. Your deep intuition has been telling you over and over again to sever the relationship and finally the message has been heard. Many spouses listen and follow up on this knowledge. It is not easy; it is challenging but they make the break from the narcissistic spouse. This is a great victory, a necessary and positive change in a life that begins anew. I have seen this happen many times. It is different for each individual. The freedom of mind and heart and the creativity that springs forth and the making of new friendships and other real relationships is waiting at the end of this process. Embrace it! You are entitled!

 

 

 

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Your Healing After Narcissistic Spouse

You survived marriage and divorce from a narcissistic spouse. The years you spent giving your life to this person and trying to save the marriage were very painful. You could not have known when you married your narcissistic husband or wife that you were in for a torturous ride. You went to counseling, couples therapy and did everything you could to make the relationship work. You fought through the divorce wars including ugly custody disputes and prolonged financial skirmishes. In the end you were often left with an unfair settlement. As an ex-spouse of a narcissist some of these battles continue if the children are underage. Give yourself credit for all of the efforts you have made. Now the focus must be on your healing on every level.

An essential of healing in the aftermath of the narcissist is that you put yourself first. As a child you did not learn that this was possible and necessary.

Children who have been raised in these abusive backgrounds can be vulnerable as adults to become ensnared in the narcissist’s web and marrying this kind of individual. Never blame yourself for being fooled. Narcissists are masters of disguise and deceit. They exude charm and put you in a kind of trance that tells you that you are loved by them. Now you know the truth and have survived the severance of this toxic relationship.

These are some essentials involved in your healing and evolving as an individual:

1. Pay close attention to your intuitive gifts and follow them. They are always telling you the truth.

2. Get the sleep you need and deserve. Eat nourishing foods slowly and with pleasure–no rushing.

3. Learn to enjoy your own company and solitude if that has not been the case in the past.

4. Journal your spontaneous thoughts and feelings. Let it all flow without judgment.

5. Go deep inside the music that you love. If you are inclined, move to this music and feel your body responding to the beat and melody.

6. Do exercise regularly that works best for you.

7. Simple hatha yoga poses with emphasis on breathing through the nose activate the parasympathetic nervous system–the calming at peace phase of our body/minds.

8. Remember that you have a great sense of humor. This is one of life’s saving graces.

9. Find and keep those individuals near you who respect and appreciate your authenticity and unique individuality.

10. Get your creativity re-flowing and expanding. This process is filled with joy and a sense of personal accomplishment and healing.

 

 

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The Rise of High Level Socialized Sociopaths

The socialized sociopath I am focusing is often found at the upper echelons of power in private and public sectors. To most people they are unrecognizable in this role. These individuals are beyond clever and cunning. They are masters of image, disguise, theatre, seduction. Many of them attend our finest universities, have the highest credentials in many professional fields. They are exalted in our current society by many, bestowed honors and awards for their important work and looked up to as role models by their peers, followers, communities and friends.

These sociopaths are a special breed of men and women. They often, have earned several degrees and have entered, climbed and succeeded to the pinnacle of their professions. Almost everyone is fooled by them. Their main focus is in wielding power and manipulating others with great skill and through clandestine means. There are no limits to their ambitions. They place themselves strategically to achieve the maximum influence over others whom they view as pawns in their treacherous game. They learned the art of sizing up people early, have mastered all of the social skills and ways of flattering people into falling for them. They wield power and influence in their work over their associates. They act like team players but behind the scenes they are using associates to plot and destroy those who would block their path.  They spread lies, create ugly scenarios, defame and eventually destroy anyone who gets in their way. I have heard many stories from their victims of lives decimated by these fawned over criminals in disguise.

The truth comes from those who have shared their private lives with these individuals.  Some husbands and wives sacrifice their lives and sell their souls to share the public adulation, lifestyle and raw power that these sociopaths hold in the palms of their hands. Others finally discover that they can no longer live with the abuse, suspect that there is too much illegal, immoral and unethical behaviors occurring that they can no longer stomach and that they must sever these treacherous relationships to save themselves and their children. Divorces from these high level sociopaths are ugly to the max. Those who go forward and survive are relieved and finally free of the imprisonment and secrecy that has haunted them for decades.

Many in the current society, hyped by corporate pr machines, media and infotainment empires, believe that those who ultimately win—even if other human beings are thrown to the wolves in the process, is perfectly ok—-even admirable Those who don’t or won’t or can’t play this brand of hard ball are wimps, outliers, incompetents. The increase of narcissistic personality disorders over the last few decades is astounding. Along with this is the acceptance and rise of the interpersonally skilled, charismatic, high level socialized sociopath. They are seated in the midst of many power venues.

Socially gifted sociopaths fool most people. To protect yourself from these highly destructive individuals, study this personality disorder.

Pay close attention to the messages from your intuition. It always speak the truth—listen to the wisdom.

 

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Narcissists–Secretive, Suspicious, Devious

Narcissists are highly secretive. They create special compartments for their innumerable secrets. There are narcissists who lead a series of impenetrable compartmentalized private lives. Since narcissists don’t have a developed conscience it doesn’t bother them that  they are continually betraying those closest to them–spouses in particular. I hear from men and woman who have been married to narcissists for years and decades who were psychologically and emotionally devastated to learn that the person they trusted the most and whom they loved deeply, cheated on them multiple times throughout the marriage. Narcissists are often obsessed with acquiring money in various forms and keeping it all to themselves. NPDs don’t “share.” Many of them have hidden cash and bank accounts that are cleverly concealed from their partners. They are masterful at “spiriting away” their assets. The spouse does not suspect this venal level of duplicity. One scenario that occurs preceding a divorce is that the narcissistic spouse will have taken control of most of the money and financial assets and hidden them through complex financial instruments or by making “arrangements” with an old business partner or some other back door means. After the divorce papers are served and the opening rounds begin, the narcissist claims that he or she has no money or assets or investments of any kind. Surprisingly, this “story” can  play well during the divorce skirmishes. At times a forensic accountant is hired to analyze and trace the money and investments that have been pilfered and concealed by the narcissistic spouse. As they cheat and steal from you, narcissists are highly suspicious even paranoid that they are being taken advantage of by their spouse. They play the victim role to the hilt. They rage that the spouse has stolen what is theirs. Narcissistic personalities are psychologically delusional. They manufacture their own reality. They detest the truth, especially when it is pointed out to them. It enrages the narcissist and activates his volcanic rage. Don’t blame yourself for not picking up the clues that you are married to a narcissistic personality. They are so masterful at concealing the truth about your relationship with them. They know just when to turn on the thousand watt charm, to promise you whatever you want and to woo and hypnotize you into believing that they love you. A time will come when you have put enough of the puzzle pieces together to know that you are being deceived and hurt, that you can longer overlook, rationalize or tolerate the insidious lies, the recriminations, the primitive wounding projections. Many spouses start to research the NPD and discover that this is the person to whom they are married. Others know deep inside that this way of living is hurting them psychologically and emotionally too deeply and for  too long. At this point the spouse can make a decision to stay with the narcissist or to get a divorce. Those who stay in the marriage are making a very tough choice but some men and women do this if they have children and want to maintain some kind of family. In some cases the narcissist has discarded you long ago and is already in a new, more exciting romantic relationship and is relieved to put you aside. Others say: “No more!” They do careful research, interview attorneys, obtain the tools that they need to move through the divorce process. Often this is a battle royale with the narcissist playing very dirty. At some point the gavel comes down and the formal marriage is over. I give tremendous credit to those who go through this process with courage, grace, fortitude, focus and stamina. Rediscovering your unique creative gifts, you unleash the power within– the True Self.

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Narcissist’s Outrageous Self Entitlement

“The narcissist has an incredible sense of self-entitlement. Everything is about him and belongs to him. He smoothly oversteps the personal boundaries of others, mistreating, devaluing, and humiliating them to bend them to his will and his desires.” (From: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life).  (This post refers to male and female narcissists.)

The narcissistic ego is so vast it cannot be measured. The narcissist must always keep his/her ego inflated at all times. He is always collecting narcissistic supplies in the form of adulation, praise even adoration from others. The narcissist feels completely entitled to disrupt and in some cases destroy the lives of others so that his needs and desires are met. Along with the extreme self entitlement is an unrelenting ruthlessness. If you are between a narcissist and his goal, even if you are his spouse or child—be prepared for this person to overrun you to get to where he deserves to be. The narcissist looks down on everyone and exploits people all of his life. For many narcissists life is all about money and power. Getting more and giving less is his motto. With his children, the narcissist is a dreadful parent. He or she may choose one standout child that is attractive, gifted and extroverted to become his clone. This is the prized one; the other children are treated like unpaid help. They don’t exist except to serve the narcissist.

The narcissist thinks nothing about a real marriage. He doesn’t have a marriage; it is a business deal. What’s in it for me? Many narcissists, male and female, purposely marry someone who is on their way up professionally or who comes from a family of wealth or who are (in the case of narcissistic women) decades older than they are and can be used to extract money and a great lifestyle out of their partner. Meanwhile they lead a secret life or several secret lives. This is thrilling to the narcissist who is living on the edge of great excitement. He or she is wanted by so many–This is proof of their perfection and greatness.

If you have a narcissistic spouse and recognize these personality characteristics along with a complete lack of empathy, exploitation, humiliations, ruthlessness, cruel controlling behaviors toward you, there are several directions you can take. Some spouses stay in the “relationship” because they feel secure in the material lifestyle and are afraid to be on their own. Others choose to sever the marriage and get a divorce and re-start their lives. Many have done this and report that after the duress of their divorce, they are making consistent steps toward turning their lives around. They are growing their creative gifts, making their decisions freely, determining their own futures.

 

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Narcissists–Becoming More Powerful, Cruel, Ruthless

The narcissistic personality disorder is fixed but not static. (This post refers to male and female narcissists.) As the narcissist becomes more successful in the world, he/she activates greater and greater grandiosity, extreme self entitlement and ruthlessness. If he is at the top of his profession—finance, medicine, science, academia, entertainment, entrepreneurship, politics, media, etc. he is surrounded by a circle of people who believe that he is superior. This protective golden circle provides the high level narcissist with a continuous circulation of narcissistic supplies: adulation, praise, accolades, multiple perks, high monetary compensation.

(There are narcissistic personalities who are not successful in their professions or work who wreak havoc and destruction in the lives of their spouses and children.)

As narcissists move to higher tiers of power and influence of great reach, they become untouchable in terms of being held accountable for their personal misdeeds and treacheries. The narcissist is emboldened by his increasing reign of power, his control over others, his capacity to destroy them. He assures himself that he can make or break anyone. And often this is the case. Does it matter to him if he destroys someone else’s career. Absolutely not! This is business—hardball. Those who side with him (not knowing that they too are disposable) will vanquish his enemies. The narcissist becomes more and more ruthless and inhumane as he grabs more power and becomes more maniacally delusional.

If this narcissist is a waking nightmare at work, he is hellish at home. In the private space there is no need wear his false mask. It is ripped off by the time he reaches the front door.He screams, taunts, threatens,demeans, humiliates his spouse and children. The reign of narcissistic terror is endless. He has his spouse in a psychological stranglehold. If the marriage is going badly and the spouse suggests a divorce, the decree of threat comes down—“You will be left with nothing.” “I will get full custody of the kids.” “Everyone will know that you have instigated the divorce and take my side.” “I will hire attorneys who will defeat you at every turn.”

These threats are continuous and terrorize the non-narcissistic spouse. I have been in communication with men and women who are so frightened that they feel that their only recourse is to stay in the toxic marriage. If you make “nice” with the narcissist, he will always find ways to belittle and threaten you. In some cases he has complete power over the finances, leaving the non-narcissistic spouse at his mercy. Some spouses reach a breaking point—They are in severe distress–they cannot sleep; they are on red alert free floating anxiety all of the time; their physical health is suffering; their children are enduring emotional stress as a result of the narcissist’s constant eruptions of rage, outrageous demands and ongoing cruelties and humiliations.

Don’t wait for the narcissist to change course. He knows he can control and manipulate you at any time. He is eclipsing your life–taking more of it away day by day.

Some spouses listen to a final wakeup call and take the step to sever their relationship from these highly disturbed individuals. They strengthen themselves physically, mentally, psychologically and spiritually. They surround themselves with a supportive group of people who understand and care deeply about them. I have heard from many of those who made this decision and successfully severed their relationship with the narcissistic spouse. All of their efforts—well thought out and skillfully done—paid off. This was not easy. It takes great courage and an abiding confidence in the self. An essential part of this process is to learn to take very good care of yourself. Learn to heal the body and mind through practices like gentle hatha yoga, guided meditation, spending time in Nature, listening to the music you love that you find is healing and other practices that bring you a sense of growing peace and groundedness.

 

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Married to a Narcissist–When Will This Nightmare End

Some nights while sleeping we have nightmares. When we awaken the experience can be so powerful that it takes us a while to get our emotional and psychological bearings and to step out of the horrid dream. Some people find it helpful to take time to understand the language and meaning of their nightmares and other dreams.

(This post refers to male and female narcissists.)

For those who are married to a narcissist–waking life is a nightmare. Patterns of emotional and psychological cruelties prevail. Some spouses become accustomed to these patterns and live in these hell zones for decades. Others wake up and recognize that they don’t deserve this dreadful treatment, the eclipsing of their lives and the oppressive fight or flight mode they are in all of the time.

Begin by not minimizing the narcissistic spouse’s chronic cruelties and don’t rationalize them with: “He’s having a tough time.” “I am making it harder for him/her by not understanding deeply enough.”  “He is more powerful than I am.”  I am enjoying this lifestyle and cannot leave him/her because of this.” “My family is insisting that I stay married to keep us all together and not cause gossip.”

You have been victimized for years, even decades by the narcissist with gaslighting that makes you feel crazy; you have been blamed for everything that goes wrong so you are in a chronic state of guilt; you are criticized and beaten down so that you have no physical or emotional energy. You go through your days putting one foot in front of the other, looking at the ground beneath your feet. There is no bright sky for you, no positive expectations about your life. You are so involved with the narcissist’s psychological imprisonment of you that you don’t even think of taking good care of yourself.

When the narcissistic spouse suspects –and they are very cunning–that you may be approaching the truth about them, they initiate a change up play: “Let’s go into couples counseling.” This will not work with a narcissist  since this is an unchanging personality disorder. He or she goes a few times, thinks he has you off the scent and reverts to his old abusive patterns.

A time of reckoning comes when you awaken from this sleeping/waking nightmare. You now know that you are married to a NPD, a serious disorder, a person who is exploitive, duplicitous, betraying, cruel, cold, vindictive and completely lacks empathy. In addition you are the recipient of horrendous primitive projections that are vomited on to you from the narcissist’s toxic unconscious. Sick and exhausted from this emotional and psychological putridness–you have come to a huge fork in the road.

Now you are fully awake! You are taking action. Read about the true nature of the NPD in-depth to become fully educated. Find an excellent family law attorney who will be your true advocate maneuvering these rough waters to your freedom. Become highly informed about your financial assets and who is controlling them. Do not share anything you have learned with your narcissistic spouse. Never confront a narcissist with his or her diagnosis. This will inflame them and ring the alarm that you are planning to get out of the marriage. This can cause you undo distress and can begin a process of their concealing assets from you and planning their counterattack. You want to catch them as off-guard as possible.

Practice taking very good care of yourself. Find healing modalities that work for you including guided meditation, acupuncture, exercise that works for you, gentle hatha yoga, listening to music that is healing, spontaneous writing, spending time in Nature, etc. These practices become part of your daily life and your lifelong healing.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Narcissists Play Very Dirty During Divorce

Narcissists are consummate actors. Almost everyone believes them. This is not surprising. They have been rehearsing and perfecting stellar performances all of their lives. If they are grandiose narcissists they take over life’s stage. They thrive on attention, adulation, praise and power over others. (I am speaking about male and female narcissists.)

I have watched them hold forth during social events. They cannot stop talking about themselves, their accomplishments, successes, their net worth, their business conquests, their treks throughout the world. They are thrilled with themselves—higher than a kite.

There are covert narcissists who use the mask of humility and self effacement who do not put on these florid displays. Nevertheless, they have the same psychic structure beneath the quiet façade.

Narcissists are very engaging and we are attracted to them easily and quickly. They know how to play people; they are experts at the pursuit. It is not surprising that women and men fall romantically so hard for them.  The narcissist has decided that he/she has picked you as his marital partner and you are mesmerized. He paints a compelling picture of your lives together and you can’t say “No.”

For a while after the marriage and for some spouses, a longer space of time, you believe that this person truly loves you. You trust and love this individual. .

Small cracks begin to appear in the relationship. You catch him in lies. His temper flares often and you feel the full impact of his volcanic rage. He manipulates you through humiliation and intimidation. Your stress level mounts; you become frightened and anxious. You keep trying to make the marriage work. He betrays you over and over again. Finally you realize that the marriage is irretrievably broken and you must get divorced. This recognition can take decades.

You take the high road and agree to making a settlement, even to participate in couples therapy. He sabotages these efforts. The narcissist does everything he can to wear you down, even to make you ill so that you will have nothing including your health when he is finished with you. He will make sure that you are conquered and ruined. That is his intention. This sounds extreme but I have seen these psychological and financial assaults on the part of narcissists too many times during divorce to know that this is true. It is part of their psychopathology. They must always win at all costs.

Be ready for the dirty divorce. Make sure that you understand the psychopathology of the narcissistic personality in-depth. Hire an excellent attorney (Interview several if necessary) who is your true advocate, who understands the complex manipulations and dirty dealings of these personalities and is never intimidated. Make your plan skillfully in advance of any papers being served. Make sure you know the financial picture clearly and are keenly aware of all of the assets and their locations and have access to them. Do not share any information about your plans with anyone except a very trusted friend or relative. Make sure that you have the funds to carry you for a while if the final proceedings are delayed. Some narcissists love to drag out this process to wear you down and out so that you will make a quick settlement.

Above all, take very good care of yourself. Make sure that you get the sleep that you need and deserve. Do activities that keep up your stamina. Choose a form of physical exercise that works for you. Some individuals benefit from gentle yoga practice, guided meditation and other healing practices. Be kind and patient with yourself.

Look forward and know that the time will come that you are evolving and living freely and experience deep inner peace. You are entitled. Appreciate the lovely person you are.

 

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Malicious Narcissists Convincing Others You Are At Fault Or Crazy

Narcissists have a sinister side, especially if they want something that you have and you refuse to comply. This becomes very ugly during the severing of a marital relationship. Many non-narcissistic spouses who have been treated abominably still want to believe that when it comes to ending the marriage, the narcissist will be civil and fair just for the purpose of watching you exit quickly. The plays are opposite–Bring on the army of shark-toothed lawyers and go for the jugular. To protect yourself, study and research in-depth the true nature of the narcissistic personality including examples from real life. Get to know this personality profile intimately. It will be a strong reminder when you start to bend or buckle to the narcissist’s tricks, tactics, strong arming techniques and charm offensive.

Another dark ploy is that narcissists contact your relatives, in-laws, friends and anyone who will listen to broadcast blatant lies about your character. This doesn’t happen in all instances but it is remarkable the lengths these malicious individuals exceed to trash you, put you at fault and lead others to believe that you are “crazy”; you need immediate psychiatric help; you have always been unstable, etc. Even people whom you have trusted —family members—can be flipped to the narcissist’s side, especially if he/she has influence over them and deep pockets.

To successfully deal with these complex and stressful situations as you move toward divorce, be sure you hire an attorney who is not only an expert in family law but who is exceedingly savvy about the ruses, tricks and ploys of the narcissistic personality disorder. Your attorney needs to be highly professional but fearless in facing this relentless cruel and destructive individual. An excellent attorney in these situations must be like ultra-marathon runners. Regardless of any obstacle placed in front of them by the narcissist, they are undaunted. Their perseverance is golden.

A narcissist (male or female) will wage a custody battle for the sole purpose of trying to psychologically and financially decimate the former spouse. For the narcissist, revenge is sweet. It’s where they live in their delusional treacherous minds.

Surround yourself with individuals whom you can trust completely and who believe and understand the horrible ordeal you are going through. Be good to yourself. Know that you hold the truth. You are very wise. If some others around you don’t believe your life story, don’t associate with them. Don’t talk about your personal life. Be protective of your privacy. Another dirty offensive is to make you look “crazy” . This is so cruel and sadistic. Know that you are the sane one who is holding the truth. You are entitled to be treated with respect. You deserve it. Pay close attention to your intuition. It will always reveal the truth to you and help you to maintain a sense of steadiness and calm.

 

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