When you arrive at the truth about the narcissist who has taken so much from you—psychologically and emotionally–whether it is a mother, father, sibling or an entire family, you have come to a fork in the road of your life. The next steps follow the path of self healing. First, you are entitled to be whole and healthy and to live peacefully inside of yourself. You leave the constant fear, apprehension and dread behind and wonder to yourself: “What is is the next step?” As you tune into your intuition the steps toward your new life will unfold. You realize that for years and decades you have wanted to pursue a creative path. This take innumerable forms: writing, sketching, journaling, gardening, photography, singing, journeys into Nature, dancing, yoga, tai chi, meditation in a form that appeals to you, walk, strolling. Everything is open to you now. It is helpful to write down what you love best. Don’t worry about the order of things—just write and let your imagine go skipping along. Be as open as you can without editing.
Get into the habit of devoting some time each day in quiet and solitude, even for five minutes. This is your time. Practice self care for the first time since you have left the narcissist behind. Appreciate the beauty of moments–watching the sky, laughing with a baby, smiling at a stranger, savoring a delicious bite of your favorite food, bringing color into your life, dressing to please yourself, allowing yourself to rest when you are tired, slowing down your pace so that you are more aware of living each moment, laughing freely and openly, developing rituals which you enjoy. Slowly these actions will become habits and form the new fabric of your life. As you go along you will bring people into your life whom you can trust and with whom you can communicate. You decide who you want to be in your life. If it is not comfortable and easy, don’t let that person in. You have already seen that picture show. Stop pleasing everyone if that has been your old mantra. Learn to appreciate your own company in a way that is appealing to you. Your restart has begun and you are moving forward with greater confidence in yourself, a sense of your creative gifts and an renewed openness to the dynamic flow of life.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.