What is “Healthy”?

It’s Narcissist Friday!

 

 

After a long period of abuse or illness, it is usually difficult to know what it means to be healthy. “Normal” has been redefined in our lives. We flinch when someone begins to speak because we have come to expect criticism. We worry about appearance and performance because we think everyone is watching us. Our definition of a “good day” becomes one where less pain and suffering comes into our lives.

So what is healthy? Would you know it if you saw it in someone else? Would you sense its growth in your own life? What progress would you seek if you desired health? How would you measure the distance toward the goal?

I have been guilty of trying to motivate people to seek health without clearly picturing that health for them. Parents should seek to be healthy for themselves and for their children. Spouses should seek personal health as protection against the abuse and as provision for the future. Those who find themselves in narcissistic relationships usually discover that health has been drained from their lives, but also find it difficult to remember just what is now lacking.

I could certainly claim that health, emotional and otherwise, is different for each person. Healthy actions of one may not be healthy for another. But, for the most part, that’s a cop-out. The truth is that there are some things common to all of us that are part of being healthy. I want to share just one of these in this post.

 

Healthy people accept love. Stop here to think about that for a moment. Say those words to yourself.

 

People in narcissistic relationships commonly lose the ability to accept love. Some didn’t have that ability in the first place. When the false love of the narcissist came along, they looked past all the warnings to embrace the lie—because it offered love. It isn’t that we didn’t need or want love. It was that we didn’t believe love. We didn’t feel lovable. We doubted our own worth and made the expressions of love from others unwelcome. We pushed love away, in spite of our need.

Yet we accepted the false love of the narcissist. The lie made more sense to us than the true love offered by others. The narcissist set a trap using our own need against us. We trusted the narcissist above others because the lie was mixed so carefully with our own confusion.

And how did that work out? Not so good. When we finally realized that the love of the narcissist was false, our doubts about love were reaffirmed. Now trust is even harder, love is even more doubted, and the familiar loneliness is normal again. Fear and resignation become more deeply entrenched than before. It has become even easier to push others away.

So stop it! There are two lies that have defeated you. The first was that you were unlovable, unworthy of the kindness and attention of others. The second was the idea that the narcissist offered what you needed. Part of the reason you accepted the second was because the first was already planted in your heart. Repairing the damage done by the first will help you avoid a repeat of the second.

Have you ever wondered why children of narcissistic parents find themselves in relationships with narcissistic lovers? Or why victims of one narcissist open themselves to a second? It is not stupidity or inability to see the warnings. It is the need of the heart infected by the lie that they are fundamentally unlovable.

Healthy people accept love. There is real love reaching out to you. Maybe friends or family. Maybe kind acquaintances. Genuine and simple love. Real love. Love that doesn’t want to take from you or use you. Love that just offers acceptance and connection. Yes, there are those who will cause you pain. There are deceivers. But not everyone is a deceiver. Some people really do love. Accept that love.

But even more. There is One who loves you far beyond anything any of the rest of us can. He reaches out to you with sincere acceptance. Yes, He knows the things you have done. Yes, He knows your doubts. Yes, He knows your weaknesses. Yes, He knows your fears. He knows that you will not be faithful to Him. He knows that your heart will wander and struggle. And, knowing all of that, He still reaches out to you with love. Acceptance, full and free.

How can you ever give love unless you can first accept it for yourself? Yes, to be healthy means to be able to accept love. But the joy is that you don’t have to go out and find it. Your job is simply to accept it when it comes.

Let me change your thinking on one powerful and simple word: FAITH. Faith is accepting the love of God. Faith is the willingness to open your heart to the love He offers. He offers it because of who He is—and He genuinely loves who you are. He moves on His own to reach out and love you, but He also moves through others to show you His love.

In faith, open your heart and see the love of God around you. Let Him tell you that He values you. Nothing for you to strive for or earn, nothing to deserve, just real love given freely to you.

Accept that you are accepted in Him. Be healthy.

14 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

14 responses to “What is “Healthy”?

  1. This blew my mind, but more importantly touched my heart in a way that needed to be touched. I am thankful that God truly does love me, and I am accepted by Him- I accept that today!

  2. I always counsel women escaping abusive relationships who come to me for legal counsel and other counsel to make healing and health their first priority. When we are healthy, we are able to give love, receive love, and spot the fake love that narcissists offer. When we are healthy, we can reach out to our troubled children who are confused from the lies that the Narcissist has told about their mother and others, and let them see that we are, in fact, the healthy one. We can love our children, even when they reject us (due to the lies of the Narcissist), so that they will eventually come back to us and to God. When we are healthy, we serve others from a position of strength and confidence that God loves us (even when the Narcissist has rejected us), and is for us, and has a plan for us, and is stronger than any force in the Universe, and will give us strength for the assignment He has called us to, and goes before us. Conversely, when we are unhealthy from the years of abuse, we are paralyzed, depressed, and ineffective because of the fear and intimidation. Fear is Satan’s biggest weapon, and he uses it in every relationship with a Narcissist. If he can’t completely destroy us, making us ineffective and a scared little girl stuck in an emotional fetal position is a good second best.

    But God has given us a spirit of boldness and courage because our trust is in Him – and that drives out the fear, and drives out Satan with it. I hope that the people reading this blog will make healing and health and intimacy with God their number one priority. Narcissists and the evil that they bring will not change. It’s like expecting Satan to change his character. It won’t happen. Thankfully, God won’t change his character either. He loves us. In fact, He’s crazy about us!! Our mission is to be God’s warrior equipped for the battle – and that means being strong, courageous, bold and healthy in the Lord! Amen!!

    • Georgette

      Thank you Dave and Charlene! You both have explained in simple terms of what my therapist has been trying to tell me for months or I’m to the point where God has opened my heart and mind to accept reality and truth! You both nailed it!!! My God bless you both!

  3. cefeather

    As always, well stated, and just what I need to hear. It has been almost 90 days since I had a conversation with my narc ex-wife. I am slowly coming out of the fog of emotional manipulation and false love. I realize I was the perfect target; I felt unlovable and she showed me otherwise, of course it was just a big lie. I lost it all for a lie, and she showed no compassion whatsoever. Love shows compassion, love and empathy are intertwined. And that leaves the narcissist out of the picture.

  4. Susan

    Beautiful reminder! Thank you❤️

  5. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. –1 John 4:18 New King James Version (NKJV)

    For many years, I was staunchly agnostic. Because of all the pain, suffering, and sorrows in the world, and especially because of all the extreme abuses and traumas that I have gone through in my life, I could not believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, righteous, and holy God of love.

    But His amazing love reached down to me, all the way down to the pit of utter despair where my pain and brokenness and rebellious sinful nature had taken me. His love, mercy, and grace was so awesome, and pursued me so relentlessly, that I finally could deny Him no longer. I opened my broken heart and said Yes to His love. And immediately, the healing of my shattered soul began.

    God is, and God is good, and God is love. Love, unlike its counterfeit, can heal and restore and fill with joy, even the most broken spirit.

    I am His, I am loved, and it is well with my soul!

    • cefeather

      So well said, and so true! But until we experience personally, they are just words. As is often the case, we cannot experience until we hit rock bottom and there is nothing left. This is what narcissists do for us, strip away everything else, until God and God only is our only hope. And there is He is, Jesus, our Savior, welcoming us, prodigal sons, running toward us. He does not say “What took you so long?” In his economy, everything happens for a reason, and in his perfect timing.

  6. Anne

    Takk.Dette trengte jeg virkelig.Ingenting er umulig for Gud🙏❤

  7. Charlene

    Thank you!

  8. Janet

    Wow!!! This is just so true!!! Very insightful about not being able to receive love. And to trust?…. yep, just won’t go there anymore.
    But, how does one know who is offering true love or not? The N seems so real at first.
    You become so numb. Its like you think:
    no. freaking. way. ever. again.
    You trust NO ONE. Yet, the Lord I KNOW is genuine, gives generously and not just takes and takes and takes and takes…

  9. I know this post is speaking truth. Confirms that I’m still not healed and healthy, yet. It’s difficult to trust and believe that others may actually love me and care for my well-being now that they know the truth. I’ve been taken advantage of so many times …

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