It’s Narcissist Friday!
I just watched one of those police dramas. A young female officer was supposed to go undercover as a prostitute. They brought in a “real” prostitute to make sure the officer looked right. She said something I found interesting and sad. She told the officer, “Turn the light off in your eyes.”
The light in our eyes allows us to see the beauty and wonder of the world around us. The joy and energy of children, the beauty of creation, the pleasure of human relationships, the wonder of God’s love.
One of the consistent marks of abuse is the lack of wonder. The lights are off in the eyes. Years of discouragement, shame, fear, and anxiety take away the wonder of the world around us. Apathy grows as opportunities decrease. With no way out, the next day will be just as bad as the day before. With no hope of change, there is little joy in noticing the good around you. Who cares about the rainbows and flowers when the soul is crushed by despair and cruelty?
I have seen husbands and wives, kids and parents, who have lost their sense of wonder. Wonder sparks the curiosity and awe in us, but who has time for curiosity when daily survival takes all the focus? I have seen the lightless eyes in retail and government workers. (“The TSA does not have a sense of humor, Ma’am.”) You see it in the homeless, the addicted, and the dying.
My heart pants, my strength fails me; As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.
Narcissistic relationships can rob you of your wonder. Constant criticism and shaming, abusive words, unfulfilled promises, twisting and manipulating. At first, you try to please the narcissist. You might keep trying hard for years. And every time the pain comes, the light goes out a little more. Every failure, every criticism, every disagreement—more is lost.
Now that the narcissist is gone, you try to sort out what is missing. One of the things that you may not even have noticed is that you can’t seem to “stop and smell the roses.” You used to do that—and many other things that allowed you to wonder and enjoy life. But life got complicated, you say. The days became so full of anxiety and work that you no longer even saw the roses.
But the wonder isn’t gone. You just shut it off because it interfered with the struggle. You couldn’t afford the distraction of wonder. Let it be turned on again.
The world is filled with mystery and wonder. There are people to meet who will impress you with their energy, hope, and joy. The creativity of some people is amazing. The little ones can enjoy such simple things, and holding them is one of the greatest blessings of life. There is beauty in the sky and the earth beneath your feet. God’s creativity is marvelous!
You are a wonder. You made it through the pain. You are still surviving and growing in spite of the opposition. Your body, your abilities, your reasoning—are all miracles.
The wonder of life is worth fighting for. You are worth fighting for. Find the way to get the light back into your eyes.
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart