Cure #19: "How Great I Art - Not!":
The Vanity Cure
What is Vanity?
Vanity is a signal from your
Mental (Thought) Body
that you are out of balance with your "proper" place in the universe.
Vanity arises whenever the "will-ego" and the "conscience-Soul" are
severely out of balance - in both directions. Either someone thinks
they are "God's gift" to the universe
or that they are "God's mistake"
(masochistic vanity) -
neither of which are really true.
Emotions Closely Related to Vanity:
Pride, Shame, Loneliness, Procrastination
Qualities Need to Resolve Vanity:
Love, Humility, Self Esteem, Inner Peace
Mental (Thought) Body,
What is Vanity Trying to Tell You (It's Spiritual Purpose)?
The spiritual purpose of Vanity is to balance the two tracks along with
we live out our many lives as Soul in the universe.
is our individual journey as Soul through
the universe (karma) so we can become fully Self Realized.
The second track
is our continuous connection to the God Source
(known as our Higher Self) and the collective consciousness so we can
become fully God Realized.Vanity is the result when these
two tracks are out of balance: creating either excessive
pride (narcissistic vanity) or excessive meekness (masochistic vanity).
How NOT to Respond to Vanity:
The most important
thing in responding to vanity is to remember that it is a signal, like
pain in your physical body, that is trying to tell you are out of balance.
The worst thing you can do is to move from the center and seek either of
the extremes of vanity: pride or meekness.
great I art"),
the will and the conscience are imbalanced in the direction of a person
believing that they are the universe instead of just having a place in
it. Pride is the vanity imbalance that results when the needs of the
individual are always put ahead of the needs of the collective universe.
("what a miserable bag of dung
I am"), the will and the conscience are imbalanced
in the direction of a person falsely believing they have no place in the universe.
Meekness is the vanity imbalance that results when the needs of the collective universe
are always put ahead of the needs of the individual.
Excessive pride inevitably leads to an individual being
"burned up" while
excessive meekness inevitably leads to an individual being
By the counter tension of these opposite forces, the individual comes to
a place of humility where honoring oneself and the universe can be properly
How TO Respond to Vanity - The Vanity Cure:
"All life embodies the yin (meekness) and embraces
the yang (pride) through their union achieving harmony."
For pride teaches us how to be strong
and meekness teaches us how to be compassionate and by tempering our power
with love we grow to be fully realized beings. Some life experiences
will tear down our pride while others will puff up our meekness so we
can become - in the end - true humility.
Evaluation - Active Listening:
Since the only opinion
that the narcissist values is their own, they rarely listen to - let alone
consider - the opinions of others. Yet if the narcissist is honest with
themselves, they will have noticed recurring patterns in the feedback that
others give them about their behavior. The best and quickest way for the
narcissist to start correcting their behavior is to actively listen to
Active listening is more than "hearing" what the other person
has to say. It is asking questions about what the person has to say in a
sincere effort to discern precisely how their narcissistic actions are
so hurtful to others. As the saying goes:
"Would to God the gift He gives us, to see ourselves
as others see us". For if the narcissist could
do so, they would see how destructive their behavior is - not just to others
- but to themselves karmically as they reincarnate over many lifetimes.
* Evaluation - Implementing Feedback:
Seeking and listening
to feedback will do the narcissist no good unless they decide to act on it
and change their behavior "for the better". This is where the real problem
lies for the narcissist. For making a change (whether great or small) implies
that the narcissist has been two things they "cannot stand": imperfect
(something is actually wrong with "them") and at fault ("they" actually
were wrong, weak, or inferior somehow).
Worse, implementing feedback involves personal transformation
which is often perceived as a "triple threat". First, change means the
narcissist must "compromise" their "unique and special" identity which has
been created as a carefully cultivated defense against the world. Second,
they will feel that by making changes they have become "subservient" to
"lesser beings". Third, change means they will have to face and heal the
pain which caused them to adopt a narcissist defense in the first place.
* Evaluation - Reaching Back:
Narcissists always leave a
long trail of dead relationships - whether it be with family, friends, spouses,
or coworkers - in their wake. For people who cannot meet the never ending
demands of the narcissist for attention, validation, and support either leave
in disgust or are banished from their universe by the narcissist. Often the best
chance that the narcissist has to improve is to "reach back" to those who
they used to know and ask for help.
Those who the narcissist have "wronged"
by past behavior will be delighted to share their opinions and - sometimes -
will even be willing to help them in their recovery. And even if reaching
back does not achieve the desired results, it will impress the Lords of Karma
with the fact that the narcissist has tried to change and grow beyond
the self defeating behaviors that no longer serve them.
* Evaluation - Valuing Others:
Narcissism can only be
cured when the narcissist learns to value and respect others in the same
way that they value themselves. To begin this process, the narcissist
needs to take an inventory of all the people in their life and decide who
on this list are the most essential to their happiness.
For each of these essential people, the narcissist must list 33 things
about the other person which they genuinely admire. This list cannot
include items that relate to the narcissist as in how this person "helped
them" or what this person "gave to them" or how this person "flatters them"
or why this person "is like them", etc. Seeing the value in others is the
truest sign that the narcissist is beginning to see past their own needs,
wants, and desires and is the only true cure for narcissistic vanity.
Appreciation - Self Esteem Recording:
Masochism should be
defined as any instance where you are unable to honor or value yourself
and, by failing to do so, you are hurt - physically, mentally, emotionally,
or spiritually. The traditional term - "lack of self esteem" - is just
too mild to really capture the harm that having no sense of self worth
can do to a person. As the saying goes, "If I am not for myself, who will
be for me?" Often the answer is "no one".
And yet, if you do have others
in your life who are "for you", then one of the most powerful ways they
can show you this is by participating in creating a "Self Esteem" Recording
for you. Have your "champions" record - without you being present - a
message about what they like best about you. The only rule is that
their message must be positive and uplifting. If there is even the slightest
thing that is negative or uncomplimentary about you, edit it
out. Play that recording over and over again until you too can believe in all
the wonderful things others already see in you.
* Appreciation - Positive Self Inventory:
So often masochists suffer from the "Swiss Cheese"
Syndrome. This is where compliments and positives messages fly through the
"holes" in our swiss cheesed memory and are "lost and gone forever". While
criticisms and negative message slam against the sides of the swiss cheese
and stay embedded in our memory forever.
"Positive Self Inventory"
is designed to reverse this process. To do it, you
simply fill in the blanks of the following incomplete sentences by giving
only positive answers about yourself.
As in "I like myself because ___."
And "The thing I do best is ___."
And "My best quality is ___."
And "My special talent is ___."
And "I feel proud when I ___."
And "I feel powerful when ___."
And "The most important thing to know about me is ___."
And "What makes me unique is ___."
And "The thing I like best about myself is ___."
And "God loves me because ___."
And "I love myself because ___."
And "If I was introduced to someone new, the first great thing they
would notice about me is ___."
* Appreciation - Getting Vitamins J & L:
Those suffering from "Low Self Esteem" always have
a shortage of Vitamins J (Joy) & L (Love). Make no mistake: joy and love
are as essential nutrients for the proper functioning of body and mind as
any other "vitamin or mineral". The good news is that joy and love are
things that we can freely give ourselves. And we are the only ones who
can know what it is that truly makes us feel totally joyful and loved.
The best part of all is that we can start giving ourselves
joy and love right now at this minute: no need to leave the house, visit
the doctor, and spend lots of money. To make this work, we have to give
ourselves Vitamins J & L every day, day after day, for at least 15 minutes
a day. Accept no substitutes and allow nothing to interfere with these
Vitamins… your life depends on it!
* Appreciation - Annual Performance Review:
There is no
reason to wait until your life review to assess your life's progress. At
least once a year (or whenever you are getting down on yourself) take out
a piece of paper and write about how you believe you did as a person during
the past year. Write in the third person using your name (ie. I would
write "Ellen helped… or did…" etc).
This review can only include items
about your "performance" that are positive and complimentary. Be sure to
include those items where you received a "thank you" from others, where
you made someone else smile, where you feel that you "made a difference"
in the positive resolution of a situation and so on. So often in the daily
busyness of our lives, we can lose track of the good that we do in our
lives… the Annual Performance Review will remind us of this!
* Centering - Physically:
Balanced humility is the state
where we value ourselves knowing that we are divine creations but we know
that our purpose is to serve all life with love. An essential component
of valuing ourselves is honoring the body and mind that is our vehicle in
this life. The human body was made to flow (receive and give) love
unconditionally (in fact, the human body suffers greatly without love).
Touch is an essential part of flowing love to ourselves and others and
centering ourselves in balanced humility. When we are babies we instinctively
know this truth and demand to be touched by a variety of other people
everyday. Touch connects us as babies to life. It is touch that we are
really craving from our romantic partners. It is this touch which sustains
our bodies in vibrant health. The
Reiki Heart Anchor
is how we touch our hearts to center ourselves
in love. It connects us the essential truth of our existence: "we
receive love, we give love, we are love."
* Centering - Mentally:
At every moment, we are choosing
either life or death. We choose life when we honor ourselves by making
empowering choices, by having life affirming emotions, and by seeing ourselves
"positively". When we do not, we are choosing death. By our choices in life,
we can be our own best friend or worst enemy. It begins inside with the
beliefs and thoughts we choose.
Our beliefs and thoughts manifest as
self talk - the internal dialogue we have running in our minds - which
will either empower us to master life or limit us to being life's slave.
Running the Gauntlet
will show us whether or not our beliefs and thoughts
are empowering us into achieving a state of balanced humility.
* Centering - Emotionally:
Love is the most powerful force in the universe.
It is the magic universal solvent which cuts through all hate, all fears,
all problems, all obstacles, all difficulties. The basis for all love is
love of self. As you love yourself more, you love others more. As you
love others more, you love yourself more.
Love is the only things
that is boundless and timeless - it is the beginning and the ending, the
alpha and the omerga, of the universe. For any question, love is the
answer - it is living
that brings us into balanced humility.
* Centering - Spiritually:
Dare to live your life holistically.
In the words of
"Hua Hu Ch'ing" (Lao Tse),
"join your body, mind, and
spirit in all you do. Make choices accord with nature. Rely on yourself.
Allow your work and your recreation to be one and the same. Do exercise
that develops your whole being. Listen to music that bridges your body,
mind, and spirit. Serve others while cultivating yourself."
"Understand that true growth comes from meeting and solving the problems of
life in a way that is harmonizing to yourself and others. If you can follow
these simple old ways, you will be renewed." Follow these simple old ways
and you will enter into a state of balanced humility with ease.
"The wretch, concentred all in self, Living,
shall forfeit fair renown, And, doubly dying, shall go down To the vile dust
from whence he sprung, Unwept, unhonour'd, and unmourned." (Walter Scott,
Those who are excessive vain and self-centered
may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder!
Narcissistic Personality Defined:
The Narcissistic Personality
is excessively obsessed with itself and is focused on pursuing purely
selfish and self centered goals. This disorder was named after the
mythological Greek youth named Narcissus. He became obsessed with his
own handsome reflection in a lake and died because he could not stop
looking at his own beauty.
Concentered in Self:
The Narcissistic Personality is totally
self absorbed and lacks any empathy for the feelings of others. They
constantly exaggerate their own importance, achievements, talents, and
history to everyone. They indulge in imagining unrealistic fantasies
about their own success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance prowess.
They want and feel they deserve "the best" of everything.
Manipulator of Others:
The Narcissistic Personality has difficulty
in keeping healthy and long lasting relationships with others. They
come across as cold, unemotional, unreasonable, and demanding. Their
need for constant attention and positive approval from others strains
their relationships. Their selfish habit of using others to reach their
own goals, of reacting to any criticism with anger or hurt, and of
becoming jealous easily drives romantic partners away.
The Narcissistic Personality is usually an
"immature" soul who is young in karmic experience. Like a baby, these
individuals are at the stage when they are exploring the universe by
taking in everything: like people, resources, experiences, and so on.
Their taking assumes extreme forms and it rapidly creates negative
karma for the individual (for example, when the string of their failed
relationships ends up leaving them alone and lonely).
In their past lives, the Narcissistic Personality
was wounded. Selfishness is their way of striking back: they get for
themselves what others took from them in the past. Nevertheless, their
habit of selfishness can only make their path through life more difficult…
until they learn to be more selfless.
"Love has to be killed, either by neglect or narcissism. Those guilty
of these crimes of the heart always hide behind excuses: they are too ashamed or
lacking in integrity and courage to face the truth. To them, it is always
something other than their own actions, desires and self-importance that
is to blame. They can never experience true love for they can never really
give of themselves." (Frank Salvato)
Are you involved with a narcissist (a person who
only truly cares ONLY about themselves)? Here is how to know for sure:
* This person acts as if they are better, smarter, more talented, and
more deserving than others.
* This person lies to get what they want and they feel that they are
totally justified in doing so.
* This person acts as if they are famous and have done something great
(whether it is true or not).
* This person has little to no interest in what other people think,
feel, want, or care about.
* This person takes routinely takes advantage of others to achieve
their own (superior) goals.
* This person contacts others only when they want something from them
(they always take and rarely give).
* This person regularly disregards rules or expects the rules to be
changed just to cater to them.
* This person loves competition only when they win (but they are an
extremely poor loser).
* This person has a double standard: one for them (a greater one) and
one for everyone else (a lesser one).
* This person wants only the best for themselves in terms of material
possessions and treatment by others.
* This person only associates with others who can help them get what
they want or feel they deserve.
* This person refuses to recognize their own mistakes and so always
they blame others when things go wrong.
* This person often complains of being mistreated or misunderstood or
ignored by others.
* This person thinks most criticisms about them are unfounded and
instead are motivated by jealousy.
* This person has a long trail of failed relationships with significant
others in the past.
* This person is annoyed when asked to honor their responsibilities
to family, friends, or co-workers.
* This person is annoyed when others do not automatically what they
have asked when they want it.
* This person often explains why prominent people are not better than
them or are not all that great.
* This person regards anything short of "worship of their greatness"
to be rejection.
"Narcissism defined: everything is all about them and they want you
to be all about them as well and they will do and say anything to you to
keep you trapped in their little dream world, a world of total mind-fuck
where you always end up the bad guy." (Anonymous)
Want to get free from a narcissist (a person who only truly cares ONLY
Educate Yourself: Recognize the warning signs of narcissism.
Educate yourself about their telltale behaviors. The hallmark of a
narcissist is their unrelenting selfishness. The best way to get rid
of one is to be clear about and enforce your boundaries. Say "No"
often enough and they will say "Goodbye!"
Actions Speak Louder: It is by their behavior
that you really know others. So never listen to a narcissist's words, instead
observe their behavior. If their behavior feels wrong to you, then none of
their words can make it feel right. If you challenge their excuses
and say "No" to their demands often enough, they will break it off.
Protect Your Assets: Narcissists will drain
you dry of time, energy, peace of mind, and (especially) money (or other
valuables). They will always be borrowing from you and never repaying.
Yet if you cut off the flow of their goodies, they will soon tire of you
and move on to other more profitable targets.
Refuse Mind Games: One thing narcissists
love to do is play mind games. They will use what you told them (in
confidence) about your weaknesses and vulnerabilities against you. If
they have betrayed you like this, just ignore them. Since they must
be the center of attention, this will drive Narcissists crazy.
Seek Support: If you feel more like a hostage
and less like a loved one in your relationship, know that this is what the
Narcissist wants: to isolate you from family and friends. Narcissists want
you at their beck and call at all times. Do not lose connection with your
support circle: they are your lifeline away from the Narcissist.
Deserve Better: The karmic lesson that
Narcissists have to teach you is to deserve better for yourself. They
expect the best from life and are willing to get it by exploiting you.
So you expect to get the best… only in ways that serve you and are for
the highest good of all. Start by getting rid of the Narcissists
from your life!