At the early stages of this journey I actually tried to summarize what I thought my healing process should look like. It captured the idea pretty well:
I’ll leave you with this. Let’s say that my body is a car. And lets say that my mind is the steering wheel. Most narcissists sleep through the entire journey and never wake up. If we do somehow wake up to our reality we find that we are asleep in the PASSENGER seat. And guess who’s driving. As you awaken, the False Self will start by trying to lull you back to sleep… and it will be relentless in doing so! In my vision, there are steps to recovery that are commensurate with: staying awake, taking over on navigation, getting into the drivers seat, silencing the false self, and ultimately booting him out of the car altogether
I’d like to take another stab at this now…
Your body is like a car. Your mind is the steering wheel.
Your life is like a road trip. It has a definite starting point, a definite ending point, and may or may not contain any number of deviations, adventures, problems, etc.
There’s just one issue. YOU are not driving your car! You are currently sleeping in the passenger seat while a manifestation of ego labeled ‘the false self’ works the pedals and turns the wheel.
Every now and then some event in your life may nudge you awake for brief moment. But in most cases its such a brief glimmer and our minds are so chaotic that we just cannot see it.
So here you are on this ~85 year road trip. Cruising along at full throttle. For some reason you’re able to wake up and recognize that you are not really in control of your own life.
The false self looks over at you from the drivers side. He smiles and tells you to rest. He lulls you back to sleep with his melodious malignant tones. If you’re able to stay awake though, you can begin engaging the driver in dialogue.
You can begin to converse with the false self and ask it important questions, like ‘where are we going?’, ‘what route are we taking?’ ‘when will we know that we’ve arrived?’
The false self will respond with anger and lash out, but you must hold your ground and continue to inquire forcefully, with loving-kindness.
Eventually the false self crumbles and admits that there is no real plan. That we are just driving aimlessly along the road, blindly striking pedestrians along the way.
You may attempt to grab the wheel and fight for control, but the false self will press down on the accelerator and send you careening out of control.
You may attempt to use the false self against itself through lies and trickery, but your false self knows your lies and your tricks, and will only grow stronger this way.
You may attempt to query the false self regarding its hopes and dreams, and extend it a safe place to share these things with you without fear or judgment. Done in this way, the false self crumbles once more and becomes a teary eyed remnant of itself.
Since the false self can no longer see through its own tears, and it no longer has strength enough to drive, it relinquishes control of the wheel to you.
At this point, you take hold of the wheel and decide which direction you want to drive in.
Within this framework, being awake in the passengers seat represents a self-aware pwNPD who understands the nature of their own disorder but takes no action.
Asking questions that penetrate the mask of the false self represents a healing pwNPD who has accepted their nature and is actively embracing it with love.
Taking over in the drivers seat represents a shift in perception consistent with a spiritual awakening – a deeply profound, uniquely personal and HIGHLY experiential understanding that you are now behind the wheel. Not really though – that’s where things start to get complicated.