As I was falling asleep last night, hubby was watching TV. He had some Christian program on, & I heard Matthew 5:44 as I was dozing.. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (KJV) I quickly made a mental note & asked God to remind me to look up this verse & how it relates to narcissism. Thankfully, He reminded me this morning so here I am, having looked it up.
I checked this verse in the Message translation of the Bible, & it was quite eye opening:
Matthew 5:43-47: “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.”
That right there is one of the reasons I love the Message translation so much! It spells things out super clearly!
I think many people think loving your enemies means allowing them to hurt & abuse you. Clearly this isn’t what God means. Not even close.
The best way to handle a relationship with a narcissist is to pray about it- ask God how you should handle yourself with this person & do as He says. Learn from your experiences, too. Being in a relationship with a narcissist can teach you plenty of things, such as learning what boundaries to set & enforce. You also can love this person without tolerating their abuse by setting boundaries & giving them consequences for their actions. Both are very loving behaviors, as they teach how to be a better person. (Whether or not the narcissist learns from your boundaries & consequences is up to her, but you can rest assured you have done the right thing).
So many people say that you should cut ties with any narcissist, no matter who he or she is, or where this person is on the NPD spectrum. While often that is necessary to protect yourself, sometimes it isn’t feasible to sever those ties for various reasons. In cases like that, then you need to make the best of it for you. Why not use the opportunity to learn & grow?
In 2001, I cut ties with my mother. I didn’t speak to her until she called me in 2007 because she was having heart surgery. I almost didn’t allow her back into my life at that point as she showed no repentance for her past awful behaviors. She isn’t one to accept responsibility, so this wasn’t exactly a surprise. However, I allowed her back in anyway. Since that time, it hasn’t been easy, as any of you who read my blog or books know. But, I’m still glad I did it. There have been a few good times, more than ever before, & I have learned a lot. During our time apart, I was able to heal from much of the abuse she put me through, but it’s during the time together that I’ve been able to grow & learn so much about myself as well as my mother. I also have a peace now I didn’t back in 2001, because I have given the relationship with my mother my best. If one of us opts to end it now, so be it- I have the satisfaction of knowing I’ve done all I can do.
Whether you are currently in a relationship or not with your narcissistic mother, you still can follow the command Jesus gave us, & “love your enemy.” You can pray for her- pray for her healing, her Salvation & anything else you know she needs. You also can pray for yourself- ask God what you were to learn from your experiences, & how to put this knowledge into practice.