Is Narcissism Inherent to the Patriarchy?
Firstly, let me clarify what I mean here when I say Patriarchy.
I’m talking about the distortions in the Divine Masculine that have run rampant over the past several millennia to result in the structures that define the way we show up in the world. Visible and invisible structures, asking us to define ourselves according to some collectively accepted norm.
I mean the disowning of authentic emotional engagement that has resulted in a society rife with zombie-like humanoids thrumming with unexpressed rage, grief and joy.
I’m referring to the distortions that have led to the over-sexualization of bodies and their parts to the point that people of multiple genders feel unsafe expressing their unique and delicious truths. And the entitlement to the harnessing of feminine energy — emotional labor, reproductive cycles, the Earth.
I’m talking about the unspoken and deeply ingrained expectations of what it means to be a good citizen, a contributing member of society, a nice person, or a ___boy, girl, man, woman, etc. ____. Shame is a common way we hold one another accountable and keep one another in check. Toeing the line is expected, and those who don’t play the game the way it was laid out are shunned, denied or ridiculed.
I’m pointing to the storyline of war as the answer to all problems and the total annihilation of the other. I’m talking about the desire to soothe our need for security with weapons bigger than buildings, and political debates that resemble schoolyard pissing matches.
Narcissism is rife in collective structures, and it is at the root of some deeply-held trauma begging to be addressed. The acting out we see, in the form of massacres, political unrest, Occupy movements, and collaborative activism, are symptoms of the changes that appear to be resulting in chaos.
Eventually, whatever is denied will rise again. Whatever is ignored or disowned will return, to be owned and claimed and heard and felt and experienced. It will roar with unspent rage at having been pushed aside for so long, and it will cause us to listen.
This is true on an individual level and at the collective level. Look to stories of people whose lives have fallen apart only to discover that a deeper truth lies buried in the rubble of what was. Listen to stories of people who have denied their soul’s longings only to discover they got louder and louder until they were forced in some way to listen.
Find stories of people who have snapped after years of trying to be something other than what they were.
All these stories point to a different truth than the structures of the patriarchy would have us believe. We are allowed to feel; we are supposed to feel. That’s why our bodies contain the capacity to express emotion. We are allowed to express our sexual desires and proclivities in whatever way suits us, not designed by or according to anything outside of ourselves.
We are allowed to express our outrage and horror when people commit crimes because they feel unheard or unappreciated. We are allowed to call our leaders out as liars, cheats, thieves and despots, if that is what they are.
A narcissist engenders fear and instills trauma with their desperate need to sell a story that everyone buys. Their inability for self-reflection and honest self-assessment is ineffectually hiding a deep fear of being discovered for who they (believe they) are: wounded, powerless and desperate for love and acceptance. The carefully constructed external façade would collapse in the face of deep introspection.
Is narcissism inherent to the patriarchy? We’ve been sold lies about what it means to be successful, authentic, loving, compassionate, beautiful, feminine, masculine, or alive. We’ve been sold lies about what it means to be part of a society of good people — lies about what is shameful and what constitutes heroism. We’ve been sold lies about how we must look, sound, behave and obey.
We’ve been sold lies about the very fabric of humanity — the desire to know and love ourselves and one another.
There’s nothing wrong with looking out for the greater good. There’s nothing wrong with caring for others and offering assistance where we can. The distortion arises when we buy into the myth that self-sacrifice makes us honorable, loving and good.
The distortion becomes more obvious as we take on the martyr mantle and start casting blame on others for the discomfort in our lives, unable to admit to ourselves that we’ve caused it through denial of our own basic needs and desires. Adherence to the status quo has created more chaos than peace.
When we heal our deepest wounds, as individuals first, and subsequently as a collective, we begin to unravel the narcissism at play. We begin to see how choices of generations past have resulted in unhealed shit that is now growing in its intensity to be addressed and transformed.
How can we pretend that the British Empire didn’t rape and pillage its way around the world, in a wash of bloodshed, in pursuit of so-called glory? In its wake, a Commonwealth of nations destroyed and left with legacies of trauma. How can we pretend that the times of slavery in the US haven’t left gaping, unhealed wounds in the fabric of modern society?
We cannot ignore the trauma that has become an underlying thread in the normal of our modern world. We cannot deny that choices made while feeling traumatized are not choices we would make when feeling peace, freedom, compassion and unconditional love. Fear has kidnapped our senses and made us into the monsters that haunt our nightmares.
Narcissism is the ego gone awry. It is grandiosity, entitlement, lack of empathy, fantasies of limitless power, extreme envy, arrogance, and contempt for other ways of being. It is the bypassing of the heart’s wisdom to overlay the beautiful truth with a storyline that creates unease and uncertainty. When trauma is present, it renders us helpless, and we look outside for solutions and responses.
It numbs us to our truth as creative, dynamic and magical. It causes us to shut down and become constricted, and shift into survival mode. From there, we behave like victims of a world that’s beyond our control. Narcissism in the patriarchy has run amok. The distortions are spiraling out of control.
This is what the Shift is supposed to be about: rebalancing, remembering who we are, at the core of our beings. We are magic.
It is time to detach from the structures that weave distortion through the collective consciousness and create anew; to call out the narcissists for what they are and refuse to engage with their stories; to demand alternatives to the accepted ways, especially when they feel abusive, discordant or in other ways hurtful; to create alternatives when our demands go unacknowledged; to express what we’re feeling and allow others to do the same; to embrace one another in our humanness; to model the new way and to not give up believing that we’re making a difference.
Power lies in choice. We can choose the way of peace and inclusivity over the lies of separation and fear. We can choose expansion over unconsciousness. We can choose change over stagnation. We can choose trust over everything. We can choose to remain open even when it hurts like hell. We can choose to feel and grow, and not to hide.
We can choose to be visible, and to use our voices to create the good we desire to see. We can choose to see the good in everything and everyone. We can choose to listen to our hearts. We can choose to speak out about our trauma and the courage we found to heal.
We can love ourselves and our experiences in ways we never imagined possible. We can access the parts of us that know all things are connected and have led to this exact moment in time to our expansion and joy. We can accept people as they are, knowing that their journey has shaped them in the same way ours has shaped us.
As we hold ourselves sacred, the world becomes a sacred container.
Jenny Griffin is an intuitive messenger, Earth Goddess, mystic and mentor at Jenny Griffin, The Power of Change. Her fascination with catharsis and transformation has led her on some incredible adventures through a wide array of experiences with diverse people all over the world. She has overcome narcissistic abuse in her own life, and loves helping other empaths navigate this dynamic. Her work can be found in numerous online and collaborative projects and publications. Jenny’s first book, Domestication of the Spirit, is pending publication. You could connect with her via Twitter or Facebook.