“If you’ve been programmed by a narcissist, they’re leaving all of those wounds wide open. So they could just come back at any time and press that wound, and boom, you’re triggered, and boom, you’re triggered. The key is deal with the button. Because if you can deal with the buttons, now you are in control.” — Steven Twohig Ep 111 Empath and the Narcissist podcast
We’ve all been there before. Whether it was a childhood experience or something more recent, we know how painful it can be to deal with past traumas. But if you’re stuck in an abusive relationship, it can feel impossible to heal from the pain.
But, shadow work is a powerful tool that can help people overcome emotional wounds and move forward in life. It involves working on healing old hurts by looking at the parts of yourself that were damaged during the abuse.
In this podcast, our guest Steve Twohig will show you how to use shadow work to help you heal trauma from narcissism.
If you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse, you might find it difficult to trust anyone again. You might also struggle with feeling worthless and unlovable. This can make it hard to form healthy relationships.
Here are the Key Takeaways
The Root of Narcissism
[6:44] The root of narcissism is trauma, pain, and suffering. But when those of us that have been traumatized by narcissism, the problem is there’s some part of us that desires to fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
The line in the movie Jerry McGuire, “You complete me.” is a complete lie.
The twin flame mythology is also very dangerous, and models the belief of finding love in relationships. You believe somehow you need something outside of yourself to complete you. What is out there is way less painful than what’s inside. And the danger is, the narcissist’s shadow, at some level, is calling out to another’s shadow and they come together with immense magnetism.
[8:34] People always question. “Am I the narcissist?”
That typically is the narcissist’s game. DARVO
Defend, Attack, and Reverse the Victim role upon the Offender.
But just recognize that the behavior you feel ashamed of is in your shadow, and if you already are asking, then you are not the narcissist denying it. And there is hope and action that you can heal it.
The reason that a narcissist will leverage that doubt of yours, is because a half truth is more dangerous than a full on lie.
How the Mind Works
[12:22] All of the stories and all the meanings that you made up are what form your reality in your world.
By default you navigate through trauma with the narrative of: “I’m trapped, or I’m not.” Now the problem is that is survival based thinking. 3.5 million years we have been thinking in survival mode.
The National Science Foundation suggests that 95% of your thoughts are repetitive. And 80% of your thoughts at a minimum are negative. They are attack thoughts, awful-seeking, and negative biases. There are 24 cognitive biases that the mind deals with to try to make meaning in this outside world. And they are rooted in navigating this formless void that we found ourselves in.
And the problem is most of us have been hobbled before we even knew we could walk.
The mind wants to take meaning. The core design of the mind is built to make meaning of its surroundings.
“I was trapped in the basement by my step monster. She beat me, she starved me. She pulled my hair out, like it was torture for a length of time.
TRAUMA was baseline for my thoughts and reality.” — Steven Twohig
And so the mind subconsciously sees the meaning that you’re trapped. And trauma knows no time. It is rooted in the past, but it can reappear and remember in the present and be feared it will continue in your future.
Now years later, Steven is older and no longer in that basement. But when he is talking to his wife about what they are going to have for dinner, thoughts and frustrations crop us such as: “How come I always got to pick?”
You see it’s rooted in that trapped trauma, like she’s trying to trap him with a decision. And his shadow thinks, “Why are you trying to trap me in this “basement”?
And the same behaviors play out from your beliefs rooted in your past trauma into your relationships. Therefore creating patterns of pain.
Why the Narcissist Lashes out
[15:21] So you see why the traumatized narcissist (and empath) will not let you anywhere near that pain is:
“And not only am I not gonna let you near that pain, I’m gonna keep that pain behind me, and then it’s gonna come outta me. And then I’m gonna project on you that you’re trying to trap me, and then I’m gonna react out of that.” — Steven Twohig
And when the narcissist reacts out of that, you filter it in your mind as, it is your fault. You filter it through all of your beliefs, so by the time it gets processed, it doesn’t look like a little boy trapped in the basement. It looks like a man screaming at his wife.
It looks completely different on the abuser’s side because you’re not seeing the three year old little boy trapped in the basement. That’s not who you’re looking at.
We are all Empaths
[16:22] I think we are all empaths at some level. The problem is that most people are not conscious of it. And so when you are not conscious you are feeling somebody else’s feelings. Now you are feeling a feeling that you think is your feeling. But it’s not your feeling, it’s theirs.
And so now you have this charge in your body, the mind then has to make meaning because that’s what it’s designed to do.
So you are feeling something, and then the mind goes, “What does that mean?” And you look through the lens of that pain to try to find where it is at. And you will always find something. — What’s wrong is always available. So you are looking through this meaning and now, what happens is you see the little boy/girl. And then you see the little self is not getting it. And then you conclude, “Oh, that is because I’m not good enough.”
“Am I coming from Fear? or Am I coming from love? “Better to deal with the demon that I know, than to let go of that demon and then find another demonn to come along, and do the same thing to me, and go, see, I told you it wasn’t them. It is me. [48:28]
Your Suffering is Sacred
What that means is, when you go into the places where you feel constricted in order to connect with the shadow part of you. You gain ability to heal and navigate your world from your heart.
We are taught not to do find answers within. We’re taught to solve them out in the world. But give yourself permission to sit in your suffering. And what you find is the faze of Source / god/ Universe.
It’s about letting go. Softening and healing, versus hardening and retreating. Open you hands to receive. Healing through your shadow work is about opening up and letting go of whatever story your ego has created, so that you may receive healthy, true love.
And remember. Always keep your Unique light shining.
And remember. Keep your Unique light shining.
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Empath and Narcissist Guest – Steven Twohig Bio
Steven Twohig is the Founder of Mastering Change. He has committed himself to mastering the art of transformation. While seeking to heal from trauma inflicted while just a toddler, Steven was introduced to the practice of shadow work in April of 2000, leading to a lifelong study and what he believes is a path to enlightenment. Steven spent a decade working for and studying under the world’s leading business and life strategist, Tony Robbins. Currently, he is studying the impact of shadow work on psychedelic integration. He focuses on bridging the gap between traditional plant medicine and the western mind.