Do you know the legend of Narcissus?
It is the story of a man named Narcissus, after whom the term ‘Narcissism’ was coined.
He was a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower* was born, which was called the Narcissus.
But this was not how the storyteller ended the story. He said that when Narcissus died, all the Goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water once, now transformed into a salty lake of tears.
“Why do you weep?” The Goddesses asked.
“I weep for Narcissus,” the Lake replied.
“Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,” they said, “for, though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty up close.”
“But… was Narcissus beautiful?” The Lake asked, baffled.
“Who better than you to know that?” The Goddesses replied taken aback, “after all, it was by your banks he knelt each day to contemplate himself!”
The Lake was silent for some time, then finally said:
“I weep for Narcissus but I never noticed that he was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.”
What a lovely story, isn’t it? So be not afraid to dwell in your own beauty and by dint of that others will see their beauty as well. This is inclusive narcissism.
Narcissism isn’t bad when it is an embodiment of self-glory rather than manipulation of others! So go ahead, by all means glorify yourself!
Having a healthy sense of self and others is good. An inclusive narcissist is a person who will never let himself down, who will never accept less than what he deserves and neither will he give others less. He is someone who sees not only his own beauty but reflects others’ as well. These people have high self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-approval and self-love. They not only respect themselves, but also see others in a positive light.
Hiding, manipulating, controlling, dominating are personalities of someone exhibiting false narcissism. That is when it is called a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). To understand this better read my article titled: the narcissist and the empath. In our world today, where positivity and confidence are regarded so highly that people have started faking positivity and feigning confidence, hiding their true selves, whitening out their real feelings and emotions. Thus they have become inauthentic and impossible to live with as they constantly disregard others’ emotions and violate others’ boundaries in a total sense of entitlement. They are pompous and patronizing, putting others down continuously. These people drain the energies out of others like energy vampires and control freaks, in order to satiate their own egos. They demand love, admiration and respect above all from their partners and peers without reciprocating the same. It is unhealthy and even harmful for anyone living with them, be it a friend, partner, spouse, or their own children.
According to Dr. Mario Martinez, the famous author of the Mind-Body Code and Mind-Body Self, many centenarians are inclusive narcissists. These are people who have lived past the age of 100 solely because they have such a healthy sense of themselves at an emotional level and will belittle, demean, bully or put down neither themselves nor others. They admire themselves through the eyes of others and admire others as well! They take pleasure in being themselves; they take out time for self-reflection and accept themselves for who they are. Such personalities can only stem from being capable of expressing personal authenticity, having the courage to be vulnerable and share their truths even though at times it may not look as good on the outside.
Therefore, cultivating a strong sense of self, developing your personality, appreciating others genuinely, working through your own shadows to liberate unresolved emotions and childhood trauma, practising self-love and radical self-acceptance, perceiving your own beauty no matter how you look, are some ways of nurturing inclusive narcissism. It may not come easily, but with practise, patience and persistence, you are sure to get there!
*the Narcissus flower symbolizes rebirth or new beginnings, usually from the Amaryllidaceae family, which represents the daffodils. The daffodil signifies spring. Though their botanic name is Narcissus, daffodils are sometimes called jonquils.