“You are a narcissist,” she wrote coldly, her sentence as abrupt as the demeanor in her words.
There were other more hurtful statements within her letter, but that one sentence stayed with me the entire evening.
It always stings a bit to hear accusatory conclusions from a stranger on the internet, but I wasn’t that surprised by the words that this reader chose. I’ve often been called a Narcissist; one of my father’s favorite words to describe me when I was growing up was “self-centered.” The tone in his voice as he spoke of how inconsiderate I was suggested negative connotations & disappointment. Never did he mention this quality of mine as favorable or endearing.
This pattern of being called a narcissist (or self-centered) has always baffled me, but my confusion reached a tipping point after receiving that harsh letter.
Over the weekend, I found myself looking to the dictionary for the definition of narcissist to try to understand this pattern. It was then that realized my father & this scorned reader were paying me one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.
The definition of narcissism in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is simply this:
1: egoism (excessive concern for oneself)
2: love of or sexual desire for one’s own body
The first description wasn’t completely unexpected, as I’ve been taught to view a narcissist as someone who is dangerously obsessed with themselves to the point of vaingloriousness. But the second description made me gasp aloud. “A love of or sexual desire for one’s body.” As someone who is desperately trying to become one with her inner sexual being, that notion sounds fantastic!
The idea that a person could love themselves so much that it has the ability to arouse them seems like the best way to live. It takes a lot of self-possession & comfort in your skin to have a pure kind of love for your own body, & that level of love takes a radical turn when you begin to find yourself sexually attractive. I imagine that sex would be much more amazing if just the sight of your nude body had the ability to turn you on.
We’ve been wrongfully conditioned to see a narcissist as a person who is disgustingly self-centered, & only that. We’ve also been taught that to be egotistical is to be inconsiderate; that it’s improper & conceited to worship ourselves. But try twisting the definitions of narcissism a bit. Try pulling the word “self-centered” apart & strip it from its negative undertones.
“Self-centered” then becomes Self Centered, two whole, separate words that create a gorgeous statement of self-awareness.
The same thing applies to other words that are synonymous to narcissism: self-loving, self-admiring, self-regarding. When everything critical is taken out of the those words, they suddenly encompass an extraordinary kind of love of oneself.
Self Loving. Self Admiring. Self Regarding. What beautiful ways to describe yourself.
I imagine that one who is beautifully Self Centered (or Narcissistic) is…
- Gracefully centered in herself. She knows the inner workings of her being better than anything else on earth. She understands that she & her happiness are her first priorities.
- One that listens to her heart. She only makes decisions that will benefit her contentment & is unapologetic if her choices make others flustered. She realizes that she cannot change others & that it isn’t her duty.
- Completely self loving. She is sensual. She revels in the sight of her naked body. She radiates a kind of eroticism that is subtle & intimate. She seduces herself on a daily basis to celebrate the fondness she has for her being.
- Perfectly self-possessed. She exudes confidence & poise, so much that she practically walks on air. She never lets anyone get in the way of her own convictions. She doesn’t allow any one thing to label her or tell her what she isn’t.
We should all venture on the path to being unapologetically Self Centered & Narcissistic, if only just a little bit. I have a feeling that the moment we do that we will see ourselves in a new light, one that illuminates our entire being authentically & freely.
— — — —
My challenge for you this week: Be narcissistic.
Take naked pictures of yourself. Masturbate. Smother your entire being with tenderness & appreciation. Worship your own body. Give yourself undivided, uninterrupted quality time; celebrate the love you have for yourself. If you’re feeling especially bold, describe yourself as a Narcissist in the about page of your blog; scream it from the rooftops.
Dive into being unabashedly Self Centered & make everything you do come from that source of centeredness.