The Narcissus Dilemma

This morning I had a blast from the past via Facebook … social media is incredible that way!  When I was in High School (years and years ago) I had my first great love … “the One”.  I was obsessively in love with this person.  So imagine my surprise, after all these years to hear from the person you loved so deeply.  It wasn’t anything exceptional … just, “Hey, it sure has been a long time!”  What was interesting was what this stirred up in my meditations today.

Back then, I literally had nothing good in my life … within the scope of a few years everything good had systematically been taken out of my life … my mother, my father, my family, my innocence.  It basically was a period of my life … that just flat out sucked.  So when this person came along … well, they were my only light, the only thing that made me feel worth anything.  I wrote their name hundreds of times on book covers … you know, all the pathetic stereotypes of a teenager in love.  I literally made that person my life … and I would have gone to ANY length (literally) to make things work between us.

In meditating on my prior post (“What I do unto the least“), Jung talks about the lengths we go to to show love to others … yet we deny that same love to ourselves.  So I thought of how deeply, and obsessively I loved that person way back when.  I looked into my life currently and saw some of the very same themes … some of the same ways I love people today.  In doing so, I realized that long ago I learned to place my own self worth in whether somebody else loved me.  From that I learned how to please people.  I morphed into an outgoing people-pleaser in college and in my twenties (and beyond) … I became somebody that everyone liked (seemingly) and enjoyed being around.  All of this was based in what I taught myself in High School … that the only way I was worth anything was if I was loved by others.  The more I was loved by people around me, the more wonderful I felt … and the more I was rejected the worse off I would be for it.

Well, when you are a performer … there’s QUITE a lot of rejection that goes with that career path!  The more rejection I would feel, the more I would throw myself into being loved … that would counterbalance things enough so that my own self-worth was manageable.  The problem is, you can’t really make people love you … what you end up learning are all the tricks of this twisted game to generate self-worth.  In truth, what you are giving is not Love in and of itself … it is selfish love.  It is a commodity to be traded.

As I continued to meditate, the image of Narcissus came into my mind … the ancient figure so vilified for his Self-Love … how selfish he is always portrayed as having been.  Even the word today, narcissistic, comes from this story.  Well, truthfully, it seems to me that we all could do with a little … no, a LOT … more Self-Love.  Maybe not the specific kind of “love” that Narcissus heaped upon himself … but God’s Love … definitely!  There certainly are different kinds of Self-Love … hence the dilemma: do we obsess about ourselves at the expense of others?  No!  Do we accept the beauty that is God’s Love for us as our own self image??  YES!!

I came to the conclusion, toward the end of my meditation, that I am going to spend the rest of this month dedicated to the task of Loving myself.  What I mean by this is as follows: every time I begin to engage in that game that we call “love” … that activity that really is more about making ourselves feel good or worthy … I am going to stop, go inward and spend that energy and time Loving my Inner Self.  Every time I am about to send an e-mail with the intent of getting self-affirmation in return.  Every time I give a gift, or guesture, and the motivation is to get other people to love ME … instead of being a genuine act of Love … I am going to stop, and meditatively pour God’s Love inside myself.

I am going to plug that obsessive love that I had for my first love … into myself … and allow that to change into God’s Love for me … to bring healing into that place.  Like my post yesterday on the Phoenix leaving its ashes behind … I am going to rise above the false-love I have learned and focus on God’s LOVE … receive God’s Love for me … and allow that to continue the transformation I have been going through.

I can’t ever truly Love others, until I can give God’s LOVE to myself … until God’s LOVE truly liberates me and turns those old chains … to the ashes I will rise from.


“Narcissus” painting by Caravaggio


Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach


  rachelmiller1511 wrote @

Might join you in loving myself today 🙂

  Religion4All wrote @

Please do! 🙂

  Alone wrote @

I think you will find this… interesting:

It is a retracing of the Narcissus myth, with an important twist.

If you wish, I’ll email you the file. It will make you think, if not more.

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