Covert Narcissism in Connection: What Love is Not


“The challenges create the necessary energy for the flowering of consciousness.”

-Eckhart Tolle 


Whatever it is we consciously or subconsciously believe can be gained for ourselves from or through another; whatever hole to fill, or story to tell, or reality to re-write, or illusion to create; we will certainly fail. Connection will NOT be found outside ourselves until we begin to genuinely seek it within. The truth will always reveal itself, and it is our greatest gift; it is a light pointing back to US. 

Humans often perceive that leading with our Heads and our Fear come from good intentions and a sound belief system. But judgments, censoring, and re-writing of another human’s story are only useful as tools to soothe ourselves; not the one we claim to love or understand. We spin in our own stories, in beliefs and versions of reality that are illusions we subconsciously attribute to our survival. When someone we love (or a social group we witness) begins to grow, change, and seek, our very survival feels threatened due to our identifications with these illusions. We protect our world views rather than consider alternate perspectives, and venomously defend our beliefs as Right, Better, The Way You Do Things. When our world views are shaken by another, whether a loved one or a stranger, many of us react with toxic, unloving behaviors, all the while screaming: I love you! I know what’s best for you! Or, That is Wrong! Apologies rarely come, because “rightness” is as much an identification as any of the aforementioned illusions to which we desperately cling. The entry point for narcissist “loving” is Disconnection to Self.

Covert Narcissism in Connection: What Love is Not

Love is Not Control. Love is flow. Love is embracing our powerlessness over another, supporting another to be who they are and do what they do, and honoring where we end and another begins.  Love is honoring the path of another as theirs, and honoring our own as our own. “I remain whole and in this skin, either way.”

Love is Not Judgment. Love is the Space between the actions and words of another and ourselves. Love is knowing that we do not Know. Love is peace surpassing the need to measure ourselves against others, as comparisons result in false beliefs that we Know Their Life, Their Heart, Their Motive, Their Path. “My self-judgment brings suffering; it reflects outward and falsely validates my judgment of others.”

Love is Not Resistance. Love is Acceptance. Acceptance of another’s truth, another’s path. Love means saying, Okay. Love accepts our worldview as our own, and does not require others to validate it. Love allows something to be, without trying to change it, re-write it to regain control, or employ gossip and triangulation tactics to pathologize another as a means to remain comfortable. Love isn’t right or wrong, because the life of another isn’t ours to judge, or censor, or make into something different. Love is letting go and allowing. Love is the space for change, and therefore growth. “I will not rewrite their story to validate my own. I accept their story as their truth, which only they know.”

Love is Not Worry. Worry, in this context, is an excuse to Control, Judge, and Resist. Love is space and solace. Love is peace, and does not instigate pain. Love encourages and supports. Worry implies we’ve a right to sit censure over the life of another. Worry insinuates we have power, control and a more potent knowing about the life of another than they do. Worry is both self serving and self abandoning. Worry says our beliefs have more merit than the beliefs of the one we worry for. Worry is an excuse to pathologize another. Worry implies the life of another is actually our life too, or affects us in a way it never could, unless we have made the life of another our own in some way, which is not Love. Worry validates gossip, the rewriting of stories, and personal suffering. Worry is patronizing, and a power play. Worry is arrogant. Worry removes mutual respect and freedom from connection. Worry is a euphemism for over-accessing. “I trust our paths are our own. I trust growth is found on the path. When I worry, I hold back my own growth. My growth includes considering new perspectives, and engaging in cognitive dissonance despite the discomfort. Discomfort is healthy; it aids integration, embodiment, and therefore self-connection.”

Love is not Expectation. Love is an Offering. Love is an invitation. Love is an opening. Love is not a tradition, or a rule, or a thank-you note. Love is given freely, and organically. Love is not forced or taken or pushed or pulled. Love is not regulated or insisted on. Love flows. Love weaves. Love comes when it can. Love says no, sometimes, and love accepts. Love is not owed.

Love is not Attachment. Love is You. It is inter-dependent, not co-dependent. When we apply all of these ideas to how we might love ourselves, it becomes possible to extend them to the connections in our lives. Love is Faith. Love is Silence. Love is a field in which no skinny, thirsty trees bend from one’s will on another. Love is not a room in which one’s voice is sucked out by another, or the truth of another can be shut off like a light if enough power, gossip, righteousness and will are exerted. There is only Space, where we allow ourselves to sit, and others to sit, and no one needs to be right, or wiser, or better. In this space, we love with our Heart, not our Fear. The fear is gone now, and everyone is breathing. “I love myself. I trust myself. I believe in myself.” 

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”― Rumi

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