There are so many articles out there right now about the toxic relationship between an empath and a narcissist, obviously written by those who have been hurt, and feel manipulated and betrayed. I have a different take on the situation. Saw that one coming, didn’t you?
First, let’s change the labels of the groups. No more good vs. bad stuff. Instead of empath we will say awake (soul driven), instead of narcissist let’s say asleep (ego driven). Language matters. We can reduce the polarity, as well as provide a much more accurate assessment. Not only that, but I personally know people who are empathically gifted (they can physically feel other people’s emotions), but are very much asleep.
Second, know that all of us operate on a sliding scale between the two, and we change position regularly. We can be very awake, then suffer a loss (like a death or an illness), and go back to sleep to avoid the pain. People self-medicate all the time with alcohol, social excess, and promiscuous sex to avoid living consciously. Being awake can be tough. We all check out from time to time.
Third, and probably most importantly, we need to understand that most manipulative behavior is subconscious. People (generally) don’t consciously manipulate; that takes much more energy and planning than most are even capable of. The ego, however, has full access to the power of the subconscious, and will do anything to avoid harm. All of us are manipulated by our own egos, to some extent. It still isn’t right by any means, but thinking someone is consciously manipulating you is giving them way too much credit (and power).
Communicating with those still asleep is almost impossible, at least about anything important to the relationship. Ego defenses go up, and rational thought goes out the window. This is where we get all the passive-aggressive behaviors, and the emotional manipulation. Ever try to voice a concern about your feelings, only to have your partner turn it around, and point out how hurt they are? This is the kind of subconscious behavior that runs the muggle world. You can’t break through their ego shield, but many of us keep trying for way too long.
Another issue is projection… mostly on the part of the awakened person. See, we think projection is limited to negative stuff, but it isn’t. As we awaken, we get more sparkly, and we tend to see our own Light reflected in others – we see Light that hasn’t been embodied yet. The fact is everyone has an amazing soul, but not everyone lives from their soul. When you begin to live from your own soul, you see the highest potential in others. I don’t mean “he would be so successful if he just had confidence,” I mean “Wow! He embodies the Divine Masculine!” In reality, he could embody Divinity, if his ego wasn’t running the show. It is entirely up to us to distinguish potential from embodied reality.
I think the hardest part for the awakened one in these relationships is taking full responsibility for getting sucked in, having to leave, and not repeating the pattern. In other words, to awaken even further, become more aware, and reclaim our personal power. It’s tough to admit there were signs you ignored. It’s not fun to know you allowed this damage to happen. Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for being human. We all do crazy things for love, even forget who we are. You always get lessons in the process. You will heal.
Instead of a list of things to avoid, I want to offer a few things to pay attention to. As we become more aware, we can make choices that support our evolution.
Do actions and words mach the sparkly soul? We all have off days, and no one is perfect, but is there constant negativity going on, in word or deed?
Are words followed by action? Do they do, or just dream? We all need a little daydream in our lives, but plans require action to materialize.
Are they consistent? Again, we all have off days, so don’t expect perfection, but intermittent reward is a major ego trick. If some behavior is really important to you, and the other person agrees to it, it should be a permanent change. If it only changes briefly after a fight, that’s a big sign.
Is communication open? Are you comfortable raising concerns? If your communications are filled with tears, blame, and guilt, then there isn’t much actual communication going on.
Do you both own your baggage? We all have baggage, but insisting the other person carry yours is completely unreasonable.
Are you both dedicated to becoming better people? If you are both dedicated to your own evolution, then you can help each other grow, instead of tearing each other down.
There are those who see the signs, but think they are strong enough to wait for the person they love to wake up. It just doesn’t work that way. People don’t wake up by following your example, people wake up by shock. Keeping someone safe in a relationship is just giving them a warm blanket to keep sleeping under. I’m so sorry – this one is really hard for me, too – you can’t awaken someone before they are ready. Ever. And forcing yourself to stay at a lower vibration will cause suffering and illness. It just does. The only way out, is out.
The awakened soul must reclaim their power by forgiving themselves, being clear with their boundaries, and letting go of those who are still sleeping. You will heal. You will love again. But first, you must come to terms with the situation. Leave them to their slumber, and move on. Reclaim your power.