The character disorder spectrum is vast. And it has multiple dimensions, too. To understand it fully and to know how to cope is to have power. And that’s what this ensuing series of articles is all about.
The true price of freedom is personal responsibility. And some of us have it within us to pay this price willingly and with joy. It’s what real character is all about.
Under the gaslight, you stop trusting your gut. But once the mask comes off your manipulator you realize your gut was right all along and you’re free to start trusting yourself and your instincts once again.
It devastates a child’s self-image to feel demeaned, belittled, or degraded. But sadly, as an adult, a child with poor self-worth can unwittingly repeat the same compensatory pattern of trying to prove their worth by comparing themselves to and discounting others.
Adult children of narcissistic parents can spend years overcoming the effects of childhood gaslighting. And they can unwittingly repeat harmful patterns.
From a spiritual perspective, character is less about heeding the moral rules and more about our relationship with that undefinable something bigger. It’s about standing in awe of the gift we’ve been given. And it’s appreciating our inherent indebtedness. That’s what inspires gratitude.
Assertiveness is fair, principled, disciplined, fighting. And it’s the kind of just self-advocacy coupled with mindful concern for the impact on others that defines healthy character.
Willfulness has a positive and negative side. A strong will can be one’s foremost asset. But it can also be a great liability. A properly formed and guided will is essential for sound character.
Facing and embracing the truth about ourselves is hard. But when we do, we can become incredibly empowered. The truth truly does have power to set us free. And it can wrest us from the shackles hindering our spiritual and character growth.
Reverence for the truth builds character and can truly set us free. But narcissists and other disturbed characters have declared war on truth. For them, reality is what they say it is. Believing themselves superior, they know they’re right and everyone else is wrong.