Spiritual growth and character growth go hand-in-hand. And such growth is all about relationship – to ourselves, others, and our concept of a “higher power.”
Manipulative narcissists are covert-aggressors who use various, subtle tactics to charm, disarm, and otherwise take advantage. Playing on your emotions, many find the game of getting the better of you amusing and satisfying. They enjoy “toying” with you.
To have character integrity you have to not only be genuine but also principled. Moreover, to be properly principled you have to both respect and be willing to subordinate yourself to some “higher power” or authority.
Acting with a sincere heart and benign purpose helps others trust us. But it also helps us trust ourselves. And trust, is the bedrock of any healthy relationship.
Each and every moment is an unearned gift. And it’s up to us to make every moment count. We do that by living each moment mindfully, in communion with the larger reality that connects us all. And whatever you call it, it’s this “higher power” the narcissists among us refuse to even recognize let alone serve. Truly noble characters place all their trust in this ultimate reality, and not in themselves or anyone or anything else.
When you act with sincere heart and purpose, it’s like living out of the sweet spot of your character. You act from the very core or center of your being.
The principles or virtues the commandments promote work together. So they naturally overlap and complement each other. And if someone observes one or two, it’s more likely they’ll observe others as well. People of sincere heart and purpose act openly in the light. They act without manipulation or self-deception. They don’t hesitate to act in the light because they are of the light. And their goodness shines as a beckoning beacon to others.
Treating others badly is not only bad for you (because it reinforces dysfunctional thinking an behavior patterns) but it also enables the person who’s treated you poorly to feel justified in the unhealthy attitudes and behavior they’ve exhibited.