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In retrospect – which, by the way, I do best, since hindsight is one of my dearest friends – I need to amend yesterday’s statement of where I should begin in addressing Elephant #1: the role of narcissism in creating the person I am today. I am not going to begin with my father, but rather with myself and my understanding of psychological development.

I like this image as a representation of the balancing point God provides in our personal development – our psychological, emotional, intellectual, and both inter- and intra-personal development.

Narcissism IS. It is necessary. It is part and parcel of being human. In fact, I will go so far as to say, it is part of the character and nature of God Himself. I say this because narcissism is simply about love of oneself. So, it is important to start with the premise that narcissism in its raw form simply IS.

I don’t know about you, but I need visuals to really be able to grasp a concept. The visuals can be painted with words, illustrated in graphics, and/or shown through pictures – all are good for me. It is important that we see a concept in our mind’s eye so that we can grasp it and make it real and personal in our own lives.

Healthy narcissism is a balancing point in our lives. Truly healthy narcissism is expressed in the childlike faith of knowing that I am loved unconditionally, that I am provided for according to limitless riches, that I am cared for in such a way that only my best is ever considered, and that I am absolutely secure in being just who I am created to be. Tall order, don’t you think?

Balance is an amazing, dynamic, often unexplainable thing. Despite the odds against us, it is possible, just as nature demonstrates through her own balancing acts.

We get our first shot at developing a healthy narcissism in our families of origin. For some that is a great foundation, for others, not so much. But no matter how “good” our beginning is or how “bad” – it can never be enough! For there is no human mother or father who can be absolutely perfect and know everything each individual child needs from the moment of conception, through early infancy, into childhood and adolescence, and beyond. In fact, it is their imperfections and the wounds of life that often are the pivotal points that invite us, you and me, to come and recognize our own need for a relationship with our Father in heaven. For He alone can offer to us all the perfect ingredients needed for each of us to truly love ourselves and love one another.

Open sky and ocean along with an act of balance that defies logic and reason. Beauty and form. Grace and solid rock. Elements of the paradox that is the nature of God.

I think it is important to begin at the beginning to create a focal point, an anchor, to which we can return over and over as we each examine our own journeys, the stories of our moments and our momentous turning points. I believe that focal point has to be the GOD of LOVE, and the LOVE of GOD as expressed in the cross of Christ.

I am loved unconditionally, proven to me over and over again through the cross of the Lord Jesus. I am provided for according to God’s limitless riches which He pours out over my life lavishly. I am cared for in such a way that only my best is ever considered, and my Father sees from eternity past to eternity future and He truly knows BEST. I am absolutely secure in being just who I am created to be: a unique expression of God’s character and nature designed to live and breathe and have my being in HIM.

So are you.

Do you know it? Do you live it? Do you run to these truths in childlike faith when the sorrows and pain and storms of this life try to tell you otherwise? What is assailing your trust in the faithfulness of God today? He says to you, “Come!”