We hear the word “mindful” a lot these days. But what does it mean?How do we act mindfully when we thought all along that that’s what we’ve been doing?
Unfortunately, what we’ve mostly been doing is walking around living mindlessly, not mindfully. Much of what we busy ourselves with, day in and day out, is routine and/or constructed and directed by someone or something other than ourselves.
From brushing our teeth to deciding who our friends should be, there’s not much we do daily that actually requires us to tap into our own brains. We’re sadly controlled in many ways, and we aren’t even aware of how controlled we are.
Then we’re struck by a sociopath. A person who overtly and covertly attempts to further restrict our brains and our minds. The sociopath introduces an additional layer of control into our lives that we initially don’t even notice.
We succumb MINDLESSLY to the sociopath’s control. Time passes, and our minds slowly and miraculously begin to become aware of the sociopath’s control. We move from a state of mindlessness in the relationship to a state of mindfulness. This transition of thoughtful awareness destroys the toxic relationship’s quiet anonymity. The crazy-making, chaos and darkness that seemed so normal to us for so long suddenly come into focus. We see their destructive qualities with clarity.
But now what? How do we “make it stop” without making the relationship stop?
The relationship was charged by and thrived on those destructive, mindless and powerful elements. Those destructive elements were based on fear and not love. To shift the dynamic requires both people in the relationship to reach, simultaneously, an awareness that they failed. As a couple, they failed.
Normal, non-sociopathic couples who love and respect each other are capable of this synergistic realization and mutual accountability. There is a natural desire between two people who truly love each other to maintain that love, and the hard work required of both gets underway.
But when one of those people in the failed couple is a sociopath, the synergy is never reached. There is never a mutual acceptance of the failure, because there isn’t and never was a heart bond.
But there is no denying that some kind of bond existed between you and the sociopath and between you and the relationship. You weren’t holding on to nothing. Something was there.
So what kind of bond was it that kept us so desperate and clinging not to give up?
Many call it a betrayal…a single betrayal bond. But there are actually two betrayals we experience simultaneously:
1.) The betrayal of the sociopath: We were fooled into thinking this person had a conscience, could fully empathize with others and was able to feel deep remorse for the pain, intentional and non-intentional pain, inflicted on others. We thought we mattered as humans, but we were simply a means to an end for the sociopath. Materialistic ends.
2.) The betrayal of ourselves: Our mindlessness was disguised as mindfulness. We mindlessly and with false idealism thought we knew things about life and love. We truly believed that if we felt love for another, the person we loved would naturally mirror that feeling and love us in return. On the contrary, we failed to realize that love, pure love, never means we are fearful. The sociopath brainwashed us, temporarily, into thinking that being fearful, walking on eggshells, was a part of loving someone you wish to please. We held on when we should have read the signs with more clarity and discernment and let go…the first time the sociopath’s mask slipped.
In a very real sense, we had been betraying ourselves all along, long before we ever met the sociopath. Our first and overriding betrayal bond was our own self-betrayal due to our zombie-like mindlessness.
Once we started thinking more mindfully, we were able to see how we betrayed ourselves and how we were simultaneously betrayed by the sociopath. Lightbulbs went off in our minds, and both betrayal bonds quietly disintegrated. They washed away. They disappeared like magic.
And if we look at it this way, it becomes less of a loss and a failure and more of a gain and a success, because now our minds are finally open, conscious and aware. Our compassion for ourselves reflects our compassion for others. We see clearly now how to measure our graciousness and love…we start with our own hearts.
We finally notice the difference between mindless living and mindful living.
Hopefully, living mindfully feels good to you and you continue striving to be open and aware, never looking for excuses outside of yourself. That’s living mindfully.
We now know how to love fully and receive love completely. Our standards for love have changed and evolved but not in an arrogant or egotistical way. Rather, we’ve learned that our standards of love and romance must match our self-love and WILL match our self-love.
If we really love ourselves, we’ll connect with others who have the capacity to truly love us, too.
If we don’t love and fully value our worth as people, we’ll likely embrace another sociopath who can’t love and fully value our worth, either.
The sociopath simply opened our eyes to our own self-deceptive patterns and mindless habits, which opened our eyes to the sociopath’s dark nature. With our minds open, we deeply and completely rejected the darkness, which pushed us toward acting less mindlessly and more mindfully moving forward.
Ironically and much to the sociopath’s dismay, the sociopath’s over-the-top need to control us ignited our desire to control ourselves and reach for the escape hatch.
And to continue being mindful in our everyday is to simply live in the moment and appreciating every inhale and exhale and be thankful for the inhales and exhales of those surrounding us.