Narcissism And The Male Heart Wound
by Linda Marks
Disconnection is both a personal and social disease in today's world. With it come the afflictions of addictions, depression and narcissism in epidemic proportions.
For all but the last several hundred to one thousand years of human existence on this planet, we have lived in a more collective, tribal society. In such a society, much like the one author Jean Liedloff described in the Continuum Concept, babies are born with cellular expectations of a connectedness and relatedness with self, others and all of life.
From this point of view, as infants, we feel connected to life and expect life and others in our lives to both recognize us as human beings and take care of us at the most basic levels when that is required. Likewise, we expect our caregivers to help steward us through a maturation process leading to appropriate self-sufficiency that can co-exist with appropriate interdependence. We place such emphasis on working long hours, and getting so much done, that we live in an always hurrying, overprogrammed culture. We don't have time to relax, to let down our defenses, to relate deeply. The pace of life today becomes another force to maintain disconnection.
As we have moved farther away from tribal, village and community-based societies and into fragmented, disconnected nuclear family units or broken nuclear families, the sacred roles of both men and women have been lost. Men and women today are both engaged in the work culture for economic necessity and for a sense of identity and place. Many men and women alike are more distant from constant intimate daily presence in the lives of their children. Child care is often handed off to professional childcare providers, as the demands on one parent alone at home with children feels unbearable, as two parents each work and someone is needed to take care of the children or a single parent works to survive and can't be in two places at once. When working parents are lucky enough to have extended family, grandparents age into their 80's trying to surrogate parent their grandchildren. Some of the energetic, emotional and practical mentoring and mirroring from parents and extended family that were once considered a child's birthright are less available. This is true for both boys and girls.Read more ...