Loving someone whose main goal was only to please himself — a narcissist — leaves you vulnerable to a crisis deep within when the abusive relationship ends — not to mention a broken heart. Finding your way back to peace, freedom, and happiness afterward may be such a challenge that it seems like an impossible mountain to climb.
The truth is that with support, you can find a life worth living. Reinventing fearless love after falling for a dangerous person entails activating self-care, self-acceptance, self-compassion, and a little ingenuity.
Start by creating sacred space solely for the purpose of nurturing your body and soul. This means cutting out negative people and inviting supportive ones into your life. Uncertainty and difficulty may loom but trust the journey. You will love the new you.
Below are 5 tips to help you reinvent fearless love after loving a narcissist in an abusive relationship:
1. Love your body.
To deal with the traumatic stress, your body craves sugar and alcohol. Instead, make a choice to nurture your body with natural supplements, vitamins, and minerals to help balance your moods, reduce anxiety, and aid in sleep.
Aromatherapy may also increase relaxation (lavender) or elevate mood (lemon drop). Find scents that speak to you.
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet and if your memory is affected, consume memory-boosting foods like leafy greens, salmon, avocado, walnuts, broccoli, turmeric, and blueberries.
Treat your body to weekly massages, chiropractic, acupuncture, and other alternative pain management systems.
Create bedtime rituals to ensure that you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep (your body needs it!). Engage in low impact exercise like nature walks, yoga, leisure bike rides, or swimming. Open yourself to the restorative qualities of nature that bring you comfort.
2. Love your heart.
Engaging in the arts and encouraging your creativity are both rejuvenating. Painting, gardening, arts, and crafts, decorating, and woodworking projects provide an escape and channel your imagination to alleviate pain and increase peacefulness.
Music and body movement are also curative. Try the soothing sounds of instrumental, classical tunes or you may be drawn to playing an instrument.
Let the tunes move you and dance to the pulsating beat of your heart. Give way for self-expression and integration between body and soul.
3. Love your mind.
Renew your mind with the latest neuroscience information (the study of the brain) on trauma and love. This is also a wonderful time to journal. Your brain will be releasing suppressed memories of the trauma and you’ll want to capture them in your writing to help you solve the puzzle.
A new perspective will emerge about the abuse you sustained. I suggest carrying a small journal in your purse.
Seek a counselor you connect with who understands narcissistic abuse. Counseling will aid in restoring the trust, sense of security, and self-esteem that have been lost.
4. Ask for help.
Step back from shallow, superficial relationships but practice asking for support from those who can offer it. Enlist your closest friends and family members. Create a list of at least 6-8 people you can call upon regularly for guidance or a shoulder to cry on.
Join a support group to help you recover from your specific trauma — whether you were a victim of sexual abuse and/or fell prey to a narcissist, psychopath, or sociopath.
Also, explore divorce support groups or join a 12-step program if needed. Find a program or group that compassionately addresses your pain. You can recover fully, but not without the love and support of others.
5. Seek love from the Divine.
Seek and open yourself to receiving divine wisdom, guidance, and love. Prayer, through continuous short conversations, will keep you connected to the source of love. Meditation, reading scriptures, and working with a spiritual mentor can attune you to spiritual truths.
Gratitude journaling will help adopt a spirit of thanksgiving for the good things you have and for your transformational journey. Reinventing yourself after abuse will highlight your untapped potential and redefine your life’s mission and vision.
My goal is to empower and educate so you have the tools needed to avoid people who are incapable of expressing love as well as to support your healing journey when love and the loveless collide. You’re wired to love and be loved fearlessly!
Jianny Adamo, LMHC, founder of Fearless Love Coaching and Counseling supports singles and couples breaking through fears and limitations to create safe and intimate marriages and relationships. Video calls and phone consultations available. Jianny is writing her book Love Trauma: Seven Tango Lessons to Recovery from Emotionally and Sexually Abusive Relationships with Narcissists, Psychopaths and Other Toxic People. She may be reached at 561-450-5580 and is online at Fearless Love and also on Facebook.
This article was originally published at Fearless Love – Counseling | Coaching | Intensives. Reprinted with permission from the author.