To those who are unaware of my somewhat chequered background and personal upheaval in my teens and 20s, I was, in spite of it all, an extremely self-confident person. However, my upbringing I had implanted within me intrusive and toxic forces such as self doubt, and a lingering sense feeling undeserving of good fortune. This constituted what we know as self-sabotage. So my Being exists between an indomitable and happy self-confidence, and a sinister sense of the self-destructive.
But what I have learned from both personal experience, and from counseling clients, is that confidence is so much a part of us that it literally functions as a natural drive. This innate confidence goes to battle against all-comers and seeks to conquer everything from self-loathing to self-doubt. Why else do we complain of these ailments if they were natural to our being? That is because they are not...self-confidence is!
But while coming to this remarkable realisation, I also learned that the demon of self-sabotage deserves as much respect as one’s inner confidence for it functions as a guide for one’s self-confidence to emerge triumphant. In other words, an awareness of what makes us ‘tick’, will inevitable lead down the pathway of self-confident and constructive solutions to problems which feed off the energy of self-sabotage.
My approach towards self-sabotage may surprise when you learn of it. I send it my love...that’s right...I send my self-sabotaging self love! There is nothing unique in this approach since we know of global icons such as Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King who both confronted violence and hate with pacifism and love! And look who came out the winners of those battles of good against evil...the sentiment of love, right?
I know from experience that love conquers all. Yes...violence has its place...along with anger and hate. They are human actions and emotions inherent to our Being. But when the dust has settled, love...like self-confidence...emerges the winner! So as I sit here today fluctuating between morbid self-pity and sense of self-sabotage looming on the horizon, my self-confidence has powerful spiritual tools with which to do battle!
The MENTORSHIP principles (I explain what these entails in great detail in a later blog) are what I use to nurture my self-confidence and pacify my self-sabotaging self with love. One of these principles involves nurturing and maintaining one’s Integrity from which emerges one’s self-confidence. By so doing one acquaints one’s self with another one of the 4 Powers which is Authenticity. Most ‘self’ or ‘personal’ development theory encourages us to show compassion to one self.
I agree. But compassion...as with love...minus a spiritual dimension is like a body minus a soul...pointless. One cannot go into battle with self-sabotage unless one possesses a sense of Integrity and Authenticity. In later blog entries we will explore in finer detail how to arrive at a place of self-awareness and peace...with self-sabotage. Only then will we be capable of transforming...with love...the enemy of self-confidence into a friend in need...of love...rather than an enemy to fear.
A GIFT FOR YOU
Integrity Prayer W' tea light candle
KEEP ME ALIGNED TO MY INTEGRITY FOR THAT IS THE GATEWAY TO MY SOUL
I FORGIVE MYSELF AND THOSE WHO HURT ME IN MY PAST
MY AUTHENTICITY IS MY TRUTH NOT THE LIES I HAVE INHERENTED
I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY TO NOT ALLOW MY TRUMOURS AND THE NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES
I HAVE BEEN THROUGH TO EFFECT MY ABILTY TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT
I UNDERSTAND THAT IF I ALLOW MY FEARS TO SABOTAGE MY CONFIDENCE
IT WILL CAUSE WOUNDS ON MY FUTURE EXPERIENCES AND ACHIEVMENTS
I WILL MAINTAIN MY INTEGRITY LIKE MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT
WITH THIS I CONTINUE TO ENRICH MYSELF AND OTHERS ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFFE
NITHYANANDA (Be blissful)
Say it with passion, Feel the self compassion and release when you say this, breathe in and out a few times to reconnect with with you heart centre. Only the energy that is going to elevate you will remain. You have just matured like fine wine! continue this prayer keeping you strong, focused and motivated.
Love & Light
Sereena Al Noor
For many women, first dates can be nerve-wracking affairs in which we try to balance looking effortlessly ‘perfect’ while seeming serenely comfortable. However, the contradiction between how we feel...nerve-wracked and self-conscious...and how we wish to appear...confident and comfortable...makes us feel inwardly unsettled and outwardly awkward.
One particular friend of mine...a visually beautiful woman (she knows who she is - although specific elements of her story has been disguised for reasons of confidentiality) was eagerly awaiting her first date in months. However, two days prior to the actual date, her son has wacked her in the face with a piece of Lego, causing a cut on the bridge of her nose. It wasn’t a nasty cut though...it was healing rapidly, and could easily be concealed with a minimum of make-up.
Nevertheless, for many women, this would be seen as a disaster because it feeds into an already existing anxiety about how we look. Yes, we know that men are more visually-oriented than we are...at least initially. For example, they may become easily fixated on a woman’s butt, her breasts, toes or whatever. And yes, men can be mightily turned-off too by anything from a bulging belly to bingo wings. But to a barely visible cut on the bridge of a woman’s nose?
Do we seriously believe men are that shallow? Clearly my friend does...and by the same token, I can certainly see why many men believe women are somewhat lacking in the ‘ability to reason dept’! I mean, look at what my friend had to lose...a date with a potential life-partner over a slight cut on the bridge of her nose! This is absolutely absurd! The whole situation could be handled quite differently if she considers the following possibilities:
This was my advice to my beautiful friend. There is no need for her to ‘protect’ herself from the judgement of others...if she does; the universe would send her situations confirming her need to do so. In other words, if you obsessively think about avoiding negative situations, they will come a-knocking furiously at your door! Instead, focus on love, support and compassion, and the universe shall repay you in kind!
(c) Salnoor 2016
When being a single mother pissed me off...
And had me resenting my own children!
Over the past few of weeks I’ve felt a disturbing sense of resentment towards my four year-old daughter. This feeling has stalked both my heart and my conscience. Was this possibly evidence of me being a bad mother? It was a question I didn’t want to entertain, let alone have to answer. But still, it had to be answered. I began first by asking whether or not I’d felt this feeling of resentment before. And low ‘n’ behold, I had. With my son...and when he was around the same age my daughter is now.
Then I had to ask for what possible reason I’d resented my son’s presence in my life. The answer dawned on me. I resented the fact that once I’d become a single mother I had to rely upon the goodwill of family and friends to help look after my son when I wanted to have some ‘me time’. For example, to go clubbing with pals or to visit friends in London...or just to simply get things done around the house without having a crazed Duracell-driven kid running around like a mini frigging tornado!
I remember when I first asked for support from my family. I was told: “you had the child, so you take care of it!” So whatever I’d planned that evening was instantly cancelled out by this mean-spirited refusal. And how do you think I felt when left alone to look after a child who had just gotten in the way of my ‘me time’? At work, the same consequences of being a single mother emerged. ‘We expect you to be here between the hours of 9-5’ they would bark, as I invariably arrived late once-too-often.
Even childcare services got in on my case recently as I was harassed for money by one childcare provider who appeared to care more about ‘coining’ in the cash than caring for my frigging kid! Her passive-aggressive prompts for payment not only pissed me off but more tellingly had me resenting the presence of my own child!
Look, as a self-employed single mom, you soon realise that work is sporadic. And that the need to pursue work opportunities is, therefore, greater than would otherwise be the case if one was employed on a 9-to-5 basis, Monday-to-Friday. With that being said; the need for support from others, and especially with regards to childcare, is obvious. However, what I’ve noticed is that being a single mother carries a number of risk factors. Not only...of course...does one have to vet the men who come around your kids, but one also has to find out who can be relied upon to help out with childcare. The whole palaver is one of trial ‘n’ error...and the errors abound, let me tell you!
My daughter’s father, for example, acts in much the same way my immediate family does as regards to caring for our daughter...it’s always ‘he time’ and never ‘me time’. And then there are the threats and attacks on my character in a vain effort to get me to submit to his will. He’s always seeking to undermine my so-called ‘freedom’ rather than just focusing on our co-parenting roles. And so once again I’m saddled with the ‘burden’ of looking after ‘Miss Yarla’ (an affectionate name for my daughter).
What I’ve also noticed is that this attitude of selfishness and spite is also dealt out to those who’ve taken on the responsibility of caring for aging relatives...a parent or grandparent, for example. And how often do such people look depressed and downtrodden? And could not this malevolent passive-aggression, and lack of support, be a contributory factor to such ailments like postnatal depression?
Anyway, what I initially thought was resentment towards my daughter I now realise was my sub-conscious feelings rising to consciousness regarding something else entirely. And because of this awareness I’ve accepted what I feel, and let go of the anxiety and frustration around my alleged feelings of resentment towards her. After all, I’ve been here before with my son, ‘Ery’ (which isn’t a play on the word ‘irritant’, I can assure you!). My relationship with ‘Miss Yarla’ will not, therefore, be poisoned by momentary feelings of resentment because...in truth...they do not belong to her but to those who wilfully refuse to give meaning to the term ‘family’ or to the phrase ‘extended family’.
It was this collection of people known as ‘family’ who left me at the mercy of greedy childcare providers who are not part of some mythical ‘village’ watching over our children but who are instead a symbol of the breakdown of the family unit. My family is a perfect example of this breakdown...and my daughter’s father and his family are a further painful example of this fact. Therefore, as a single-mother, I have little support and the people I pay to ‘care’ for my child can see that. This makes me vulnerable...this makes my daughter vulnerable...and this should not be the case!
So in closing, I write this in the hope I bring to wider attention the emotional impact the lack of support, and the blatant passive-aggression that comes with being a single mother; especially from those closest to them. After all, raising children has always been the responsibility of whole families’ not just single mothers...and well-funded community nurseries, not greedy, privately-run, ‘childcare’ providers! The emotional health of a mother is every bit as important as the health of her children. And for the sake of our children, we cannot continue to ignore this fact.
Be Blissful - In love & Light
Sereena Al Noor
How does an ambivalent/anxious attachment manifest in adulthood?
Adults with preoccupied attachment patterns are usually self-critical, insecure and desperate, often assuming the role of the “pursuer” in a relationship. Because they grew up distrustful of their inconsistent, unavailable caregivers, they are “rejection-sensitive.” They anticipate rejection or abandonment and look for signs that their partner is losing interest. These people are often driven to engage in pre-emptive strategies in an attempt to avoid being rejected. However, their excessive dependency, demands and possessiveness tend to backfire and precipitate the very abandonment that they fear.
They appear to be “perpetually vigilant and somewhat histrionic.” They feel resentful and angry when their partner doesn’t provide the attention and reassurance they feel they need. They often believe that unless they dramatically express their anxiety and anger, it is unlikely that the other person will respond to them. When they try to suppress their anger, their behavior tends to vacillate between outbursts of anger and pleas for forgiveness and support. In some cases, the fears and anxieties can lead to more serious emotional disturbances, such as depression.
How are patterns of attachment supported by the critical inner voice?
The pessimistic beliefs and expectations associated with adult attachment patterns are regulated by destructive thoughts or critical inner voices about oneself, others, and the world in general. These critical voices strongly influence a person’s style of relating in an intimate relationship. People with a preoccupied adult attachment have “voices” that support their beliefs that the world is an emotionally unreliable place filled with uncertainty and the potential loss of those they love. Examples of their voice attacks are, “It’s obvious that he/she is losing interest in you.” “Why isn’t he/she more affectionate?” “He/she always has an excuse for not wanting to make love.” “You’re so needy and dependent. No wonder she (he) doesn’t like you.” “He/she doesn’t love you as much as you love him/her.”
In Love & Light
Sereena Al noor xx