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Discovering the Antidote to Self-Sabotage

Setyembre 28, 2010

In my last post, I recognized the vicious cycle that has plagued me for most of my life: self-sabotage. This was deeply connected to my issues of worth, love, and beauty.  A phenomenon that affects a lot of people, in many different ways. It has been very helpful for me to understand and accept that I was the one creating the difficulties in my life, led by my “inner saboteur” and therefore the power to stop this cycle is also mine, my choice. The all important question now is: HOW??

Yes, it’s easy to say: aha, it’s you! Much, much harder to figure out what to do next. So in the last weeks up until last friday, I continued to “sit on it”, sift through the thoughts and emotions, moving through the dark tunnel of my own creation and past the cobwebs that keep blocking my path. As I continue to focus on developing my inner strength, continuing to face and embrace my shadows, one-by-one…slowly…slowly…I find the light and the light finds me.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without my family, and my closest friends supporting me as patiently and lovingly as they could. Not that they knew how to help me, but just opening their hearts to me and sharing themselves in love was enough. In fact, listening without judgment was more than enough. I’ve had plenty of judgments on myself and days devoted to hating myself, so to hear or even feel judgments from people is like a million daggers piercing through my heart. One wonderfully memorable experience was my brother’s girlfriend, who was quite the church-goer, reminding me of true acceptance and surrender. I was totally moved by it. Although I know myself to be deeply spiritual, I was never religious. But, in that moment when she was praying for and with me, I completely understood what she was saying…and this song started playing in my head: “cast your burden upon me, those who are heavily laden. Come to me and I will give you rest.” I was finally allowing the “Christ Consciousness” to fill me. I cried buckets of tears the entire time.

I realized then that my biography up to this point has been about me finding my way out, about me doing something about my life, only my efforts can yield the results I want. I keep saying I trust the Universe, God, the higher beings…but in reality, deep inside, I have been holding on to the belief that I can only help myself, that I can only lean on myself. The know-it-all in me, and the fearful me seemed to always have its way. I keep doing my thing. But, during this journey, I found myself trapped, there was no way out for me. I’ve exhausted my options. It’s time to learn my lesson, to understand the message behind this powerful experience.

Layer-by-layer, I saw what’s underneath, what’s been lurking in the deep darkness of my soul. The first layer was my rage and anger at dysfunctional systems, people and myself. The next layer was this utter loneliness that spiraled into depression, the feeling that I was alone in this struggle, disconnected to everything. Then the next layer was  guilt and shame.

An article by one of my favorite spirit library (www.spiritlibrary.com) writers, Jennifer Hoffman,  has clearly articulated my personal struggle with these two negative emotions. Here are some excerpts of her article:

Guilt is one way that we are manipulated by others. Parents often use guilt to control their children, believing that by showing them the consequences their behavior has on others that they will learn to be considerate and compassionate. It’s a backwards way of saying that we should be aware of our connections. But then we avoid acting by trying to minimize the guilt we will feel when we put our needs and desires over those of others and we lose our perspective about what is important to us.

Shame is such a destructive form of manipulation because it takes guilt one step further. If we disregard the guilt ploy then we get moved into shame. Now we are a bad person, inconsiderate, selfish, or self serving by ignoring others’ needs. Our desires become a source of shaming by those who feel their needs are more important. Within the guilt/shame cycle, if we can overcome guilt and proudly declare our intention to serve our needs, we are attacked at our core and our being. Shame moves blame from what we are doing to who we are. Few of us can withstand this type of attack, so we absorb the shame and it becomes part of our belief system.

When we have learned these principles well, we use the guilt/shame cycle on ourselves. After a few passes with it, we do not need someone to guilt and shame us, we know what to do. So when we put our desires forward, we look at what others want or expect of us and decide whether the guilt is worth the effort. If we decide it is, then risk shame if we make a choice whose outcome ripples energetically around us, as it will. Now comes the hard part, can we step out of this cycle, see the interplay of these energies and use our heart to ask “what do I want’ instead assessing each choice through what it will cost us in terms of our guilt and shame?

The Worst that can Happen

Guilt and shame take us on internal journeys of fear, where they convince us that whatever they represent is the worst thing that can happen. Like all fearful things, they are the debris of the past, so they have no real power other than that which we give them. But as with all things that reside in our imagination and harness the power of our mind and thinking, guilt and shame are powerful creators of our reality. They can also block us at every turn until we move beyond the belief that their imaginings are the worst that can happen because there is something worse than our guilt and shame.

How can anything be worse than shame and guilt? The paralysis that they create within us which prevents us from taking any action whose outcome they could be connected to. For guilt, these are outcomes that risk our feeling guilty about our actions or being made to feel guilty by someone else. Remember that guilt is about manipulation, so if we want to do something that benefits us, the fear of having someone telling us that we are bad or wrong, because they would have preferred we make the effort, spend the time or use the energy on their behalf.

Shame connects to our fear of abandonment, rejection and ultimately, death. Our fear of being shamed has long roots in our primal fear of being left alone, without support, and dying. This could be physical death but it can also be emotional death, where we have no one to love or care for us. In today’s world this fear can seem silly but we’re dealing on the level of the mind, past lifetimes and cellular memory. So from that perspective these fears are very real and will lead us to do anything to avoid shame and its potentially disastrous results. (http://spiritlibrary.com/uriel-heals/the-guiltshame-cycle?utm_source=Spirit+Library+Updates&utm_campaign=8d8e0b5e9b-Daily_Update&utm_medium=email)

Seeing all my shadows, issues, and patterns…the next logical thing is to hate — my life, this world and myself. All of these layers played into my Self-Sabotage pattern. I was never free from it, just moving from one layer to the next. Today, the session with my voice teacher has led me to a still deeper layer of consciousness (or unconsciousness) that I believe informs my Self-Sabotage: the false belief and deep-seated fear of death, not physical death but the death of my Spirit. I would always get out of situations ultimately because of this fear. I probably even created the situations, attracting people and opportunities in my life then eventually getting into destructive patterns to “shield” myself from the possibility of my Spirit “dying” in the throes of criticisms and negativity. This seems to be at the root of all my victim stories, as well.

Fortunately, also because of my voice class I’ve found the antidote: eternal Spirit. I am reminded of the powerful message I have encountered (but obviously not internalized) from the Conversation with God series of Neale Donald Walsch, that our purpose here on earth is to know our divinity, and accept that we are all Gods, “we were made in the image and likeness of God.” Doubting my divinity, my authentic source of power is truly the rock bottom in terms of disconnection. How will I be able to manifest my truth when I am denying that truth?

This knowledge, this light has showed me how to move forward. Inner strength is to be found in following, allowing, fully believing, trusting and committing to my Spirit. What’s exciting for me now is that I not only know this, I have experienced it in my voice class. It is in moments when I could completely trust my Spirit that I am free to sing like I’ve never sung before. I feel my limitless potential soaring through the high and complicated notes. Doubts and lack of commitment are the only blocks to my liberation. Loads of doubts have accumulated — from experiences, from people who have told me again and again that I couldn’t do it. Of course doubts that I’ve perpetuated myself because I have allowed myself to believe the lies and negativity, and accepted them as my truth. But, today I say, NO MORE.

I have to start listening to my own Spirit, to the voice within. I have to keep practicing, putting my attention and intention in following my Spirit. Quieting my mind, leaving the past traumas and dramas behind and striving to connect more with my heart. Whenever I listen more to my heart, follow my joy and bliss, life flows more easily…in the same way that singing comes naturally, amazingly. This lesson has been greatly affirmed by the inspirations that Charice Pempengco (who has the most powerful voice, and Spirit) and Arnel Pineda are sharing with all of us. They are living their truth, the truth of their Spirit and we stand in awe and gratitude to be able to witness such power and creation. I am not hoping to be Charice, or to be Arnel…but like them, I aspire to strengthen my Spirit and share my gifts to the world.

Now that I’ve found the antidote, it’s up to me how to continue to heal myself and walk my path. I shall start stripping the layers off, until I stand naked and free, letting my Spirit take me towards the fulfillment of my purpose, passions, and dreams. Slowly, but surely, I will get to where I long to BE.

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  1. Setyembre 28, 2010 11:10 hapon

    from recognizing self-sabotage, to the complexity after the “aha” moment, the manipulative forces of guilt/shame, and finally affirming Charice Pempengco’s spirit..Wow! you just hit the mark…

    Earlier today, I guess I was again terrified of the death of my spirit after a series of flare ups from the guilt/shame cycle of parenting up to rage against a twisted educational system…I recognize the importance of reminding oneself not to change the world but to change myself…

    Again, I am mystified after chanting a mantra that “from now on, I will make a paradigm shift. I will be selfish! I will work not for others but for myself. I will do things that will make me happy and that is to nurture my conscience with truth, integrity and sincerity…it will be self-serving…I will embrace it…even if it may sound like a selfless act, even if it will look like I will be serving others…It won’t be…It will all be for myself….and I hope I can start freeing myself from self-sabotage…

    I am mystified after chanting this, I read your article…

    thank you kindred spirit…

    • consciouspinay permalink*
      Setyembre 29, 2010 8:57 umaga

      Yes, it is very important to remind ourselves to focus not on changing others or the world but on caring for, nurturing and changing ourselves first. And, whatever change we do anyway, affects others and even the world.

      Thanks as well for sharing your experience kindred spirit…a friend also told me sometime ago, “the hour is darkest before the dawn”…

      Let us continue to nourish and sustain our Spirit until we have regained full strength…and allow our dreams to flow and manifest into our reality. ;p

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