Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Pity

I have made a terrible mistake.

There is a difference between self-compassion and self-pity. It is easy to mistaken our egocentric self-pity as justifiable when we act out and behave inappropriately. These theatrical responses are generated because we feel we are not being heard or seen, just like we yell when we think no one is listening. Anger – even sadness – both enable a sense of empowerment when we feel confused and isolated. Read More

The Death of Love?

I believe that romantic love does not exist. Our interpretation of love is socially constructed and re-imagines co-dependency to be synonymous with a deep, intimate connection. For me, there is only one type of love and that is moral consciousness, the ability to give love to all things.

Capitalism has commodified love, marketing the idea that selling ourselves will enable us to receive love and attention, but selling is not the same as giving ourselves to love. Selling ourselves does require us to give – our time and energy, our efforts to be patient and tolerant under unhappy circumstances – so there is indeed an element of moral goodness since one is being dutiful, but the underlying intent is to receive from that effort and thus entirely dependent on the reciprocal exchange.

These socially constructed archetypes breed an efficient network of mindless drones who all believe in the same thing and who act in the same way enabling this sense of familiarity and unity, but all entirely founded on narcissism. Is this exchange ever real? Is there such a thing as romantic love? Read More

Understanding Asexuality

There is a level of stigma on the subject of asexuality. It is ‘funny’ and almost irrelevant, often confused with celibacy and thus a religious experience where no clear distinction between sexuality and sexual desire is explained; celibacy articulates abstention from sexual activity, but it does not preclude an absence of a sexual orientation or identity.

Anthony Bogaert is a Canadian psychologist that wrote on sexuality and his book Understanding Asexuality stated that the architecture of relationships is founded on our need for bonding with our mother and this cognitive process built into us is transferred later in life to our partners. This bonding is channelled as romance and incorrectly used synonymously with sex, which is formed biologically rather than neuro-psychologically.

Romance is therefore psychological whereas our sexual inclinations are biological, but we often confuse the two as being one and the same thing. This is because of the role of our subjectivity with sexual attraction and that our subjectivity is the psychological  core of our experience with our sexual orientation. This orientation from heterosexual, homosexual, and asexual finds each individual uniquely designated somewhere along that spectrum. Depending on where they are, asexual persons can form romantic relationships – this innate need to bond – but do not actively seek sexual partners.

spectrum

Bogaert clarifies that asexual individuals who masturbate do not view pornography or paraphernalia because there is no subjective ‘target’ and thus a disconnect between the subjective relationship of physical arousal and our sexual orientation. They see the experience as only physical in nature and any need is related to something like a release of tension following their menstrual cycle much the same as one maternally driven to children. There is a distinction between behaviour and attraction.

Attachment theory models this explanation of how we form interpersonal relationships and our experiences during early childhood may have some connection with how we understand romance; a person who may have experienced some trauma or neglect could become promiscuous or detached from any bonding, irrelevant to their sexual identity. The influence of parent-child experiences may have an impact on the anxieties and challenges of romantic relationships later in life including our comfort levels with closeness and intimacy, threshold to experiences of loss and abandonment, and our vicarious learning with the relationship dynamic between our parents among other indicators.

To further perpetuate the confusion, we categorise identities into archetypes of “normalcy” that may, in one way, help designate an explanation of relationships that are considered stable – trophy wife, white picket fence – but it mostly alienates our ability to identify and introspect on how we are feeling authentically. This has been my greatest challenge, since I was left when young feeling quite isolated and confused because I simply deviated so much from the norm and did not understand why.

But the way that I see it, it is almost like real logic without the subjective and imaginary elements that attract people to sexual intercourse and why for me a deep bond is first needed as it logically follows that such a bond explains an authenticity in the connection.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Amelie-English-Subtitled-Audrey-Tautou/dp/B006LXQID8

 

Culturally Diverse Leadership

Following an invitation to speak at a conference for emerging leaders, this article is a developed version of the speech I gave at the dinner.


My parents grew up in extreme poverty in a tiny village as ethnic and religious minorities who experienced discrimination and the threat of violence and their identity and cultural heritage heavily controlled by politics. Both were only primary school educated and started work almost immediately since children were viewed as an economic asset unlike most of the western world where they are seen as a cost. They migrated to Australia in 1968 and worked in a labour-intensive environment with little English and a weak understanding of the education system.

They were in survival-mode. Read More

Saolré: The Cycle of Life

As I prepare for my trip to beautiful, mythical Ireland in a few months, I am excited about visiting Newgrange (Gaelic sí an bhrú), which is a prehistoric 6,000 year old megalithic in County Meath. What is unique about this monument is that during the Winter Solstice, the sun rises over Boyne Valley and the beams of light strike into the passage chamber. It has been suggested that it was designed to observe solar and lunar cycles as well as that of Venus, but the attachment to astronomical and calendrical cycles with ancient mythological lore is clear, such as Aengus and Caer (I will be writing more about Irish myths and legends at a later date). What is more obvious is the understanding of the importance of cycles that exist in nature and our universe. Read More

Covert Narcissism: Modern Epidemic?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition where individuals exaggerate their own sense of importance and talents, have unrealistic goals and lack empathy for others. While fantasising about success, they inflate their sense of status that any criticism of their behaviour is often deflected as jealousy or envy. As they seek constant praise and use external sources to regulate their self-esteem, their efforts to maintain an image or “mask” ultimately causes them to cut themselves from friends and colleagues when at risk of exposure to criticism. Read More