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What the children of divorce must definitely be told

What the children of divorce must definitely be told

“Divorce isn’t such a tragedy. A tragedy is staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.” ~ Jennifer Weiner

Through this blog, I have had the privilege to connect with some interesting souls who bring along their own unique life stories. Some of them have connected with me in the open, while some secretly through personal contact. Amongst these many associations, there is one life story that has touched me hard. One soul who has been distraught with her parents divorce when she was a child. She has been nursing strong feelings of hatred and bitterness for the longest of time. ‘If only I was a better child, this wouldn’t have happened. My father would have then loved me and not left us’, she had expressed in one of her conversations with me. She blames herself for their divorce and for all the hatred that her father has for her.

This made me think that how parents handle their divorce is so much more important than the impact of the actual event on the little minds. Divorce is an extremely sensitive topic.Children must be handled with utmost care and they must be aware of certain facts. How critical it is for the children in divorce to receive the right messages at the right time. What you say, how, where and when you say it are all important factors to keep in mind. From my personal experience, and from what I have read and learnt over the years, I believe this is what must be conveyed to the children:

Divorce is imminent – ‘Mom and Dad are not going to live together anymore. We tried hard to stay in the relationship but it’s just not working out. We have been unable to work out our adult problems. We feel it is healthier to separate and go our ways rather than live with constant conflict under one roof.’

Your parents will always remain your parents – ‘Mom and Dad will always remain your Mom and Dad. Divorce happens between the two parents and not between parents and their children. It is the end of the marriage but not the end of our relationship with you.’

It’s not your fault – ‘You are not to be blamed. Nothing that you have done or not done has caused this to happen. Nor can you prevent this painful event from happening. You are not responsible in any way for this divorce.’

You will always be loved – Unless there’s a situation in which one parent abandons the child/children, children need to know they will always be loved, that the parents will always be there for them. As long as this remains true, they need to know that even the parent who is no longer living with them, will be there for them. They will always be cared for and all their needs will be met.

Changes will occur in our family life – ‘Our family maybe called broken but we will still be a family in many ways.’ Here, it is extremely important to explain to the children the mutually agreed upon visitation schedule. How often the non-resident parent will see the kids and where – all details have to be explained well. It is equally important to specify what will not change – the sibling, the home, maybe the school, other relatives, their belongings, etc.

It is not the end of your world – ‘Having divorced parents can be extremely painful and challenging. I/We recognise your feelings. You have a right to be angry and hurt. But be assured, it is definitely not the end of your world. There’s a lot more that life has to offer. Even though this event may seem insurmountable now, you will soon discover ways to get past your pain and angst. You will come out strong and successful, you can surely thrive!’

“I strongly believe children can thrive through divorce. Children need parents who love them. Children need to know they are safe. Children need stability and sometimes that’s much easier to achieve outside a marriage than in a broken one.” ~Lisa Hayes

The best of kids have divorced parents – Children often wonder why their parents are divorced and not the parents of their friends. It is very easy to feel victimised. It is natural for them to think they must be bad kids, hence this is happening to them. But children need to know that divorce can happen to the best of kids. This has nothing to do with their behaviour or shortcomings whatsoever. They are wonderful children. And will continue to be so.

Ideally, both parents should break this news together. But every situation of separation is different and even if one parent has to break the news, so be it. Be careful of the place where these things are being discussed, as there is likely to be emotional breakdowns. And again, the messages have to be reiterated in an age appropriate language.

When children of divorce look back, they realize that the moment of hearing ‘the news’ changed their lives forever. This makes it vital for the parent/parents to handle it well and set the tone for an emotionally strong future.

Also read: How children see their family

Why it is important for women to be financially savvy!

Why it is important for women to be financially savvy!

“To be a financially savvy woman, you don’t have to like tracking your numbers. You just have to do it.” ~ Patti Fagan

We are almost at the end of this financial year (31st March in India) as I sit to pen this blog post. Last few weeks I had to ensure all taxes are paid, income tax returns are filed, tax-saving deductions are done under Section 80C….Its time to review my investments. How are my mutual funds looking? The stock markets are high and volatile so have to plan well. I am in the midst of preparing my personal budget for the new financial year. Have to factor inflation rate plus increase in school fees….

Few years ago, all this would have been completely Greek and Latin for me. I barely had any idea about the financial jargon. When you have never handled your money on your own and are left-brain challenged, personal finances can seem daunting. Most of us Indian girls coming from a sound economic background are usually raised in way where the money matters are completely looked after by the father (and brother if there is) and after marriage by the husband (and the father-in-law if applicable). Traditionally, men have always taken care of the financial aspect in a relationship. No questions asked, all in good trust and faith.

Flash back to the time when I was faced with my divorce. And with it came all the challenges of handling not only my own finances but also that of my minor daughters. The girl who had mainly worked with paintbrushes and pens was now compelled to look at numbers and excel sheets, big time. A single woman and a single mom put together in a situation where there was no choice but to take control.

Learning the ropes of everything around money did not come easy. It continues to be a process of constant education till date. But I am so glad to have been thrown into the situation, else I probably wouldn’t have learnt as much. A lot of women I know have no clue about their own finances simply ‘cos there has not been any need to learn. One of my aunts had no idea about the medical policy details when my uncle was hospitalised in an emergency. A close friend does not know how net banking works. An older mom I know was clueless about her income tax statement and regrets not learning.

I believe it’s very important for every woman to be financially savvy. Here’s why:

  • Self-respect: When a woman equips herself with financial knowledge, she is able to control her money well. That fills her with self-confidence and puts her in charge. It is critical for her own survival skills when crisis befalls. When she can hold her own in a financial situation, her self-respect takes a huge leap.
  • Key decision-making: It is generally the woman in the family who knows the family spends. Home management, paying for the children’s education and activities, shopping requirements, bills, etc. are usually in her domain of responsibilities. If she is financially smart, money management will be easier and it will augur well for better decision-making.
  • Sense of ownership: You know your money well, you own it, you have a sense of responsibility. The onus is on you – to save, to lose, to spend. Even if you make mistakes, they will serve as lessons. But the sense of complete ownership is wonderful. No one can take you for a ride or cheat you when you know how things work.
  • Exercising your choice: There are several modes of investments to allot your money. It helps you to make an informed choice when you are aware of your funds and financial needs at different stages. Organising and systematic planning comes very easily to women, especially mothers. She can use these skills effectively for taking important financial decisions.
  • Sense of freedom: In most cases, money is the tool that allows us to enjoy the varied pleasures of life. If a woman is financially smart about her money choices, she need not wait for anyone’s permission or approval. She can indulge in whatever her heart desires. Now that feeling can be truly very liberating!

You must ask yourself – how well do I know my money?

 

True love begins by loving ourselves first

True love begins by loving ourselves first

“Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.” ~Carrie Bradshaw 

It’s Valentines Day tomorrow – love is in the air! Candlelight dinners are being booked. Valentine cards with pop-up hearts are selling across gift shops. Heart-shaped red balloons have been visible on street signals past few days. Couples of all ages right from teenyboppers to the newly marrieds to the been-married-for-decades look forward to this day in their own ways. The thought of spending precious time with your loved one and receiving lovely goodies makes it a day to cherish.

Thinking of it all makes me wonder what does Valentine’s Day hold for singles like me that do not have a doting partner. It’s a day meant for love, but does it have to be celebrated only by couples? Nah, it’s a day to celebrate love and love does not necessarily mean your special someone or spouse. There are so may people in our lives on whom we can shower our love. How do we make it special for them and for us? What does love really mean anyways?

With time and wisdom gained from life’s experiences, I have learned to believe that love truly begins by loving ourselves first. If we are unable to love ourselves, we cannot sincerely love others. When our self-love grows, we become happier and confident and thereby radiate more love. No matter how many relationships we have and whatever their quality maybe, it is essential to keep coming back to the one relationship that counts – with our self!

Here’s looking at a few ways to love ourselves more than we do:

  • Self-acceptance –We are all born as unique individuals. Beautiful, quirky, imperfect, flawed, talented – we are who we are with all our positive assets as well as our shortcomings. Rather than wishing that we were made differently or comparing ourselves with others, it is good to acknowledge everything about us. Self-love begins with accepting ourselves as we are.
  • Self-esteem – No matter what choices we make in life, be focused on who you are and not how others see you. Do not get defined by others’ opinion or judgment about you. Work on maintaining a healthy self-esteem and self-worth. What you think of yourself is much more important than what people think of you.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. –Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Self-appreciation – How wonderful it feels to be appreciated by people. To be applauded for your accomplishments, for how you made a difference to others and for the value you add in everyone’s lives. And when you feel less appreciated than what you deserve, or crave for, then give yourself a pat on your back every once in a while. Its good to remind ourselves of where we were and how far we have come crossing several life hurdles!
  • Self-care- Love means being kind, encouraging and caring. Self-love is to be that and direct all those energies towards us. We don’t necessarily need anyone else to care for us, we are capable of pampering ourselves in more than one ways. Look out for yourself. Take time to indulge in what makes your soul happy. A little celebratory pastry once in a while will not hurt your body.

  • Self-respect- Self-respect is a virtue no one can take away from us. Do not lose your dignity by demeaning or short-changing yourself. The way we treat ourselves is in a way an invitation for others to treat us. It’s important to stay away from people and situations that pull us down. Maintaining our self-respect is key to self-love, we must preserve it at all cost.

You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you ~Dodinsky

Loving ourselves does not mean we are selfish or self-indulgent. It means nurturing ourselves and replenishing our spirits so that we can give from a place of fulfilment. It is a cornerstone for healthy love and healthy relationships!

Related links:

http://happyfoodhealthylife.com/50-ways-to-love-pamper-yourself-on-valentines-day-every-day/

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/increase-self-love-ways-good-to-yourself/

 

Image courtesy: Pexels

Comic strip courtesy: mimiandeunice.com

What divorced women would like to tell the society

What divorced women would like to tell the society

society

“Those who have gone through divorce know the pain and special challenges of raising a child under such circumstances.” ~Mike Macgavick  

My divorce hit me hard, it sure did. It is after all a life-changing event in more ways than one can imagine. But what hit me harder was the way our society is conditioned to perceive divorce. People have strange ways of reacting and looking at divorcees, especially divorced women.

We divorced women have a lot on our plate, we can surely do without more stressors. As we deal with our situation and with our difficult feelings, these are some of the things we would like to tell people:

  1. We are not victims: Whether we have chosen to end our marriage or our spouse has, we do not want to be seen as victims. Life is not meant to be fair and everyone has their share of challenges. Just like any other relationship, a marriage too can end for several reasons. Do not stare at us with pitiful eyes or call us ‘poor her’. We do not ask for sympathy.
  1. Do not gossip: Divorce tends to become a topic of juicy gossip in our society, be it in private gatherings or social functions. Both husband and wife are analysed and people love to indulge in finding faults. Do recognise that divorce is agonising for the families concerned. We have too many perplexing emotions to deal with, we do not require any mud slinging. Kindly do not add more negative energy into the situation.
  1. Divorce is not a sign of weakness: On the contrary divorced women are strong enough to recognise that staying in a bad marriage can be hazardous – for us as well as our kids. We would have put up with a lot of trauma and suffering before our separation. It would probably have been the hardest choice to arrive at the inevitable decision. But going through the painful process of divorce and its aftermath only makes us more resilient than one can fathom.
  1. Do not judge us: The society tends to put the onus usually on the women to save a marriage. It is assumed that the wife has to work harder to adjust and make the husband and in-laws happy. Yes, marriages are sacred for us and we would have mightily strived to save it. We do not marry to get divorced especially when we have children. But do not think of men as a superior sex who can be excused for their misogyny. Shake out of the long imbibed patriarchal conditioning. Stop expecting us to bend over backwards all the time. Our husbands are not our Gods.

               You alone cannot save your marriage

  1. We don’t necessarily have to remarry: Marriage is not the be all and end all for a woman. Break free from old thinking that a woman cannot remain single forever. Or that she needs someone to support her. Whether we choose to date anyone or live in with someone or decide to remain single or even remarry, it is completely our choice. If we have male friends, do not jump to conclusions or malign our character. Our relationships are our choice and we do not seek outside advice.
  1. Spare our kids: Kids from a divorced family go through too much stress. Do not label them or make their parents’ divorce their identity. They don’t need to hear any insensitive chatter or blather from others. Nor do they need to hear any bad-mouthing of either of their parents. It is not their fault, they have absolutely no control over the situation. So please do not ask them anything that is difficult or embarrassing to answer.

              How children see their family

  1. We have our own identity: Our identity does not stem from being someone’s wife or daughter-in-law only. We are complete in our own ways. Just ‘cos we are single also does not make us easy prey for men to flirt with. We are okay to go out alone be it the movies or dining or shopping. We do not always need a shoulder to lean on. Being alone does not necessarily mean being lonely.

What we really need is for people to be sensitive. To understand and to give us our space and privacy. We need time to rediscover ourselves, renew our confidence and our self-esteem. What the society can do is to let us be and not decide for us. What we truly want is to heal from the trauma and build our lives back together.

 Image courtesy: Pexels

When bad things do happen to good people

When bad things do happen to good people

cry

“I’ve often wondered why bad things happen to good people – the answer is simple. Because it keeps them good.” – Adrian DeRoy

My first encounter with grief and trauma was almost two decades ago when a very dear friend passed away in a brutal accident. They were four of them in the car on that fateful night, two survived and two met with instant death. Why him? Why take him away? Why do this to his parents? That was the first time I had asked a very loud and excruciatingly painful WHY???!

WHY do bad things happen to good people? I kept asking this question, reiterating in every real instance concerning people whom I know –

– WHY does a tree fall on a teenager so badly that she has to get her leg amputated?

– WHY does the metal wire accidentally flings into the eye of only one man in a room of ten?

– WHY does a selflessly loving family get cheated of their rightful legacy of wealth?

– WHY does a poor maid’s only son becomes a drug addict and leaves her?

– WHY do life-threatening diseases attack the kind-hearted folks?

In our moments of deep pain and mourning, it is only human to question our faith. To question God. To question the very existence of God. If there really was God, why would He want suffering for us? Is He not supposed to love us, bless us, keep us safe? Why are we truly here and what is our life’s ultimate purpose?

The questions took a personal dimension, as I lay on the threshold of my marital separation. ‘Why would this happen to us? I haven’t hurt anyone or done anything wrong. I have been a good wife and a sincere daughter-in-law (or so I thought). This is so unfair!’ I found myself being unusually skeptical. Amidst my suffering and tribulations, there were innumerable times when I doubted my faith. The very core of my values was shaken and under threat. Life was posing more and more questions.

As I kept seeking, the answers came revealing in several different ways – through books, people, meditations, spiritual channels, quiet times, synchronicity, etc. It has been a gradual process of understanding and internalising. Purely out of my life experiences and my views only, this is what I believe I have learnt.

When bad things happen to good people:

  • The universe is interested in our personal and spiritual growth
  • The Law of Karma is showing up
  • Its time to learn the lessons we are meant to learn
  • A situation needs no labelling of good or bad, positive or negative
  • Life is not meant to be fair and doesn’t always give what we want
  • How we face things and live – that’s what matters
  • Our hardest challenges reveal our true spirit
  • Tough times don’t last forever, tough people do (clichéd but relevant)
  • Everything in our life happens for a reason, though we may not see it or believe it in that moment

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself. ” -Walter Anderson.

Looking at tough times from a different perspective:

It is in our darkest hours that we are inspired to seek the divine light. Hang in there and try to accept your life situation like a bystander, the pain will be significantly lesser. It is okay to be an atheist, but do know that God does exist. There is a strength that comes from within in God’s presence. And He is watching over us, constantly guiding us on the path we are meant to follow. Keep the faith and take one day at a time. There is a larger plan at work and the universe will fit all the puzzle pieces into one big picture. Believe!

How to help children feel comfortable in school after parents’ separation

How to help children feel comfortable in school after parents’ separation

help

“Together may we give our children roots to grow and wings to fly.” ~Unknown

When parents get separated or divorced, children either get to continue in their same school or inevitably have to move schools depending on the circumstances and logistics. Changing schools during separation ensues a different set of challenges, a situation that I did not have to face and hence do not have insights. This post examines the scenario of helping children feel comfortable in the same school post separation or divorce.

School is like a second home for children. So when there befalls a crisis situation at home, it becomes a place of refuge for many kids. Since they spend most of their daytime in school, it provides a safe environment of routine and familiarity.

Here are a few ways we can help children readjust and feel comfortable in their own school during separation or post divorce:

1. Teachers: Meet with the class teacher (and not all the individual subject teachers in the Indian schools) and inform her/him about your family situation. It would be worthwhile to even confide in your child’s favourite teacher, someone he/she looks up to and who is sensitive enough to empathise with. Discuss with the teacher about the emotions your child feels at home and to look out for possible behaviour changes he/she may exhibit in school. You don’t need to disclose all the details about your personal life. Just maintain the relevance in context to your child’s well being. Teachers usually contact parents only if an issue escalates in school. Maintain regular contact with the concerned teachers apart from the time spent during parent-teacher meetings. Work closely with them and heed to their advice.

2. School counsellor: School counsellors are qualified to address several emotional and mental issues children face at different ages. Most of the schools would either have a full time student guidance counsellor or have someone coming in part time. Some schools may not have either, in which case the school authorities will recommend counsellors outside of school. Confiding in a counsellor helps the child and the parent deal with the changes at home and the whole new set of feelings. I have been truly fortunate to have access to our full time school counsellor who is compassionate and easy to talk to. Just the thought of having her as someone my kids could talk to in school, someone looking out for trouble signs, was very reassuring to me. She continues to be a sound support in dealing with several issues that I now face with my teenagers in school. School counsellors provide an opportunity for children to discuss their feelings in a stable environment. Counselling in school or outside does go a long way in helping children build their own coping mechanisms.

3. What to say, how much to say: Children are often subjected to many difficult questions that can be painful to answer. ‘Why do you not live with your father?’, ‘Why did your parents divorce?’, ‘Which parent do you love more?’, ‘Do you miss your old home?’, “Is your mom a bad person?’…so on and so forth. People are and will always be curious to know more. This is a reality children coming from a divorced family have to deal with for life. It’s important to teach them that they need not answer difficult questions if it makes them uncomfortable. They need to know that it’s perfectly okay to say they do not want to talk about it. Alternatively, subtle answers can be suggested that do not divulge too many details. It’s equally important for adults to handle this with care, sensitivity and tact.

4. Official formalities: It is essential to update all school records with the new address, contact nos. and change in mother’s name (where relevant). If the bus route has changed, update that as well with the bus authorities and inform the concerned in-charge on the bus. It is extremely important to update the emergency contact numbers, especially that of the family doctor or physician. The school diary usually needs to be signed by both parents. If one parent is not available or refuses to sign, let the school authorities know the reason.

5. Visitation schedules: In many cases, children tend to spend their time between two homes after separation. The teacher needs to be informed of the custody and visitation arrangement. For there may arise situations where children forget to bring along school essentials or leave behind important documents, etc. at the other home. If the teacher is well aware, it would mean sparing the children from scolding or further embarrassment. It is also important for teachers to be aware of extremely hostile situations when the non-resident parent may get invasive or intruding in school. If the child is to be fetched by an adult after school, kindly arrange so with an appropriate identity card to ensure safety.

6. Activities: Some children shy away socially and may avoid extra activities, recourse to being in their own shell. They need to be encouraged to take part in as many activities as possible, fostering their development and confidence. Despite moving further away from school after divorce, the extra distance did not deter me to drive my kids early in the mornings to ensure they participate in school sports (It’s a proud feeling that they went on to be a part of their school teams at various levels). Normalcy and consistency in maintaining their routine is key to their wellbeing.

7. School events: When children of divorce know that both parents love them unconditionally, it does a world of good to them. While it is essential for the custodian parent (usually the mom) to be present for all the school events, the presence of the non-resident parent provides a morale boost to the child. If the situation is amicable between the parents, their equal involvement in the child’s life is healthy. But if the situation has been acrimonious and the parents do not communicate well, the child can be spared of seeing them together in school.

Children are usually quite adaptive and find ways to cope with the changes in school. With love, right guidance and support, they eventually figure out what best works for them. So do single parents!

‘Letting Go’ can be very hard

‘Letting Go’ can be very hard

cliff

jump

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” ~ Hermaan Hesse

What you see in these images is a small cliff and me jumping into the water. What you do not see here is what preceded this jump!

The adventurous side of me decided to do something I had never done before – cliff jumping in the cold waters of Rishikesh. With all enthusiasm I climbed up to the top of the cliff with friends who had done it earlier and swore by the fun. “Its an experience you must have!” they had said. It was only once I reached up and looked down at the water that all my gusto was taken over by nervousness. Was I insane – how could I possibly jump from this height! I wanted to turn back and go down the hill but it was too late. Scores of people had queued up behind me to take their turn, patiently waiting for me to jump in. And I simply couldn’t let go! I was scared and landed up creating a scene for about 10 minutes, when normally people take only seconds to jump in. Until finally I couldn’t do it on my own and had to ask the person behind me to push me!

But that’s me. I have always had difficulties in letting go or have a strong habit of holding on – whichever way you look at. How I treasure my precious collectibles for years – the books that I loved reading and revisiting; my innumerable photo albums, both in print and digital; cannot let go of my favourite outfits until they are shamefully tattered; holding on to the colourful stationery and art supplies from college days; saving those heartfelt letters and cards from childhood days. Speaking of which, it was hard to even let go of the cards from my ex, despite all the bitterness post divorce.

How then was I supposed to leave my marital home, whose every nook and corner I had tendered to (the Bollywood fan in me was reminded of the scene from the Hindi movie ‘Astitva’ when actress Tabu was hugging the floor of her home for the last time before she was leaving her husband). Familiarity brings comfort and I wanted to hold on to my comfort zone. The people associated with me in the neighbourhood – the librarian, the girls in the salon next door, and the smiling lady at the grocers. My favourite walking parks by the sea and the shops down the road that I frequented. My yoga class in the vicinity, my friends, and all that I was attached to.

How was I supposed to let go of everything that was built with so much love, dedication and trust in marriage. Of a bond whose foundation began with vows around the sacred fire. How could I let go of all those memories built over days and months and years!

Life surely has its ways that are sometimes beyond our comprehension. When it gets you to the point where its best to leave behind everything and move on, then you gotta let go. Even if it means being pushed into letting go!

Face-to-Face with FEAR

Face-to-Face with FEAR

Clouds

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is the fear of the unknown.” H.P.Lovecraft

Every time I used to hear of real-life divorce tales, I would feel sorry for the couple in question and my heart would reach out for the kids in the messy situation. I used to think how hard is life for them, so sad and so not fair. And then I would instantly thank my stars for blessing me with a wonderful family – a loving husband and two adorable kids. After all, divorce is something that only happens to others. It can surely not happen to me.

Alas! How often we take our precious possessions for granted! How often do we take ‘life’ for granted!!

When it was time to face the fact that ‘Divorce’ was indeed happening to me, I was in complete disbelief. There I was, so beautifully entrenched in my so-called ‘settled’ domestic abode. A wonderful world that I had selflessly built over the years and tended to with all my energy. And now life was throwing me in front of a completely new situation, compelling me to leave all that belonged to me in my comfort zone. Catching me totally unarmed with a new set of fears to face a brutal reality.

As I stepped into the mental state of being ‘unsettled’, a plethora of dreadful questions quickly raced my mind-

‘Is my marriage really ending?’
‘Isn’t there a better way out?’
‘What will happen to my kids?’
‘Will they be depressed?’
‘We will be a broken family!’
‘My parents would be heart-broken.’
‘How will we break the news?’
‘I will be the first one in my family.’
‘How will I support us financially?’
‘Is this really happening to us?’
‘I never thought I would be here some day’
‘Why do my kids have to go through this pain?’
‘What have I done to deserve this?’
‘Why us?’
..and they continued to cloud my thoughts.

From living on a firm ground of certainty, I was suddenly thrown into a dark abyss of the unknown. From having a sense of what tomorrow may bring, I was now facing every day with indefinite possibilities. For there could be good outcomes or bad, isn’t it? Who knows? I surely did not.

The days and months leading up to this instant were agonising and the moment of truth itself was excruciatingly painful. It was time to brace myself for what lay ahead!

What I was gradually to learn about Fear:

1. Fear takes on many forms – anxiety, insecurity, misery, jealousy, anger, inaction, anticipation, etc.
2. Fear can hold us back from healing and letting go of the pain
3. Fear can be felt with certain signals our body sends
4. Fear can reinstate our weaknesses and what we cannot do
5. Fear deprives us of strong self-esteem and self-confidence
6. Fear can keep us stuck in ways we do not recognize
7. Fear can keep us oscillating between the past and the future
8. Fear is a state of mind and not a fact
9. Fear can lead you out of your comfort zone
10. Fear can be overcome

Why the blog name soulmom.in?

Why the blog name soulmom.in?

SoulMom

What’s in a name? Well, a lot of thoughts goes into arriving at a blog name. These are few of mine:

The ‘soul’ in soulmom.in – the essence of my tryst with spirituality and its constant pursuit. It is a seeking of the higher consciousness through various spiritual channels. Soul is the curiosity to decipher the mysterious ways in which the universe functions. It is a commitment to spiritual growth. Soul is the recognition that each of us is a unique spiritual being and our life’s purpose is to be true to our uniqueness. It is the discovery that ‘soul’ and ‘sole’ go beyond being merely homophones, into being an exclusive entity!

The ‘mom’ in soulmom.in – my experiences of learning and growing in the role of a mother. It is a determination to overcome the various challenges in raising my kids without a spouse. Mom is a resolve to grow from a survival mode to a thriving mode. It is an ongoing relationship with myself as much as with my kids. Mom is the spirit to be self-empowered as it is to empower my kids. It is breaking free from the ‘victimisation’ of being a divorcee to finding my true power.

The ‘.in’ of soulmom.in – the journey inward. Of going into the depth of self-awareness in search of the soul’s highest calling. Of inspirations that has shaped my inner being. Of influences that continue to help me heal. Of building a strong sense of mindfulness in all life situations. Quite importantly, .in is quintessentially belonging to India. The unwavering spirit of the Indian woman.

SoulMom is an effort to reach out to as many souls that can resonate with what I write here.

Then and Now

Then and Now

ThennNow

It happened to be India’s Independence Day celebrations and the nation was rejoicing the sense of freedom. But ironically that day, someone was feeling trapped in a marriage and wishing for his own independence.

Between then and now, as I reminisce the years gone by, I wonder how I survived it all. Days and nights of agonising pain, as I witnessed my world fall apart. The brutal realisation that most of my dreams will never be realised. The impending status of a divorcee and worse – the scary thought of raising my small children in a broken family.

But survive I did. And ever since, my journey has been one where I am continuously striving to thrive….

Back then, I wanted to create a platform of women in a similar situation that I was in and build a community for sharing and caring. But I was vulnerable and my state of mind was too fragile to take the initiative. I was not willing to open up. Now I am in a relatively stronger space of mind and more determined to reach out. We learn a lot from people who have been there, done that. And when you know you are not alone facing a challenging situation, it is very reassuring. Thus has evolved this deep urge to reach out and connect.

Between then and now, it has been one hell of a roller coaster of emotions…

Hurting & Healing

Fear & Faith

Insecurities & Inspirations….

Empathy & Empowerment….

….and the journey continues….

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