Blindness, if we let it, can help us see our magnificence. In support of the 3rd International Day of Persons with Disabilities, I have chosen to dedicate this series of articles to all of us who may struggle at times with a visible or invisible disability. Whether this is a struggle from within or a struggle with gaining acceptance from others, I hope what I am about to share may go some way to helping you to find inner peace.
Before I dive into part one of three of Seeing Our Magnificence Through Blindness series of articles, I would love to express my deepest heartfelt thanks to Craig Shanaghey President Operations Services Europe & Africa at Wood for inspiring me to write and share my thoughts on disabilities.
Often, people who live under the label of disabled are met with discrimination, be it at home, or in the workplace. Various studies show that disabled people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people. But have you ever stopped and thought why this is so? Is it perhaps because we are perceived as somehow lesser, less able, less worthy, or less valued?
Or is it may be a result of the signal of an inner feeling of lessness we emit that others pick up and lead us to feel unwanted, worthless, even in the extreme suicidal? For sure for those of you who like me have lived with years of various disability labels, I know reading this series of articles will strike an accord.
You know how it feels to be frowned and discriminated just because of being you. Luckily for me, since I started to invest in my personal and spiritual development, I’ve developed an empathy for the despair judgments like this brings into our life when faced with such circumstance. In 2013, after signing a legally binding job contract with a company, I was back then working for, having openly declared my condition of epilepsy I back then had, within an instance, attitudes towards me changed, resulting me facing months of discrimination, and eventually the job offer being withdrawn.
If you experienced similar discrimination at some point in your professional life, perhaps you may recall what the company said to you and how that made you feel. It was worthless probably that it was somehow your fault for having a disability, that you were to blame. Indeed, this kind of inappropriate behaviours exhibited towards us at these times can be a most disturbing experience. More memorably I recall the many lies told, such as we can’t meet with your medical requirements on-site, and so on. Yet, a more aware and inclusive company hired me to work at the very same site in a far higher role just six months afterwards.
These experiences may lead you to reinforce a belief that having disabilities, whether visible or invisible, will somehow work against you for the rest of your life, this was once true for me, but what if this isn’t so?
To be told by others, society, employers, family, friends that your disabled is a hard pill to swallow, but to be made fun of, or even discriminate against you because of this is inhumane.
Perhaps through the time you’ve even bought into this labelling yourself and went along with it without ever questioning the validity of the labels carried? Just as was my experience when age 17 I was diagnosed with OCD and then labelled further as partially blind having lost of 80% of my vision at the age of 20 due to a violent incident between Falkirk and Celtic Casuals at a Scottish Cup Semi-Final in April 1997.
An incident for which I am now grateful, but at the time and for over 20 years, I was angry, resentful and blamed others. What helped me the most to shift my entire perspective on my various labels given by others and improve mentally, physically and emotionally is my path crossing with Tony J. Selimi, life coach and business consultant specialising in human behaviour, emotional intelligence and the psychology of growth and wellbeing.
Having read his books A Path to Wisdom and #Lonelienss, I decided to book an initial consultation. Little I knew, that this will turn into a life long journey of unlearning, learning and upgrading my psychology in ways I never thought possible.
In every session, he helped me see how my unbalanced perceptions of such events years after they’ve occurred, were lying at the root of the daily pain, shame and frustrations I felt for over twenty years living with OCD and epilepsy. A year down the line, I was free of epilepsy, as if I never had it, my OCD got better, and I started to use his methods and principles to cope better with triggers and change my way of thinking.
If you’ve been injured, I’m sure you’ll agree that with these physical injuries, we also carry deep psychological scars that stay with us for years. For me, they lasted over two decades, and the pain I felt over the years was immense. I lived with invisible disabilities for so long that I began hating myself, I doubted my decisions, and daily I lived in deep regret, wishing it never happened.
Why? Because in the minutes before this incident, which took place in a Glasgow Underground Train Station, my entire body had gone into a deep state of alarm; first, it began to shake, then literally it was screaming at me, telling me to get off of the train, and away from the upcoming situation. Almost by some intelligence, an intelligence many of us may have experienced at times in our life, it knew that something terrible would happen. Still, not wanting to let my friends down, I chose to ignore my bodies inbuilt alarm systems that Tony talks about in his book A Path to Wisdom.
Can you imagine the agony of living for over two decades with being mentally, physically, and emotionally drained? I lived with varying degrees of unhealthy disempowering subconscious beliefs and psychological states related to a few past incidents.
I was asleep and blind to everything I am sharing and so much more until I invested in working privately with an experienced coach and consultant. It was Tony J. Selimi who helped me create countless breakthroughs that helped me heal this unbearable pain. Through every consultation, he helped me transform those states of regret, blame, loss, feeling disabled, comparing myself with others, anger, despair and victim into fuel for growth, change and transformation.
· Regret because I wished I had never gone to that football match
· Blame because I blamed myself and I blamed the person who struck me, whom I have since met
· Loss because I focused on what I had lost in this case my eyesight
· Disabled because I was now disabled for the rest of my life, or so I thought
· Compare because more and more, I wanted someone else’s life, someone whom I perceived had a perfect life.
· Anger because I was angry with myself, my stupid decisions and what I’d lost my eyesight, and how much harder my life had gotten
· Pain because all of this pained me
· Victim because I became a victim to this circumstance because something which occurred in 1997 was still creating all the above damaging psychological states up to 2018
All I’ve discovered through working privately with Tony J. Selimi is now helping me clearly see how his works, methods and principles can transform employee’s mental and emotional health. When our past takes up our present time, we often regret what we or others have done to us. We point fingers outwardly to blame others for the thing we in the first place created.
Such behaviours can cause loss of productivity, performance, and increased absenteeism, costing employers millions in the workplace. Living in the past in our mind leads to us becoming unfocused, less collaborative, and more prone to incidents and accidents. It is why I am called to be a mental health ambassador and introduce Tony’s books and work in every organisation.
Enough for today, join me in part two of three of this series of articles where I’ll share more how I transformed my beliefs, perception and thinking related to my blindness and ignorance. It is why I now see my ignorance as bliss and my blindness as a unique gift and blessing.
Piping Supervisor, Work Pack Engineer and Mental Health Ambassador
PS – Let me leave you with this quote taken from the book A Path to Wisdom by – Tony J. Selimi “To step into your greatness is to acknowledge your innate thirst for adventure.”
During the Corona Virus lockdown and stays at home period, Tony works on a virtual basis with clients worldwide, facilitating the realisation and accomplishment of their personal and professional goals providing there is a compelling fit of values and vision. Here are four ways I know he can help you jailbreak the prison of your mind, grow your relationship, wealth, business and accelerate your journey to excellent physical, mental, and emotional health, influence and business success.
#1… Book a Breakthrough Virtual Consultation by sending an e-mail to his PA at [email protected]
#2 … Grab your copy of Tony’s #1 Amazon bestselling and multi-award-winning books A Path to Wisdom and #Loneliness and enrol in his Mindfulness for Higher Productivity, Performance and Profitable Life Udemy Course and join thousands of his happy students.
#3 … Make the fastest progress by hiring Tony to work with you on your business and train your teams.
#4 … Hire Tony as a speaker to educate, inspire and transform your audience at your next company or industry event.
For more information about Tony and what he can do for you, please go to https://tonyselimi.com